I have many favorite things, but a few that I think you would enjoy learning about are natural ingredients that can easily be added to your beautifying ritual in lieu of, of course, my nemesis, toxic chemical-based products. Remember, these products are not just harmful to your skin, they are also harmful to the environment as they contain non-biodegradable chemicals such as Dimethicone, Dimethicone Copolyol, Cyclomethiconecome. Moreover, they come in ridiculous plastic packaging, which we all know is adding to irreversible environmental degradation! Enough said for now. Here is a short list of some amazing alternatives that you can safely use on your skin, and actually feel good about.
If you can get past the smell, you will see how amazing natural apple cider vinegar is! It is an alpha hydroxy acid so it gently removes dead skin, and it naturally balances your PH. It serves as a great toner as well! If your skin is very dry, you can dilute it 4 parts vinegar to 2 parts water. Or else, dilute it 4:1. If you have essential oils such as lavender (here you would use lavender for its soothing properties), rosemary (here you would use rosemary for its cell stimulating properties), or neroli (...uplifting), add a drop, and you will see, it's better than anything out there:). Apply, let sit a few minutes and rinse off.
I grew up on this. My mother used to heal all our ailment--from pimples to sprains--with a thick paste of french green clay, and it always worked! French green clay is a cornucopia of minerals. It contains magnesium, calcium, potassium, dolomite, silica, manganese, phosphorus, silicon, copper, and selenium. And because of its unique micro molecular structure, it allows for the optimal absorption of impurities, contaminants, makeup etc. Furthermore, it tightens pore, removes dead cells, and tones your skin. According to Clay Minerals 1999 34: 469-477 Issue 3, it can even be used for removing heavy metals from industrial waste water. So imagine the power this element has when applied topically onto your skin! It removes toxins and heals just about anything. My grandfather used to drink the clay to cleanse his digestive system. Today it is a widely known detox remedy. Stir 1 tsp of french green clay into 8 oz water. Let settle over night and drink the following morning on an empty stomach. Some stir before drinking. But my grandfather drank it without agitating the clay.
Please note that as we strive to be more ecologically friendly by turning to nature's ingredients, please make sure that you buy organic (as pesticides and chemical fertilizers are toxic to the earth) and ecologically harvested (monocultures and industrial agriculture is detrimental) ingredients.
My true love! It must be the food of the gods. Applied topically--once made into a raw porridge of soaked oats in water--it feeds your skin with vitamins: B1, B2, B6, folate, niacin, and pantothenic acid, and minerals: calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorous, sodium, zinc, copper, and manganese. The amino acids in oats moisturize the skin--the beta glucan in the oat bran allows for deep moisture as it penetrates through the layers of your epidermis. Apply onto your face as a mask and allow the nutrients to absorb into your skin for 10-15 minutes. Then wash off with lukewarm water. It's great for inflamed, irritated dry and/or sensitive skin.