Skincare: Back to Basics (My Top 3 for At-Home Beauty)

So, a little while ago my friend, Jenna, asked me if I had any advice on skincare. After some serious consideration, I sent her an awkwardly long Facebook message (you know, the kind that makes you think, "maybe I should've just called") about my recommendations.

It was then that I realized that despite the fact that I have my go-to products, I also have a few tried-and-true at-home beauty routines that are easy, affordable, and so basic that even the truly beauty-challenged can figure them out! 3 routines, 3 items, all completely accessible anywhere. I learned them all when I was a starving artist, living in a windowless basement apartment in Brooklyn and barely had money to survive. I turned to at-home experimentation to keep myself from going the way of Smigel (from Lord of the Rings, if you didn't knew that, right?)

No ordering online and waiting weeks, no pestering your local beauty shop, no fear of things being constantly sold out...this is some seriously easy beauty. So, here we go!

Baking Soda

This...This is one of my secret weapons. I may have mentioned it in another post early on, but I'll say it again. This stuff is the world's BEST exfoliator.

I find most facial exfoliators to be one of two things: made of rocks & glass (ok, not literally, but close) OR made in such a way that when I apply it I feel a total of 5 to 10 grains of sand in a sea of cream/liquid/gel/what-have-you. The former is so abrasive I might as well take a belt sander to my face. The latter is as effective at exfoliating as sitting on a beach and having someone kick sand in my face in, not effective.

Use it twice a week. Just pour a teaspoon into the palm of your hand, add a tiny bit of water to create a paste and gently apply it to your damp face, massaging it onto your skin in small circular motions. Don't press too hard and try not to get it near the skin of around your eyes. That skin is way too delicate. You don't need to exfoliate it. Rinse and you'll notice an instant difference in the softness and smoothness of your skin.

Note: Do not get it in your eyes...unless you really enjoy the sensation of getting salt in your eye. Hey, everyone has their quirks, right?


I love honey. I eat it and I luxuriate in it. It's tasty on yogurt & blueberries AND amazing as a facial mask. Remove all your make-up and rinse your face with warm water. Then just go to town. If you're in a bath, feel free to spread it on your neck and décolletage as well. Let it sit for as long as you can stand it.

Honey is antibacterial, antioxidant, and hygroscopic (which means it helps retain water.) It works well on all skin types (even sensitive skin) and helps with acne, dryness, oiliness, and gives your skin a real boost. Additionally, you'll notice that honey has a funny way of retaining heat, so your face will feel warm. That's just a fun little effect that happens to also be super relaxing.

Major Perk: If you get some in your mouth, you don't have to get grossed out because,'s just honey. I recently made myself a honey & strawberry mask and, admittedly, ate what didn't make it to my face. IT WAS DELICIOUS.

Oil (Jojoba & Vitamin E to be specific)

Lots of people are afraid of oil, but it's actually awesome. I learned years ago that oil melts oil, so it's a great way to get rid of clogged pores. Giving yourself a nice facial massage with jojoba oil (which is an oil closest to skin's natural oils) will do wonders for your pores.

To add to that, Jojoba oil is stellar at removing make-up. Anything. 20 coats of waterproof mascara. Gobs of lash glue. Intense red lipstick. Just use a little jojoba oil and watch it melt away in seconds. No need to put it on and wait. Just apply, rub gently and tissue away. So, you now have no excuse when you've had a late night and don't want to take your make-up off. Just do it.

I like to apply just a little to my lashes at night after I've washed my face too. It keeps them from breaking. (Not that it matters much since I'm the Faux Lash Master, but I like having eyelashes when I'm not made up.)

And Vitamin E oil is great if you're dealing with super dry skin. When I'm really suffering in the winter time, I'll slather my face in Vitamin E oil before going to bed. Sure, my pillow might get a little gross (luckily, I sleep on my back mostly), but it's worth it. Combine it with your facial moisturizer for extra moisturizing TLC during your angel-like slumber...if you were an oily angel.


So, there ya have it! Not too complicated, right? You can get all of this stuff at your neighborhood health food store and grocery store and it won't make your wallet cry either. (Crying wallets are the worst.) Hope you give 'em a try and if you do, let me know how it goes! I'm curious to see if they work for you as well as they do for me! Happy Friday! xo!

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