Alex’s Morning Skin And Hair Routine… Exposed!

Meet Alex, a young teacher trying to make a clean routine work on her teacher’s salary. Sounds like she’s doing awesome. Thanks for this super candid and awesome routine!

Name: Alex

Age: 26

Profession: Teacher (Fourth grade…an awesome age but not easy!)

Weather: Hot, humid Central Florida. We do experience a nice cold front or two in the winter.

Hair: Long, fairly thick, wavy…straight…wavy, depends on the day! Oh, and very oily.  The humidity is not my friend but what can you do?

Skin: Fair and pinkish, on the oily side. I tend to break out occasionally in random areas (usually stress-related). These breakouts have diminished since I’ve cleaned up my routine. I still tend to get your standard tiny blemishes in and around my t-zone and anywhere I consistently touch my face (horrible, very bad, no-good habit!)

Favorite Star: Meryl Streep.  She has such an interesting beauty and way about her!

In the shower…

I start my morning with a nice slathering of raw organic honey on my face. I started using it about six months ago and it has surpassed any store-bought face wash I’ve used! I’ll occasionally mix in a bit of turmeric for some extra anti-bacterial and skin-brightening oomph. I know there are many amazing natural face washes out there but I’m loving the honey a little too much to venture just yet. Whole Foods sells their own awesome organic Wildflower honey for a very reasonable price. I let it sit on my face for a bit and then hop in the shower (if I remember and have a dose of patience, I’ll dry brush as well).  I am currently washing my hair about every other day with Aubrey Organics Blue Chamomile shampoo and Honeysuckle Rose conditioner (conditioner first, then shampoo).  I’m trying to scale it down to once or twice a week but I’m struggling! The grease-ball feeling is holding me back. That and my inability to create a halfway neat-looking updo (any tips for the uncoordinated?)  I’m really wanting to try the Yarok shampoos and conditioners but the price tag is slowing the process…oh, teacher’s salary! I soap up with a Zum Bar…frankincense and myrrh is daydream-inducing but I really enjoy most of their scents.  I’ve yet to try them all. When I shave, I’ll spread some conditioner on my legs. I like coconut oil for shaving but do not love rinsing my razor constantly. If I’m feeling crafty and self-indulgent, I’ll use a homemade coconut oil (virgin and organic) brown sugar, and lemon essential oil scrub. It smells like cake and leaves my skin pretty soft! I love a nice, long shower but do feel guilty about wasting water…such problems I have ;) I usually keep it under ten minutes but I give myself a reprieve on the weekends…ya gotta live!

Outside the shower…

For my face, I moisturize with pure organic rosehip seed oil that I get from a shop back home and a drop or two of essential oil. The rosehip seed oil is great for healing some signs of aging (forehead wrinkles, anyone?) and leaves my skin soft and a little glowy. Depending on my mood, I might use a drop of lavender, pine, rosemary, or tea tree essential oil.  They pretty much all have skin-clearing, anti-bacterial properties so I usually choose based on what I feel like breathing in that morning. Pine should be used very carefully (it needs to be very diluted) as it is very strong. I love the scent, though! It makes me think of living in a charming treehouse in the middle of a redwood forest (my little tree-hugging, hippie fantasy). In fact, I recommend researching any essential oils before they’re used on your skin or taken internally. They can be extremely powerful (I liken them to any topical or ingested medication). Again, if I have the patience, I’ll slather on some coconut oil but I’ve started to look for some clean body lotions that might make that part of my routine more enjoyable. Any suggestions for a truly clean and affordable brand? As you can tell, patience is not a virtue that I’ve yet to possess…I’m hoping a little bit of yoga and meditation might help but I don’t have the patience to start! ;) I’m in the market for a sunscreen…because I don’t use one…because I’m lazy! I want to break the cycle, so all recommendations are welcome. I’m willing to pay a decent price, I just worry about residue and pore-clogging. However, I’m ready to get serious about protection!

