I change my hair products regularly, but I am devoted to my skin care products, forever and ever, amen.
My favorite cleanser is Kiss My Face Pure Olive Oil soap. This is the best store-bought soap you can buy for the best price, hands down. I use it to wash my face, I use it in the shower, I use it on the kids, and I wash my hands with it at least a dozen times a day. This unattractive green bar has simplified my beauty routine completely.
I love having one single bar of soap in the bathtub instead of a bunch of little plastic bottles. It travels well for flights because it’s not a liquid. It has minimal packaging, and it lasts a long time. It’s an amazing value for a couple of bucks.
I used to make my own soap because I wanted it to be good quality, but then life got busy, I had to delegate, and it was time for someone else to make the soap. The Kiss My Face soap has a perfect score on the Skin Deep Cosmetics Database since it is made from saponified olive oil. I order it from Vitacost which is where I get most of my skin and hair products.
If you grew up thinking that soap was bad, as I did, it’s because of the commercials you hear about cleansers and shower gels that “won’t dry your face like soap.” The usual soap that comes in an 8-pack for a few dollars at the drug store is not good, truthfully, but good soap–well-made, high quality, and with all the moisturizing ingredients still in tact–that kind of soap is good and gentle for your skin.
I don’t dry out my skin with shower gels, so I don’t use body lotion very often, but sometimes I use these ingredients if my skin feels like it needs something extra:
• Baking soda makes a highly-effective exfoliating powder on damp skin.
• Coconut oil moisturizes and soothes itchy skin.
• Lanolin heals chapped lips. (I learned this from Simple Mom.) If you aren’t familiar with lanolin, you can find it in the baby and nursing mothers aisle at Target under the brand name Lansinoh. It works better than Aquaphor or other products.
• Apricot kernel oil is a soothing, light (non-greasy) oil to use as a face serum or for dry hands and legs. You can even layer it over a lotion for more moisture care.
One time I was sitting at the Bobbi Brown makeup counter in a store, and the makeup artist suggested that I try the new Face Oil. “It’s got a blend of sesame, sweet almond, olive, and jojoba oils in it!” she exclaimed. I like having that healthy, dewy glow, but at $60 an ounce I knew I could run over to the health food store and make my own blend for a few bucks. I already had most of the ingredients at home.
My favorite face moisturizing cream is Jason Vitamin E Age Renewal Moisturizing Crème. It’s quite the beauty bargain.
I experienced the closest thing to a skin-care epiphany, if there is such a thing, one day while sitting in a makeup artist’s chair at the department store. I wanted to buy some new makeup; she asked me what skin type I had.
“Oily,” I said, thinking about my breakouts and what my skin was like as a teenager.
She tried some makeup on me, looked at me, and wrinkled her forehead. “I don’t think you have oily skin,” she replied.
Suddenly I knew it, too. I didn’t have oily skin, I had dry skin, and all the products I was using to dry out my so-called problem were only making it worse. My skin was overcompensating because what it needed most was more moisture.
I went home and ditched the cleansers and creams my dermatologist had recommended for oily skin that always made my skin red and irritated. My skin never gets oily now because I use a lot of moisturizer and gentle soap.
In all the search for beauty products and solutions, there is no substitute for water. All of the other products will help, but water is the most important. We know it already, but we don’t do what we know, and we look for a substitute instead.
I can always tell when I’m not drinking enough water because my skin is the first to show it. I get chapped lips and breakouts. When I get a pimple I reach for Neutrogena On-the-Spot Treatment, but drinking water is the true solution.