Last week, my face broke out into hives. And let me tell you, it was not a pleasant experience. (My guess is it was an allergic reaction. I have been racking my brain to figure out what may have caused it and I have narrowed it down to a toner I recently bought or a sample of a primer I tried.) In an effort to make this breakout go away, I tried this and that - which in turn only further irritated my skin. So, I was left with red, dry, irritated splotches all over my face (great, right?) And the worst part was covering it up with makeup didn't even help because it only accentuated the dry patches.
1. My skin is sensitive.
2. Be careful when trying out and introducing new products to my skin.
3. It is better to let my skin heal naturally instead of trying to expedite the process with chemicals that will only make it worse.
When I realized that certain products were only irritating my skin more, I decided to switch over to a more "natural" skincare regimen. (I have been inspired by CloudyApples and my friend, Vanesa.) Our skin is our largest organ so it's important to be conscious of what we place on our skin.
I began using a gentle oil cleanse, a simple toner and followed up with coconut oil to moisturize my dry skin. When I started to see the benefits of using natural products, I made a trip to Whole Foods and Trader Joe's to restock and pick up a few new things.
Jojoba oil: My mom first introduced me to jojoba oil. I can (and will) write an entire post on the benefits of various oils but this bottle of 100% jojoba oil from Trader Joe's (TJ) is a great bargain.
Apple cider vinegar: There are many benefits to using apple cider vinegar as a toner. It helps to balance and restore your skin's natural pH. (Refer to Cloudyapple's video to learn a bit more about pH.) Make sure to get organic, raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar. Mix 1 part ACV with 3-4 parts water (add more water the more sensitive your skin is). Apply on skin with a cotton pad.
Tea Tree Tingle shampoo & conditioner: I learned about the benefits of tea tree oil last year. (You can purchase tea tree oil at Trader Joe's as well.) I decided to try the TJ Tea Tree Tingle shampoo and conditioner because it's more natural and it has an invigorating smell of peppermint and tea tree oil. It also leaves a tingly feeling to your scalp, hence the name.
Aloe vera gel: My mom used to always tell me to use aloe vera gel to soothe irritated skin but I was recently reminded of its existence and benefits from my friend, Vanesa's youtube channel. (Her video on an aloe vera oatmeal mask is amazing!)
Witch hazel: I alternate between the apple cider vinegar concoction and witch hazel as a toner. Whole Foods carries a variety of different types of witch hazel (original, lavender, peach, lemon). I prefer the lemon because of its brightening components.
Juice Beauty cleanser: Juice Beauty is an amazing organic skincare line. I usually find their products at Ulta or Whole Foods. I love this cleanser. It's simple, gentle and it works really well with my Clarisonic.
Castor oil: Yet another oil that I enjoy using. Make sure it is cold-pressed and hexane-free. I find mine at Whole Foods and use it in conjunction with other oils when I do an oil cleanse.
Lavanila The Healthy Deodorant: Many deodorants contain aluminum, parabens and other yucky chemicals. This deodorant is an all-natural deodorant. To be honest, I'm not a big fan of the smell (vanilla lavender) but I'm giving it a try.