Monday, January 23, 2012

Face and Body - Cleaning and Moisturizing

Nope, these aren't ingredients for a salad dressing....
It's the way I take care of my skin.

For my family, living Affordably Organic isn't ONLY defined by eating real, whole foods on a budget. We do our best to take a holistic approach to the organic, wholesome lifestyle. We like to use natural products on our face, hair and body that are inexpensive, easy to use and good for us.

For instance, our skin care regimen... I’m often asked at my classes and seminars what products we choose, make and use to clean and moisturize our face, body and hands.   Here’s a quick round-up of our skin care products:



You’ll probably be surprised to know that I clean my face with oil. Yep, you read that right. I started using the Oil Cleansing Method (OCM) after reading about it on Simple Mom.  All you need are hot water, oil (like olive oil, sunflower oil, etc.), castor oil, and a washcloth. Seems crazy, right? It worksIn short, oils are essential to your skin so why strip them away with soap? 

By using the right oils, you can cleanse your pores of dirt and bacteria naturally, gently and effectively, while replacing the dirty oil with beneficial ones extracted from natural botanicals, vegetables and fruit that heal, protect and nourish your skin.

Also, this method is incredibly cheap. Just pennies on the dollar compared to other organic, wholesome products that you'll find at natural markets like Earthfare or Whole Foods... In fact, you might already have these ingredients already in your pantry. Why reinvent the wheel?

I haven’t improved on Simple Mom’s OCM so please visit her site for the best instructions.  Here's another great resource: This facial cleaning method is incredibly easy and fast…. And your skin will thank you for it.

After the OCM, you probably won’t need much moisturizer (if any) but when I do I use refined, organic coconut oil. I just use a small dab -- it goes a long way. Seriously, I use an amount that's smaller than the size of a pea. I rub it between my palms to warm it up, then simply press my palms over my face. (No rubbing needed.) I store the coconut oil in a small jar and keep it on my bathroom counter. (The refined, organic coconut oil I use is a solid and does not require refrigeration but it does need to be kept out of sunlight.) 

We keep it simple with castile soap like Dr. Bronner's, which you can find on the cheap at just about any grocery or retail market. In their nearly 6-years of life, our kiddos have never used traditional soap. We found it too caustic and strong for their tender skin. Instead we use unscented, organic shampoo as a body wash and/or bubble bath.

We like Rainbow’s Baby Oh Baby unscented organic herbal shampoo. It’s about $8./bottle but goes a long way -- a 16 oz bottle will last us about 6-7 months at 7-8 showers a week between two kiddos. You can buy it at Whole Foods Market.

Again, coconut oil. Everywhere -- limbs, elbows, hands, feet, etc. It’s a tad greasy at first but takes just a minute to sink in and feel wonderful. When I need some serious help with dry, gardener hands and cracked soles, I use Alba Un-petroleum Multi-Purpose Jelly. It's a paraben-free, vegetarian salve that will remind you of Vaseline but instead of being made from industrial petroleum it contains all-natural oils and waxes. I slather on my feet at night, then put on socks. I use a Ped-Egg in my morning shower (pumice works too) to scrub off dead skin. Hands down, this works better to soften my heels better than any expensive pedicure, foot razor-type treatment.  Also, I occasionally treat myself to Trader Joe's Lavender Hand & Body Lotion, which is paraben-free and contains organic ingredients. It's about $5./12 oz. Trader Joe's insiders will tell you this lotion is made by Avalon Organics, but sold by TJ's at 1/2 price. Yay private labeling! This lotion has a very low (safe) rating on Environmental Working Group's Skin Deep cosmetic data base so I don't worry about using it on my skin. 

What's your wholesome skin care regimen?  Share it in the comments section...

Organically yours,