5 Things for March – Skin Food

Each month, I share “5 Things” – a list of the tangible and intangible – the seen and unseen – little bits of inspiration, infusions of greatness and just general goodness. All things that sometimes get lost in the wash or not splashed across social media. The products I feature in these posts are not sponsored, just honest items I’m enjoying. 

Holistic wellness, sustainable style, great food, clean beauty and curated home – as they infuse my life – intersect here.

I’ve been getting a lot of questions the past few weeks about my skin care routine and, frankly, (at the risk of being braggy) I’m not surprised; I’m 43 years old and my skin is better than EVER! A great deal of this I credit to eating a variety of plant foods, changing my diet with the seasons, enjoying regeneratively sourced animal products, and including all Six Flavors in an overwhelming majority of my meals….but having exceptional, thoughtful skin care doesn’t hurt.

I only use a handful of products – enough to complete this months 5 things list. All of them are items that contain ingredients you might find in your common kitchen…because what we put ON us goes IN us. Here are my favorites + the routine I’ve built with them!

1. Wash

Each morning, I have the same self-care routine (called dinacharya in Ayurveda) and one element of that routine is cleansing my face. My dosha calls for a nice balance of gentle cleansing, light moisture and exfoliation, and so the Wonder Valley Olive Oil Cleanser is a luxurious and effective solution. It’s olive oil based and gently washes away impurities. Most mornings, I pair it with a little sprinkle of the Olive + Lotus Leaf Exfoliant to scrub away the night grime. A little bit of this satisfying scrub goes a long way – I only purchase a single jar every two years or so.

2. Moisturize

Because my tridoshic skin requires frequent exfoliation, and because I don’t want to put a weird chemical exfoliant on my skin, I broke down a few years ago and purchased both the Active Botanical Serum and the Active Treatment Essence from Vintner’s Daughter. I haven’t looked back. I use the essence, then the oil, as a double whammy moisturizer; the essence uses botanicals derived from the wine making process to gently and naturally exfoliate my skin and improve my microbiome. These two products replaced a handful of products in my previous skin care regimen (a lotion, an oil, a hydrosol, a cleanser) and so the price was a bit easier to swallow, plus the routine got so much more SIMPLE! I use it morning and evening, and find that I need to buy new bottles of serum about 2x a year, and bottles of essence about 3x a year. If you’re considering a splurge for yourself, this is it.

3. Maintain

After a bike ride, or between face washings I use Thayer’s Witch Hazel Astringent Pads to wipe away dirt and dust that inevitably cause kapha to kick up in my skin, clogging pores. While the products above are tried, true and I can’t imagine life without them, the addition of this step to my routine was really a game changer for my skin. Especially after long bike rides in the summer, I noticed that I would get deep blemishes and never knew why — the vata and pitta forces of sun and wind were causing my skin to produce more sebum, that clogged and congested. Game changer!

4. Refresh

It’s not uncommon for me to take a shower in the middle of the day, between face washings and when I do – especially during the spring and summer, I take the opportunity to layer on a Vitamin C Serum from Ursa Major. It a featherweight moisturizer that helps reduces dark spots + boosts tone. Sometimes, though, I opt for a little spritz of OWay Bio-Rich Water instead. Its a hydrosol infused with essential oils that gives skin, hair and mood a little pick me up. If I’m feeling dry, I’ll add a drop or two of sandalwood-rich Balancing Facial Oil from Surya which benefits the tridosha so it’s friendly for all skin types!