1. Use Oil to Wash Your Face

The first thing I ask people who are having issues with their skin is, “What do you use to wash your face?”

I have found that nine times out of ten, this is where skin trouble starts. Responses range as far as brands, but the common thread is always that they are using some type of foaming or soap­ based cleanser.  I myself used to use the strongest face wash I could find, loving how clean my skin felt when I rinsed it off. You are probably familiar with the tight feeling that soon follows most face washes. That tight feeling is a result of the “acid mantle,” the protective layer of oil on your skin, being stripped away and your skin losing moisture.

My first tip is to ditch your foaming face wash for the Oil Cleansing Method. Oil Cleansing involves using oil to wash your face, by massaging the right kind of oil into your dry skin, and then removing it; and you are cleansing your skin without damaging it. I recommend Organic Hemp Seed Oil or Organic Sunflower Oil. In my experience, although there are a lot of great Organic Oils, you want to very carefully consider the comedogenic rating of the oil you are using.

This is a whole subject alone, but I encourage you to look into the Oil Cleansing Method. I will say, while I love Coconut Oil for body, I don’t recommend using it on your face. There are tons of places on line where they encouraging using Coconut Oil for the Oil Cleansing method, but I have found a lot of people do not respond well to this oil, and then give up.

Organic Hemp Seed Oil is my personal favorite, because it is high in Linoelic Acid, which actually breaks down other harder fatty acids that may be blocking your pores. Organic Hemp Seed Oil also has a ton of amazing properties for different skin types, and can be easily adjusted with Sunflower Oil for each skin type. I make a range of Cleansing Beauty Oils, customized for skin type, but you can definitely make your own at home and adjust the ratios of Hemp Seed Oil and Sunflower Oil for your skin.

Sunflower Oil is rich in Vitamin E, and also non­comedogenic, and helps to balance the slightly drying effect of Hemp Seed Oil. If you have oily skin and the idea of slathering oil on your skin makes you cringe, you are not alone. I was pretty sure I was going to be a greasy mess the first time I tried it; and soon found that my skin was less oily. When you use oil instead of soap, your skin does not need to make extra oil to protect itself, and soon oil production begins to balance on its own.

Always read the ingredients list if you purchase an oil cleanser, and avoid anything that has fragrance, mineral oil, or artificial ingredients. You also want to be sure you remove your cleanser very well. Cleansing Oils work by breaking down oil and makeup. If you wear makeup, you can actually use oil to remove your makeup, wipe clean, and then use the oil a second time to deep cleanse. You want to be sure you are using the right type of oil to cleanse your skin, as well as make sure to remove the oil from your skin when you are done. I love using a warm, wet, microfiber cloth to completely remove the oil.

2. Use a Toner

I was always one of those women who thought toner was a waste of time and money. It seemed to me like just smearing this watery stuff on my face was not doing anything for me. Your skin is a balance of water and oil. The oil on the surface helps protect the cells from losing water, and helping them to stay firm and plump.

Water can also be your skin’s worst enemy. If you have ever splashed your face with water and then had it feel tight after, you know what I am talking about. Something called transdermal moisture loss happens, as the water evaporates off your skin, it takes water from your cells along with it.

Not all toners are created equal either. Some toners on the market have tons of alcohol and sting or burn. These are worse for your skin than just water. I have found that a natural toner, like Witch Hazel, is one of the best options. Toners help close your pores, balance the pH, remove any traces of cleanser, and prepare your skin for other products.

I always tell people struggling with acne or dry skin, to make sure that they are using a toner. Witch Hazel is amazing for almost all skin types. You can also use Rosewater or even apple cider vinegar diluted in water. Using a toner ensures that your skin is ready for whatever treatment or moisturizer you may use next. You can even use toner to gently cleanse your skin after the gym, or when you don’t have time to wash your face.

3. Exfoliate

Exfoliation helps to increase circulation, remove dead skin cells, and helps other products work better. Instead of sitting on the surface, blocked by dead skin cells, your products are able to soak in with ease. As with everything, not all exfoliators are created equal. While many brands use Jojoba Beads as an exfoliant, they are seldom “scrubby” enough to do any real good. I find a combination of very fine sugar and honey is a great at home option, or a scrub that contains Diatomaceous Earth. Diatomaceous Earth is an amazing exfoliant, because it is very fine, and has the ability to exfoliate without causing irritation. You can also use exfoliating scrubs that use Jojoba Beads, which are totally round and safe for sensitive skin, as well as the environment.

4.  Use a Beauty Oil

As I spoke about before, using the right oil as a cleanser or pre­cleanser can make a world of difference in your skin. The same is true about adding Beauty Oil into your routine. Botanical Oils are packed with nourishing vitamins, minerals, and essential fatty acids. They not only help protect and nourish your skin, but also offer your skin vital building blocks to make new and healthy skin cells.

Many botanical oils, such as Red Raspberry, have free radical scavenging properties, and help prevent pre­mature aging. Make sure whatever Beauty Oil you choose, it’s made using Cold­Pressed and Organic Oils. Applying a Beauty Oil, before your sunscreen or moisturizer, goes a long way to healthy skin.

5. Follow the Thin to Thick Rule

When it comes to using products and getting the most out of them, there is one thing to keep in mind: thin to thick. That is to say, use the thinnest product first, and the thickest product last.

After you cleanse your skin, you always want to use a toner. Toner is typically very watery and thin. Next you would use serums or gel products, as they are thicker than toner, but thinner than your moisturizer. Follow with a Beauty Oil to seal in the other products, and prepare your skin for moisturizer and sunblock. Using a thicker moisturizer made with plant­based oils and waxes helps to nourish your skin, prevent oil, and prepare your skin for makeup.

Last of all, always wear sun protection when going outside. Try to look for a sunblock with minimal ingredients and Non­Nano Zinc Oxide, which acts as a physical sunblock. By applying your products in the correct order, each step prepares your skin for the next, and protects your skin for the day or night. At night, you should always remove your makeup, even if it is mineral makeup. Following a simple routine every day, and using products that work with your body, are some of the best ways to have healthy + happy skin.