Saturday, April 12, 2014

Tossing the Anti-Aging Creams, Can I Go Crunchy?

When I started thinking about the strange chemicals I used every day that might be doing me as much harm as good, one of the first things that I thought of was my facial routine, especially at bedtime.

Although I washed with black soap or DHC Deep Cleansing Oil, which until I read the list of ingredients (I had to find them on-line) I thought was pretty good, I knew my after-wash night cream had to go.

What the heck is in the "anti-aging" formula anyway? Seriously, there's a lot of chemicals there that I have no idea what they should or might do. The fact that, like my shampoo, I tended to change formulas every time I needed a new jar, if not sooner, gave me a pretty good idea that it wasn't what I needed.

I couldn't just ditch it without an alternative though, so I started searching my favorite crunchy bloggers' sites. Several of them had facial creams, but most added a moisturizer that didn't sound too promising since, although most of my skin is dry, my face is oily. On my very favorite site, Wellness Mama, I found a Vitamin C Serum that sounded promising, mainly because I didn't have to buy a lot of ingredients.

Vitamin C, which we're familiar with as a good internal vitamin, is also good externally as it is supposed to help tighten and brighten the skin, increase collagen production, help the skin heal, and reduce the negative effects of sun exposures. Well, hey, sign me up,

Off to Amazon I went to find vitamin C powder (I wound up with crystals at $16.23 for a lb) and a dark glass bottle with a bubble syringe($5.49). Dissolving 1/2 teaspoon of vitamin C in 1 tablespoon of distilled water (local grocery store for about a buck) was simple, although the crystals were a little hard to dissolve. For dry skin, the recipe recommended only a teaspoon of water and two tablespoons of vegetable glycerin, which I already had, but I didn't use initially.

It felt funny essentially putting water on my face out of a syringe at night, and there was a slight sting from the vitamin C, which is acidic. After using it a few times, I decided a bit of moisturizer might not hurt and added a teaspoon or so of glycerin. Since there are not preservatives, it has a limited shelf life (one that is less than the amount of serum produced) and needs to be stored in the refrigerator, which adds a refreshing twist to the bedtime routine. I finally made myself dump it last week and make new.

Because I had experienced some tightness, I decided I'd go with the more vegetable glycerin based formula. Bad idea. My face felt greasy the next morning, but for someone with dry skin, I can pretty well vouch for it working. Because my investment was so small, I just dumped it out and made a batch of the original formula instead.

While I had the vitamin C out, I also decided to try vitamin C mask that I found on Pinterest, which is the greatest, or the worst, depending on how you look at it. This one came from DIY Beauty Tips and, like Wellness Mama, she has other ideas if you're interested. It was also super simple.

The mask is essentially a concentrated version of the serum with the same ultimate goals. Mix 1 tablespoon of vitamin C with 1/2 tablespoon filtered water and adjust ratios to obtain the right consistency. If your skin is dry, she suggests using pure aloe vera gel instead of water.

Apply to your face and leave it on for 10-15 minutes or until it dries, then remove with a warm wet washcloth. It does sting on application (acidic, remember?). Since I have a crystal form of vitamin C, removing it was almost a mini chemical peel as some of the crystals were still intact and abrasive.

Since I had bentonite clay on hand ($6.92 for a lb.) I have also tried a mask with two teaspoons of vitamin C and one of bentonite clay, which is supposed to draw toxins from the skin, figuring I could get twice the bang for my effort. The vitamin C apparently dissolved better in the wet clay as there was no abrasive sensation and less sting as well.

It's been probably six weeks since I used any commercial moisturizer or anything at all other than mineral powder makeup, which I have yet to research or replace, on my face. Previously prone to breakouts, (even at my age) I think I've had one angry pore. My skin feels good and I've had no qualms about going to bed without a "nighttime skin treatment" although I did cringe a bit when it came time to toss my Garnier BB cream, which I used during the day. For a while I argued that I needed the sunscreen, etc., but decided if I was going to go natural it had to go as well. Instead I've resorted to the mineral powder on the theory that at least it isn't in my skin, just on on it, and does provide some sunscreen as well as a little vanity boost.

While I don't wear other makeup often, I've not managed to naturalize it yet either -- baby steps -- but have pinned enough ideas that I'll get there. I plan on making my facial cleansers next and ditching the chemicals that may be hiding in that step.

My investment has been a little time and very little money compared to the cost of the products I was using. My crunchy experiments continue, the sun is shining, and this morning, at least, life is good.

1 comment:

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