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Living in a beauty driven world can be a really difficult thing for our pimple-riddled youth. Especially with all of the products out there that profess to work miracles at clearing our skin. For years, my sister and I had tried EVERYTHING, from Clean & Clear to Noxema and even Proactive and prescription gels and pills, to clear the acne from our faces. Nothing ever really worked. Now, after years of trying a merry-go-round of products, I was shocked to find that all along, the secret to great looking skin actually lies in what I put in and on my body.
Your health is mirrored in your skin
Your largest organ in your body is actually ON your body, it's your skin! What you put into your body is directly reflected on your skin. Everything from food sensitivities to allergies and all of the toxins in between can take a toll on the health of your skin. Acne, eczema, rashes etc. are a symptom of an inner health problem. One of the first things I noticed when I began to change my diet, was my skin. When I quit eating over-processed foods, sodas, energy drinks, and anything sprayed with pesticides, I found myself going for longer periods of time without eczema on my skin. In fact, I actually realized through all of this that my own eczema trigger is anything with wheat that wasn't grown organically. That can pretty much mean foods from practically every restaurant out there.
Changes to my diet were reflected on my skin
At first, I thought that my problem was with gluten, but I just couldn't shake why I wasn't having problems eating my own homemade bread (which is made with organic flour), but would break out whenever I ate anything with wheat in it when we ate out in restaurants. I began to realize that all of the artificial colors, preservatives, thickeners, and pesticides really showed in my ADHD behavior, the health of my skin, and my immune system. Once I began eliminating these over processed synthetic foods and drinks out of my diet, my skin showed a tremendous amount of change. When I slip up (because who here isn't human, sometimes it's really hard to deny the old call of the dragon) and eat foods that I know aren't good for me, my body protests heavily first in my digestive tract and then in my skin. It never fails to remind me why I have chosen to live my life in a hippier manner!
Soap can be too drying to any face
The natural oil layer protecting our skin, called the acid mantle, is very finicky. Just like our hair and scalp, our sebum roughly has a Ph of 4.5-5.0 and using products on it that aren't within this ph range, can dictate just how your skin reacts. According to renegadehealth.com
While soap may wash away the dirt and grime, most soaps also take your skin’s natural oil barrier with it as well. Basically, the squeaky clean feeling you get after using soap is your body telling you that all your natural oils have been stripped away!
Castile soap has a very high Ph of 9 and is very drying to your skin.This is why, as I expressed in The Dirty Hippy Truth About No-Poo, I won't use castile soap on my face. I have, in fact, stopped using soap on my hair and face all-together, for the last two years. Instead, I began to learn how to wash my hair and face using natural herbs and botanicals, clays, and essential oils instead of soap, and suddenly I saw amazing changes in the way that my face was looking. It's never dry, breaks out only during my period (i.e. hormonal times), and looks incredibly youthful. This was a huge change and what spurred me to continue creating facial care products for myself and others.
Herbs that act like soap, but aren't
We have previously spoken about the awesomeness of soapnuts here and here, but there are actually two other herbs out there that have a certain amount of saponins, a natural surfactant, in them to suds up a little and help clean! Like soapnuts, soapwort root and yucca root both have the abilities to produce a little bit of suds. Though they don't produce a large lather, they do effectively work as a gentle cleanser for your face, hair, and skin! The great thing about these herbs is that these are awesome for people who have allergies to the chemicals in synthetic detergent soaps. It's been shown in some studies that soap exacerbates some skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis but these saponin rich herbs help to heal them instead!
Yucca root – Native American tribes used the leaves of the yucca for treating numerous conditions, including psoriasis, dandruff, hair loss, and skin sores. Tribes of the Southwest used the yucca’s leaves to make soaps, shampoos, and other cleansing cosmetics.
Creamy Soapwort Facial Cleanser
You can easily substitute soapnuts or yucca root for the soapwort in this recipe if that is what you have on hand. I love to store this in a lotion pump type bottle like this. This facial cleanser is great for all skin types. It's very healing for acne, rosacea, and other dermal conditions, moisturizing to dry skin, and even controls the oil in oily skin because it doesn't strip your face of its sebum. This recipe is very customizable to your needs, you can steep healing herbs in the witch hazel, you can switch up your carrier oils, and you choose to use whichever essential oils work for your personal facial needs.
- 1/2 cup witch hazel
- 2 Tbsp. soapwort root
- 3 Tbsp. aloe vera gel
- 3 1/2 Tbsp. hemp seed oil
- 1 Tbsp. unrefined shea butter
- 1 Tbsp. emulsifying wax
- 1 1/2 tsp. Leucidal SF (natural preservative)
- essential oil blend for your skin type
ESSENTIAL OIL BLEND ACNE/OILY SKIN
Alternately, you could use 10 drops Plant Therapy's Zit Fighter essential oil blend.
ESSENTIAL OIL BLEND DRY/DAMAGED SKIN
Alternately, you could use 10 drops Plant Therapy's Soft Skin essential oil blend.
- 5 drops lavender essential oil
- 3 drop petitgrain essential oil
- 1 drops steam distilled lemon essential oil
ESSENTIAL OIL BLEND NORMAL SKIN
Alternately, you could use 10 drops Plant Therapy's Soft Skin essential oil blend.
ESSENTIAL OIL BLEND MATURE/AGING SKIN
Alternately, you could use 10 drops Plant Therapy's Anti-Age essential oil blend.
- In a pint-sized mason jar, combine soapwort root and witch hazel. Cover with a lid and let steep in a cool, dark location for two weeks before straining the herbs from the liquid.
- Combine soapwort-infused witch hazel and aloe vera gel in a heatproof glass (I use a pint-sized mason jar).
- Combine hemp seed oil, shea butter, and emulsifying wax in a separate heatproof glass (I use a pint-sized mason jar).
- Place both jars in a saucepan that has about 1-2 inches of water in it and heat it up over medium-low heat.
- Remove the jars from the pan once the shea butter and emulsifying wax have both melted. Be sure to dry the outside of the jars off carefully to keep any dirty water from accidentally dripping into your mixtures.
- Pour the witch hazel/aloe mixture into the oil/butter jar and mix with a fork until the mixture starts to thicken. You can speed this process up by putting the jar into an ice bath to cool it faster while you are mixing.
- Once the temperature of the mixture between 80°F and 100°F, you can mix in the Leucidal SF preservative.
- Slowly add the essential oil blend and blend for another few seconds to combine.
- You can either whip it with the fork every so often as it's cooling, or you can put a lid on the mason jar and shake it every so often to help the process along faster. It can take a few hours, up to overnight for the cleanser to fully cool and thicken.
- Store the mixture in a lotion pump bottle to make it easier to use and keep your cleanser bacteria-free!
Wet face with warm water. Using a quarter-size amount of cleanser in the palm of your hand, massage into your face in gentle circular motions. For deep pore cleansing, leave on as a mask for 5-10 minutes before rinsing clean. Always follow with a toner to close your pores, as well as a moisturizer.
All information on The Hippy Homemaker is meant for educational and informational purposes only. The statements on this website have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Products and/or information are not intended to diagnose, cure, treat, or prevent any disease. Readers are advised to do their own research and make decisions in partnership with their health care provider. If you are pregnant, nursing, have a medical condition or are taking any medication, please consult your physician.