I grew up with a mum who wasn’t a big fan of luxury brands in general and outrageous make-up in particular. I remember her putting a bit of mascara (with the mouth wide open looking at herself in the mirror, which always cracked me up), a bit of lipstick and… a ton of lip balm.
She has a natural tanned skin, and she looks way younger than she actually is. And she is pretty, so pretty! Mum, I hope I’ll be as pretty as you are when I am fifty-something.
This to say that I did not have a proper make-up education and did not have a model to follow in terms of make-up tips (my dad and my brother didn’t care a second about make-up, obviously 😁 ).
My mum has a ritual – what you would call a daily beauty routine – that is very minimalist. A light touch of make-up in the morning, she always-always-always removes it at night, and then she moisturises before going to bed. That’s it, less is more!
It is certainly how I began to get curious about simple beauty routine and interested in natural beauty. I also remember my very first trip to Morocco at 20, where I discovered amazing natural products that symbolise Moroccan beauty secrets. Just to name a few – which later on have become my faves ♡ – I think of rhassoul clay, argan oil and water rose.
I can easily say that 95% of my everyday beauty products are natural, toxin-free and 100% safe for my body (and for the environment as well by the way). That’s how I have progressively joined the slow cosmetic movement without even noticing it or without being able to put a word on my approach to beauty.
Here are my favourite and essential products, where I explain in a few lines how I use these. If you’d like to start a transition into a natural beauty routine, these products are a pretty good starter.
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💧 1. MACADAMIA OIL
I use it as a make-up remover. I rub a very small amount onto my face and gently massage for about 1 minute. Oils constitute the BEST make-up removers, especially with stubborn waterproof mascara. I personally use macadamia oil from Melrose (and yes, it is suitable for cooking as well, how convenient!). Whatever the brand you get, just make sure it says “100% oil”. It’s even better if you choose it organic. Coconut oil is also a pretty good make-up remover but as said, any oil works well. Give it a try!
🛁 2. ALEPPO SOAP
I’ve been using Aleppo soap for sooooo long.
After removing my make-up, then I wash my face with Aleppo soap and a Konjac sponge. I gently rub, I rinse and boom, my face is clean! It’s also my daily body soap and replaces my shampoo time to time (I find it works well for oily scalp, but not so much for dry hair).
Genuine Aleppo soap is made of 3 ingredients only: bay laurel oil, olive oil and soda. There shouldn’t have any additives or chemicals in the ingredients list. Be careful of counterfeit soaps. It’s getting harder, if not impossible, to find genuine Aleppo soap given the war in Syria. I am currently finishing my last one – after that, I’ll get a new one online.
Oh and the list of its benefits is endless: it is natural, chemical-free, economical, environment-friendly, suits all skin types, heals acne/eczema/psoriasis…
🌹 3. ROSE WATER
Rose water smells deliciously good. In my daily routine, I use it as a tonic lotion right after I have washed and dry my face, and before I moisturise. Rose water is a pretty good cleanser, and helps get rid of dirt remained in skin pores.
Antioxydant, rose water controls oil excess and it is suitable for everyone, that you have dry, oily or combination skin. Simply ensure you choose it organic and 100% pure (no chemicals guaranteed).
💧 4. ARGAN OIL
My number one, the one I discovered about 10 years ago while I was travelling in Morocco. High in Vitamin E, it’s extremely beneficial for our skin as it is anti-acne, anti-wrinkles, and it nourishes dry skin.
I use it almost everyday, at night once my face is clean. Sometimes, I mix it up with carrot oil, especially in spring and summer. It is perfect for face & body, and also for hair when it is used as an overnight mask. Results are great: it nourishes dry hair and give it a bit of shine.
🌵 5. ALOE VERA GEL
There is so much to say about Aloe Vera and its benefits.
Mixed up with a tiny amount (2 drops) of Jojoba oil, I use it on a daily basis on my face. I like to combine Aloe Vera and oil together because that’s how the mixture becomes a fantastic face moisturiser (Aloe Vera by itself is more soothing than hydrating, so definitely perfect to cool skin from sunburns).
Another trick is to use it as an eye gel when you have tired puffy eyes in the morning. The cool effect on the eyes is just so good and in a few seconds only you can feel an immediate soothing sensation. It is meant to be a great natural anti-age for the fine and delicate skin around the eyes.
Always make sure of three things when it comes to buy Aloe Vera in gel: 1. better if it’s organic, 2. it should say ‘pure gel’ and 3. the list of ingredients must begin with Aloe Barbadensis.
The Aloe Vera gel Plunkett’s is the only one I have found so far that is of great quality / good price (I got mine at Chemist Warehouse).
💧 6. JOJOBA OIL
Well in truth… Jojoba oil might be my number one. I have thought for long that oil would leave a greasy film on my skin and that I would not be able to use it as a daily face moisturiser. Scratch that! Bye-bye Avene, Jojoba is my new guy.
In the palm of my hand, I combine a tiny amount (2 drops) of organic Jojoba oil with a bit of organic Aloe Vera and rub it onto my face every morning – just as you would do with a regular cream. And nope, my skin does not get oily at all. Texture (and odour) is amazing and I can apply my make-up as normally.
Now, what if you compare the list of unpronounceable ingredients contained in your moisturiser with the Jojoba alternative?
💆🏽 7. RHASSOUL CLAY
Clay has been part of my life for a long time as well. I like all type of clay but rhassoul remains my favorite. Simply because it has an amazing effect on my skin (and hair). Like argan oil, that’s one of the wonderful products I discovered in Morocco years ago. I love its smell (I know, it’s weird but I’m just so used to it) and its texture. I jungle with rhassoul, green clay and white clay. I try to do at least one face mask a week (or two when I am not being lazy).
The main benefits of a clay mask is that it absorbs the sebum in excess, removes the dead skin cells, and therefore it leaves skin smooth and gives it a natural glow.
Rhassoul is also amazing to cleanse the scalp, that’s how I use it as a shampoo 2-3 times a month. I just mix it up with filtered water, Aloe Vera and a few drops of essential oils (tea-tree, or lavender, or ylang-ylang, or…).
🌱 8. TEA-TREE ESSENTIAL OIL*
It’s my saver of all time. I cannot not have it in my bathroom. Day of bad luck – especially at THAT time of the month – when a nasty spot shows up, I apply with a cotton tip 1 drop of tea-tree on it up to 3 times a day. Oh magic, a few hours later or the day after, it’s gone. When I make a clay mask, I also usually add up to 3 drops in my preparation.
The essential oil of tea-tree is a super powerful anti-bacterial / anti-microbial / antiseptic. Of all my essential oils, if I would have to opt for one only, it’d be this one for sure. Just make sure you choose it pure & organic, always.
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If ever you would like to begin your natural beauty journey, I recommend you to start step-by-step as it can be a bit tough to change from a routine to another in one go.
Start by reading the list of ingredients contained in the mainstream beauty products you daily use, so that you’ll progressively become more and more aware of the chemicals you give to your skin every single day.
The day where your face moisturiser is finished, continue your routine as normal but instead of re-purchasing it, simply replace it by the magical combo Jojoba oil + Aloe Vera and see how you go. 2-3 times a month, make yourself a clay mask (color of the clay – white, pink, green – depends on your skin needs, check it out here) and see how your skin reacts.
Enjoy 😊 xx
*Disclaimer: essential oils should be avoided during pregnancy and placed away from children.