Monday, April 15, 2013

All Natural Skin Care that Won't Break the Bank!

About 8 months ago, I embarked on a journey to find some new, all natural face products that would not only improve my skin but also save me money.  For years, I'd been using the Exfoliating Cleanser (powder form) and the Purely Nourishing Moisturizer for Combination Skin by bareMinerals.  Occasionally, I would try other products but my sensitive skin would react and back to bareMinerals I would go.  While it was expensive, I didn't feel like I had much of a choice....either dish out the cash for these products or go around with rashy, itchy, broken-out skin.  And who wants to do that?   But then I was introduced to the world of natural oils and wonderful line of natural soaps and I am in love!  :-)

Several of you have inquired about my new skin care routine so I thought I'd do a little mini-series on the products I've tried and perhaps you'll find something helpful that you can incorporate into your skin care routine.

Part 1 ~ Cleanser

Normally, I'm not one that gravitates towards a "bar soap".  However, I heard some great things about the Nubian Heritage brand of soaps so I decided to check them out.   What I found was that Nubian Heritage has a plethora of soaps with varying ingredients that address a wide range of skin concerns.   Their soaps are made with simple, natural ingredients and they are available at an unbelievably low price....around $3 each!  Over the course of the last eight months, I've tried four varieties and here's my quick take on each one:


*African Black Soap with Oats, Aloe and Vitamin E*
Product label says: "Combines shea butter's healing and hydrating properties with the ancient medicinal properties of palm ash, plantain peel, tar and tamarind to balance and resolve problem skin.  Our deep cleansing formula aids exfoliation and promotes new cell growth to reveal radiant, fresh, even and healthy-looking skin."

My Quick Take:  It seemed to help draw out the impurities in my skin but I did find it to be a little drying.  If you have oily, blemish-proned skin, this might be a good one to try. Be aware that the soap is black in color so you'll have to rinse out your soap dish and sink often as it leaves behind a gray residue.

 *Honey and Black Seed Soap with Apricot Oil and Wild Honey*
 Product label says: "The traditional use of Black Seed oil on the skin to strengthen the immune system, prevent external infections and increase blood circulation has been updated in a gentle exfoliating cleanser made with black seeds, conditioning honey, healing shea butter and softening apricot oil."

My Quick Take:  This was my go-to soap for most of the winter.  I found it was the perfect balance of moisture for my combo skin. I actually used up an entire bar of this and have repurchased....definitely a favorite!

*Coconut and Papaya Soap with Vanilla Bean*
Product label says: "This nourishing coconut oil soap made with rich tropical ingredients high in vitamins, minerals and fatty acids aids in collagen production while helping to improve skin tone, vanilla beans gently buff skin as papaya's gentle enzymatic action exfoliates and helps renew.  Shea butter and coconut oil rehydrate skin helping improve suppleness and protect against moisture loss."

My Quick Take:  With the change of seasons from winter to spring, I started using this soap and am enjoying it.  It smells AMAZING and again seems to have the perfect balance of moisture for my skin.  I definitely feel a slightly more "firming" affect than with the Honey and Black Seed...my face doesn't feel dry but just a little "tighter".

 *Carrot and Pomegranate Soap with Calendula Extract and Cranberries*
Product label says:  "Nutrient-rich carrot seed oil, ground pomegranate and cranberry seeds are blended into our moisturizing carrot and pomegranate shea butter-based soap.  Vitamins A, E and F and minerals help feed the skin, clear pores, improve skin tone and rejuvenate mature and dull skin.  Calendula extract's powerful anti-inflammatory properties help subdue and alleviate skin irritation."

My Quick Take:  I've tried this a few times but it seems to be more drying on my skin than the others.  I plan to give this another try during the hot summer months when the weather isn't quite so dry.  There's a bit of a floral scent to this soap that isn't my favorite but it's tolerable :-)

While these soaps can also be used on the body, I used them exclusively on my face and found that one bar lasted approximately 6 months...
 
...now that's what I call a good value for the money!   

One thing also to note is that all of these soaps are naturally, highly fragrant and the scent varies according to the essential oils and other ingredients incorporated into each individual soap.

Where to Buy:  VitaCost, Vitamin Shoppe
*You may also be able to find these at your local health food store but they may be more expensive.  VitaCost has the best prices and you can get $10 off your first purchase here:  Vitacost
Sign up and pass on the savings to friends and family!

Come back tomorrow for Part 2 ~ DIY Toner

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