I didn’t realize how misinformed I was about skincare until I started practicing a little witchcraft. I thought that apricot scrubs were good, oil was bad, and that cystic acne couldn’t be treated topically. Oh, was I wrong. About a year ago, I befriended a 30 year practicing witch who had about 14 years cosmetology experience at the time. Having just discovered Paganism myself, I constantly bugged her about both subjects. She taught me some basics and I’ve been using them ever since. They really work. And it’s a nice and easy introduction to spells if you’re looking to get into somethin’ spooky.
First things first: Apricot scrubs are TERRIBLE. Any facial scrub that has granules you can see is going to put tiny cuts in your already irritated face and make your acne more susceptible to infection/irritation. She recommended using a mixture of coconut oil and baking soda to make a paste that will very very gently remove dead skin without causing redness. People with rosacea should avoid using any type of scrub, even though this one is very mild. Never exfoliate more than 2-3 times a week, and never ever do it two days in a row. When you’re done, make sure you put as much oil as you can in the trash can- rinsing it off in the sink will clog the drain over time. And remember- the thicker the paste, the more coarse the scrub will be. Scrub using gentle yet wide circular motions, timing yourself at about 60 seconds.
Oil is not bad for your skin! Coconut oil has tiny molecules unlike other oils, so it can penetrate hair and skin better than other oils. Coconut oil is excellent at pulling your natural facial oils out of your pores without stripping moisture. After you use the scrub, use a warm, damp wash cloth to gently wipe away the oil and baking soda. You should always moisturize immediately after cleansing, but I’ve noticed that after using this cleanser my skin doesn’t ususally need it. Besides coconut oil, lavender oil, grapeseed oil, and sweet almond oil are also very good for acne prone skin. Tea tree oil can be diluted heavily and applied to spot treat, but do not use more than once a week in small quantities or it will make your skin itchy and red. Always always always moisturize before putting on makeup by the way!
As for the face masks! I have a face mask recipe that will reduce my pore size by like 80-90%. Seriously. If I used it once a week I’d have perfect skin, but I don’t, so even when my skin is at its worst, this mask still kicks ass. I don’t have exact measurements for everything (or anything really) so please be patient with yourself when making them. But that’s the beauty of this recipe- you can change it to fit your skin problems with a little research and a trip to the health food store. Side note: Do the mask right after you use the scrub. Otherwise it won’t work as well.
The base of the mask is this magical powder called kaolin clay. I buy it in bulk at the health food store and it’s cheap as hell. It’s just a mild clay that turns to putty then hardens in ten minutes. I probably use ¾ cup, maybe even a full cup for a mask. Just depends on how many liquids you want to include. Star out small and add as you go.
After putting a starter amount of clay into a small bowl, I set that aside and start on the liquids. I like to use tea instead of water. I make a teensy amount of hot water then pour it over green tea, rose petals, and calendula petals. Green tea is anti-inflammatory, rose balances pH, and calendula is great for skin. Try to buy organic so you’re not dousing yourself in pesticides. I set these aside to brew. The less water you use, the stronger the tincture, and the less time you need to wait.
I only have a few essential oils, but if you do a little research, it is super easy to pick out some that are good for skin and are non-comodegenetic (won’t clog pores). I take my little bowl of clay and start adding a few drops of lavender oil, a few drops of grapeseed oil, a squirt of sweet almond, and two tiny drops of tea tree. Other options are ylang ylang (good for oily skin), chamomile (very soothing), and clary sage (for reverse aging and puffiness). I would say maybe 5 oils would be a good maximum, just because you need room for the tea.
Add the tea by holding the flowers back with a spoon and pouring tiny little amounts into the clay and oil mixture, stirring frequently so that you don’t get it too thin. You want it the texture of Elmer’s glue. If a few petals get into the mask, that’s fine. Some people add loose green tea leaves to their masks straight up, so whatever’s clever. Then just smear the mask on, avoiding the eye area if you used tea tree oil, and leave it on for about 10 minutes. It will harden so if you want to drink anything you should use a straw, and the mask will flake a bit towards the end, so be aware of that. Once the ten minutes is up, just splash wet water on your face to turn it back to glue texture, then wash off with warm water. This may take a while. Then after you dry your face with a clean towel, check out your pores in the mirror! This is my favorite part because there are patches of my skin when I don’t have visible pores at all, and where I do, they are so much lighter and smaller. The essential oils must penetrate the blackheads or something, I have no idea, but it does what no Biore strips or Clean and Clear scrub have ever done before.
Make sure you moisturize after ! I have really bad acne so I follow up with benzoyl peroxide (doctor’s orders) and a light drugstore moisturizer to keep my pores looking like this as long as possible. I recommend doing this mask once a week at least, but definitely no more that once every three days. And don’t pop pimples! Give these remedies some time and you will see a huge difference.
One more thing: Rose water. I make my own, but it can be bought at $30 a bottle at Sephora. However, I don’t use mine that often because it’s non-organic, so unless you have the hookup on organic roses, you might want to steer clear. Basically all it is is rose tea. I get roses from my boyfriend frequently, so I hang them up to dry thoroughly and then collect the petals in a burlap bag. Once I have a grocery bag’s worth, I toss them in a pot to boil. There are lots of ways to do this online, but mine is very simple. Just bring petals to a soft boil, steep until it’s dark red, then let cool. I store mine in a massive mason jar in the refrigerator. I leave some petals in there to make it stronger, but you can strain them immediately if you like. Definitely strain them before using the water to make you life a little easier.
I use rose water as a toner between cleansing and moisturizing. It’s cool from refrigeration, which calms any puffiness, and it apparently balances pH. Another cool thing about it is it moistens your face right before you moisturize. Lotion doesn’t always add moisture to your skin, it often just retains what moisture you have. So if you moisturize damp skin, you’ll retain more moisture. Seems weird but it works.
The witchcraft comes in where you want it to. I like to put intention in the stirring; meaning I stir right if I want to embrace good vibes and positive outcomes, stir left if I have something negative on my mind that I want to banish. I think there is magic in the herbs and oils themselves so I don’t get too fancy or chant, but it is totally a thing for people to chant while making these kinds of elixirs. Tumblr is full of awesome little rituals! I just tend to keep it simple.
So anyways this is basically everything I know about skincare, and it was all taught to me by a woman in her late thirties that looks like she’s 24. Kudos if you read this entire thing! Seacrest out.