Is it time to get back to basics? Check out these single skincare ingredients to bring some simplicity back into your routine.
A regular skincare routine is a great way to keep your skin looking fresh and healthy, and your soul feeling pampered. But sometimes all those lotions and potions and creams can get a little overwhelming.
Not to mention pricey! $$$
If you can relate to any of these, stay tuned:
- Your bathroom cabinet is overflowing with dozens of half-used products,
- Your wallet is feeling the pinch,
- Your expensive products don’t seem to being doing the job anymore,
- And you don’t even know what’s in them!
- Your skin is feeling stripped and sensitive, or
- You just want to SIMPLIFY.
Not only are these single skincare ingredients easy to get your hands on, affordable and simple, they will cleanse and nourish your skin gently.
Mix and match to suit your own skincare needs!
Single skincare ingredients
If you had to simplify your skincare routine down to one step – cleansing would be it. Whether you’re freshening up in the morning, taking your make up off for bed, or just removing the dust and dirt from the day, you can’t have fresh, healthy looking skin without a daily clean.
1. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil may seem an unexpected choice to turn to for your morning scrub, but it is a tried and true product in skincare routines. It’s very mild, so it’s not likely to cause any irritations. (But in saying that, we are all different so test it out on a small area first!). It contains vitamin E, which is great for your skin, and it can help support the protective barrier of the skin.
But does it clean?
Noelle from coconutsandkettlebells.com describes it like this:
Using the principle of “like dissolves like,” the basic concept is this: the natural oil you massage into your skin dissolves the oil that has hardened on your skin with impurities and/or clogged your pores. When you apply steam from a hot wash cloth onto your face, the pores open and the natural oil lifts the dirty oil, which can be easily wiped away. This practice cleans your face, and moisturizes your skin at the same time.Noelle, Coconuts and Kettlebells
And one of the things I love most about this single skincare ingredient, is that because you can use it in so many different ways it’s a really budget friendly option to buy in bulk. Organic, of course 🙂
Just rub a little between your hands and massage it gently into your skin. Once you’ve massaged it in for a few minutes, simply wipe it off with a warm facecloth.
2. Clay (Bentonite)
Clay is perfect when you need a deeper clean. There are actually a number of different clays that are a good addition to your skincare routine, but today we’ll talk about Bentonite.
It is grey clay made from aged volcanic ash, with a very fine consistency. In fact, you’ll notice it’s used in many skin masks and deep cleansing creams in the stores. It is said to have the ability to produce an ‘electric charge’ when mixed with water, allowing it to to absorb toxins. Sounds pretty good right?
Mix it with a little water and paste it on like a face mask. Leave it to dry, and then simply wash off with warm water.
Oats are handy, cheap and probably already in your kitchen cupboard! Again, you’ll often see oats as a base for homemade scrubs, like these quick two-ingredient oatmeal scrubs from Kari at getinspiredeveryday.com. But using oats on their own, you still get all the benefits!
Oats can absorb the excess oils from your pores and they contain saponins, a naturally occurring cleansing agent, which also helps to lift dirt from your skin. And they work great as a natural exfoliate, brushing off any dead skin cells.
Just take a couple of tablespoons of oats and grind them down into a rough powder. If you plan to use this once or twice a week, you can keep it a little rough. But if you’re looking for a daily scrub grind the oats a bit finer. Mix with enough water to make a paste, and then rub it gently onto your face, building it up till you have fully covered your face evenly. Leave it on for 15 or 20 minutes, then rinse off again with warm water.
4. Konjac Sponge
First, let’s start with “what is a konjac sponge”?
It’s actually taken from the root of the konjac plant, a root vegetable grown in Asia. It’s most commonly used as a food product, ground down to a flour to make noodles, or used in jellies. And has even been said to help with weight loss. But we’re not gonna eat it!
You’ll find these sponges in department stores, pharmacies, or you can order your konjac sponge online at Amazon, and each one lasts for 1-3 months (they kind of start to fall apart when they are ready to be replaced).
Just moisten the sponge and rub in it circular motions over your face. It doesn’t need to be hard, just a gentle pressure. You can use a cleanser with it; either pour a little directly onto your sponge or rub your cleanser onto your face first and then use the sponge over top. But you definitely don’t need to. Your skin will feel clean and fresh without it too.
Konjac sponges will go hard as they dry out, which is totally normally. Just make sure you soak it in plenty of water before you use it on your face, it should feel soft and squishy.
Toning is one of those steps that some people swear by, others can take it or leave it. It certainly isn’t a step I’ve always been committed to, but it does help your skin look fresher and more dewy.
It encourages blood flow to the skin and prepares your skin better for the all-important next step – moisturising.
