For the price of skin care products today, there should be a miracle cure for aging listed in the ingredients. And some do sound like they come from a sorcerer’s pantry: snail elastins, nightingale poop, bee venom, and if you carry your magic wand down 5th Avenue, then La Prairie offers platinum cream for a little over 1K. Or consider, Lancôme’s Absolue L’Extrait Regenerating Ultimate Elixir, a third of the price at $350 for 1.7 ounces. And that’s just for the cream. Working at a skin care counter in my 20’s, I watched the same men and women return to spend phenomenal amounts of their budget on creams and toners, sprays and muds. I’ve remained quietly certain that they were paying for a lovely ideal, and a delicately perfumed meringue in a pretty jar, which if used religiously….will not halt aging, create happiness or make the world right again.
I’m middle aged now. And I’ve been using the same skin care regime for 25 years, which will set you back around $25 every other month or so, depending on your personal needs. I put it together in order to take care of my skin on a students pay. And today I continue to use it because it’s the most effective, available and affordable way of taking care of my skin. After years of enjoying the outdoors, my face skin is still the best part of how I look. While I have a T-zone caucasian skin tone, my friends have also tried this method who are older and younger, fairer and darker skinned, men and women, and they like the results too. If I was a salesman I’d post some juicy quotes from them to convince you. But I’m not a salesman. Or a dermatologist. Enough said.
So what is the Anarchists regime? It’s a skin care regime that despite the continual messages that natural physical beauty is achieved with expensive products, secret ingredients, and procedures, it’s really often available from simple items we already have, patience and perseverance–sort of like a pair of running shoes in the back of our closet. So here it is…
First, I clean my skin the same way I clean my cast iron skillet (Ha), without soap. Yes soap removes dirt and grime, but it also removes the natural oils your body creates to protect your skin against environmental damage. Don’t use soap even if it has a lovely label.
1. Every morning combine about 1/2 a teaspoon of baking soda ($1 per month) with a teaspoon of Cetaphil ($6 per mo.) an oil free, soap free, cleansing cream and stir it in my palm. Then with watery wet fingertips, apply it to your face, scrubbing in gentle circular motions and adding extra mild pressure on dry spots. Then use it on your neck with upward strokes. Rinse with warm water. This is also an excellent makeup remover, leaving your skin soft and smooth. Never put anything grainier than baking soda on your skin, forget the walnut shells or other crackly additions. They will scratch, not exfoliate.
In winter weather or if you have sensitive skin, baking soda may be too harsh. If so, you may work it into a once weekly routine rather than daily. Or not at all. Trust how your skin feels. Also, in the dry weather I’ll reapply moisturizer throughout the day.
2. Then, pat your skin dry and combine one part serious broad spectrum sunscreen to a one part Oil of Olay Regenerist Micro Sculpting Cream (if your over 35. If your not, keep reading.). This will be your big expense of around $20.00 and worth every cent even on a tight budget. Should last 5-6 weeks. I always return to this product because I see the difference. Regarding sunscreen, depending on your taste & location the best sunscreens can vary. I like No-Ad, Blue Lizard & Neutrogena products. And with the higher levels of sun exposure I get, I find that adding my own is more effective than just relying on what’s in the bottle already.
If you’re under 30, you’ll need something milder, I used Original Oil of Olay face cream for years. It’s around $10 a bottle. But DON’T forget the sunscreen or the baking soda.
3. Adding Witch Hazel, an astringent flower extract, as a toner between each cleaning is excellent for acne or over production of oil or removing makeup, though not around the eyes. Any Walgreens will provide basic Thayers witch hazel and they also have totable clothes for cleansing in the middle of the day. I crave Thayers Rose Petal Witch Hazel in the summer.
4. At night, cleanse with Cetaphil but without baking soda unless you’re removing makeup or feel it’s necessary to remove additional natural face oil build up throughout the day.
5. After my mid 30’s, I started putting on a thin layer of Nadinola cream at night followed by Olay’s Regenerist face cream.
I use Nadinola cream to even my skin tone. It has 3% hydroquinone without a prescription and if used once a day it shouldn’t cause discomfort. If it does then discontinue use. I have a few sun spots and developed melasma when I was pregnant which causes skin patches to darken. Over time it worked well to clear up these issues. But you may not need it. Know your skin. However, I don’t recommend it for use in all over skin lightening. My dermatologist had mentioned that it can cause darker skin to lighten to a violet gray, no way.
6. Finally, the fun secret. Skip the expensive face masks or Vitamin C Serum. My idea is more effective, plus The Anarchists Face Mask is best if you eat! Blend up (or mash) whole vitamin C rich fruits, as often as you want, but at least once a week. So use, strawberries, pineapple, kiwis, berries, and greens leafy veggies–what’s in your fridge? Adding an avocado can be great too.These fruits releaseVitamin C directly onto your skin which is a wonderful skin regenerator and antioxidant. The fruit acids are also fantastic for removing dead skin. Or, on a day when your alone try laying the damp side of kiwi skins on skin, wonderful! Make it. Drink it. Spread it on your face. About the time your done eating the rest, it will be time to wash it off and your skin will smile.
Follow these simple and affordable tips. Do it, do it, do it. And be patient. The real secret is sticking to it. After a week you’ll notice a difference. After a month you’re friends will notice a difference. After three months, if your my age, your skin will look like it’s beautifully recovered from a chemical peel,
Let me know how it works for you!
**But as always, be smart about it. If your skin breaks out in a rash or feels uncomfortable discontinue use. While it is mild, this is not a hypoallergenic routine.