I've got oily skin in the t-zone. I don't have a lot of money to buy certain toners, cleansers, and moisturizers. I really want to start taking care of my skin better. Do you know of any homemade remedies that could replace all three of these things? Thanks.
By Krystal from Kenora, Ontario
Witch hazel is good for a toner. I wouldn't bother trying to make something as there are plenty of affordable products. Dove soap is recommended to be a gentle cleanser. For as moisturizer, WalMart's house brand (Equate) comes in an oil-free formula and is inexpensive. Drugstore products are perfectly fine and can be bought on sale (check the weekly flyers).
You can use glycerin and Vitamin E as a moisturizer, whipped egg white with oatmeal and any great herbs like lavender, lemon balm or mint for a mask, and sugar and Vitamin E as a scrub once to twice a week. And yes, witch hazel is really good as a toner, and I agree that drug store knock-offs in oil free are great as well.
There has been a lot of publicity lately about all the bad stuff in commercially prepared cosmetics so if you want to make your own, it might be fun. There are instructions on the net, just do a search. Here are a couple of things from my files:
A Basic Lotion
Melt together: 1/4 c. vegetable oil of choice 1/4 c. stearic acid
Gently warm: 1/2 c. distilled water 1/4 c. glycerine 1 t. liquid lecithin 1/2 tsp sodium bicarbonate
You can use infused oil, or an herbal tea for the water. Though it's not as oily as many lotions, two drops is about all your hands will need. After a minute or so, the skin will feel satiny.
My citrus fruits get quite a workout! There are two things I do with the rinds, depending on what I need at the moment. One is to zest them, dry the zest in my microwave and put it through my miniature food processor. I keep a jar of it in the bathroom to use as a facial scrub and just keep adding to it whenever I can. Right now it is probably a mix of oranges, lemons, grapefruits and pomelo. Zesting is easier to do though before the fruit is squeezed, peeled, juiced, etc. The other thing I do instead of zesting is take the peels, put them in a saucepan covered with water, boil then let sit for several hours or even overnight, add a citrus EO (usually blood orange from Israel - smells heavenly) to enhance the scent and use as a facial freshener. Add some witch hazel if you want more of a toner.
Most of my citrus fruits end up being juiced so after juicing I take the pulp and make masks, scrubs, etc.
I agree on witch hazel as a toner. It's really not worth paying money for anything more complicated as a toner.
For taking my makeup off, I used to use DHC Olive Cleansing Oil. The stuff is amazing and good for all skin types because its pH is identical to that of human skin, and it washes away clean without leaving any oily residue.
But the stuff is expensive as heck, and it's the only thing from DHC that I've found useful. It also happens to be super simple and easy and cheap to make on your own. My cleansing oil recipe:
7.0 oz. extra virgin olive oil
.25 oz. soy lecithin
1.0 oz. PEG-7 Olivate
4 drops rosemary oil
Mix well and store in a well-rinsed and dried pump soap container.
You can buy the soy lecithin and PEG-7 Olivate very cheaply from one of several online formularies that sell to the public (I use The Herbarie). These two emulsifiers are indispensable to the recipe because they enable the olive oil to blend with water and rinse away clean, washing away the dirt and oil from your pores in the process!
You'll still need a good, basic facial soap or cleanser to finish your cleansing routine. I use Clinique's Rinse-off Foaming Cleanser, and, because I've already thoroughly removed my makeup with the oil mixture, I only need a tiny dab of the foaming cleanser to finish up, so a tube of it lasts forever and isn't such a bad deal for $16 or so. There are also many less expensive cleansers to choose from that will do a decent job.
I have to say I quit using any of those things when I was in my early 20s. I'm allergic to Dove & Ivory, & witch hazel made me break out worse! My face has always been oily (except once after surgery) & even worse when I was pregnant-you could see the oil then , it was so bad! Nothing worked & I was always breaking out.
What I ended up doing was using a medicated apricot face scrub when I showered & then every AM & PM I used a cotton ball or washcloth & wiped my face with straight isopropyl alcohol. When it was hot or I was having a particularly oily day, I'd use it more than once a day. It was great at taking makeup off!
My skin cleared up except for occasional break outs. It became smooth & clear, & always felt good. People have told me for years that I look much younger than I really am. Now that I've hit menopause, my face is a little less oily. I still use the alcohol to wipe my face,only now I use a water-dampened washcloth to apply alcohol before I go to bed so it isn't as strong.
Its not homemade, but for me Burts bees orange essence facial cleanser was great on its own. I always used toner and moisturizer with it, but you wouldn't have to. It removes makeup and oil without drying out your face, so you're good to go right after washing. Each tube is like $8, but it takes a really small amount. Plus, Ive used it for almost ten years now, and I just dont get breakouts anymore, unless I run out and dont get more! I wish I could find a homemade formula for it!
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