Finishing Touches…

About a year ago, I noticed how dependent I was on make-up. I felt so incredibly insecure and unattractive when I didn’t wear it. After some self-reflection, I realized that this was unhealthy and decided to challenge myself to get the heck over it. So, I stopped wearing make-up…sorta. I continued to wear concealer to cover up blemishes and any darkness under my eyes. While I did feel a bit guilty about not fully going for the gold, I knew I was heading in the right direction. Eventually, I ran out of concealer and didn’t buy another! It’s been extremely liberating. I still love make-up but now I use it when I want something a little extra. I love a good cheek stain (I do not know of a clean one) and tinted lip balm! I currently use Burt’s Bees in Red Dahlia for a pop of color or Sprout’s peppermint balm for a bit of shine (it does not have a color). I’m looking forward to trying other tinted balms like Alima’s and Badger’s in the future.  I’ll also get around to purchasing the RMS Living Luminizer (how could I not? You all rave!).  I run a brush through my hair and walk out the door. Right now, I spritz on a bit of Lotus Wei’s Infinite Love before I get to work.  I can’t say I always look put together but I also can’t say that I look too shabby!  My students don’t seem to mind either way so, that’s a plus! It’s taken a while to accept my body and face as they are. Being kind to myself and discovering truly healthy and nurturing food, drink, and beauty care products brings me closer every day. I can’t say that I don’t want to crack my mirror in half on some mornings but, overall, I try to focus on all of the god-given beauty both inside and outside of me. There’s a lot to admire on this big, old planet and there’s nothing more gorgeous than a man, woman, or child who appreciates that with a big smile, a hearty laugh, and a good dose of compassion.

Comments
25 Responses to “Alex’s Morning Skin And Hair Routine… Exposed!”
  1. Sydney says:

    Hi Alex (:
    I think that you should try one of the Shea Moisture body lotions. You can get them at just about any Target and they are all around $10. I just got the Coconut Hibiscus one about a week ago and I loveeeee it…the smell is deliciously sweet and it lingers for a very long time which could be a really good or really bad thing depending on the person. But the ingredients are all great and surprisingly it isn’t greasy at all. There’s also a frankincense and myrrh scented one which I’m sure would go great with your bar soap that you mentioned? (:

  2. KammyH says:

    Lovely routine! Vapour makes a really great cheek stain!

  3. Meghan says:

    What a lovely routine! For a nice, no-frills lotion I like Acure Organics’ body lotion line. As for sunscreen, I use Burn Out Eco sunscreen (available online or at my Whole Foods), which I like a lot. I have really really clog-prone skin but this sunscreen doesn’t cause me any problems! I’ve found that Etsy is a great place for clean, cheap cheek stains too :) Great routine!

  4. Annette says:

    Hi Alex. Love your routine. I second the comment on the Vapour lip and cheek stain. Lots of colors, built to last. I just received Aura in my Quarterly box. Love! I would check out Well People’s Universalist 2 while you are looking at the RMS. It’s more beige than silver and, I think, easier to wear. For sunscreen, my favorite is John Masters SPF 30. We’ve just started using Burt’s Bees body lotion. It’s at Target and comes in a couple of scents as well as unscented (our choice).

  5. Pepper says:

    Acure lotions are awesome and relatively inexpensive. I also HIGHLY recommend100 Percent Pure’s cheek/lip stain – I have cranberry glow and it is one of my favorite makeup items.

    I use John Master’s face sunscreen & love it, and the last 2 summers I used the Kiss My Face sunscreen for body (the one with a sprayer) and I really like it – not crazy thick or heavy and easy to rub in.

  6. Lynne says:

    Hi Alex! First of all i have a more than half-full bottle each of the Yarok shampoo and conditioner…it didnt work for me and i would love to unload it to someone…feel free to email kitchendork1@gmail.com. Also I highly recommend Acure Organics lotions…I use their Cocoa Butter + CoQ10 Ultra-hydrating Unscented Body Lotion. I even use it on my face in a pinch and its great. You can find it online or at Whole Foods for $9-10 usually but sometimes I’ve seen it on sale for ~$8. And yes the Living Luminizer is worth it!

  7. Courtney says:

    Hey Alex,

    I second Sydney’s rec for the Shea Moisture Frankincense and Myrrh body lotion, despite the fact that it comes in plastic (which I try hard to avoid as much as possible). It feels and smells delicious!

