TOP 3: Holy Grail Skin Products

Why this is important:

Skin is such a crucial part of my beauty regimen. Most days I don’t wear makeup so I want to ensure that my skin looks great, and as a makeup fanatic, I feel that the condition of my skin is the most important part of my look. When my (naked) skin is on point, makeup application and appearance is so much more flawless.

I want to share with you the KEY products that have maintained the health of my skin as well as made my skin care routine easier and more practical. As a new mom, I don’t have a ton of time every morning and night to do an in-depth spa ritual and these products have made it so much easier to effectively cleanse my skin as well as protect it throughout the day and night.

I am so excited to share these products with all of you. I have CONSISTANTLY been using these products for a long period of time (range from 1 to 3+ years) and I can say without a doubt that these products are game changers. PLUS, they are extremely affordable!

So, sit back, relax, and grab a snack or some coffee because I have a lot of great information that I really think will change the way you take care of your skin!

My Skin Type:

To give you a brief introduction to my skin type, here are some quick facts so you can compare to your own skin:

  1. I have very sensitive skin, which means I cannot use certain ingredients that are more rigorous or “aggressive” (i.e. retinol tends to cause my skin to become inflamed and ceramides and/or hyaluronic acid around my eye area cause small bumps and severe dryness)
  2.  I have “combination” skin. This means that certain areas of my face (around the nose, under my chin, in between my eyebrows) get oily throughout the day, while the rest of my face does not.
  3. I do not have any noticeable texture to my skin, I do not and have never had acne, and I have larger pores on my nose and on the area around my nose

According to WebMD, skin types vary depending upon factors such as:

  1. Water content (affects skin’s comfort and elasticity)
  2. Oil content (affects skin’s softness)
  3. Sensitivity level

 

HERE WE GO!

 

1. Coconut Oil:

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Coconut oil is an absolute staple in my beauty routine. Coconut oil can be ingested as well as applied topically, which is how I like to use it. I am currently using “Carrington Farms Pure Unrefined Cold Pressed 100% Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil.” This is my first time using this specific brand and I really like it because the packaging is a lot more user friendly (comes in a plastic square container I can fit my hand into rather than a jar). “Cold Pressed” means that the oil was mechanically processed, rather than using heat, so the oil retains the maximum amount of nutrients. “Unrefined” means the oil has not been bleached or deodorized.

How I Use:

Makeup remover: Before cleansing my face, I massage my face with coconut oil to remove all of my makeup (face and eye area). This allows for your cleanser to actually reach the skin and cleanse the skin without a makeup barrier. Coconut oil is the only product that will remove my waterproof mascara and I am eternally grateful!

Hair treatment: Although this is not skin related, I wanted to mention another one if its purposes. Coconut oil makes a great hair mask because it can actually penetrate the hair shaft (has to do with the amount of triglycerides and short-chain fatty acids, but we won’t get into that). About once a week, I will apply 2 tablespoons, give or take, of coconut oil to the ends of my hair, wrap my hair in a shower cap or towel, and sleep in it. If you don’t want to sleep in it, apply the oil, wrap your hair in a knot or bandana, and go about your day like normal. Shampoo and condition when you are ready to remove.

Body moisturizer: On nights when I want to really pamper my skin, I will apply coconut oil on my legs and arms after getting out of the shower, wrap myself in a towel and let the oil seep into my skin. It feels super luxurious and beats any body moisturizer I have ever used. I suggest doing this after a hot shower when your pores are open and your skin can absorb the most product.

Facial oil: Just like a great body moisturizer, coconut oil makes for a great facial oil because it is easily absorbed into the skin. You can use it either alone or paired with some of your other favorite oils. I like combining it with argan oil, avocado oil, and/or grapeseed oil.

**FYI: Here are the benefits of ingesting coconut oil:

http://www.bodyandsoul.com.au/nutrition/nutrition+tips/10+facts+about+coconut+oil,18271

2. Aztec Indian Healing Clay (i.e. calcium bentonite clay):

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When it comes to a mask that is going to suck the toxins out of your face, this is going to be your best friend PLUS there are no harsh chemicals because it is 100% Natural Calcium Bentonite Clay with no additives or fragrances. I have been using this clay mask for a few years now and it is the only mask that I feel truly accomplishes what I need in a DEEP PORE cleansing mask. This mask is NOT for the faint of heart and I will caution you that it is quite intense and will most likely leave your skin very red.

HOWEVER, this clay mask is phenomenal. I feel that in order to reap all of the benefits of this product, it should be used in conjunction with lemon and apple cider vinegar.

Lemon is an excellent source of Vitamin C and citric acid, which means it is antibacterial (boosts collagen and neutralizes free radicals i.e. unstable compounds that can damage skin cells) and is going to brighten the skin (diminish appearance of age spots and dark spots).

Apple Cider Vinegar: This is going to help with the consistency of the clay by turning it into a paste (water will make it clumpy and hard to work with). ACV also has antimicrobial properties, which will aid in the elimination of bacteria on the face.

