Self-Care via Skin Care

Beauty blogger in the making

Personal beauty and self-care have helped to define who I am. If I were to ask one of my close friends to name a hobby of mine, I can imagine that’d they mention “masking.” I could — and sometime do — spend hours in the cosmetics section of natural grocery stores, having been this way since a child. Early on, I correlated aroma and tactile sensation as extremely valuable components of my life. When I was thirteen and too young to have a conventional job, I made homemade sugar scrubs to sell at my hometown’s farmer’s market. I remember the pleasure and excitement I got from choosing essential oil combinations of sweet orange, lemon, and peppermint. I developed a recipe that held up to my high standards: fair trade raw cane sugar, grape seed and safflower oil, and pure essential oils.


My mother was an “Avon lady” for many years during my childhood, and this contributed to my love for all things personal care. I learned about what my mother’s preferences, as well as her customers’. Avon even had a line designed for young women, and I begged my mom to let me sell the products to my friends. I happily distributed catalogues around town and showed off the goodies, be it a shower gel, lip gloss, or hair product.

Presently, my preferences for beauty products are fine-tuned to fit my skincare needs and ethics. I largely choose organic, limited-chemical, cruelty-free and fair trade products for my face, body, and hair, but I do make exceptions to this. I didn’t grow up with a lot of money, but I understand that investing in high-quality products is much more beneficial for my skin’s health in the long run.

My current facial care routine consists of more or less the following: remove makeup with micellar water or oil-based balm cleanser; wash again with creamy cleanser; tone with witch hazel (currently J.R. Watkins Rose and Aloe Witch Hazel); and follow with an easily absorbable moisturizer (Dr. Jart Water Drop). I have experimented with facial oils, such as pure rose hip oil as well as oil blends, but I am not entirely convinced it’s what my skin needs a this time. However, the Lapis Oil by Herbivore Botanicals is definitely on my list.

As mentioned earlier, I frequently utilize masks, sometimes 2–3 times per week, with Dr. Jart foaming clay masks and the Peter Thomas Roth sulfur mask in my lineup. I do enjoy a good sheet mask, with Dr. Jart and Cremorlab being some of my favorite brands. One product that I have used in the past is the Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Universal Daily peel. It makes such a difference in the texture of my skin, but a month’s supply is almost one-hundred dollars — yikes. My less expensive method of exfoliation is to use Mizon’s Apple Smoothie Peeling Gel, which is so intriguing to use, because in only 3 minutes, it balls up dead skin cells right before your eyes. I’ve learned to back away from any mechanical exfoliants such as nut shells or sugar granules, as they seem to irritate my skin.

I will forever be inspired to continue taking good care of myself and my skin. The question is, how can I do so without dipping too far into my food budget?