Spring clean your skin care

How much do you spend on skin care?

Have you ever calculated? The skin care industry in Canada reached sales of $1.8 billion in 2014 according to Euromonitor International. That is lots of lotion!

What are you using on your skin each day? I used to use mainstream brands that cost a lot of money. Today, my skin care ingredients resemble food more than skincare: oats, honey, shea butter, cocoa butter, pineapple and extra virgin olive oil.

Spring Clean your skin care. www.ActualOrganics.com

Spring clean your skin care

I wish to use as little on my skin as possible while maintaining a healthy complexion. This not only saves me money, but also ensures fewer toxic chemicals being used on my body and in our environment.

Years ago, soap was primarily packaged in paper. Today, where plastic pollution is rife, it’s a retrograde step that many shower gels and exfoliators are packaged in plastic with plastic microbead ingredients.

Microbeads are present in many facial and body exfoliators, but are easy to avoid. Just look for “polyethylene” or “polypropylene” on the label. I exfoliate with a homemade oats and clay exfoliator — no microbeads in our house!

I love multi-use skin care products. Shea butter is an excellent moisturizer for the face, but also the cuticles, nails and ends of the hair.

At night I simply cleanse my face using Helena Lane’s jojoba oil cleanser and let my skin breathe, no serums or night creams for me. I feel we need far fewer products than are advertised to us.

This oil cleanser contains two ingredients: jojoba oil, infused with calendula flowers, and beeswax; it cleanses the skin without drying. This is valuable during the change of seasons when the skin can be contrary.

The full range of Helena Lane Skincare products, which contain effective, simple, unrefined ingredients. Available online.

In the morning I wash my face with a flannel (washcloth) and follow with a rose or lavender flower water. To moisturize my face, I use argan oil and shea butter depending on the season. Helena Lane moisturizers are simply: shea butter, argan oil and essential oils.

Lane suggests: “To take a tiny amount (size of a grain of rice) and warm between fingertips before patting gently into skin, starting where skin is driest.”

She adds, “If you can feel moisturizer on your skin after five minutes you’ve used too much. Your skin only absorbs what it needs.”

Skin care may be a billion dollar industry, but I’m not sure skin care needs to cost a fortune. A tub of shea butter and a bottle of rose water may not look as glamorous as a jar of heavily advertised product, but they work.

There are no toxic ingredients in my skincare routine. I decided to use simple, natural ingredients and see how my skin feels — that was 10 years ago, and so far so good.

DIY non-toxic exfoliator from www.ActualOrganics.com

Homemade exfoliator


  • ½ cup of quick rolled porridge oats
  • 2 teaspoon of kaolin clay


Grind the oats in a pestle and mortar, add in the clay, stir thoroughly. Store in a clean, airtight jar.

Pour a little oat mixture into a small bowl. Add enough water to make a paste. Wait 30 seconds, add more water if needed, gently apply in circular motions to the skin. Rinse off with warm water. Follow with a spritz of rose water.  As with anything you put on the skin, it’s wise to do a patch test first.

Further reading:

Learn about the dangers of microbeads

Non-toxic skin care on a budget

Green washing explained



This article first appeared: http://www.whistlerquestion.com/opinion/columnists/non-toxic-living-spring-clean-your-skin-care-1.2223675#sthash.Pk5jEhrl.dpuf