Minimalist Skincare Routine: 2 Step Routine and Simple Makeup. Organic, Basic, and Inexpensive Skincare.
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Over the years, I’ve tried various skincare products and routines, trying to find something that would work for my skin and yet be affordable too. One day after being so frustrated that my skin was getting worse and I was having to add more products trying to correct the increasing problems, I decided to get rid of all the superfluous products and routines and go as simple as possible. I had been buying organic products, but found even organic and natural products had ingredients that were either unnecessary or actually not good for the skin. I had ongoing acne, clogged pores, and skin that would peel and be prone to redness. In addition to this affecting my appearance, it also affected the way I felt physically. I think it makes sense when one’s skin is inflamed and struggling, it can make you not feel good overall. The skin is, after all, an organ.
So, I finally decided: forget all these products and complicated routines. And, although, I never bought overly expensive products, it was adding up to more than I wanted to spend on skincare and makeup. Below you will find the products I discovered in my search for the most natural, basic, and affordable ideas.
Everyone’s skin is so different, so these may not work for you. Also, be aware that just because a product is plant-based it can still cause reactions, allergic or otherwise. Test products first and try them at your own risk. I just hope there is something helpful here for you, if only knowing you’re not alone in the struggle for healthy skin.
The companies I feature in this blog are ones I found randomly in hours of research and I currently use their products. Most, if not all, are very small businesses. I hope all the hours, and trial and error effort I put in, can save you some time and trouble.
Washing Up and Moisturizing
First, let’s start with washing the skin. I tried soapnut powder which worked okay. Definitely worth trying. Also, white kaolin clay is very gentle for cleansing the skin. Pink kaolin clay stained my bathtub and skin. Amla powder stained my skin when using it as a paste to wash up with, even though I read online that it doesn’t stain skin. I use it in my homemade shampoo and it doesn’t stain my skin in that mix when it runs down from my hair, but using it straight on my skin did stain. It was minor and washed off after several soap washes, but that’s not something I want to deal with. So, I am currently using this goat milk soap. I buy the Unscented one, but as you can see in the link, they make others.
Organic Coconut Oil (Cocos Nucifera Oil), Organic Extra Virgin Olive oil (Olea Europaea Oil), raw goat milk, RSPO sustainable palm fruit oil (Elaeis Guineensis Oil), castor oil (Ricinus Communis oil), organic shea butter (Butyrospermum Parkii), unrefined organic cocoa butter (Theobroma Cacao Seed Butter)
On Etsy, I buy this pure olive oil Castile soap. Sometimes it’s out of stock, but all the soaps in this shop are great. You can click here to their Etsy store.
White kaolin clay can be used as a gentle skin cleanser or mixed with soapnut powder. Both have a pH that is friendly to our skin’s natural pH. These are the brands I use. I just mix the powders together and add enough water to make a paste. I add an essential oil sometimes.
I rotate between the goat milk soap and the homemade powder mix. I use the same for both face and body wash. So that’s step one of the two step skincare routine: just wash up face and body with a simple soap or homemade wash.
Step two is moisturize. And again, I use the same product for face and body. Simple!
You can visit their Etsy shop here to browse or purchase their products.
So that’s it for my skincare routine. No serums or extra products. No special eye cream. Just the one cream for everything. I even use it on my eyelashes for an eyelash pomade instead of mascara.
When I have time I like to do gua sha massage. I’ve found it really does make a difference. I received good instructions with pictures from this book.
Here are some essential oils that I sometimes add to the homemade face and body wash:
I have also started purchasing from a company that sells pure essential oils and carrier oils at a great price and variety of sizes. You can visit their shop here.
Minimalist and Healthy Makeup
For makeup: I have a very simple, minimalist routine now. It continues to evolve, but I currently use a clay-based face powder from the same company I buy the face cream from. It also comes in sample sizes so you can test the colors to find a match (the cream is also available in sample sizes). Additionally, the company makes beautiful blush and eyeshadow colors all made from clay and plants. As another plus, it is also a plastic-free company. The owner is amazing and has created many wonderful items. Link to her Etsy shop here.
