I think that it may be no coincidence that the beginning of the school year marks for me the change in my skincare routine. During the summer my face tends to be on the oily side (yet still dry-weird) but the other three seasons I have pretty dry skin that requires a very different routine. This summer I was using a Burt's Bees soap bark and chamomile cleanser that I adore. It is creamy but really gets all the sweat and grime off my face.
But here comes the fall and my skin is starting to get a little crazy. It's dr;, it breaks out because it is too dry; the eczema starts popping up. Many years ago I was given an aromatherapy book which has recipes for a range of products, including facial cleansers. I started using this one then and every fall, winter and spring I go right back to it.
I go to my local natural foods store...mine happens to be Whole Foods though we have a nice new Trader Joe's too! I have a glass dropper bottle that I bought there and I fill it with oil. I have tried different ones but most recently I used sweet almond oil. I add a couple drops of essential oils. I adore lavender! I have also used chamomile and rosemary in past years. Different skin types can use different kinds to help their particular issues. I gently shake the bottle and voila! My own cleanser that will last me all year from at least September through May.
So here comes the relaxing ritual part. I put a few drops in my clean hands and massage it gently into my face in circles. I then take a wash cloth and rinse it in very warm water and ring it out as much as possible. I then place it on my face and let it sit for a minute (or 2 or 3) and then wipe off the oil. I repeat this maybe one or two more times. By the time I am finished, my make-up and day grime is gone and so is some of my stress. It is just such a wonderfully comforting ritual that I have trouble thinking of something that would work better for me. I think it's great that the timing works out so that I start this when my life starts getting a little hairy.
I think I would be remiss in saying that my bedtime routine takes extraordinarily long. I am such a bathroom dawdler, especially during the school year. It is practically the only private time I have so I take advantage of it and pluck my eyebrows, floss, brush, wash my face...It's my unwinding time.
How do you unwind? Do you have any particularly relaxing rituals?
p.s. I am in no way, shape or form qualified to give advice about essential oils and facial cleansing. :)