A client of mine recently asked what products I use for facial skincare, and expressed surprise when I told her that I mostly use honey, oatmeal, witch hazel, jojoba oil, and clay. For those of you who are curious, here is how I use these ingredients.
Use each process as needed, or use all together in a sequence for a DIY facial.
Cleansing: warm water + jojoba oil
I cleanse my face with oil, which contrary to what many people think, does not clog pores, or make the skin more oily. Assuming that you're using high-quality, cold-pressed, organic oils, oil cleansing is actually really good for your skin. Jojoba is my favorite, although I also have used blends with castor, apricot kernel, and olive oils from time to time.
Just wash your hands. Then, take a little bit of your preferred oil, and apply it to your face. Gently wipe away with a wet, warm washcloth, and voila, clean, soft face! It even works for makeup removal, although you will have makeup residue on your washcloth. For more about oil cleansing, check out Crunchy Betty's informative post on the subject.
Exfoliating: honey + sugar or oatmeal + milk
My favorite exfoliating scrub is a mixture of honey, sugar or oatmeal, and milk. Some people swear by Manuka honey for this scrub, but as long as you're using high-quality, organic ingredients, you really can't go wrong. Simply mix a teaspoon or so of each, and spread the mixture on your face. Rinse with warm water. And if you're dairy-free, this works without the milk too.
Steaming: hot water + lavender, rosemary, or peppermint sprigs, or Earl Grey tea
Boil some water. Pour into a large bowl. Add lavender, rosemary, or peppermint sprigs or Earl Grey tea (for the bergamot essence) if you like. Hold your face over the bowl for a few minutes, draping your head with a towel to keep the steam around your face. This gently opens and cleanses your pores.
Facial Mask: honey + bentonite clay
For a deeper clean that removes dead skin and draws impurities out of your pores, I love masks. The simplest mask is pure honey. However, I like to use a mixture of honey and bentonite clay. Mix about a teaspoon of each. Spread the mixture on your face, and leave it on for about 15 minutes.
Bonus: Set a timer and use the time to meditate while you wait. Though definitely not the purpose of meditation, a lovely benefit of meditation is that it makes your skin glow from the inside out.
Or if you prefer, lie down and place a couple slices of cucumbers, or 2 strained chamomile tea bags over your eyes while you wait.
Toning: water + witch hazel or apple cider vinegar
When I feel like my skin needs a little deeper cleansing, rebalancing, or a bit of brightening, I mix a teaspoon of witch hazel or apple cider vinegar with a teaspoon of water, and apply to my face with a cotton ball. Both work equally well for me, although I prefer the witch hazel scent to the vinegar.
Moisturizing: jojoba oil + neroli oil
I add a few drops of neroli oil to a bottle of jojoba oil to create my favorite moisturizer, although plain jojoba (or olive oil) works well too. I dab it on my face using my fingers. The scent is heavenly, and jojoba oil is the closest to the skin's natural oil, so especially conducive to irritation-free moisturizing.
I generally cleanse daily, and use the other processes as needed. I like to give myself a facial once per week using the whole cleansing, exfoliating, steaming, mask, toning, moisturizing sequence. Give it a try and see what works for you.