I’ve written in the past about de-cluttering my life and reducing the amount of beauty products I use, and since moving to Tulum, Mexico I’ve honed the process even further, partly out of choice, and partly due to the fact that I couldn’t find many natural/organic products. Now it’s time to share all!
Apart from two key raw and natural ingredients which I cannot live without: argan oil and coconut oil, there is very little else I use, or need on a daily basis.
Face – Day
Every morning I wash my face with plain water and a small bamboo cloth, then while my face is still damp, I apply 7 drops of argan oil to my face (2 drops around my eye sockets and then dab on and around my lips, and 5 other drops distributed on my forehead, cheeks, nose, and neck). Tulum is a tropical climate so I don’t get dry skin here, but when I am traveling to colder climates I may need to use a couple of drops more. If I have a few spare minutes I will do a mini face massage and some strange rain style tapping ritual which definitely livens up my skin and feels great. Maybe I’ll do a video on this one day!
On the subject of Argan Oil, I have found that although it is more expensive than other brands I have tried, I am now converted to Josie Maran 100% Pure Argan Oil. The reason for this is simple: other brands of Argan Oil spoiled quickly, with sediment or strings forming in the bottle, and a strange smell, but I have never experienced this with the Josie Maran brand. Also, the oil seems to be a higher quality, absorbing easily and making my skin look and feel amazing.
Be careful when purchasing Argan Oil – make sure that it is organic and check the reviews. Argan oil is becoming a very popular product and I believe that there may be some brands which are not 100% pure. Also some contamination and deterioration may occur depending on how they are bottled and stored.
Some days I will leave it at just the argan oil and don’t usually bother with make up as I don’t like the feeling of clogging up my skin. If I feel I need a bit of colour or to even out any blotches, I use a few dabs of Origins Vitazing Moisturizer which contains SPF15 and a hint of radiance which matches to your skin tone. This comes in a plastic bottle and is not completely natural, which still bothers me so I’m looking for a glass bottled or homemade alternative.
If I know I’ll be spending more time in the sun I use Josie Maran SPF40 Argan Daily Moisturizer – not because I need a moisturizer on top of the argan oil, but because I find that most sunscreens (even the most natural) sting like crazy if they run into your eyes, which often happens once you’ve been out in the sun and the cream somehow slips down. I’m working on finding a homemade alternative for this.
Note: I do use coconut oil on my face but find it to be too greasy and heavy for daytime use. Argan oil is not available where I live in Mexico so I have had to stock up when I travel or get people to bring it in for me but if I run out completely I switch to using the tiniest dabs of coconut oil.
Face – Night
This part is even easier. I use the oil cleansing method with coconut oil and bamboo cloth with water. I just smooth a layer of coconut oil onto my face and neck, rub in, and then wipe away with the cloth soaked in hot water. Then I add a couple of extra drops of coconut oil for moisturizing.
Body – Day
After a shower, where I will only wash with only the most minimal amount of natural soap (or even coconut oil), I slather pure, organic coconut oil all over my body while my skin is still slightly damp, taking care to massage it in, particularly on my shins, shoulders, knees and elbows. Not rubbing in properly can lead to oily patches on clothes.
I then use my volcanic alum crystal rock to deodorize, although I have found in the extremely hot and humid summer here, I have on occasions needed some additional deodorizing power and am looking into other homemade options which I will update on soon.
If my hair is extremely dry, I apply a few drops of coconut or argan oil, and do the same with my hands.
Toothpaste – I am currently using Jason brand toothpaste from Wholefoods (I brought back several tubes when I went to the US this summer). So far, here in Mexico, I haven’t been able to source the very fine Green Illite clay I was using to make my own toothpaste – although come to think of it, I should have planned ahead and ordered some in the States! There is a great Mayan clay connoisseur down at the beach here, known simply as ‘Maria Clay’ or ‘Maria Arcilla’ so I must make a trip down to visit her soon and find out what local clay alternatives there are which would also work in toothpaste.
Shampoo & Conditioner – I still use an SLS and paraben-free bottled shampoo and conditioner every few days but I am still working on finding a shampoo bar which works for my hair, and possibly replacing conditioner with vinegar. I had tried to go ‘no poo’ last year but gave in to washing after 8 weeks and instead worked on creating a dry shampoo to extend the days between washing.
UPDATE – I am now trying No Poo again!
Once a week (though in reality it’s often months!), I try to do a full body and face scrub starting with dry body brushing, then washing with hemp or olive oil soap in the shower complete with a good pumice scrub on the feet, followed by a clay treatment on face, decolletage and underarms (to detoxify the lymph nodes).
When I’m travelling on planes or on a long car trip, I will also take one tube/pot of hand and body cream as I can find I suddenly get very dry hands and shins and I haven’t yet found a leakproof small pot to transport coconut oil.
So that’s all. It’s simple, and fairly low cost when compared to all the possible products most women load themselves up with. I have found that my skin is clearer using this routine than ever before, and it works both in the UK climate, as well as here in the tropics.
And here’s what I look like with just my morning water wash and argan oil (no make up, no photoshop retouching and no instagram effects!).