Sunday, April 28, 2013

All Natural Skin Care

My journey to an all natural skin care regimen began just like my natural hair care regimen did: with pure vanity.  Since I got pregnant with my daughter three years ago, my face has been a wreck.  I've battled acne like a pubescent teenager, and my face has had random dry patches and redness.  I tried every type of face cleanser, astringent, lotion, and spot treatment.  But the more I threw at it, the worse it seemed to get.  Eventually I decided to cut back to a simpler routine, and I started washing my face once a day with Cetaphil Gentle cleanser, and that seemed to have improved my skin the most.  However, my skin was still far from perfect, so I continued my search for a solution.

The Discovery

I stumbled upon a random message board that discussed a miracle face cleansing regimen.  Hundreds of posters had tried it out, and almost all reported back with amazing results. What was this miracle regimen?  To do nothing.  Yes, nothing.  Wash your face with just plain water, but no soap, no astringents, no spot treatment. Nothing.  Just water, and then moisturize with a natural oil, like coconut oil.  I was intrigued, but incredibly hesitant. Honestly, there is no way in Hades I would have considered trying it if I hadn't just read through a hundred glowing testimonials.

How I Made My Decision

"But what if my skin goes crazy, and children take one look at me and run screaming in terror?" I thought to myself.  I examined my face in the mirror, and saw the irritated dry patch on my chin and the angry red zit on my jawline.  I thought about how my face improved when I reduced my face washing to once a day, and switched to a more gentle cleanser.  I thought about the hundreds of brave women who already tried it before me.  I thought about the rationalization that commercial cleansers strip our skin of our natural oils, which causes our skin to over-produce oil to make up for it.  And then I thought to myself, "Okay, let's do this!"

The Process

I wash my face with just water; no soap.  Afterwards, with my face still slightly damp, I rub coconut oil all over my face (it has antibacterial properties and is a superb moisturizer). I let the oil sit on my face for 5 or so minutes, giving it time to absorb. (I brush my teeth and get dressed while it absorbs).  I then take a dry clean washcloth, and in a circular motion, scrub my face.  The point of the dry washcloth is to wipe off any leftover make-up, exfoliate off any dry and dead skin, and wipe up any excess coconut oil. Once I'm finished, if there are any noticeable dry areas on my skin, I put a little bit of coconut oil back on that spot. If I see a hint of a possible zit, I dip a wet q-tip in pure tea tree oil, and apply it directly to the problem area. I've only had to do this a handful of times.

The Results

I promised myself I'd commit to the process for at least a full month; anticipating that my face would go nuts in the first few weeks.  However, to my surprise, I actually had no adjustment period at all. My skin just became immediately clearer! The red, irritated dry patch that had failed to heal for 3 years finally disappeared.  My skin looked radiant and became so much softer. I completely stopped breaking out. I swear my skin even appeared more youthful.

I've now been doing my natural face cleansing regimen for over two months, and I have had exactly one zit; but it was smaller than the ones I would get before, and healed twice as fast. My face is now more even in tone, silky soft, and brighter than before. My skin is literally the best it has looked since before I hit puberty. My only regret is that I didn't discover this skin care regimen then!

**UPDATE**: I've been doing this skincare routine for a year now, and have found that I get the best results if I only do the washcloth exfoliation 2 times a week.  Every other time I just put a small amount of coconut oil on my face after I wash with water.  My skin still remains the best of my life.


Definitely use Virgin Coconut Oil for the best results. I get mine at Trader Joe's for $5.99 for 16 ounces.  Do not skip the washcloth step of the process. It's what makes your skin bright and radiant!  Make sure to use a dry washcloth. I tried to switch it up for a week, and scrub my face with a wet washcloth instead, and the result wasn't nearly as good. A dry washcloth exfoliates better than a wet one. I also use the dry washcloth to exfoliate my lips, and then add coconut oil back on afterwards. This has completely eliminated any need for chapstick.

Finally, yes, this method worked amazingly for me, and seems to have worked for many other people too.  However, like most things in life, it's probably not going to work for everyone.  Yet this method is inexpensive and all natural, and has the potential to be life-changing, so it's absolutely worth the try.

My Natural Regimen for the Rest of My Skin

Since "simple" and natural" worked so well with my face (and my hair), I have implemented it with the rest of my skin care regimen.  My daily shower routine is as follows:

I use an exfoliating sponge (pictured below) on my entire body to slough off any dead skin. I use it about 3 times a week. I then use a natural soap (like castile soap) in the necessary areas; but I do not soap up my limbs.  I have a tendency to have dry skin on my arms and legs, so I don't want to dry it out with soap.

I do all my shaving with just coconut oil. It works great: it helps prevent razor burn, it provides an incredibly close shave, and it leaves everything so soft that you can skip an after-moisturizer.

As I discussed in my earlier blog post about hair care, I wash my hair with just water; and then twice a week with a non sodium laurel sulfate shampoo and conditioner.

After my shower, while my skin is still wet (so before I dry off), I rub coconut oil (or sweet almond oil, depending on my mood), all over my skin as a moisturizer.  I make sure that my hair is put up for this part; if my hair gets in the oil, it becomes a greasy mess.  Remember that a little goes a long way with the oil, so don't put too much on.  If you put on the right amount, it should all absorb into your skin in about 5 minutes.

Once a week, I exfoliate my entire body with my coconut sugar scrub.

I follow my shower routine with my face cleaning regimen documented above.

When I write my whole process out, it sounds like it takes me forever, but I swear it doesn't! It takes me about 10-15 minutes (depending on whether I shave or not) to shower, wash my face, moisturize, and get dressed.  So everything actually takes less time now.


Since switching to an all natural skin care, I have been able to get rid of all the chemical-filled cleansers, shaving creams, lotions, and soaps that use to clutter up my bathroom. They have all been replaced by natural products like coconut oil and castile soap.  The result of these changes?  Just the best skin of my life. Pretty sweet deal, huh?


  1. Question(s)!: When do you do your routine? Do you do all of this at night before bed- shower, shave, face routine, etc... or do you shower and do your face in the morning? If you shower in the morning do you do your face routine twice a day? Or only once a day? :)

  2. Since I exercise in the late afternoon, I do my shower routine after that. In the morning, I just wash my face with plain water at the sink, and moisturize with just a tad of coconut oil (no washcloth part). But of course you can do the cleansing routine morning or night, whenever is most convenient (I imagine morning would be for most folks). I wouldn't exfoliate twice a day though; I feel like that would be too much for your skin.