Skincare and eco-beauty were the first things I tackled on my journey to zero waste. But finding a skin care routine that actually worked for me, was another story. It took me up until this point (almost two years) to settle on the right routine and the right products.
My skin has always been finicky and acne prone (and still is, even at twenty-something). I experimented with a lot of different oils, how much I was washing my face, etc. My skin has finally settled on a natural and zero waste routine. And I cannot be happier about it! I’m very self-conscious about my skin and continue to wear makeup because of that fact.
I use organic sunflower oil as a moisturizer. The trick is to make sure my skin is damp when I apply it. Moisturizer requires water and leaving water on the skin and layering oil on top, locks in the much-needed moisture without clogging my pores. Sunflower oil is also very rich in Vitamin E which helps keep skin young (prevents aging), can eliminate acne, and reduces inflammation.
I store the oil in a glass dropper bottle. It perfectly dispenses the amount I need to apply to my face, about a teaspoon. Plus, it’s a great travel size. I buy organic sunflower oil in a glass bottle from Wegmans. It’s ideal for cooking and frying… But also skincare!
I use alcohol-free witch hazel as a toner and makeup setting spray. It’s so refreshing every time I use it on my skin. Witch hazel is an astringent. It closes up pores and helps dry up excess oil. I have normal to oily skin, so using witch hazel every morning has been amazing to close my pores before putting on makeup. But I also spray a bit on my face after I put on makeup and it helps keep my makeup in place.
It has to be alcohol-free or else it’ll dry out the skin. When I buy witch hazel, it comes in a plastic bottle. It’s not ideal but it is recyclable and I don’t use too much of it. I store witch hazel in a glass spray bottle so I can easily spray it on my face. I find I use less this way. I also think it helps prevent rubbing dirt or dust into your pores.
Bar soap! This revolutionized my skincare routine about five years ago. I stopped using acne washes and switched to simple bar soap. All the harsh chemicals and micro-beads in face washes was terrible for my skin and, not to mention, terrible for the environment.
Soap can be a bit drying for some but I just think it works amazing for my skin type. I only use it at night to wash off all my makeup and cleanse my skin. I actually make my own soap! I use a Castille bar soap recipe from the book Pure Soapmaking. It’s actually pretty moisturizing. I use it to wash my body as well.
Reusable Cotton Rounds
I also sometimes us my own reusable cotton rounds. This is my most popular post on the blog. And I still use them! They have held up pretty darn well if I do say so myself. They are a versatile tool to take off makeup or put on toner. I use them mostly to remove makeup from my eyes because they are gentle on sensitive skin.
What Didn’t Work for Me
I tried coconut oil but it was too much for my skin. If you have dry skin, then it might be great for you. It’s antibacterial and helps fight acne breakouts. I still use it on my body every so often, but it didn’t work for my face.
It’s really, really simple! All I do is rinse my face with warm water and moisturize. That’s it! I promise and it’s done wonders for my skin. I’m not over-washing or over-hydrating my skin. I do change what I do according to the season. During the cold, dry winter months, I need more moisture.
Winter routine: Rinse my face with warm water, pat dry my eyes (also dry my hands), put a teaspoon of sunflower oil on my face.
Summer routine: Rinse my face with warm water, pat dry my face, and spray my face with witch hazel.
To prevent breakouts, I have to wash off my makeup. I use my bar soap and lather it in my hands before cleansing my skin. After washing my face, I keep my skin damp and apply a teaspoon of sunflower oil on my hands. I run the oil in my palms and massage into my face. Done! Sometimes, I’ll use one of my cotton rounds to wipe off excess makeup from my eyes. Sunflower oil works wonders as a makeup remover.
The thing about skincare is that everyone has unique skin needs. What works for me, might not work for you. Have you discovered a skin care routine that’s worked for you? I’d love to hear in the comments. Also, let me know if any of my tips work for you.