When I think about what it means to practice simple beauty, here’s what comes to mind: I want products that are effective, but also all-natural, easy to find, inexpensive, and that work double or triple duty, so that I can get more out of less.
All of these criteria are easier to find than you might think. For the past year or so, my beauty routine has revolved around a few key products that do all of the above, and then some. By sticking to these products, I get all of the aesthetic results that I’m looking for, while still being able to live consciously and leave a minimal footprint.
Here’s what I reach for when I want to be simply beautiful:
If you’re not already familiar with coconut oil, you’ll soon find that it is one the most versatile products out there. This has been a beauty staple of mine for quite some time. Coconut oil has the fats and vitamins needed to truly moisturize, but is light enough to prevent giving that greasy, clogged feeling, even when used during the warmer months. I use extra virgin coconut oil in several parts of my beauty routine.
- Hair: I moisturize my hair with it 3-4 times a week, taking a dime-sized amount in my palms, and applying it to my scalp with my fingertips. I then brush my hair to distribute it throughout. Coconut oil also make a great deep conditioner or oil treatment. I apply a generous amount to my hair, from roots to ends, then cover with a plastic cap. After 30 minutes, I wash it out and then shampoo and condition as usual.
- Face: I use coconut oil to remove my makeup, rubbing it directly onto my face and then using a warm, damp washcloth to remove the makeup and excess oil. Also, unless it’s above 75° F (about 24° C), coconut oil stays in solid form, which make it perfect to carry around and use as a lip balm or cuticle cream.
- Body: Coconut oil makes a perfect overall moisturizer. For added fragrance, I add a few drops of my favorite essential oil to the container.
Apple Cider Vinegar
To be honest, it took some time for me to come around to this one because of its pungent scent and taste. However, after a few times of trying it, I began to see just how amazing raw apple cider vinegar (ACV) actually is. It’s packed with antiseptic and antibacterial properties, making it the ideal choice for cleansing.
- Hair: Every 4-6 weeks, I use ACV to cleanse my scalp, get rid of buildup, and make my hair shinier. I mix ¼ cup ACV with 2 cups water in a cup or bottle. Then, I get in the shower, and pour it through my wet hair starting at the scalp. I let it sit for a three minutes or so and then shampoo and condition like I normally would.
- Face: When I need to purify my skin and get back my glow, I always reach for ACV. I combine it with bentonite clay to create a paste, which I apply after I’ve washed my face. After letting it harden for 15 minutes, I wash it off. ACV also makes a good toner, when diluted with equal parts water.
- Body: I also rely on ACV to help improve my beauty from the inside out. A teaspoon or two added to my drinking water gives me the daily detox I need.
While there are many natural soap options to choose from, castile soap may still be the most well-known of them all.
- Hair: When diluted with purified water (1 tablespoon of castile soap to 2 cups purified water) and followed up with a conditioner, castile soap is a worthy alternative to shampoo. However, be sure to follow it up with an acidic conditioner or rinse, like apple cider vinegar, as it can throw off the pH balance of your hair if you use it too much.
- Face & Body: Because it is a gentle cleanser that doesn’t have any harsh detergents, it works just as well for your face as it does for your body, even for those of us with sensitive skin.
Essential oils are an absolute must-have in my beauty routine, for the wide range of benefits that they provide.
- Hair: I add a few drops of lavender to just about everything, whether I’m doing an apple cider vinegar rinse or shampooing. Not only is it great for scalp health and improving circulation, but the aromatherapy benefits of lavender make it that much better.
- Face: When I need to treat a blemish, I apply a tiny amount of tea tree oil directly to the spot to help dry it out quickly.
- Body: I often create my own scents and fragrances, by mixing my favorite essential oils in a spray bottle with water. Jasmine, vanilla, and (of course) lavender are some of my go-to choices.
What are some of your go-to natural beauty items? Let me know in the comments below!
Pssst – this was a guest post! If you enjoyed it check out Uzy Igweatu, the author of Coming Om. She writes about her journey toward a more intentional life. You can find her at comingom.com.