I am a regimented psycho when it comes to skincare. I’ve dealt with it all: dryness, oiliness, acne, white heads, black heads, scarring, scaling, and even the occasional I-have-no-idea-what-my-skin-is-doing-right-now-or-how-to-explain-it. In my life, I must’ve spent thousands of dollars on skincare products that ultimately ended up in “the drawer that must not be opened” (aka: where my half-used beauty products go to die). At the end of the day, however, there are three “products” that I will stand by forever, and the best part is that they are 1) tried and true, 2) all-natural, and 3) don’t cost a fortune. If you’re a frequent reader, you’ve definitely heard me mention them all at some point.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Say hello to the best, albeit smelliest, facial toner you will ever use in your life. ACV helps to restore your skin to its natural pH levels. It absorbs oil and reduces the size and redness of acne. Years ago when I had the most horrible acne of my life, ACV fell into my lap and rocked my world. It’s like getting a tiny face lift after each and every use. To date, I have not found a toning product that has given me the same results.
How: I mix two parts water with one part ACV (or more if I’m feeling daring) to create my toner. Be forewarned that it’s always better to start off more diluted than not; otherwise, it can really burn. At night, I use a cotton ball to apply the mixture to my face after washing. I rinse it off after 10 minutes or so. You also have the option of leaving it on overnight, but I’ve found that it makes your pillow pretty stinky. My husband used to complain that I smelled like a salad. 🙂 I personally like to prepare my solution and then store it in a glass bottle for future use. This way, you don’t have to mix a new batch each and every night.
* Bonus: Drinking ACV on a daily basis is said to promote weight loss, boost energy, and clear skin among a variety of other benefits. I have yet to experience this for myself, but do plan on incorporating ACV into my diet at some point. You can mix a couple of tablespoons of ACV with 8 ounces of water and toss it back every morning. Many people include honey and/or maple syrup for flavor and caloric intake.
Aloe Vera Gel
Though it’s mostly known for treating sunburn, pure aloe vera gel is an incredible skin care product. I believe in it so much that I bought my own plant specifically for harvesting the liquid gold that comes out of those prickly leaves. The aloe plant is extremely easy to care for, and nothing is better than getting your gel directly from the tap, so to speak.
How: After toning my skin with ACV at night, I cut about an inch off of one of my reserved aloe leaves, “filet” it, and rub it all over my face. Not only is it soothing to the skin, but aloe vera gel is also proven to fight acne, ageing, and dryness. While you can wash it off, I prefer to leave it on overnight. I wash my face first thing in the morning.
* Bonus: Aloe is an excellent base for any homemade scrubs or masks you want to make. I’m currently experimenting with a concoction made up of aloe, honey, cinnamon, turmeric, and lemon. Supposedly many of these ingredients help with hyper pigmentation which is currently my biggest skin complaint. I haven’t noticed a difference yet, but will update you all if I do!
This cannot possibly come as a shock to you unless you’ve been living under a rock (my sincerest apologies if you have). Coconut oil is the all-natural “it” moisturizer. If you’ve been spending hundreds of dollars trying to find something to get rid of your dry skin, I aggressively encourage you to immediately stop what you’re doing, pick up some coconut oil, and give it a try.
How: First of all, I never use coconut oil on my face. I know some people who have—successfully I might add—but the skin on my face walks a very fine line between Sahara dessert and bucket of grease. My body, however, is constantly screaming, “Moisturize me, peasant!” While I don’t use coconut oil every day, I always turn to it when I notice my skin cracking or flaking. This occurs a lot between my fingers and on my lower legs. I should also add that coconut oil saved my poor belly which broke out into excruciatingly itchy and painful rashes during my pregnancy. Within a day or two (new mommy brain doesn’t remember), it cleared right up!
* Bonus: Coconut oil makes a wonderful base for a body scrub (something I’ve been meaning to try). It’s also excellent for makeup removal and (I hear) teeth whitening!
So there you have it—my three holy grails for skin care. These products are natural, affordable, and most importantly, effective. Let me know what you use in the comments below! 🙂