Regina’s Morning Skin and Hair Routine… Exposed!
Meet Regina, the kind of woman you’d like to have a sleepover party with because her morning routine starts the night before, when she brews strange and wonderful herbal concoctions before hitting the hay. Also, she had this to say, which kind of made us want to cry (in a good way):
“Before your book, I used to feel like a total freak-monster-hippie for making a lot of my own products. I would cave to the peer pressure of having a fancy tube of something from Sephora to set on my counter or throw in my purse. You guys made me feel totally empowered to keep whipping up my potions!”
Nothing really to say about that other than: Awesome, and screw Sephora with its fancy bottles.
Current weather: Not as hot, but still humid in NYC
Hair: My hair cycles between a pixie cut and waist length. I cut it off, I donate it, I grow it out again. It’s grazing my shoulders now and is pretty thick and oily but prone to weird little frizzies on top.
Skin: Combination/oily, prone to acne. Oh, the great acne migration. At age 12 I had acne all over my forehead (so bad that when I went to my doctor for something entirely different, he gave me a prescription for acne medication), then it moved to my cheeks in my late teens, and now it’s migrated to my chin. It’s WAY better since I stopped using the benzoyl peroxide and started actually moisturizing my skin instead of trying to make it a desert.
Before the shower…
My morning routine starts the night before, when I make my herbal infusion, lately a mixture of nettles, oats, algalfa, rose hips, slippery elm, and marshmallow. It’s your full spectrum of vitamins! I put about 2 tablespoons of my mix in a jar, pour the water over, and cap it tight, leaving it to sit overnight. I get my herbs from NYC’s Flower Power. They’re super friendly and helpful and it’s a great resource for people who are interested in making their own products, from lip balm to medicine. I try to wake up around 4:45 am (my daily commute takes almost an hour and a half, so I try to maximize my time at home) and roll out my mat for an hour of yoga. I’m currently obsessed with classes from yogadownload.com. I pop my headphones in and do my class before anything else. After my yoga, I strain and drink my herbal infusion, while running the water for my shower.
In the shower…
I make my own face cleanser with a mixture of orange peel, ground rose petals, and clay (whatever I have around, currently green clay). I keep it in a jar on the counter and pour out about a tablespoon into my palm. I step into the shower and mix enough water with my cleanser to make it a paste and then clean my face. It is gently exfoliating and seems to be helping my acne. I wash my pits and bits with Dr. Bronners, usually peppermint. If it’s a shaving day, I’ll shave with my Preserve razor and Dr. B’s. I wash my hair about 2x per week, sometimes more if it’s been really gross outside. I have used natural shampoos (Acure Organics lemongrass is my favorite) and the no ‘poo method and straight Dr. Bronners. Currently I’m making my own shampoo with a decoction of black walnut husks, sage leaves, and comfrey leaf, a teaspoon of argan oil, some liquid Dr. Bronner’s and a generous sprinkling of rosemary essential oil. So far, I really like it! My hair feels clean, soft, and smells pretty great too. The black walnut makes the brew dark (for dark-haired ladies like myself) but you can use chamomile if your hair is lighter. Can you tell I’m in love with herbs?
Outside the shower…
I towel off and then brush my teeth with Nature’s Gate toothpaste and my Preserve toothbrush. I comb through my hair right away because I have short, thick bangs and they’ll stick straight out from my head if I don’t coax them down as soon as I get out of the shower. Then I apply my deodorant (also homemade). I tried the various natural deodorants, like Burt’s Bee’s Herbal Deodorant, Tom’s (not sure if that’s clean really), Weleda, etc but none really worked on me. I sweat a LOT and CONSTANTLY. My current deodorant recipe is a mix of shea butter, beeswax, cocoa butter, grapeseed oil, arrowroot powder, a TEENY bit of baking soda (any more than a teaspoon causes angry red skin), a few essential oils, and a dash of shelf stable probiotics. So far it works but I have a feeling I’m going to reformulate when this batch is done and the weather gets even hotter. I make a shea butter based lotion but I only use it if my skin feels dry. I tone my face with a mixture of apple cider vinegar, willow bark tincture, and rose essential oils splashed on my reusable face pads. I was using argan oil for a while as my moisturizer, but lately I’ve been using calendula-infused olive oil.
I tried going barefaced for a while, but the recovering goth kid in me can’t seem to leave the house without eyeliner. So I use Alima Pure Black Matte eyeliner, which is a powder and black, like my soul [Ed's note: LOL!]. I dip my brush in water, mix it with the powder and draw on my signature cat eye. Sometimes I dab on some RMS Beauty un-coverup, most of the time I just use the eyeliner. I don’t do anything to my hair, just comb it and let it dry (mostly because I’m lazy about blow-drying and styling, but partly because no matter how I try to tame it, it does whatever it wants anyway). I put on some lip balm (homemade, again) and that’s it. I love lipstick and I have quite a collection of Ilia lipsticks (love this stuff!) but for some reason I can’t ever remember to reapply, so I only use it if I’m going out somewhere; otherwise the only people who see my lipstick are my fellow early morning commuters.
We’re speechless except to say, again: Awesome. And how do you infuse olive oil with calendula? Do you just stuff it in a jar together and wait?