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?
Everybody, meet Greta, who may have created the word “glowifying” and definitely personifies it! Must be all the exfoliating and John Masters-ing she does. Read and enjoy (keep you eyes peeled for her tip for stopping scars before they start)!
Current weather: Coastal Northern California, so cool, foggy and breezy. Essentially jacket weather 24/7.
Hair: Dark blackish-brown, natural color (not dyed), thick, wavy, and slightly coarse. Boob-length (aka halfway between my armpit and elbow)
Skin: Pale, reddish, very sensitive and prone to sunburn. No acne but prone to roughness and bumpiness.
In the shower…
Pre-shower, I massage a generous blob of Burt’s Bees Avocado Butter Pre-Shampoo Hair Treatment (NB: contains fragrance) from the middle to the ends of my hair. This is my very favorite for softening my coarse and unruly hair—even better than the various oils I’ve tried. Then I wipe my face with a Seventh Generation baby wipe in preparation for slathering my face and neck with Fage 2% Greek Yogurt. The lactic acid in the yogurt is a great gentle exfoliant and I find this to be very smoothing and glowifying with no irritation. I leave it on until the yogurt is nearly dry—about 10-15 minutes. While I wait, I’ll putz around in the bathroom, occasionally dry brushing with a Hydrea London Body Brush or massaging a dropperful of John Masters Organics Pomegranate Facial Nourishing Oil into my nails and scalp. Once in the shower, I apply John Masters Zinc & Sage Shampoo with Conditioner followed by John Masters Organics Lavender & Avocado Intensive Conditioner. They both smell incredible and keep my pouffy waves in check. I’ve tried other lines but always come running back to John Masters for haircare. I can definitely see a difference in my smoother, healthier locks. I soap up my Hydrea London Carbonized Bamboo Exfoliating Gloves with whatever soap we have on hand. I’m always switching kinds. Right now I’m using Big Sur Country Soap, which is made locally and I picked up at the farmer’s market. I shave my pits, legs and bits with a Gillette Fusion razor, and I’m done!
Outside the shower…
I wash my face with Pai Camellia and Rose Gentle Hydrating Cleanser, and if it’s nighttime, I use my Clarisonic Mia with it. I follow with a couple spritzes of Pai BioAffinity Tonic in Lotus & Orange Blossom. Daytime, I smooth on Pai Chamomile & Rosehip Moisturizer or Dr. Hauschka Rose Day Cream Light. Nighttime, I massage in John Masters Organics Pomegranate Facial Nourishing Oil or Pai BioRegenerate Oil. Any extra oil goes on the ends of my hair. Obviously, I adore Pai—my sensitive skin responds beautifully to their gentle yet effective products. I recommend them to all my friends! My body gets a slather of Pai Comfrey and Calendula Calming Body Cream, and my abdominal incision from last month’s surgery gets a mini-massage with Jason 45,000 IU Vitamin E Oil. Floss and then brush my teeth with my Preserve toothbrush and The Natural Dentist Antigingivitis toothpaste and mouthwash.
I wear makeup maybe a handful of days per month, and when I do it’s Dr. Hauschka mascara in Black and Burt’s Bees Tinted Lip Balm in Rose.
Soap & Paper Factory’s Bois de Cedrat Hand Cream is my favorite scent. I dab some on my neck and wrists like perfume. I’ve been stingy about using it as I don’t believe they make this fragrance anymore [Ed's note: they don't] and I want my tube to last!
John Masters and Pai: Hire this gal as your spokeswoman! The rest of you: What think you?
Image of Vivien Leigh via
You asked, dear readers, and we answered! We are no strangers to panicky icky temperamental bad skin, but we’ve had some great luck with some truly natural things, and so we wrote a post about it. It just went up at GOOD in slideshow form, with art by this chick we’re certifiably obsessed with, named Brianna Harden. She’s a student (student!) in L.A., a GOOD intern, and we heart her. Check our her site, and swoon.
From the post:
If you’re no stranger to the kind of breakouts that make you want to put a paper bag over your head and cry, well, chin up—but step away from the benzoyl peroxide. Because they are formulated to penetrate deep into the skin, traditional acne products are extremely harsh and can contain some of the more unhealthy chemicals used in personal care products. BP is the most popular over-the-counter spot remedy in the United States, but that doesn’t mean we should be using it. Studies have shown it to be free-radical-generating (that’s bad—free radicals age the skin), and it has caused tumors in mice—to say nothing of its skin-peeling harshness.
But take heart. Here are 10 completely nontoxic ways to clean up your skin from the outside in, and the inside out.
Read our top 10 tricks here.
Illustration by Brianna Harden (obvs)