Belonging to a very traditional culture, since the very beginning I was exposed to looking at and using the very basic things organically sourced and home-made for skin care routines. My mother although being a paediatrician, she too was very much traditionally oriented and I remember using basic gram flour, milk, honey and lemon on daily basis instead of soap to clean the body followed by hot lemon water for the entire body, I do miss doing that on regular basis now. I also remember using Neem water (Neem, a powerful herb from India, used for all types of skin for anti-bacterial , anti-fungal purposes and deep cleaning on daily basis). We used to pour hot water on Neem leaves and then take a bath with that concentrated Neem water and used the same for hair as well. Many more such methods that I will share with you that have been effective and tested by generations in far East, which are fairly new to the West.
Skin care products now can be a major source of toxins for everyone. Most are packed with a cocktail of chemicals and artificial ingredients that might have a temporary positive effect on the skin, but will have negative long term effects. These artificial ingredients can also be absorbed into the skin and build up in the body. The good news is that there are natural, simple and inexpensive options that actually work better than most commercial products and above all without any harmful ingredients.
The natural oil/balm based cleansing method is a great solution for any skin type, though the combinations of oils varies based on skin type .A good balm based cleanser is best suited, ones based with carrot oil, avocado oil which are rich in Vitamin A and E.
The best combination of natural skin care options varies based on skin types:
Switching to gentle and natural skin care options often goes a long way toward removing excess oil production, but in the meantime, there are some natural ingredients that can help prevent breakouts and remove excess oil. The best way to help oily skin are herbs like Tea tree, Lavender, Lemon Balm, Peppermint,Tulsi, Neem and Manuka.
A mix of equal parts sea salt and oil (like Organic olive or almond) creates a natural scrub that will help remove impurities without stripping excess oil from skin.
Oil Cleansing is my method for any skin type. Generally, those with oily skin will need a higher amount of Organic castor oil (or carrot oil, olive oil will work as well) in relation to the other oils to keep skin from becoming too oily during transition. In general, a half and half mix of castor oil and olive oil or even a 2/3 castor oil 1/3 olive oil mix works best. Apply these mixture of oils on face for 2 minutes with slow gentle movements and then use a hot muslin cloth to wipe off your face with excess oil. After 2 minutes use of mild Organic Peppermint or Neem based face wash is ideal for oily skin.
Those with oily skin will need less moisturizing as skin adjusts and often the natural oils from oil cleansing are enough. If not, a very light layer of coconut oil works or for those who find that too oily, a diluted apple cider vinegar toner helps keep oil at bay. A tablespoon of apple cider vinegar in a cup of water stored in the fridge works great…
Natural Make-up options can also help tone down excess oil.
Those with skin that is not typically oily or dry and that responds well to different types of products and makeup usually adjust very quickly to natural skin care options.
A homemade sugar scrub is a wonderful natural exfoliator. Here is one of my favourite recipes. You can use 20-30 grams of Organic Gram Flour, mix it with a teaspoon of honey and a teaspoon of Yoghurt, mix well, and scrub suing your finger tips and pat the skin with the scrub on and then wash it off.
Oil Cleansing is a wonderful option for every skin type, but is very balancing for normal/combination skin. Usually a mix of about ¼ Organic castor oil and ¾ of another oil (Organic olive, almond, carrot, avocado etc) works great, but this can be adjusted to suit individual skin. Again, a good organic balm based cleanser will do the job perfectly as well, followed by a good warm muslin cloth and an Organic Rose based Face wash.
Those with normal skin tend to do well with most moisturizing options and often don’t need anything additional as a moisturizer. When needed, my favourite options are natural lotion bars or a tiny bit of homemade lotion. Even a dab of coconut oil or shea butter alone often works great for this skin type. You can mix Rosehip seed oil plus a few drops of Lemon and apply as a day moisturiser and for night routine, its best to use good Organic Argan oil.
Those with dry or aging skin often benefit immediately from natural skin care options. Using natural oils helps the skin to balance oil production and stop being dry to begin with.
Often, exfoliating is not needed for this skin type, but a gentle homemade sugar scrub can be a way to add natural oils and gently remove dead skin. Also a home-made oatmeal scrub will work well once a week mixed with Manuka honey and whole fat Milk. Make a paste out of this and use once or max twice a week. You can also add half a teaspoon of turmeric powder in this mixture for added hydration and suppleness.
Avocado oil, Sandalwood oil and Olive oil is best suited for dry skin, some people also use Walnut oil and Rosehip seed oil. Again, a good organic balm based cleanser will do the job perfectly as well, followed by a good warm muslin cloth and an Organic Neem based Face wash.
Homemade lotion bars, super-moisturizing homemade lotion, and whipped body butter are all excellent moisturizing options for dry skin types. Plain organic shea butter can also be a simple and effective option.