by Rachel Long
opinions assistant editor
One important and often overlooked ingredient in a good hygiene routine is face wash. With rows upon rows of store space dedicated to skin-care, though, it can seem impossible to find what’s right for your skin. For starters, what skin type are you: dry or oily? And if you’re unfortunate enough to have combination skin, like I do, you have the task of deciding which extreme you want to treat. In addition to the struggle of simply deciding on a wash, the ones available are often too harsh. You tell yourself, “My skin just needs to adjust, and when it does I’ll have the skin of an angel, like the person on the bottle!” I went years thinking this, using one wash for a couple months, then switching to a new wash that promised to fix the problem the old wash created. I’m here to say: Don’t do it. Please. Do your naturally lovely skin a favor and make your own face wash with ingredients that will clean, but not irritate your skin.
We would all like to never worry about pimples and blackhead again, but unfortunately that’s not possible. Sometimes skin just wants to do its own thing, and we can’t help that. BUT, we can make our skin as healthy as possible and reduce the gook and grime that causes some blemishes (unfortunately, no face wash will stop your stress pimples. Sorry). Even if you are happy with your current face wash, I would recommend trying this cleansing toner that I found on crunchybetty.com instead, especially if you’re trying to live a little more naturally.
This is one of the simplest recipes ever, for anything. Ever. All you need is four easy-to-find, inexpensive ingredients:
¼ cup apple cider vinegar ($1 per bottle)
1 tbsp. witch hazel ($1.50 per bottle)
10 drops tea tree oil ($8 for a 2 oz. bottle), or lavender essential oil
½ cup water (preferably distilled, $1 per gallon)
Usually, if I see $8 for oil I get turned off immediately, but if you know anything about essential oils you know they are expensive. This price for two ounces of tea tree oil is excellent, especially considering that there are about 200 drops of oil in a one ounce bottle.
Simply combine these ingredients in a glass jar (never store essential oil in plastic). Lightly dampen a cotton ball with this face wash (you don’t want it dripping or even close), swab your face gently every night, and let it dry. Make sure you swish your bottle around before each use so the oil will be better distributed. That’s all! It takes a minute to make and even less to use, which is one reason this is a really effective cleanser for me. My face has never felt cleaner, I have far fewer pimples and blackheads than I ever had with a store-bought wash, and I’m saving money (which is usually my main concern).
This cleanser is gentle on your skin, but don’t let that fool you. A wash does not have to be harsh to be effective! I highly recommend that everyone try this cleanser, and enjoy your lovely skin.
(I credit this recipe, my face and my life to crunchybetty.com. Much love.)