Monday, September 26, 2011

Facial Care

Now this, I am an expert on. Natural Facial Care. I have tried every single facial product on the natural market-no exaggeration. I’ve probably spent more money on facial products in a lifetime to purchase a small plane.

It used to be, you walk into shoppers and get an entire skin care regime of exfoliant, toner and moisturizer for under $30. Then Lancome and laroche posay; fancy packaging with pigeon poop, extract of baby tears and golden flecks from endangered butterfly cocoons. Oddly enough…what makes commercial skin care so expensive is not the ingredients…it’s the marketing. Proactive is the leading skin care company in Canada and the US…very simple ingredients, not the healthiest…but, they have mega stars on their commercials. And, they are not available in stores, only kiosks and online. They do that for a reason: less manufacturing costs and the don’t go through a distributor asking for a 30% cut.

Similarly, I think skin care lines in the natural health realm have gone a kindred way. Everyone at one point or another has the idea in their head that the more expensive product the better. Sometimes, this is true in cases with clothing, shoes and some skin products. Most focus groups spend months deciding how much money they can squeeze out of a product and will sit down with ladies all over the world and ask them… “how much would you pay for this product” in other words “how much can we get away with selling this product at the maximum amount of money”.

In the natural world, the only difference I think is the companies, first of all, but also, that some products are expensive because the ingredients are expensive. But, you want to know if it is worth it.
Here are our top skin care products and whether you want to spend that extra cash.

As a bit of a girly girl with my products, I love the company Suki. I love all their products and they work phenomenally. The only problem is..the price. This is one of those examples of having to pay for quality ingredients. I’m not talking just quality, this company has all certified organic extracts, all biodegradable packaging, amazing formulas, no added crap or carcinogens, aaaand….get this-is all food grade, meaning you can eat it. It isn’t so much the ingredients, as food grade products won’t break your bank-it’s the certification that is the most expensive part of this mark up, that and it comes from Belgium. Their most popular product is their exfoliant. It is lemon, lemongrass and sugar based. You dip your finger in the tub and it feels like gritty sugar, but as soon as you put it to a wet face and scrub it in, it foams and leaves your face squeaky clean. The exfoliant runs for about $40…eep! So, if you have the cash and you want to treat yourself…go for it, baby! It tastes good too. Not something you want to put in your coffee, but it’s tasty should some accidentally make it’s way to your lips.

Other than that, you can get creative with about 30 cents and get a small food processor and add lemon juice, lemongrass and white sugar and try to make your own; very similar experience. Always exfoliate as the first part of your regime. This will get rid of dead skin cells and prep your skin for more blood flow and deep cleansing.

They also make a phenomenally awesome brightener cream, which is closer to $100 and a balancing cream for oily skin-and really is nice.

They also make a fantastic makeup line, to which my mother in law, who has extremely sensitive skin, uses and prefers this company to many other ones.

So, my take on suki, is that if you are spending that much money on commercial products and you want to make the healthy switch, this is a superior company that will impress even the most skeptic. If you are a facial care snob and are dedicated to purchasing awesome products regardless of price, this is also for you. However, if you are a student, or someone with an acne problem looking to watch your budget but still purchase some great products-read on.

A-VOGEL (green clay)
If you want to make your own mask-this is great and cheap stuff. It’s also fun! I like to make a little steam bath for my face with a pot of water and some eucalyptus oil to open my pores and then take about ½ tsp of clay and sea kelp and honey with warm water and leave it on. This is step 2 for my skin regime after exfoliating. I steam and then put this mask on looking like a swamp queen, it's totally a good look for me.

Be it known that I was previously addicted to these strips. Not only do they take your black heads away but you can seeeee them!! Ewww!! and Cooool!! I soon found out that no one wanted to see them but me, sadly, but luckily, I found this lovely young lady on the net who, shows you how to make your own homemade strips using eggs and some more posting after her video with gelatin. Check it out !

My favourite product that they make for skin is their aloe and grapefruit seed cleanser. It runs under $12 in most stores, lasts a long time and works really well. What is different about this cleanser is that most aloe vera products are mostly water, meaning you pay for a lot of water and some actual aloe extract-not with this product. They’ve taken the water out, so all you are getting is the pure benefits of aloe, soothing, healing and moisturizing with the antiseptic and antibacterial benefits of grapefruit seed extract so it’s great for acne and oily skin. You only need a little bit of it, as it spreads quite generously and cleans quite effectively. Normally, one does not exfoliate every day, so when I’m not doing my lemon scrub. I use this and I have a $4 electric toothbrush that I use to scrub my face with. Now, something important to say about facial bacteria, is that you can have different kinds of bacteria on different zones of your face. Whether it be a cotton ball or scrubby brush, I always do a little hot water rinse before scrubbing other areas of my face.

I’ve been battling with toners my entire life. Too much alcohol dries my skin out and makes it peel, alcohol free ones have glycerin in them and make my skin greasy and clogged. I opted in the end for, plain $2.99 drug store witch hazel and a cotton ball, after cleansing.

BURTS BEES repairing serum
Mmmmm yah, baby. This little sucker is the secret to my now nice skin. Although this little bottle will be about $30, it will last you months. I mean like, months and months. After exfoliating, cleansing and toning, I use 3 drops of this oil on my face. Every night. It’s my night oil. Other than the suki facial moisturizer, I just found that all the cream bases clogged my pores and made me break out, so I read about putting oils on your face that seem to be the most similar to the natural oils your skin makes, so it balances out your oil production on the surface and repairs your skin with all those fantastic botanical ingredients like green tea, rose, chamomile and pomegranate extract.

Now, if you are a keener, I’d recommend picking up this book:

Organic body care recipes by Stephanie Tourles

it gives you some great recipes on making your own skin care, which I would recommend more than taking a chance on some of the more home based companies who have made it into the market. I love independent companies with all my heart, but I’m ambitious, and would rather spend the money and make it myself. That’s just me, I’m stubborn. I must also have my nana's pride in saving many dollars by making something with things I have around the house. Not quite as “thrifty” as using the 2 year old leftover candy from Halloween, but still, it's an acquired characteristic.

As a rule of thumb, except for the witch hazel and clay, I do not put things on my skin that I would not be able to eat. That means that whatever is in my fridge…should be able to go on my face. Be it yogurt, avocado, pineapple, strawberries, cocoa…you can make some lovely facial products with some of the same foods that are known to keep you healthy on the inside as well.
Jessy Cooke


  1. Seeking to have beautiful skin can be pricey at times, since there is a need to acquire different products that are specifically manufactured for each dermal concern. However, aside from the benefits of having healthy skin, buying skin products can also be considered an investment to improve one's self-confidence. After all, when you are confident of your skin, you wouldn't mind going out into the sunshine and welcoming the stares of people. That's a nice list, BTW. Cheers!

    [Tobi Fistcher]

  2. Love using witchhazel as my toner too!

    knickgirl_3 at yahoo dot com