I'm on a roll today. The good thing about taking baby steps is it leaves you wanting to take more, instead of feeling totally overwhelmed by a whole massive lifeplan.
I've been thinking about skincare. I've always been a bit against putting chemicals on my skin ever since I read that 60% of what you put on gets absorbed into your blood stream. That can't be a good thing.
I don't wear make-up either. Another weird thing about me. If I am going out somewhere, then I'll put on some eyeliner and a bit of mascara, and I have been known to splodge some concealer on a particularly bad spot. Otherwise nothing. I absolutely hate the feel of any sort of foundation or powder on my skin. It feels clogged and as if it is covering up the real me. I'm sure I would look a thousand times more beautiful with a full face of make-up, but hey, it's the way I am.
I do have blemish-prone skin though which I keep in check with a blackhead clearing cleanser, a scrub that I use every morning, and a mild facial wash to follow. I never moisturise - hate the feel, and again, I don't like the thought of my skin absorbing all those chemicals.
I'm also very lazy when it comes to beauty regimes (for lazy, read 'too shattered to care most of the time). My job as a teaching assistant means I have my hands in water and paint a lot, so nice nails and soft skin are a bit of a fantasy for me, and I tend not to bother with my hands overly much. Which has a knock-on effect of me not wanting to wear nail varnish or jewellery, because I don't want to draw attention to my manky hands.
As for my feet....horses' hooves extraordinaire! I have been blessed with very small, dainty feet, but after 3 years travelling Australia mostly in bare feet (it's an Australian thing!) they never recovered. In fairness, I don't try very hard with them either. I have several foot files, but I think an industrial sander would be more suited to the job!
Very occasionally I will make a big effort and make my own body scrub - olive oil, sea salt and lavender oil. It works wonders and leaves skin delectably soft, but these days I am pooped by the time bathtime comes around, my son is generally shrieking in the next room, and I just can't be bothered to scrub the bath tub out every night.
Lazy lazy lazy. Must try harder.
Anyway. I have been wanting to replace my skincare regime with something more natural, so have been researching organic and natural skincare companies. I love Neal's Yard Remedies, but oh so pricey for me at the moment, so I dug out this book which I have had for years...
Liz Earle's skincare range can be found in the more classy department stores. I tried it for a while a few years ago. It's nice, but still contains too many chemicals for me to feel comfortable with. This book gives recipes for homemade cleansers etc, using everyday ingredients, so I might give it a go.
I bought some organic, chemical free tea-tree soap today which I'm going to try with a soft flannel to replace my chemical-rich facial wash and separate scrub. The soap cost £1.56, compared with nearly £10 for the wash and the cleanser. If it works, then I've saved all that money aswell!
I found a recipe on Pinterest for clearing blackheads too - a little honey drizzled onto half a lemon, rubbed onto the face, left for a few minutes, then rinsed off. Apparently the results are visible immediately. In Liz Earle's book, she has a similar recipe - just honey smoothed onto the face and massaged in with a little hot water....must be some truth in it then! Sounds like a therapeutic exercise for bathtime! Will monitor the results after I've bought some organic honey!
So that leaves moisturising. I'm sure I should be doing something about that at my age. A few months ago I bought some organic rose-oil serum, which I used a couple of times after my bath. I wasn't convinced that it didn't clog my skin, and it felt a bit stingy, but hey, I only used it twice, so not a fair test really. Must give that another go and see if it makes me look ten years younger in a few months!