    Also a huge second for Meghan’s sunscreen rec. It’s precisely what I was going to respond with. Burnoutsun.com has free shipping for orders over $25 (not affiliated, just a fan), and each of their sunscreens and lip balms are absolutely fantastic.

    And yes, you absolutely need the RMS Living Luminizer. It completely warrants the hype. : ) I also love the Lip-2-Cheek colors, which work perfectly as a cheek stain for me.

  8. Ash says:

    I love the routine! Good for you for weaning yourself off the concealer! :) Reminds me of this lady’s post: http://intothegloss.com/2012/07/a-skin-thing/

    I use Solar Keys RX sunblock on my face (the one with 20% zinc). It only has 3 or so ingredients and really moisturizes my skin. No problems with burn yet, either. The only drawback is that the shea does have a tendency to get a little too shiny later in the day— so I just press on a little bit of corn starch after I put it on and that takes away most of the shine. Just the tiniest, tiniest bit on your brush so you don’t end up with a ghostly face.

  9. Fran says:

    Alex, OMG you look just like Merryl Streep!

    I see that you use the zum bar….you should try Savon Du Bois soaps, as they are made with pure, local farm-fresh goat’s milk which retains the uniquely healing and therapeutic properties of goats milk. Zum uses goat’s milk powder reconstituted with water. Plus the Frank. & myrr bar has a small percentage of parfum, not essential oils! The website is http://www.savondubois.com. We currently only sell in Princeton, NJ but if you are interested, we can order some from Whole Earth Center in Princeton to avoid the shipping costs from Canada. Let me know if I can help. We just got rave reviews from Greenbeautyteam.com for our soaps! Check us out.

    Fran

  10. Liz says:

    I really like 100% Pure Lip & Cheek Tint (in Cranberry – haven’t tried the other colors yet). It blends really well with fingers then a stippling brush, and it very moisturizing for lips and stays put well. I also really like their spf moisturizers (I use the Argan Oil one – dry skin!) They only have physical sunblock but they absorb pretty well.

  11. Luke says:

    Have you tried Alaffia’s lotions? They’re ten dollars for 32 oz at Whole Foods; they’ve come up with one with coconut oil that smell better than the ones in the main line. Also, Nubian Heritage also makes good lotions, but they are really thick, and are more expensive than Alaffia.
    As for cheek stains, I think 100% Pure makes a good one. Some people say it’s sticky, though. You can try beet juice in aloe vera gel, but I’m not sure how well that would blend.

  12. Katie says:

    Alex, I totally relate to everything you mentioned here! I especially want to be less dependent on shampoo and conditioner, but I’m really struggling with the greasy feeling not washing my hair leaves. I’ve tried the ACV and baking soda routine, but my hair was too stringy and gross looking. It seems like we also have very similar skin, so I’ll have to try using honey! Thanks for the awesome routine!

  13. Joye says:

    I had never been able to get into a consistent yoga routine until I starting these at-home virtual yoga classes: http://everybreathitake.com/virtual-yoga-studio/ (Sorry, I couldn’t figure out how to link it up correctly.) I have been doing these since last July and I haven’t run across one class that I didn’t love! And I can do yoga at home in my pajamas!

  14. Beth says:

    I think climate can have a big impact on how much you need to wash your hair. In the Yukon I barely need to use any thing on my hair, just coconut oil and a good rinse with warm water every few days, but in Vancouver my hair needs to be washed at least once a week with baking soda or shampoo. As for the Yarok, it was hard on my baby fine, dry, delicate curls (I only used the conditioner) and I much preferred Aubrey’s Honeysuckle Rose conditioner but that’s just me. Yarok might be better for someone with stronger oilier hair than mine. Hope this helps. thanks for the routine.

  15. Elyse says:

    As someone with oily hair who managed to get my routine down to shampooing only once a week, I have a couple suggestions:
    - I use (dirty, right now) shampoo on my scalp and the part that gets oily – down to about my ears – and then conditioner. I only use ACV if my hair is really oily by the time I wash on weekends. (I should note – I don’t wet my hair at all during the week; too lazy to even worry about air drying).
    - I have long – natural-waist long – hair, and keeping it down often during the week seems to help the oil distribute itself evenly.
    - I also brush and comb through my hair every morning.
    - Learning not to handle it too much during the day, cleaning up my diet, and possibly washing my face with honey (which I’ve done for the last two months), has helped my scalp balance out.
    - Hang in there! It took me, I think, six years to transition effectively from every day to once a week.

