In a world that wants to sell you everything — including the belief that you NEED beauty products to “stay young” and thus be more desirable as you naturally move through phases of your life — we tend to put more time/effort/money into solidifying that bought belief than maybe we’d care to admit. The truth is, even though we say we don’t care, we still do. I still do, at least.
I’d like to think that I reject the semi-patriarchal agendas that want to force me into laser hair removal and botox — I’m not against those modalities per se, just against the societal pressure behind them — yet I still find myself shaving my underarms each week and seeking out ways to look (and feel) my best.
In efforts to move away from the claws of peer pressure when it comes to beauty, in particular, I’ve found a happy medium for myself: natural (DIY, less-waste) body care products and hacks. Finding ways to use something like coconut oil, for instance, to “enhance” my features, both internally and externally, often satisfies the part of me that wants to use expensive cosmetics and skin serums, while simultaneously nodding to the inner rebel that LOVES to give popular (often harmful) opinions the middle finger.
The thing I have to remind myself is that it isn’t about the product, but the outcome. The ideal outcome is to make my whole being radiant, healthy, joyous, and grateful. I want to use/make a product that my skin (and wallet) will thank me for! If I buy a pricey beauty product, my psychological brain moves toward the idea that since it is so expensive, it must be respectable and worthy, thus, I must NEED it. And since I’m not made of money, if I don’t keep repurchasing this item, well now I feel like an inadequate, inferior mess of a woman. This is false. If you enjoy indulging in your skincare/nail care/hair care, etc… by all means! I indulge too, just in different aspects of life. Do whatever feels good to you. Right now, what’s feeling good to me is nourishing my body with stuff I already have at home and that I KNOW isn’t harmful for my skin, hair, insides, etc.
With all that said, here are a few of the natural body care modalities I have been vibing with lately. Enjoy 🙂
ICE CUBE MASSAGE
Take an ice cube or two and gently massage your face. This can be messy, so having a hand towel around you, bib-style, can help keep you (and your surroundings) dry-ish.
Use the ice cube like you would a face-roller or even a Gua Sha stone.
*See image below for techniques, but don’t stress over it… this is just an ice cube LOL. Do what feels natural and you’ll be fine.
When you’re finished, give your skin some light love-pats to bring some blood flow back in.
- Tightens skin — “anti-aging” effect
- Brings cool moisture to the skin, which we LOVE during warm days
- Leaves skin looking/feeling bright and awake
This post contains FIVE different coffee body/face scrubs for you to play with. Use fresh grounds or reuse the ones from your pot this morning!
- Natural exfoliator
- Caffeine’s properties (along with the exfoliation) will spark blood flow and brighten up your skin like nothing else
- Moisturizes skin when paired with oils — which all of these recipes include
- Smells fantastic
- Saves you $$MONEY HONEY$$ and supports one of our fav phrases: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle!
SUGAR LIP SCRUB
We often neglect lip care, so it is important to give them some love + nurturing when we can — especially if we opt for lip products of any kind, even chapstick. Show them you care! And enjoy the sweet taste of new, plumper, happier lips.
- 1 part sugar (brown sugar for a more coarse feel, white sugar for a more fine feel)
- 1 part oil of choice (we like coconut or jojoba)
- 1 part honey — *optional
- Splash of vanilla extract -or- some lemon zest — *optional
- Exfoliates dead skin
- Moisturizes lips
- Smoothes crinkles/crusties
- Tastes like candy!
This is an Ayurvedic technique that we’ll get into in more detail in a future blog post, but for now, here’s the gist:
Oil pulling removes toxins + bacteria that your mouth is flooded with. “But I have a toothpaste and mouthwash combo that kills 99.99% of germs!”… Yes, okay, however, what is in there that allows it to KILL all those toxins??? *Spoiler: it’s more toxins, and arguably WORSE ones.
Oil pulling is a natural alternative to a mouth-washing practice, and with waaaaaay more benefits than just fresh breath and healthy gums. Simply put a tablespoon of coconut (or sesame) oil in your mouth and swish it around for 10-20 minutes. Be sure not to swallow any, since you’ll be ingesting all the bacteria we’re pulling out. Spit out oil (not in the sink though, because clogged drains aren’t fun), and rinse your mouth.
- Naturally whitens teeth
- Helps bad breath
- Fights cavities and gingivitis
- Leaves lips soft and supple
- Detoxifies the body — think about how much spit (and food/drinks) you swallow throughout the day, and if there’s a ton of bacteria, fungi, and other toxins in there, you’re swallowing those too.
There are SO many more benefits that have to do with disease prevention, stress reduction, hormone balancing, and more. For the sake of staying on topic, I chose the ones that most applied to the somewhat “aesthetic” side of things.
APPLE CIDER VINEGAR FACE TONER
Throwing it back to TW’s first ever blog post, the Apple Cider Vinegar Face Toner! Get the scoop on naturally removing toxins from your face, while still keeping your skin’s acid mantle happy. This recipe only has two ingredients, water and ACV, so it’s not only a great way to reduce spending and waste, but also backs the ideal of having the least amount of ingredients in your products (and food) as possible.
Check out the blog for the all the benefits of using a facial toner, especially an ACV one, and what the best ratio is for your own skin.
USE LEFTOVER SCRUB MIX ON YOUR HANDS
Just like our lips, we tend to neglect caring for our hands. By using whatever scrub that’s left from your DIY scrub mix on your precious hands, you will rub away dead skin, moisturize any dryness, and leave your hands + nails glowing!
* If you don’t have any scrub left (or you didn’t even make any), consider just rubbing some oil on your hands every now and then. Hydration, radiance, healthiness.
REMINDER: You are 100% allowed to enjoy your fancy, boujee body care products/routines. The idea is to get the most out of life, to feel good about yourself and what you do. I find that I feel lesser than when I can’t afford a shiny new object, so this is a practice that helps that yucky feeling. I still feel beautiful, I still feel like I’m nourishing my body, but I don’t feel inferior anymore… what a concept!
Do what makes you shine, inside and out, that’s what it’s all about.