|Clean face towel / orange blossom floral water / organic argan oil / home made deodorant / coconut oil|
Eight months after the beginning of my shopping fast experiment, dealing with my beauty product stocks and researching natural alternatives, here is a short overview of my current body care routine, along with a quick explanation of how I got there, in case you are also looking to simplify your beauty routine.
I have never been a beauty afficionado, partly because my mother also wasn't, and taught me that natural beauty was the most flattering after all. So please be warned that this post may sound dull to many. But as I changed my routine during my simplification journey, I thought it might be interesting for you to read my reasoning and process, even if my routine itself may not suit your skin and lifestyle.
First, I used the overall experiment of the Shopping Fast to pare down my bathroom closet:
- I made an initial inventory of everything I have and threw everything out of date, dirty, funky...
- I put on the bathroom shelf all the products for daily use, reunited weekly products together (mainly nail care), and stored the backup products in a dedicated box where I systematically look before making a purchase list. If I have backup, I don't buy any new product of this type.
- For six months, I used everything I have without buying anything new, to drop the stocks down
- When I finished a product, I didn't replace it at first, and went a few weeks without it to see if I really needed it in my routine.
- In the end, I came up with a list of steps that seemed important to me (I noticed the difference in a negative way when I removed that step from my routine)
That's the important part, that helped a lot redefine my body care routine: I defined important steps, rather than indispensable products, because, when considering which product to use for this step, I was going from my need, rather than from a product. It leaves the field open to test several products and find the adequate one for my skin.
So, once my stock was pared down and important steps identified, I started researching methods, products and habits to redefine my simplified beauty routine.
The Adequate RoutineBefore anything else, I asked myself what adequate body care habits were for me:
- I have little time to spare for this - so it had to be quick
- I travel a lot - so it had to use as few products as possible
- Yet I want this moment to feel a connection with my body and take care of it
- I wanted the products themselves to be as natural as possible and avoid uncertain chemicals
- I wanted affordable products as beauty isn't where I want to spend my resources
These points helped narrow the research, and find solutions that tend towards these goals. I looked into natural beauty blogs and brands, searched for "all in one" products which could serve several purposes, always went for the simplest options (with as few ingredients as possible), and looked at traditional methods - after all, women used to take care of their body long before brands told us "pre-serums" were a must in our beauty routine...
My Daily Routine
As a result of all this process above, here is my current body care routine. It is satisfactory for me now, but I'm leaving a flexibility for future changes, to accompany the evolution of my body and its needs.
- 1. Freshen Up - I like to start the day by freshening up my face. I find it helps feeling more awake, and it kickstarts my morning routine. I use reusable cottons with orange blossom floral water over my face and neck. The smell of this water is divine, and herbalists say it helps with dry or sensitive skin, which mine is becoming with age.
- 2. Hydrate - After the shower, before make-up, my skin needs some form of hydration, which used to be the day cream. I now use plain argan oil, organic. The cheapest I found comes from the French website Aroma Zone, 60€ for 1 liter. I like to take the time to massage my face after warming the oil between my hands, as a morning ritual of personal care.
- 3. Apply Deodorant - I did try to stop using deodorant altogether. How do you know if that's efficient, if you have always worn some? Well, it is. But I found a recipe based on coconut oil, cornstarch powder and baking soda, that works quite as well as a regular deodorant.
- 4. Remove Make-up - As you may have guessed, this is the first step of my evening routine. For this, I use coconut oil, stolen from my kitchen cupboard. In winter, it is solid, as shown on the picture above, so I warm it up between my palms before massaging my face with a generous amount of it. It is actually extremely efficient at removing any trace of make-up. Then I put the white towel under very hot water (or cold in summer), and remove any trace of oil from my face with it. I find comfort in that warmth in winter. I usually hydrate my skin with argan oil after that, before going to bed.
There is more to my overall body care of course, including daily showers, occasional black soap scrubs, and body massages with argan oil, but that's the daily routine part of it. It might seem like very little to some of you, but keep in mind my routine has never been complex in the first place.
Simplifying your own routine doesn't mean paring it down to so few products. Hopefully the short process explanations above can help you figuring out which are the adequate steps and products for your own skin, lifestyle and preferences.