Friday, December 07, 2007

Potions from the Pantry

I have been having the most trouble trying to find adequate and affordable skin care. I really love Ren because it is "clean" and all things good, but it is a tad pricey. While I was in Puerto Rico for Thanksgiving, a Clinique counter was giving away their three step system samples to try. I tried them and they are quite stripping. The toner smells like straight rubbing alcohol although I have to admit that it seemed to clear up my skin.

So now that I am back to the States I have been trying to go back to the basics. It just doesn't seem logical that my skin needs to be stripped of all oils and then replenished with serums and potions. In the past I have used plain olive or walnut oil to clean my skin and it worked well. I've also made my own toner from a recipe in the Dr. Hauschka beauty book. But it never fails that I get seduced into thinking that something so simple can't possibly be good enough.

The truth is that I have had occasional cystic acne for years now. It is only during times of extreme stress. Right after I got engaged I got two cystic nightmares that left me two holes that will forever be my engagement scars. It was a very stressful time. Will you marry me? Call your family. Let's stop at Barnes and Noble so you can start planning a wedding. That was all in a matter of hours. Anyway, I digress, but it's just to show I have had some extreme skin problems. The good news is that since the wedding there has been no cystic trouble at all.

This morning I tried a yogurt mask and it does seem to exfoliate quite nicely. I added a little lemon juice. I use plain, full fat yogurt, which is a good all around staple for cooking as well. You can also add some honey which has antibacterial properties. Some other skin care homemade remedies I have tried are body scrubs. You can easily make your own with salt or sugar. Just add oil.

I've been making my own eye makeup remover for awhile now and as I tell my husband, "Do you know how much money I've saved you?" Use an old eye makeup remover bottle and put one fourth baby shampoo and fill to the top with distilled water. I know this probably isnt' the Best because it still has the SLS however it's not much different from the $16 bottle so why not use it practically free?

In spite of many creative ways to make your own potions, I always find myself seduced into a marketing campaign. I start believing that some company has the right answer for my skin. My curiousity gets the best of me and my wallet. The truth is that it is fun to buy things and feel a part of the collective users of something. It's almost like we collect items from a cosmetics or skincare line like my mom used to collect dolls off of QVC. And honestly, I think the skincare costs more.

But this time I'm going to find the system that works for me. I'm open to purchasing skincare or to making it myself, but I'm tired of buying products that are only as good as their marketing campaigns or free gift with purchase. Anyone got any faves to share?


Genuine Lustre said...

Sadly, I'm visited monthly by a cystic episode right in the same spot on my chin every time. At the same time, I'm 41 and my skin is dry.

I have tried many products and seem to be having good luck with this budget minded routine:
-am - scrub with Garnier Nutrabead Pore Cleansing Scrub
-Aveeno Daily Radiance moisturizer
( I have tried a no water routine, but exfoliation seems to be key for me).

pm - Aveeno daily radiance cleanser,
St Ives Collagen and Elastin moisturizer ( or L'Occitane Shea Butter if I can afford it).

For emerging spots - Clean and Clear Advantage.

The Closet Therapist said...

That sounds like an affordable regimen. I use the Clean and Clear Advantage too.

I just bought a "clean" line from Whole Foods by Ann Webb. They are doing free facials in a few weeks and I couldn't resist getting the starter kit and booking my free facial.

I'm not sure it's at all whole foods but you can see her stuff at

I hear you with the cystic acne. Mine flares when I have the double effect of hormones and stress.

Maybe meditation is the key?

Our Trip to Rosemary Beach, Florida

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