Holistic home facial for post-summer skincare
Summer is a time that can cause lots of stress on your skin, with sunburn and air-conditioning drying it out and causing imbalances, not too mention problems such as prickly heat rash and sun cream blocking pores. In particular, the skin on your face, which is thinner and often more sensitive than the rest of your body, is most affected by these Summer challenges – and, due to life becoming so busy at this time of year, it can all too easily become neglected.
Post-Summer Skincare Ideas using Natural Ingredients
If you love facials, why not make an effort in the post-holiday period to rescue your skin and repair some of that Summer wear and tear! Perhaps you have you always wanted to use natural products on your skin? In the following blog, I will talk you through some ideas for an entirely holistic facial skincare regime which is suitable for post-summer skin, and filled with natural goodness! I encourage you to have a go yourself and try this facial routine at home.
Preparing the Facial Blends
To start, we prepare all the ingredients and make the blends in advance so that we can just line them up and do the facial in one go - this saves you starting your facial regime and then having to make the next product! Though, be warned, they don’t last very long as they are natural and do not contain preservatives, so only make them before you are about to use them. Also patch test the blends before use, in case you are sensitive to any of the ingredients. You can pick and choose which ones you make – you don’t have to do them all and you can substitute parts with pre-blended products from Base Formula, (i.e. Hydrating Eye Gel), but the option is there if you want to. So, what do we need to make?
Coconut & Orange Sugar Scrub
- 30ml Extra Virgin Coconut Butter
- 10-15g Coconut Sugar (from health/grocery store)
- Sweet Orange essential oil
Whip the Extra Virgin Coconut Butter until fluffy (approx 5 teaspoons – you can pre-warm it in the microwave for a few seconds to melt it if you want to measure it). Add the Coconut Sugar and mix well. You should then have about 40-45ml of mixture. Add 10-15 drops of Sweet Orange essential oil for dry skin or, if you normally have an oily complexion, try Mandarin.
Coconut oil is very hydrating and Sweet Orange is lovely for dry summer skin, whilst Mandarin is great for balancing and revitalising oily and congested complexions!
Cooling Aloe Vera Shoulder Mask
Melt the Extra Virgin Coconut Butter in the microwave for 6 seconds. Mix the melted Coconut Oil (3 teaspoons) with the Aloe Vera Gel (1.5 teaspoons). With 30ml of mixture made, add 5-10 drops of Peppermint essential oil and stir well. Put in the fridge to cool until use.
Again, hydrating Coconut mixes well with skin-nurturing Aloe Vera – and, with Peppermint essential oil, which helps to cool and soothe sun burn, this is a great post-summer mask for over-exposed shoulders.
Rosy Avocado, Aloe & Clay Mask
- 1/8th of an avocado, mashed (approx 20ml)
- 5ml of Kaolin or French Green Clay
- 5ml Aloe Vera Hydrating Gel
- Rose or Mandarin essential oil (or both!)
Mash the avocado. Separately, mix the Clay with the Aloe Vera Gel - use either Kaolin for dry skin or French Green clay for oily - using a 1:1 ratio (just over ¾ teaspoon of each). You should have roughly 30ml once mixed, to which you can add 5-10 drops of either Rose essential oil for dry summer skin (or Mandarin essential oil for oily skin) – or do 5 drops of each if this takes your fancy! Put this mixture in an airtight container in the fridge until use
All these ingredients help to combat the effects of Summer. Avocado is rich in anti-oxidants, moisturising fatty acids and vitamins so it really helps restore your skin, especially regenerating damaged cells and reducing redness and irritation; mixed with cooling Aloe Vera and cleansing, mineral-rich clay, this is a lovely post-summer mask. Rose is a wonderfully balancing oil for facial skincare after the stresses of summer – it moisturises and hydrates, reduces redness, and also acts as a general skin tonic.
Mandarin & Lime Lip Balm
- 7g Beeswax
- 5g Cocoa Butter
- 12.5ml Apricot Kernel Oil
- Mandarin and Lime essential oils
- 15ml jar or container (with lid)
Add the Beeswax, Cocoa Butter and Apricot Kernel Oil to a large bowl and immerse it in a pan of hot water (using the double boiler method such as when you melt chocolate). Stir until it has all fully melted. Carefully remove the bowl from the pan of hot water, add 4 drops of each of Mandarin and Lime essential oil and mix thoroughly (don’t let the mixture thicken yet – you can put it back in the hot water if needed). Prepare your jar or container and fill with the mixture, place this in the fridge to harden before using. This might be worth making the night before so that it can set.