  16. Anne says:

    Alex – I use Devita Solar Protective Moisturizer SPF 30, and I highly recommend it! It is a very very light moisturizer – not greasy at all. And it doesn’t leave any hint of whiteness whatsoever. I have acne-prone skin too, and this stuff has not caused any problems for me. If anything, I think it might have helped with my acne. I’m able to buy it at my local Natural Grocers, but it you can purchase it from their website as well (www.devitaskincare.com).

  17. Jennifer K. says:

    Great post! I especially enjoyed reading about letting go of makeup. I don’t remember how long ago I stopped wearing makeup, it just happened. When I looked at my motives around wearing, or not wearing, makeup, I didn’t like them. I wasn’t using it to enhance, I was using it to hide, like wearing a mask so people wouldn’t see the real me. When I stopped wearing it I was still trying to hide, but this time it was so I wouldn’t be seen at all. It took work, but today I have a much less distorted self-image and I don’t need makeup to be seen or not seen. I am who I am, inside and out. I still have a bunch of makeup that I occasionally play with, but it’s not because I think I have to or need to, it’s because I feel like playing or I want to show that a special ocassion or date with my love is important to me by taking an extra step (even though he says he prefers to look at me without makeup).

  18. Judith G. says:

    Hi Alex,

    Congratulations on your liberation from makeup. I too am a makeup free girl, but I do play the cover girl every now and then. :)

    I must admit that my morning routine is all over the place right now. (Getting 3 kids ready for school will do that to ya) But you did give me a few ideas from your morning routine. I never thought of using raw organic honey on my face, but that sounds really good.

  19. fern says:

    I love the Suntegrity sunscreen that Siobhan recommended a couple of months ago. Keys SolarRx is super good, too. I’m very impressed with your no makeup routine – I do not have the guts to do that. :)

  20. Silvy says:

    Alex, love every part of your post!! I think this may be my favorite morning routine so far, (but that may just be because it makes me wanna hang out with Alex!). First, Vitacost is your friend, sister! Their site has some great stuff- the Devita, the Acure. (Another good lotion, and they have it too- Shikai Borage Therapy- scent free but works great especially mixed with some oil in the winter.) (They also have the sunscreen I love- Badger.)

    For hair, I’ve finally managed to ween myself off silicones after like 6 months where I’d intermittently go back. The Acure minty shampoo works great for me, as does the Chagrin Valley Juniper Spearmint soap (which I use all over- face, body, hair), but I try not to alternate them too often.

    I loved hearing your makeup story too! I pretty much just use concealer if I need it, and some eye makeup if I want. And cheek stain! Speaking of, get thee to Whole Paycheck and pick up Hemp Organics lip tint! Super cheap; I’ve been using it on lips, cheeks, and even eyes for years (Berry is my favorite).

  21. Beth says:

    I have to second Silvy’s recommendation for Hemp Organics. Their lip tints, lipsticks, and glosses are, so far, the only line of lip products that I can use without irritation and with pretty colours, good ingredients and lovely low prices I really can’t complain.

  22. beautejuteux says:

    Love the honey “face wash” idea! I’ve mixed some oat flour and powdered milk in a jar to use as a scrub, face wash, and/or mask and I’m really enjoying that- but as soon as I move out and don’t have to explain why I keep honey in the shower… lol… I’ll try that, too! I love the simplicity of skin food.

  23. Lara says:

    I think Mineral Fusion is a good sunscreen. It goes on a little white but blends well eventually.

  24. mangomadness says:

    @Alex: Do try the Shea Moisture Lotions! They’re super hydrating and last forever. I love the Frankensence and Myrhh scent.

    @beautejuteux: Nice face wash mix! I’m using a mix of oat flour, chamomile leave/petals and rose petal powder as a face wash.

  25. Meghan says:

    @Alex ..question, why do you condition first then shampoo?

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