Pesky pores and blackheads galore – for some, acne might just be the most triggering word in the book. The enigma of skin may never fully be solved, but if you’re battling excessive oil, dryness, flaking, or something in between, follow three of Distraction’s own on their journey to clear skin using nothing but natural remedies.
OILY SKIN CARE
If you find yourself stocking up on blotting sheets like a junkie in need of a fix, ready to blame the fiery Miami temperatures for the extra sheen on your face and your inability to tame it, you may simply have oily skin. Over the past week, I stuck to an easy morning and nighttime cleansing routine aimed at combating oily skin, consisting of affordable and natural products.
Cleanser: I made an easy to follow face wash utilizing the trendiest carbonaceous element on Instagram. Activated charcoal is the DIY cleanser of the moment because of its ability to trap toxins and absorb moisture. I combined one cup of organic coconut oil, six activated charcoal capsules (or substitute with one and a half teaspoons of activated charcoal powder), two tablespoons of pure baking soda, five drops of lavender oil and five drops of rosemary oil. The mixture proved miraculous for my greasy pores.
DIY Mask: A great oily skin mask only takes few common household items and around 20 minutes. Adding one tablespoon of lemon juice to two tablespoons of baking soda creates a quick and easy oil reduction mask that will leave your skin refreshed. I combined the two until the baking soda started to bubble, applied it to my face with a small brush and left it on my face for 15 minutes. Rinse it off with warm water and enjoy your fresh face!
Oil is Your Friend: After all of our talk about oil, the next step may seem counterintuitive, but I’ve found that the best post-wash cleanser is, believe it or not, more oil. Mix one half cup of shea butter and two tablespoons of coconut oil and put it in the refrigerator for 15-20 minutes until firm. Whisk in ten drops of lavender essential oil, five drops of rosemary essential oil and three drops of tea tree oil and then store at room temperature for future use. After just three days my face began to exude a natural matte look – Instagram-approved, I might add.
COMBO SKIN CARE
Craters, bumps and a myriad of colors. That’s what I see when I look at my skin in the mirror. I have combination skin and have been seeing a dermatologist for as long as I can remember. Every time I go, they give me the same thing – a topical medication and a routine that “fits” my skin type. After years of trial and error, I tried some DIY remedies at home.
Face Wash: Wash your face with water, Johnson & Johnson’s Purpose face wash, and a washcloth. I found that this face wash didn’t leave my skin feeling completely stripped of its natural oils, but rather it felt clean and fresh. I fell in love with the facewash. It is extremely gentle and as a bonus – it’s great at removing residual makeup! My face was less red, probably because of the absence of harsh chemicals in the ingredients I chose to use.
Moisturizer: I crafted a homemade moisturizer using green tea, glycerin and vitamin E oil. I mixed one tablespoon of each ingredient together and applied to my face. Sadly, this homemade moisturizer was a failure. The parts of my face where I applied the moisturizer broke out and notably flared up after using it.
Face Mask: This step, unlike steps one and two, is only to be done once a week. Step three is to make a face mask by mixing an egg white and a tablespoon of plain yogurt. I mixed it until it was airy and fluffy and applied it to my skin. I left the mask on for 15 minutes and removed it with water. After I took it off my skin was glowing; it looked and felt significantly softer to the touch.
DRY SKIN CARE
Whether your skin is cracking from a day spent in the sun sans sunscreen or dried out from a weekend trip to the crisp northern air, life can take a major toll on your skin. Despite humidity and warm temperatures, South Floridians are not immune to dry skin, or so I’ve learned.
DIY Face Scrub: Store bought scrubs can be harsh on the skin, and many people are too rough when applying them in hopes that the dry skin will vanish with more force. Luckily, I found a homemade solution right in my pantry. I mixed brown sugar, a little bit of honey and olive oil to give my skin a smooth finish. First, add ¾ cup of brown sugar to a bowl. Add ¼ cup of olive oil. Lastly, mix in honey. Spread the scrub evenly all over your face, especially in the particularly dry spots. I left the scrub on for approximately five minutes, then rinsed with warm water and pat it dry. My newly-hydrated skin really thanked me!
DIY Facewash: Try making your own face wash at home and avoid confusion with hard-to-pronounce ingredients. I used CeraVe cleanser as the base and then mixed in a tablespoon of honey as well as two tablespoons of coconut water. I shook it up, evenly distributed it on my face and rinsed with warm water. Don’t forget to pat dry and moisturize, and you’re golden.
Troubleshooting: On days when my skin felt especially dry, I mixed a teaspoon of coconut oil with the CeraVe lotion in my hands. When incorporating coconut oil in your regimen, you should apply a thin layer to the dry areas of the face overnight. But remember to wash the oil off in the morning, because leaving it on for an extended amount of time can clog pores. Luscious coconut oil is hard to resist, but try to limit your use to only twice a week. I found that coconut oil helped minimize dryness more than any lotion, scrub or face mask.
words_natalie abatemarco, anna mazcouet, & shianne salazar. photo_gianna sanchez.