I don't usually talk about beauty, but in the past year or so, a good portion of my products have become handmade, so that fits, right?
I don't have what one would call "good" skin. I think I got my first zit when I was about 13, and still get them to this day. That's 15 years of zits. I had resigned myself to this lifetime sentence (seriously, adult acne never ends), when my friend Liz recommended a completely natural skincare routine - The Oil Cleansing Method - which was recommended by her friend, Louise*.
As soon as Liz said the magic words, "No more blackheads," I was sold. I went to Whole Foods the next day and bought Castor Oil (the cleansing oil), Jojoba Oil (the moisturizing oil) and one of those little blue bottles. I mixed three parts Jojoba Oil to one part Castor Oil, and I've never looked back.
So you might be thinking, "Gross, you wash your oily face with oil?" The principal at work here is that oil actually dissolves oil. Crunchy Betty wrote a really detailed post on OCM here, and Louise has detailed instructions here. I also use a spot of Trader Joe's Tea Tree oil on especially troublesome blemishes, and use Bariani Face & Body Cream (made only from olive oil & beeswax) to take care of any dryness. The beauty of this system is that you can tweak your mixture until you find something that is perfect for your skin.
Yes, there is an alpaca in my bathroom. And that deodorant is a topic for another day!
*So what if you want to try OCM, but don't want to go to all the hassle of figuring out which oils are best, etc? Louise can help! She just opened her own etsy shop full of homemade beauty goodness: Brandylou Body Care. She is offering 30% off to readers of Under the Red Umbrella; just use the code BRANDYWHO at checkout. I just ordered the Sunflower Face Oil, and have used the Save Your Body Balm for months. It's good stuff!