How I Use: (I would highly recommend doing this at night because of possible redness and irritation to the skin)

Mix ingredients in a bowl (the clay mask is in a powder form) until it is the consistency you prefer. I don’t have a method to my measurements. I usually mix until the vinegar and clay mixture becomes a thick paste. I then add 1/2 a deseeded lemon to the mixture and stir.

Lightly rinse face with warm water to open up the pores (When I have time, I like to fill a large bowl with hot water and let my face hover over for about 30 seconds to allow the steam to open up my pores.) This is going to ensure the most effective deep pore cleansing.

I like to apply this mask with a cheap, flat foundation brush to get the most even application. I will usually apply one layer first and then apply a second layer. I like my mask pretty thick, but this is up to you.

I will usually leave this mask on until I cannot bear the tightness and pulsating of my skin anymore and once you try this, you will understand.

To remove, DO NOT scrub with hands or towel. You have to remember that this is essentially clay and if you try to scrub this off, it can damage your skin and break the capillaries in your face. I would recommend saturating a cloth in warm water and holding it to your face to loosen the mask first. This will cause the mask to become softer and easier to remove.

Once the mask is removed, your face will most likely be very red because it has been agitated physically (clay) and chemically (vinegar and lemon). It is key to moisturize as soon as you have removed the mask to restore moisture to the skin. It’s thirsty! I like to apply my normal serum, facial oil, and then a really rich moisturizer. Your skin is going to drink it up.

 3. Thayer’s Rose Petal Witch Hazel

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I have tried many different toners/witch hazel treatments and this is by far the most gentle, soothing, and effective product for my skin. I have tried the plain formula witch hazel and it was too abrasive, smelled terrible, and did not work for my skin. Again, I have sensitive skin so I felt like the product was too strong.

The purpose of using a toner is to restore the pH balance of your skin. Our skin should be at about 5-6 (pH scale ranges from 1-14: 1 being most acidic, 14 being most alkaline, and 7 being neutral). After cleansing your face, your pH balance increases anywhere between 9-12 IF you are using a soap-based cleanser (not an oil cleanser). A toner is going to help restore the pH of your skin back to its normal level. Even if you are using an oil-based cleanser, this Rose Petal Witch Hazel still contains some great ingredients that are going to be beneficial to your skin.

I love the Rose Petal formulation because it contains certified organic witch hazel, rose-petal water, Vitamin E, Aloe Vera, and is alcohol free (non-drying).

Rose water: Helps to purify the skin and protect from bacteria, helps stimulate circulation in the skin, reduces veins (thread veins and broken capillaries), calms the skin which can help with acne or eczema, and helps maintain the pH balance, which is ultimately what you use a toner for. PLUS, it has a light rose fragrance, which I think smells really good (unlike regular witch hazel).

Vitamin E: Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant, which aids in the elimination of free radicals in the skin (unstable compounds that can damage skin cells). Free radicals can damage collagen production and cause skin dryness, which is why this is such an important ingredient.

Aloe Vera: This is commonly used for sunburns, which is what makes is such a great ingredient to have in your toner. It’s healing properties (antioxidants) are great for any kind of damage you may have, such as acne scarring. Aloe Vera contains 2 hormones: Auxin and Gibberellins. Without getting two scientific, these 2 hormones contain anti-inflammatory properties and Gibberellins acts as a growth hormone to promote faster cell turnover. Aloe Vera is also a great moisturizer and protective barrier, which is why I love using this in the morning before I put on makeup.

How I Use:

After thoroughly cleansing my face (coconut oil to remove makeup and then cleanser to wash my face), I apply the Rose Toner to my dry skin on an exfoliating cotton round (these can be found at Ulta, Target, and drugstores) and gently swipe across my entire face and neck. Don’t pull too hard because you don’t want to drag the skin downwards, especially on the neck. I then follow up with my serum, facial oil, and moisturizer. I do this both morning and night.

In Conclusion: FINALLY!

I really hope this information was helpful and please comment below if you try any of these products and what your thoughts are OR if you have any questions . Everyone has a different skin type and different skin needs so I can only say these are recommendations based on my experience. I want to disclaim that I am not an esthetician, facialist, or dermatologist so please consult a professional if you have any apprehensions. On the plus side, all 3 of these products are organic and all-natural.

Here are the direct manufacturers of these products (Cannot purchase Aztec Clay from the website so I linked another website):

Carrington Farms Cold-Pressed Organic Extra-Virgin Coconut Oil: http://store.carringtonfarms.com/coconut-oil-organic-extra-virgin-12-oz-tub/

Aztec Indian Healing Clay: http://www.vitaminshoppe.com/p/aztec-secret-indian-healing-clay-1-lb-clay/sw-1001#.VsuOxo-cGM8

Thayer’s Rose Petal Witch Hazel: http://www.thayers.com/store/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=14

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If you would like to find out more information about your skin type, please follow the link below!

http://www.webmd.com/beauty/face/whats-your-skin-type

 

Click here to read about my EVERYDAY A.M. & P.M. Skincare Routine

-Alexa-

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4 thoughts on “TOP 3: Holy Grail Skin Products

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