Sunday, March 16, 2014

Current Skin Care Routine

I have been getting a lot of questions about my skincare routine. I used to have a minimalist approach to skin care - oils for cleaning and removing makeup and oils or organic creams during the day; or plain bare skin during the day and night. Jojoba oil (actually a wax) used to be my favorite make up remover and I still recommend it for anyone with an acne prone skin. I actually purposely avoided "packaged products" for years.  Nowadays I find I need a bit more than that. I live in a sunny and dry city year round and my skin gets a lot of beating form the sun and dry weather. I am still on the fence about most sunblocks. There is a lot of evidence that there are carcinogenic effects from certain sunblocks as well as some studies have shown that sunblocks do not protect from skin cancer and have a skin damaging effect. "Malignant melanoma has been found more frequently in sunscreen users compared to non-users in some studies." source
"Sunscreen ingredients can damage DNA" source
 If I am going to be in the sun I will wear something like a Larenim face powder or a more natural sunblock such as Dr. Hauschka, but as a whole sunblocks are not a part of my routine. Zinc Oxide and physical blocks are a better choice. The one thing I have been consistent about has been to make sure that I get greens, fruits and veggies in my diet because antioxidants in the diet can and do have sun protective effects on the skin. In addition greens are essential if you need to build muscle, support the right bacterial flora in your gut and maintain proper mineral balance; as an added benefit the carotenes in greens and orange colored produce give you a nicer skin tone. I did notice a huge change in my skin tone when I switched to a "Rainbow color" diet. As a teenager my skin was very pale.
A good thing to know is that citrus (excluding limes), greens and buckwheat in your diet can protect your skin from sun damage from within. photo-protective properties of buckwheat SOURCE

My morning skin care routine RIGHT NOW:
I do not use a face wash in the morning. I find it to be drying, harsh and unnecessary for my skin type. (my face skin is normal and the skin on my body can get dry if I take long hot showers so I try to keep that to a minimum and I stick to quick showers. I also use a shower filter!!)
I wash my face in the morning with water and some days I do a mask or a sheet mask.


SIBU Purifying Mask 

SIBU BEAUTY is a skin care line based on Sea buckthorn extract and oil.

Or a homemade DIY vitamin C mask that is very potent and effective. Recipe HERE 
You DO NOT need to buy masks at the store. Honey, coconut oil, olive oil, tomatoes, green tea powder, clay, potatoes, etc are all wonderful ingredients for a homemade mask.

 Followed by a face serum- Lumene Time Freeze Serum (right now) - It's very light, absorbs into my skin within seconds and it doesn't leave an oily film. The downside is that it has a fragrance but I am OK with it considering I love the serum that much. (USUALLY PRODUCTS WITH FRAGRANCES ARE CHEMICALLY DERIVED IN THE LAB AND TEND TO HAVE A LOWER RATING ON SKINDEEP.COM
Keep in mind this serum may not be good for dry skin. Lumene is not an expensive brand but it is cruelty free and I like it more than some of the fancy organic brands that I have tried. Most creams make me look oily and I end up avoiding them so this serum is light as if I didn't put anything on yet I feel it is very moisturizing.
LUMENE is a Finish Skin Care line that uses a lot of arctic berries and plants in their ingredients.  The products are also vegan friendly. 

I am currently adding a few drops of Carrot Seed Essential Oil (therapeutic grade) to my face creams and serums. It has an anti-ageing, anti-wrinkle effect. Great for dry skin, irritated skin. It can soothe rashes and eczema. It can lighten liver spots and if taken internally it has a diuretic and a liver cleansing effect. I am using it to boost my store-bought creams and serums. 

The second bottle of Lumene is being re-used for a Vitamin C serum and treatment that I make.   

Night time routine currently:
I take my make up off with Sea Buckthorn oil or a creamy make up remover. No brand worth mentioning here. Oils do just fine. Sometimes I use make up removing pads or a creamy soap after the oil cleansing to get the remains of the mascara off. 
Sea Buckthorn oil is a favorite of mine. I learned about it years ago from Tonya Zavasta- a gorgeous raw food and beauty author.  The oil is bright orange and that's part of why it is so good for your skin. However it will stain your sink :) 


The color does absorb into your skin so if you just put a drop on your skin it will not stain your face. 
As a night time cream I am either using a heavier moisturizer or pure Argan oil, Rose hip oil, Shea butter that I order from Mountain Rose Herbs


Thats my daily routine. Other honorable mentions are face brushing to exfoliate and improve circulation, jade stone massager, dermaroller, microdermabrasion and glycolic acid.

I am not using self tanners often but I do have a few by Lavera, Alba Botanica, etc. 
I use Alverde deodorant (not skin care but worth mentioning for the European readers that have access to this brand) 

Angelica Essential Oil for breast massage. It has hormone regulating properties and overall a good thing to add to your health care routine. 

Lavera tanner, angelica essential oil, Alverde deodorant. 
Although this is not related to skin care I have to mention this blush.  I have tried most of Larenim's blushes and this is hands down is the prettiest blush I have ever tried. It's very light and seamless yet it makes a huge difference.
Larenim Angel's
Let me know if you have any questions. And PLEASE do share things that work for you! 



  1. I love the fact that the products you use are never too fancy, brand-related. Just simple basic good products, the best!


    1. yeah sometimes pure oils and concentrated ingredients are more effective :D

  2. Loved your post today, here is too dificult to take care of my skin, its tooooo hoooot.. ahaha almost always sweating. and I have already some problems with acne, I do have some scar tissues too. Today I try to keep it dry and use some sunscreen and at night I sleep with Rosa Aff Rubiginosa oil on my face. I like it. ahaha

    1. haha you have almost the opposite problem with the weather :D i think this oil is rose hip oil. right? rose hip oil is lovely <3

  3. your post is very nice and benificial.yoou told that suncreen lotions are harmful,,but here some of the ingredients that u told as food which acts as sunscreen to protect our face or something are not available,is there any other preferable way ,,or u suggest any other sunscreen that dont cause any damage to skin.