A lovely, natural lip balm recipe, this makes a fantastic soothing balm to keep with you whilst on the go. With no harmful, skin-smothering ingredients like petroleum, this is a must-have recipe for natural post-summer skincare – and the scent is gorgeous.
Also prepare the following products for your facial:
- 5ml of Base Formula’s Cleansing Lotion (with Cucumber Extract), with 1 drop of Lemongrass and Lime essential oil for a refreshing facial cleanse
- Rose or Orange Flower (Neroli) Hydrolat for use as a skin toner
- 5ml of pre-blended Facial Oil - either Apricot Kernel or Jojoba carrier oil with 1 drop of Rose essential oil for dry skin, or 5ml Grapeseed carrier with 1 drop of Mandarin essential oil for oily skin
- 2 x pre-boiled Green Tea teabags, allow to cool and place in the fridge
- 5ml of Base Formula’s Moisturising Lotion with 1 drop of Rose or Mandarin essential oil for the face
- 5ml of Base Formula’s Moisturising Cream with 1 drop of Rose or Mandarin for around the eyes
Once done, ensure you line up your facial products in order, according to the routine below, and have the following items to hand (if you want, you can add some relaxing background music too!) - then we’re ready to start:
- Small bowl of fresh, warm water
- Cotton pads
- Flannels x 3 (preheated in the microwave, just prior to starting and put in plastic bags to keep warm)
- Tissues to blot facial oil
- Facial mask application brush (optional)
- Large bowl of warm water (optional)
- Himalayan Pink Salt (optional)
- Atomiser for hydrolat (optional)
The Holistic Facial Routine
- In a large bowl, mix Himalayan Pink Salt with warm water and 10 drops of Lime essential oil and begin by soaking your feet! You could add some loose Berry Tea if you fancy a lovely addition to this blend.
- Begin by cleansing the skin using the Lemongrass & Lime Cleansing Lotion – smooth it over your face and massage in with your fingers using a circular motion, really working every area of your face. After a minute or so of massaging, remove the lotion with wet cotton pads.
- Now exfoliate your skin using the Coconut & Orange Sugar Scrub. Paint it on with your fingers and gentle massage it in to the skin (be careful not to rub too hard as this part is abrasive and avoid if you are on skin-thinning medication). After a minute or so, remove the exfoliant blend with cotton pads and then wipe a hot flannel over your face (take care it is not too hot after being microwaved). Once it is all removed, rest another warm flannel over your face (remember to allow some space to breathe!) and enjoy the warmth until it is cool.
- Tone your skin using your selected Hydrolat – either spritz it over your skin (if you have an atomiser) or put it on cotton pads and gently dab your face. Blot with your dry fingers to remove any excess.
- Now for the relaxing part: using the Rose or Mandarin Facial Oil blend, apply it to your skin and massage in using your fingers. You can swipe over the face applying the oil, then do small and large upward and outward circles with your fingers around your face and up your nose, as well as sweeping over your brows and cheeks and down your neck. Then lightly tap your fingers over your face and smoothly circle round your eyes with your ring finger. Finish with some slow sweeping movements, from the centre of your face outwards, to drain any toxins to the lymph.
- Blot with a tissue to remove any excess oil.
- Next, apply the Aloe Vera Shoulder Mask using your fingers to sweep it across the neck and shoulders. Get a good coverage and then wash your hands and, also, replace the warm water in the small bowl.
- Retrieve the Rosy Avocado, Aloe and Clay Facial Mask from the fridge and apply with either a facial mask application brush or with your fingers. Avoid the eye area completely.
- Pop the Green Tea teabags on your closed eyes and leave the mask on for 5-10 minutes.
- After 5-10 minutes, remove the mask using cotton pads and a fresh hot flannel.
- Tone your skin again with Hydrolat (as above).
- Sparingly apply the Rose or Mandarin Eye Cream to the eye area using your little fingers – avoid getting it in your eyes. Then apply the Rose or Mandarin Moisturising Lotion sparingly to your face.
- Apply the gorgeous Mandarin & Lime Lip Balm.
- Finally - you could finish by adding a few drops of Lime essential oil onto a cotton pad and inhaling it to refresh and reawaken you!
And we’re done! It might seem like a lot of steps for the whole routine but, if you enjoy making natural skincare products, it really is a lovely way to spend an afternoon whilst also making time for some pampering, and saving your summer skin! If you’re time-limited, you could just try one blend – maybe the mask or the moisturiser - as an addition to your normal skincare routine. Enjoy what's left of this lovely season – just don’t forget to care for your post-summer skin, naturally!
Guest Blogger & Consultant Aromatherapist