Wednesday, February 04, 2009

The Frugal Series: Skin Care

(this is apparently what jojoba looks like in the wild...)

Because everyone is looking for ways to save money right now... thought I would start a little series and include my own practices.

Today's topic: Cheap Skin Care

I wrote about it last year. I've since refined the process, so here we go.

First, a little about me and my skin. I am very lucky to have pretty good skin to start with. I had very few breakouts even as a teenager. However, somewhere around age 30, my skin started to change a little. I had more breakouts, which manifested as little red bumps on my chin, nose, and forehead (that fabled T-Zone), plus some random inflammation and redness. Also, sometimes I would get an actual pimple, which freaked me out since I had so little experience with them. And I was waaaay too shiny. This sounds like no big deal, but it was stressing me out because the problem just would NOT GO AWAY and was getting worse.

After trying numerous remedies, including at least five different moisturizers (ranging in cost from $5 to $45) which only made things worse, this is what I have ended up with. It's cheap, easy, and best of all, it really works great.

Here's what you need:
* a mild cleanser. I use Trader Joe's Tea Tree Oil Cleanser, but I'm thinking I might switch to watered-down Dr. Bronner's when I run out.

* a loofah washcloth, or use the sugar scrub method (teaspoon of white sugar plus a tiny bit of cleanser)

* a bottle of plain jojoba oil. I get this for about $7 at Trader Joe's, and it lasts FOREVER. Seriously, at least a year. This is the magic stuff: it mimics your skin oil so your skin actually normalizes oil production. Results? Less shine and less breakouts! Terri uses it in her hair sometimes as an all-day conditioner, but I wouldn't recommend this unless you have very thick, dry hair.

* some kind of eye cream, or just more jojoba oil. I generally go with something inexpensive, rich, and natural from the natural food store. This also lasts a long time because with the jojoba oil, you don't need much. You could do without this if you are under 30 or you don't want to mess with it. I like using a bit of eye cream because I'm vain. So there.

* Neutrogena Age Shield Face Sunblock, SPF 70. I had been using a natural zinc sunscreen, but this works better for my skin. Plus, the higher SPF, the better, as far as I'm concerned. I'm very fair and need all the help I can get.

* Neutrogena On The Spot if you are breakout-prone. This is a tiny tube, and you shouldn't need much. My tube lasts well over a year and a half.

* Burt's Bees lip balm. The best.

Here's what I do every day:

1. In the morning, in the shower, I wash my face with Trader Joe's Tea Tea Oil Cleanser, using the loofah washcloth. This is my exfoliation, which I can't do without. If I didn't have the washcloth, I would use the sugar scrub. This really makes a difference.

2. Once out of the shower, while my face is still damp, I lightly rub in 2 drops of jojoba oil. Really, just two drops.

3. Dot on some eye cream (if you're vain, like me), or just smooth a tiny bit more jojoba around the eyes.

4. Apply sunscreen. Yes, every single day, whether it's sunny or gray or whether you're going outside or not.

5. A note about makeup: I don't use much, but I found that creamy makeup just made my face worse, so I invested in some Bare Minerals. I bought one tin of the makeup, which matches my skin amazingly well, over two years ago. I am still not even halfway through it. This stuff works really great for me. Just be sure to let your face dry after the sunscreen before you apply it. Here's another hint: instead of buying the Mineral Veil powder to go over it, I just use a *very* light dusting of pure cornstarch. This works great to control shine all day. Do this before you get dressed.

6. In the evening, I wash my face with the cleanser again (but I don't exfoliate).

7. I apply just ONE drop of jojoba oil, plus a bit more eye cream. Because I'm vain.

8. If I notice any little beginnings of breakouts, I use a bit of the On The Spot. They're usually gone by morning.

9. I put on Burt's Bees lip balm before bed, and it takes care of any dryness around my lips.

And that's it. Everything is available very inexpensively (especially if you keep your eyes open for sales on the Neutrogena stuff). Once I hit upon this method, I have completely stopped 'shopping around' for moisturizers, sunscreen, etc., which has saved me money. There wasn't any 'transition' period -- my skin just immediately started feeling better.

If you try this, let me know how it works for you!

1 comment:

Ally said...

Love that you have come up with a skin care routine that is not too complicated and is cost effective. I'm in desperate need of a new routine so I'm going to try it. I'll let you know how it goes!