This featherlight veil powder has a beautiful finish for the skin and a little bit of sparkle. I use it for special occasions. You can click here or on the photo to purchase it on Etsy. The seller has other wonderful items in her shop as well.
Here is the link to my blog post about my homemade shampoo; conditioner and hair care:
Easy Homemade Soapnut Powder (Soapberry, Reetha, Ritha) Shampoo and Marshmallow Root Conditioner
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I put together an easy homemade shampoo that works for my hair made from soapnut powder (also known as soapberries and reetha/ritha) and a marshmallow root conditioner. I just mix them up before my shower. Hair and scalp types vary widely, so you will probably have to experiment with this to get it correct for your type. Also, if you have been using store bought shampoo there will most likely be an adjustment period for your scalp and hair. In addition, I have never colored my hair, so I don’t know if this works for color treated hair. I’m just sharing a recipe that works for me; try it at your own risk!
Also, I recommend wearing a mask when working with the dry powders. And, like any shampoo or soap, shikakai and soapnut will irritate your eyes, so keep away from your eyes.
The above three ingredients are also available as a set of three in a smaller quantity:
These are the glass jars with bamboo lids I store the powders in:
Add the soapnut, shikakai, and amla powders one scoop at a time. Depending on your hair length and thickness, you will have to experiment with the amount. I use two teaspoons soapnut, 1/2 teaspoon shikakai, and 1/2 teaspoon amla.
I also add two drops of tea tree oil, but you can put other essential oils in: rosemary, peppermint, etc.
You can add other powders too such as fenugreek powder. I tried that as well, but it wasn’t for my hair.
This is a liquid shampoo. I squirt it directly on my scalp with one hand and massage it around my scalp at the same time with my other hand. I also use this scalp massager to help work it around my scalp. Since this type of shampoo barely makes suds, the key is working it into your scalp. It does clean the scalp and hair; you just have to get used to not having a sudsy shampoo.
Organic Marshmallow Root Powder
from: Starwest Botanicals Inc.
There are many types of oils to choose from. Below are some of my favorites. Additionally, Jojoba Oil is an ever popular one.
Again, there are different hair types, so you will have to experiment with what works for you. These are just the products I personally use and have found the companies to be quality and reputable. The babassu oil is like a light coconut oil. I switched to using it instead of coconut oil, because it is lighter but similar in quality. Coconut oil would make my skin break out when the oil got on my skin from my hair. Babassu oil even looks like coconut oil when it’s cold. At warmer room temperatures (upper 70s) it is totally liquid.
The argan oil is a heavier oil than babassu in my opinion, so I use a smaller amount of it. The marula oil is very nourishing and my favorite one to put on the lower portion of my hair, braid it and then it gives me smooth braid waves. The moringa oil I mentioned at the beginning in the shampoo mix is one I also use for getting great braid waves. I rotate all four of these oils on my hair. They last a long time, so it’s economical using them.
These are the combs I use for my hair. They are made of sandalwood.
I hope this helps you have healthy hair as well. I’ve also found it saves money making my own shampoo. I don’t have to use other products on my hair besides the above mentioned oils. It cuts down on plastic bottles too! In addition, the ingredients are so basic, whereas store bought shampoos have so many ingredients that aren’t actually healthy. Regular shampoo tends to strip your hair and is usually the wrong pH for scalp and hair. Soapnuts and shikakai have a pH of between 4 and 6, which is ideal for hair and scalp. I’ve found my hair keeps improving the longer I use them. Again, there is an adjustment period while adapting and also while you find the correct ratios and customization for yourself.
Here is a video I made on my YouTube channel about my shampoo and conditioner if you’d like to watch.
And, here is another video I made about using a sandalwood comb and boar hair brush. Also, here is the link to the boar hair brush I bought. I like it. The bristles are 100% boar hair and the handle is bamboo. There is a rubber base where the bristles attach that smells like rubber, but I washed it and let it air out for a few days until the smell went away.
I also wrote a blog post about my minimalist skincare routine and natural makeup. Here is the link if you’d like to read it: www.starlightsarah.com/blog/minimalist-skincare-routine-2-step-routine-and-simple-makeup-organic-basic-and-inexpensive-skincare