    1. zinc oxide is not toxic. avoid nano sunscreens. orange and green colored produce is helpful. <3

  4. Thank you so much for this post Ali. I'm fascinated about natural and effective beauty products and I'm also always curious about what others do for their skin.
    You have an amazing skin and thanks for sharing your beauty regimen.
    You are a living testimony that a beautiful skin does not need to break your bank account.
    I'm looking for a good night and day moisturizer that is hydrating, nourishing, that does not sting the eyes and is without parabens. I'll check out some of the products you suggested.
    My concern is mainly my eye area. I have dark circles and puffy eyes and don't know what to use. But it looks like you don't particularly use a separate eye cream?

    1. thank you. make sure its not a dietary deficiency or sensitivity. as far as eye creams go i have tried different ones. some better than others. dark circles and puffiness respond to vitamin k and caffeine so get something that contains that. vitamin e is good too. let me know if you stumble across something good :) love

    2. also check out the comment below yours. Laura has soon good tips :)

  5. Hi Ali, I wanted to share with Anonymous that I use camomile tea bags to sooth puffy eyes. My husband is a chemical engineer and put me on the right path about "beauty" products years ago. Good skin comes from the inside. A healthy diet, full of fresh fruits and vegetables, is your first and best defense. I clean my skin with a semi-course washcloth dipped in either coconut oil, cocoa butter, or shea butter...I use a different one each day. I moisturize with argon oil as it absorbs quickly and doesn't leave an oily film. Some people like Emu or avocado oil. If I am going to be outside I follow the argon oil (after allowing it to absorb on it's own for about five minutes) with coconut oil as a natural sunscreen. I use a tinted moisturizer as a foundation. My local natural health store have a number of good, inexpensive tinted moisturizers...I really like Derma-E products. I am blonde with frecked skin so I am carefull with the sun. I live in Southern California...lots of sun. One of my favorite protections...HATS ...very fun...very effective. I usually don't tell on my self, but I am bumping up on 60. My skin is still smooth and mostly unlined. I have a smooth, unlined neck...I have some a few light expression lines...I only say this because I want to stress the value of a a great diet, plenty of clean, clear fluids, stress management, and strenuous and consistent exercise...Clean, healthy living. I don't care how much one pays for a magic elixir in a bottle...there is no magic elixir!...The manufacturer is making the "magic" by robbing you with your okay! Also, I think that being happy with yourself at any given time in life makes a big difference. When a person starts obsessing over appearance, sometimes having radical procedures, it takes it's toll. We are about so much more than appearance. When we are happy with the person we are, it shows, and it beautiful. My friend Jean Claire is in her 90s and feels beautiful...and so, she is...very beautiful. Life, love, be happy...the very best beauty regimen!

    1. ah great great tips. i have done the coarse wash cloth on and off for a while. the sonic brush or a firm brush too. but right now i stopped for some reason. well, the sonic brush died... :) avocado oil is great and a lighter oil. yes yes yes we have to be confident and love ourselves no matter what. its called unconditional love hehe GREAT TIPS. would love to hear more :) love

  6. Thank you Ali and Laura for the tips. I'm the anonymous above. Where do I get the semi coarse washcloth? What material is it made of? Are they disposable? I'll be sure to get the chamomille tea for the eye bags. I'm a premed student so I tend to be sleep deprived due to long hours of studying.

  7. You're welcome Anon...It's funny, but for me anyway, semi course washcloths are the inexpensive you would buy in a $2.00 bundle at Target or Walmart. The more expensive ones are too soft. I always buy white because 1. you can better monitor what you're sloughing off your face and, 2.They don't have dye in them. Don't use fabric softener when you wash them. I dab my coconut , or other oil, on the corner and gently rub, using a circular motion. Just keep moving about on the cloth to a clean spot until you are done. I wash the washcloths with an unscented detergent for sensitive Dreft, to avoid irritation (I have a lot of allergies). The clothes and brushes Ali and I use are not overly abrasive. Don't use a loofah, for example...You definitely don't want to damage the sensitive skin on your face. Also, avoid sensitive areas like around the eyes and the neck. Just massage the oil in gently with the fingers in these areas, and the "dab" off the excess oil and such with your cloth or a bit of cotton. I did a bit of research for you, Anon., on dark under-eye circles. I have an Italian friend named Kathy who is quite dark under the eyes. She has success with grapefruit extract diluted (50/50) with a gentle oil like almond, avocado, coconut, etc. (Me, I think the darkness makes her look mysterious and sexy)! I love the camomile teabags though. They are so soothing...They help reduce puffiness and also, make you feel refreshed. Wet them and then store them in the refrigerator so they will be cool when you use them...heaven...I did my doctorate while raising teens...I hear you when you say you're sleep deprived. It took me a goodly amount of time , after graduating, to be able to pick up a book without passing out cold! I hope this helps a little. I found that ginseng tea (mouth to belly) gave me extra energy without the wired buzz of too much coffee...which ends up backfiring after a long day....exhausted and too wired to sleep. Ginseng works in a mysterious way...It gives you energy while keeping you calm?!..very mysterious, but effective. Good luck to you and wow! to you as well on the premed...way to go!

  8. 3 Researches SHOW Why Coconut Oil Kills Fat.

    The meaning of this is that you literally kill fat by eating coconut fats (in addition to coconut milk, coconut cream and coconut oil).

    These 3 researches from big medicinal journals are sure to turn the traditional nutrition world around!

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