Saturday, July 27, 2013

My Inner Hippie Adorns Itself.

Along with a greater interest in small town living and food sourced closer to where I live, another interesting off-shoot of my time in The 'Shire was a changed concept of the natural beauty of women and more specifically, how we choose to adorn ourselves. 

Here in the "Big City", you go anywhere, on any day and the majority of women you will see will be wearing at least some make-up, more than likely have hair which has been highlighted and/or colored, have toe and hand nails painted - that sort of thing. 

In The 'Shire, you would be lucky to find a woman who has done one of the above beauty regiments. Is it the closer relationship to the land around them, or just a simplified beauty aesthetic - I don't really know. All I know is it was different and I really liked it. I truly find it interesting how much time, effort and moola is sunk into one idea of beauty here, when a simpler concept of beauty is the norm there. 

For the last decade or so, I've slowly been going more and more "hippie" in my choices of crap-I-put-on-my-body: hair products, face stuff, makeup, nail color, etc. I will pay more for items which aren't petroleum based, which have derivatives of fruits, veggies, etc. Am I sucker? Maybe, but honestly, I think this crap makes me look and feel better so whatevs. 

Having recently rediscovered the miracle that is coconut oil, I decided to try a few things. I have already posted how-to make the hippie deo I've been using and will give an update on that in another post. 

You will recall, dear reader, that I have no problem saying I am lazy. It should then come as no surprise that in the evening, the idea of busting out a washcloth & facial cleanser to clean my face is way.too.much.trouble. I've been buying the Yes To line of facial cleansing cloths. I like the blueberry & cucumber ones and Spouse likes the tomato ones. (Shout out to the grapefruit ones which are also really nice, especially in the summer). But honestly, the cloths are really way bigger than they need to be, and were I not lazy, I'd probably cut them in half - but I don't. 

Like the homemade deodorant, I found the initial link on BuzzFeed, then followed to the post on One Good Thing by Jillee for the actual recipe. You can also find more interesting coconut oil uses in a handy and delightful infographic

I took a roll of paper towels and cut it into even(ish) thirds. I used a sharp knife with a serrated edge. May not have been the wisest solution (as you can see from the pile of paper shred on the right) but scissors seemed insufficient for the bulk of the job, although I did use them to cut through the last few layers. 

I removed the cardboard core - which was easy once it was a smaller section. Below you see just one removed because I only used one of the thirds in this portion of the project. (The other two, I stuck back in a plastic bag for later, when I'm running low).

Next, I decided to separate the individual cloths off of the roll and created a nice pile of them.

I folded each of the sheets in half and put them in my sanitized, square glass container (freshly washed in a hot dishwasher & hand-dried with a full-size paper towels). My container is 4 cups of so and the half-folded sheets fit really nicely in it. 

I decided to go with distilled water and again, the Spectrum Expeller Pressed Organic, Unrefined Virgin (heh heh) Coconut Oil  as well as rose oil. Color me an 80+-year-old woman but I really like the faint scent of real rose oil. It's just very nice and soothing to my wee soul. 

I took a 4 cup pyrex measuring cup (more for the nice spout feature) and poured in about 3 cups of the distilled water and heated in my microwave until it was warm but not boiling. Just enough, mainly so the 2ish soup spoon sized dollops of coconut oil melted, then I stirred it together until I felt the oil and water were mixed nicely. 

I added enough drops of rose oil that I liked the scent (maybe 25) and again stirred the water so the rose oil was spread throughout. 

I slowly poured the mixture of the distilled water, coconut oil and rose oil over the paper towels and around the sides. Every little bit, I would lightly press down on the paper towels to make sure the mixture was penetrating each layer. 
Towels, without mixture added.
Towels, with mixture added (with finger indents where I lightly pressed)
I did pop them in the refrigerator for a few hours before I took them upstairs to my bathroom. Having read the disclaimer on Jillee's blog about some folks reporting icky things growing on cloths after a few weeks and trying to mitigate that from happening. 

Another step I took was adding a few drops of tea tree oil which I keep in my bathroom for blemishes, etc. It is strong enough to basically make the rose scent immutable, but trial and error, eh?

I've been using the cloths for 3 weeks now and have to say, I am very pleased with the results.

I have sensitive skin that tends toward normal to dry, with light blackhead coverage on my nose and under my bottom lip. I don't break out a lot but when I do, it's hormonally related, and of late, on my chin mainly. I have seen a decrease in the blackhead coverage and while I did have a small blemish, it came and went quickly and without becoming a hot mess on my face. My skin seems very soft without being oily.

I'm actually glad I didn't use the full four cups of water, like Jillee did, because there is enough liquid that they are saturated to the point that I have been lightly wringing them a bit when I fish one out at night (but not so much that it's slimy and gross). But I also cut the paper towels into thirds, and she cut hers in half, and the size is perfect (for my taste). 

One thing I've noticed is the cloths stay cool like the commercial brands, which is just really refreshing, especially this time of year <summer>. For whatever reason, I have also been using these more frequently than the commercial brands. I tended to just use the commercial ones right before bed-time (occasionally also when my face felt like it needed to be refreshed). Perhaps because it is summer and we had a spate of 3H weather (Hot, Humid, Hellish), but I've been using one when I get home from work, then another at bed-time. On the weekends, I've been using one when I wake up too (especially if I don't shower right away).

All in all, I am claiming success on this project. The batch made 62 cloths (I think - bad Jennifer, I can't remember actual number) so my very rough guesstimate on cost is less then $2.00 for the whole batch so that's about $.03/cloth, and took maybe 15 minutes from total start to when I put them in the frig to chill out for a bit. Plus I already have all of the ingredients to easily make another two batches. Sweet. 

The Yes To cloths retail for $5.99 for 25 or 30, which is $.24/cloth or $.19/cloth. 

What does your face cleaning regimen include? 
Have you switched it up either based on changes to your skin or the weather 
- or label reading? 
What are the beauty norms where you live? <I really am curious about it>

Smell ya later, peeps. Unless you are using my deodorant concoction and then I probably won't. See how funny I am?

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