A Health-Conscious Mom's Affordable, DIY Clean Skincare Routine

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It took me a while to fully embrace clean skin care and beauty products as an important part of what healthy living means to me. I didn’t fully understand the negative health consequences that mainstream skin care and beauty products can have until I was well into my adult years. I made some small changes while I was pregnant with my son but truly it took struggling through a bout of health anxiety after my miscarriage to spur me to do the research I needed to do and fully replace my old products with cleaner alternatives. I wouldn’t wish that kind of anxiety about one’s health on anybody - but the plus side is that I now have a healthier skin care routine.

Now, I’m still learning myself and every single product that I use is not 100% chemical free (although I am working towards that goal). However, I’ve made many positive changes that I want to share with you because clean skin care doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive to be effective - and as someone who used to suffer from regular breakouts I don’t say that lightly! Brands like Beautycounter are great and I love their mission - but truthfully using several products in a line like that isn’t in my budget, nor do I think it’s necessary. In fact, you probably already have most of the ingredients I use in your house already. Read on for my daily skin care routine, much of which is dirt cheap and you can DIY!

My Daily Skin Care Routine

Step 1: Wash face with water. Yes, you read that right. I only use water to cleanse my face - no fancy cleansers. It may seem odd to use no products, but truthfully you don’t need them. This is especially true for those of us who have sensitive skin. Whether it’s in the morning or while getting ready for bed, I simply use a washcloth and warm water to gently wash my face.

Step 2: Eye makeup remover. I make my eye makeup remover myself. Simply combine 1 part olive oil with 3 parts water in a small bottle (I like this one), pour a bit onto a cosmetic pad or your washcloth, and gently remove your eye makeup. This works just as well, if not better, than any store-bought makeup remover I’ve tried and it’s a fraction of the cost. I always have olive oil on hand, so I never run out. If you put too much oil in the mixture, your eyes will be a little bit greasy for a few minutes after using it, but it’s a small price to pay for a clean, affordable product!

Step 3: Toner. Once again, I make this myself using 1 part raw, organic apple cider vinegar and 3 parts water. I apply this to my face using a cosmetic pad to remove any excess dirt. Bonus: Apply cider vinegar has anti-inflamatory properties, which is great for treating pimples.

Step 4. Moisturizer. Here is a hack for you. Instead of a shelling out your hard earned cash for a fancy moisturizer, simply use pure aloe vera gel. I like the Jason brand. It’s super moisturizing, and when you put this on in the morning before your makeup it works as a toner too to keep everything matte throughout the day!

Now, I will say that aloe vera isn’t 100% “clean” (the Jason brand it still contains fragrance, which could contain chemicals, for example), but it’s a darn good alternative to most of the expensive moisturizers you find in the drugstore that have many more harmful ingredients than pure aloe vera gel does.

So, that’s it! It really is simple and inexpensive to maintain an effective, clean beauty routine.

Admittedly, one step I know I’m missing during my morning skin care routine is a good-quality sunscreen. I do use sunscreen when I’m going outside during the summer months, but I also know this is important year round - I just haven’t found a sunscreen that is safe and that I like enough for daily use. This will likely be one area where I choose to invest in a brandname product like Beautycounter. I will report back!

Brittany Van Den Brink is a PhD Candidate and freelance writer living in small-town Ontario with her husband, baby son, and their Golden Retriever, Chevy. She founded Motherhood Her Way to collaborate with other moms as they go through the ups and downs of motherhood. Say hi on Instagram @brittanyvandenbrink.