The older I get the less beauty products I buy and use, truthfully my skin is much happier for it. I also don't believe it has to be expensive. Naturally my skincare routine changes with the seasons but I thought I'd share my current essential ingredients and tools for healthy, smooth glowing skin.
Cleanser / exfoliant
ADZUKI BEANS - that's right.... beans.
A while ago I spent a little time in the beautiful BULY apothecary, it's everything I adore. The beautiful wood interiors, the packaging, the customised calligraphy notes, the crystals to charge your beauty water and the effortlessly stylish French women behind the marble counters...sigh.
After a short consultation and discussion about the vast array of powders, waters and oils I was fascinated that some of their most popular products were ingredients I had in my kitchen cupboard. The beautiful assistant fawned over adzuki bean powder and how wonderful it was for the skin. By the end I was sold on trying it but not however on the price (I mean, were talking £30 for beans). I managed to drag myself away with the promise to myself to try it as soon as I got home.
I did and well, she was right. It's an amazing cleanser and gentle exfoliant, my skin is smoother and has a glow. Adzuki bean powder has been used for beauty since the 18th Century by Japanese women. Promoted for it's anti-aging, antioxidant properties, it's beneficial for oily, combination or dull skin.
If you want to do your own much more cost effective version you can buy Organic Adzuki beans from most health stores. Place in a Vitamix and blend into a fine powder, use a heaped teaspoon and add a little water to make into a paste. Apply to your face and massage in using small circular movements. Wash off with warm water and pat dry.
GINKGO BILOBA POWDER
This can be used as either a scrub (mixed with oil for mature skin) or as a face mask. I find it pretty effective as a mask twice a week mixed with water. Promoted for it's anti-aging and rejuvenating benefits due to the flavonoids in the leaves. My skin always feels more nourished and less tired after I use this.
Simple but effective as it's rich in skin nourishing Vitamin E. I use this with my Gua Sha tool I bought here
I've been following along with this daily routine which my skin loves, it's also an amazing way to de-stress.
Organic Castor Oil
It's beautiful how as I've got older I've started to finally embrace what was given to me. No longer straightening my part curly part wavy hair within an inch of it's life only then to step outside and have the damp weather ruin the 2 hours of straightening done. Same goes for my eyebrows. The past year I haven't touched them at all and let them recover from the many years of tweezing. Castor Oil has been great for helping to nourishing them back to their original state (I mean what we are born with is perfect so don't spend a crazy amount of energy trying to change it). I bought a jar of it at my local ayurvedic store (it doesn't have a website) but you can find it in small bottles at most health stores or online. I use a brush applicator to apply to my eyebrows before bed to encourage hair growth.
Glowing Face Mask
1/4 teaspoon of organic turmeric powder (I love this one)
1 tablespoon of organic live yoghurt (local if you can)
Mix together in a small jar or glass. Create some space where you won’t be disturbed, make it all about you.
I prefer to use a make up brush to apply it to my face (less mess), apply a thin layer with the brush using gentle strokes, this in itself is quite meditative. Leave to dry for 15 minutes.
Use this time to sit quietly, connecting to your breath or listening to some calming music.
The turmeric reduces any redness or inflammation and the yoghurt is cooling, hydrating and nourishing for the skin.
After 15 minutes, the mask will have dried bright yellow, don’t panic it won’t stain. Wash off with warm water and pat your skin dry. You will be left with lovely glowing skin.
*Photograph of oil - unknown artist.