Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Skin Care | My Skin Care Regimen >> Video

I have a lot of posts on skin care, and many of you have requested I do a video on my actual skin care regimen, so that you can get a better idea of what I do on a day-to-day basis. So here it is! For those of you that are unable to watch the video, here's an outline of what's covered.
A Brief History On My Skin:
I have very oily, sensitive, acne prone skin. The only commercial products that has successfully kept my skin clear and free of blemishes has been Dermalogica brand products [Check this post for more info]. I am no longer using Dermalogica, and have opted for more of a natural regimen which includes Oil Cleansing, Natural Spot Treatments, Facials, & Moisturizers.  
  • Oil Cleansing Removes:
  • Dead Skin Cells
  • Excess Oils
  • Toxins
  • Makeup
My Morning & Night Routine:
  • Apply Oil Cleansing Mixture [60% Castor Oil, 20% Grapeseed Oil, 20% Hazelnut Oil] all over my face, and massage into my skin. This will gently exfoliate, and remove impurities, dead skin, excess oils etc.
  • Place a clean towel under a stream of hot, running water. Lightly wring towel, and drape it over entire face until cool. This opens your pores [and gives you a mini steam treatment] allowing the Castor Oil to draw the toxins out of your skin, while the secondary oils/essential oils permeates deep into the skin, lending it's moisturizing and therapeutic properties. Repeat 2-3 times. Then gently wipe skin of excess oil. 
  • Rinse face with cool water to close the pores
  • Spritz a bit of my homemade Apple Cider Vinegar & Green Tea Toner on my face 
  • Apply a dime-size amount of Grapeseed Oil as my moisturizer. I love this because it's a very light, yet moisturizing oil that also doubles as an astringent. 
  • I do not apply sunscreen because Grapeseed Oil can act as a natural sunscreen [The SPF rating would be about a 4]. It works well for eliminating free radicals, and also has amazing antioxidant properties that promotes the repairing of cells. 
Special Treatments:
Twice Weekly, I prepare an exfoliant using 1tablespoon of raw honey, and one tablespoon of brown sugar;
  • I apply the mixture to my freshly cleaned face, and massage gently for about 3-5 minutes 
  • The exfoliant mixture helps to slough off dead skin cells, brighten dark marks, as well as even out the skin tone while imparting moisture
  • Rinse mixture with warm water to thoroughly remove all traces of honey and sugar
  • Follow up with a cool water rinse
  • Spritz a bit of my homemade Apple Cider Vinegar & Green Tea Toner on my face 
  • Apply Grapeseed Oil as my moisturizer of choice 
Once weekly, I prepare a special detox mask using Bentonite clay and sour cream. Bentonite Clay is wonderful for removing toxins and excess oils, and the sour cream makes a great addition to this mixture as the lactic acid in the sour cream helps fade blemishes, and act as a low grade chemical peel. 
  • To prepare the mixture, add two tablespoons of Bentonite Clay to four tablespoons of sour cream, and mix well.
  • I apply the mixture to my freshly cleaned face, and massage gently for about 2-3 minutes
  • Allow the mixture to dry thoroughly, then wipe clean with a damp cloth
  • Follow up with a cool water rinse to close pores
  • Spritz a bit of my homemade Apple Cider Vinegar & Green Tea Toner on my face 
  • Apply Grapeseed Oil as my moisturizer of choice 
Supplements, and Dietary Regimen:
  • Every morning, I have a bowl of yogurt with 2 tablespoons each of Wheat Germ & Ground Flax Seeds. Flax Seeds contain a high amount of Omega 3 and Omega 6 Fatty Acids which are essential in the role of maintaining healthy skin/hair as well as preventing and/or clearing up skin disorders such as Psoriasis, Acne, and Eczema. Wheat Germ is also beneficial for clearing skin disorders, and is also rich in antioxidants.
  • I also take two tablespoons of Cod Liver Oil daily! One tablespoon in the morning after breakfast, and one tablespoon in the evening after dinner. The Cod Liver oil works wonders for clearing the skin, giving it a bright, and youthful glow.  The abundance of fatty acids found in Cod Liver Oil reduces inflammation, and also improves the structure of skin cells. The Vitamin A in Cod Liver Oil is the main component in helping correct and prevent future skin disorders. And finally, the Vitamin E oil acts as a natural antioxidant, and protects the skin from UV damage. 
Where to get the ingredients mentioned in this post. For your convenience, I have hyperlinked online sources as well:
  • Grapeseed Oil - Your local grocery store [I find that Grapeseed Oil is cheaper in most ethnic grocery stores]
  • Castor Oil - Can be found in the first aid sections of most drug stores
  • Hazelnut Oil - Is located in the cooking isle of most health food stores [tip: if it isn't in the cooking isle, try the cosmetic isle]
  • Bentonite Clay - Is located in the cosmetic section of most health food stores. The most popular brand [in health food stores] is Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay. 
  • Organic Raw Honey - Can be found in most health food stores  
  • Cod Liver Oil - Is located in the pharmacy department of most drug stores, and in the vitamin section of most health food stores   

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  1. Thanks for sharing this. just saw the video on youtube & thought i would check out more info on your website. I have acne prone & higly sesntive skin. I just turned to natural product remedies to help clear my skin 9 months ago. Your video will help me alot.
    thanks a bunch! :)

  2. Does the oil cleansing mixture do well with removing make-up?

  3. I love my bentonite clay mask, however I've never tried mixing it with sour cream (I usually use apple cider vinegar). I also have oily skin and I've been leery of the oil cleansing method but I might give it a try!