I am super excited about this one! I’ve only just discovered it recently (thanks YouTube for your recommendations!) and I L.O.V.E it.
Single skincare ingredients don’t get more simple than this – an ice cube, to stimulate and tone your skin. I use an ice cube after cleansing, and before moisturising, but according to Vogue you can also use it after applying a serum to help draw the serum deeper into your pores.
Here’s how to use it. Take an ice cube out of your freezer and leave it for a few minutes to begin to melt. It should look shiny and wet, rather than that frosty “I’ll stick to anything” look. You don’t want it to feel like it’s dragging your skin, that can just damage it! Then simple rub it in circles around your face, including your jaw line. Focus particularly where you feel you have enlarged pores, as the ice cube melts away.
It only takes a few minutes and then you can just pat down your face and it’s ready for your moisturiser.
Side note: If you’ve ever tried the Wim Hof method of freezing cold showers to activate your brown fat cells to lose weight and can’t handle it (like me!), this feels a bit like you’re at least doing it for your face. I’ll let you know in another few weeks if my face starts to slims down!
6. Rose Water
The use of rose water can be traced back to ancient Greek and Roman times, and has a multitude of uses. Rose water has been used medicinally, nutritionally and, probably most well known, added to perfumes.
Rose water can be used as a gentle, calming toning water. It is a very mild astringent and comes with a heap of benefits, such as removing any traces of your cleanser, tightening pores, minimising wrinkles and strengthening skin cells.
You can splash it on your face, dab it on with a cotton ball, or put it in a spray bottle for an easy mist you can use throughout the day.
7. Witch Hazel
Witch Hazel is made similar to rose water, but instead uses the petals of the witch hazel plant. A number of studies have been undertaken to assess the effectiveness of Witch Hazel on the skin, and have shown that it can reduce inflammation, erythema (the reddening of the skin caused by injury or irritation) and provide relief for sensitive skin.
Use it in the same way as you would rose water. Splash it on your face, or use a spray bottle to mist it on.
You probably don’t need me to tell you why moisturising is such an important step in your skincare routine. In today’s busy life, skin has a lot more to deal with than it used to! Pollution and air conditioning are two of the worst culprits. So even more reason to nourish and protect it.
8. Shea Butter
Shea butter is the fatty component extracted from the nuts of the Shea Tree. It has all of those good anti- components that we like, anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidants.
It’s very protective for your skin, and supports skin regeneration too. All those things that your expensive off-the-shelf products are promising you. In fact, healthline.com lists 22 benefits of using Shea butter!
Because Shea butter is so gentle you can use it just as much on your face as you do the rest of your body and scalp, so you don’t need to purchasing multiple moisturises. Which is what you really want from your single skincare ingredients – versatility. 🙂
9. Almond Oil
Almond oil is extracted from the seed (not a nut – I have just learnt that this minute!) of the almond fruit. Almond oil has all those good fatty acids, as well as Vitamin E, and it helps the skin retain its moisture.
Although it is oily, it absorbs very quickly into the skin and it doesn’t leave an oily feel behind.
Just like Shea butter it is a good all-in-one moisturiser, so you don’t need to purchase multiple body/face/eye/day/night creams.
10. Aloe Vera
Aloe Vera is best known for it’s protective and healing properties – it’s definitely the best medicine for when you’ve had too much sun.
It can be used as a moisturiser to help soften skin, minimise wrinkles and keep the skin hydrated and protected all day. And it’s great as an after-shave gel to calm irritated skin. If you don’t like the smell or thickness of the Shea butter, and oils are too… well, oily, Aloe Vera might just be your perfect match.
Did you know you can use Aloe Vera gel as a toothpaste? And if you really want to get back to basics, you can grow your own Aloe Vera at home and just break off a leaf when you need some.
A little extra help
11. Tea tree oil
There are a lot of different ways you can use essential oils in your skincare routine. Both for taking extra care of your skin and adding a delicious scent. But most of essential oils you do need to dilute and/or mix in with your cleanser or moisturiser.
Tea tree oil is the exception. Tea tree oil comes from the leaves of Melaleuca alternifolia, and has anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties, as well as promotes healing of the skin. So it’s perfect for dealing with those annoying spots as they pop up.
You do want to use it sparingly, but a little dot of tea tree oil on an upcoming pimple can do wonders!
There you have it! Ten single skincare ingredients to simplify your daily routine.
I hope that you are inspired to try one or two of these a go. And if you already do, you might be encouraged to add another single skincare ingredient into your routine.
The fact that you can also eat almost everything on the list, really shows how gentle and non-toxic they really are. Can you say that about your shop bought, fancy pants skincare products? How would you feel about smearing some of that on your breakfast toast? 😉
Let me know in the comments below if you try one of these, or you have other favourite ‘single’ skincare ingredients.