Choosing the right natural products for you
It’s a science, not an art. But for those of you who aren’t scientists, here are a few things I’ve learned between the stumbling blocks to finding what works for my skin and body.
Know your skin type
Dry, oily, combination? Identifying exactly what you are will help you choose the right oils (yes, even oily skin can benefit from some essential oils)
Know what you’re trying to achieve
I had two things in mind when going to natural skincare: decrease the appearance of pores, and subdue hormonal acne. Most of us know what we want to achieve, so this part is easy. It’s sticking to a routine that’s the hard part!
Make a shortlist of essential oils that fit you
Dry skin? Frankincense, German Chamomile, lavender, Cedarwood and Myrrh will have softening and calming effects on your skin.
Oily skin? Cedarwood, Geranium, Lemon or orange will help regulate excess oil and prevent collection of too much dead skin. Just be mindful to only apply any citrus oils at night – sun exposure to these will make your skin sensitive!
Acne-fighting? Geranium, Palmarosa, Vetiver, Tea Tree have antibacterial and calming qualities to tame the redness and problem areas.
Dark spot lightening? Lemon, Orange, Carrot Seed Extract, Geranium, Frankincense, Lavender are wonderful for rejuvenating and stimulating skin reproduction. Some of these oils also have photosensitivity, so only use at night.
Sensitive skin? Helichrysum, Lavender, Palmarosa are calming and especially good for irritated or ezcema-prone skin. But for skin conditions, make sure you consult with your doctor or dermatologist first to check all your boxes.
All skin types: Bergamot, Sandalwood, Patchouli, Ylang Ylang – they’re wonderful for anti-aging, restoring the skin, and softening.
Read more about essential oils for your skin type here.
Create a routine that you’ll actually stick to
Be honest! If you know you’ll have trouble doing more than 3 steps, don’t saddle yourself with a lengthy routine. My routine is facewash, toner, moisturizer and an essential oil spot-treatment for those problem areas. Find the steps that are right for you!
Test (reliably) for 3 months
Yep, this is the hard part. Especially if you are susceptible to hormonal breakouts, it’s especially important. Your body needs time to adjust and time to show you that what you’re doing is working! Testing for 3 months will truly show you that all your hard work is paying off.
For me personally, it doesn’t mean hormonal acne is gone. It doesn’t mean I have no more marks. But it DOES mean that it’s been subdued and doesn’t last as long as it used to – and that’s a win to me!
Here are a few of my personal favourite natural beauty products:
Runs with Deer Apothecary grounding balm
(If you want to feel amazing and smell amazing, Natalie’s earthy products are hand-foraged from rural Ontario by her own hands. Her grounding oil and grounding balm contain natural antibacterials like old man’s beard lichen, which makes this oil a beautiful spot treatment on hormonal acne. Plus, her teas are wonderful for hormonal imbalances and staying in tune with the earth! Her Etsy shop is here – and she’s super responsive if you have any questions!)
Pixi glow mud cleanser
(Cruelty-free, natural ingredients. Contains 5% glycolic acid, which is a natural, chemical exfoliant made from sugar cane to help slough off those dead skin cells! Smells like a spa every time. Shop here!)
Wildwood hair oil
(Perfect for taming your post-shower flyaways, and infused with horsetail, a plant that contains silica to enrich the hair and skin. Learn about the maker & her products here!)
Frankincense & apple cider vinegar toner
Rose geranium moisturizer
I know, it’s not skincare, but I tell you: I looked high and low for a natural deodorant that didn’t make me smell. TMI but honestly, every natural brand made me stink! And I’m not usually a stinky person. In comes Sage, a western Canadian company with natural products based on essential oils. It’s spray-on, but the wacky arm-waving to dry yourself off for 30 seconds is worth it when you go through a summer day and don’t sweat (all that much) or smell a thing! Shop here.
Want to make your own skincare and natural beauty items?
My family uses tips, recipes and step-by-step guides from this book from Rani’s Aromatherapy. It has everything you need to get started in natural skincare!
Now, my next step is transitioning to all-natural cosmetics! Makeup is a whoooole other ballgame that I’m excited to start.
Tips or feedback? Pop ’em in the comments below!