  4. I would be tempted to eat that brown sugar and honey scrub. Just wondering if you do anything different to remove makeup? And should a little pimple surface, do you do any spot treatments? Finally, do you use anything for under the eyes? Thanks so much for sharing!

  5. Thank you for this. I've been wondering how to incorporate all of your skin care recipes into a regimen. I do have a question. There was a Rosemary/Flax Seed facial that you posted the recipe for along with instructions for the OCM method. How often would you do the Rosemary/Flax Seed facial? Or is it more of a special treatment to be used sparingly.

  6. as i told you on twitter...the OCM is my ritual now. I really need to try the bentonite clay mask. right now i make a mask from egg whites and baking soda...it's okay but kinda messy.


  7. I have just implemented the flax seed and wheat germ into my yogurt. I used 1 tablespoon of both. And I thought I over-did it. Maybe I should have used more yogurt. I added the mixture to about a cup of yogurt. Do I have to do the 2 tbls? I saw that the pkging that 2 is the serving size.... If the taste is a bit much for me, do you think I would still yeild favorable results with the 1 tblspoon?

  8. You never cease to amaze me! :-) Looking forward to trying the honey & brown sugar mask.

  9. so this is how you stay so flawless! I started using olive oil to wash my face ever since I saw your first post on it, but I never thought to try mixing different oils for their unique properties. And I love how your entire routine can be made cheaply without shelling out hundreds of dollars on harsh chemicals like proactive. AMAZING post!


  10. You are the best..I am going out to get all of these products and start right away..have been using Proactiv but want to get into something not as harsh and more natural!..Trying this OCM again!!

  11. We have an almost identical skin care regime lol ...except instead of using the bentonite clay I use fuller's earth clay, I find it really helps to brighten my skin tone.
    I love your blog & youtube videos, keep it up ☺

  12. Awesome vid. I needed to see this. My skin's been acting up lately.

  13. Thank you so much! If it's not too much trouble can you PLEASE PLEASE tell me how you make that green tea/ acv toner. Do you just seep(sp) the tea and then add the acv?

  14. This was a FAB post. Thanks so much Nikole. You are so awesome and BEAUTIFUL!!

  15. Hi. I noticed in your video you didn't mention anything with an spf in it. How do you protect your skin from the sun's damaging rays? TIT

  16. Do you have any pictures of what your skin looked like before?

  17. Wow, just wow! I've sent your blog to all my friends - everyone is taking notes!

  18. @ Music is the new black....GOOD QUESTION! Hopefully so!

  19. i'm sorry, but what is the song used in the video?

  20. You have amazing skin great post

  21. Thank you for sharing. I started doing the OCM last week and I'm loving it. I didn't know about the cold water splash after though. Makes sense.

  22. @Nik Harmon...The OCM is great for removing makeup. It even helps remove water proof mascara which can be a pain in the butt to get off. lol

    Our skin care regimen is very similar except I've been slacking since we've recently moved to a new state. I'm trying to get back on track though. I began using the OCM last year and my skin has truly thanked me for it. I also do Orange Peel Powder facial masks. I've never mixed my bentonite clay with anything except water or rosewater and a few drops of tea tree oil. I'm going to give that a try because I still have some old blemish marks.

  23. Also...I noticed you didn't really apply the oil to your eyelid/eye area but I've found that if I'm trying to take off eye makeup which is basically all I wear then gently going over my eyelids and eyelashes helps to remove or loosen up mascara. I've also noticed my eyelashes don't get sore anymore(is it just me? lol) and they have actually gotten a little longer.

  24. I love your posts!

    I was wondering how you deal with oil build up throughout the day. I have a seemingly similar skincare routine but I noticed that blemishes pop up near the end of the day (after work).

  25. @brittney(ORGANICLOVER87); You're welcome, this has done wonders for my skin, natural remedies are the best! I hope it works for you!

    @Nic Harmon aka. Miss Nic; Definitely, I use it to remove eyeliner, eyeshadow, even waterproof mascara.

    @Living Fly on a DIme; Yes, definitely give it a try! I love Bentonite clay!

    @Deys; Ha Ha! I ate some of the brown sugar mask in between takes! Yes I do have a few spot treatment recipe's that video will be up tomorrow! And to answer your question, I do not use anything under the eyes!

    @Elle; Yes, it is more of a special treatment. I use it maybe once a month. It really depends on how my skin is responding to the other treatments. However if you have severe acne, I would recommend once weekly.

    @L ~DIY Diva~ Thank you! Glad it works well for you!

    @Shakira/Thankful; Ha Ha, it definitely is an acquired taste, do you think you could stomach the yogurt/wheatgerm/flax twice a day? - If not, that is fine also [it still yields some of the same properties, it may take a while longer].

    @BeautyXchangeGirl; Awwee thank you! I hope you love the scrub!

    @ashley; Ha Ha! It sure does, it's right next to the oil.

    @BreukelensFinest, thank you! gotta love being able to take care of your skin on the cheap! That Dermalogica was starting to really kick my butt as far as price is concerned. Definitely start tailoring your OCM mix to suit your needs.

    @Afia; Thank you! Good luck, and I totally feel you on wanting a more natural, less abrasive option!

    @Zoë; Thank you! Fuller's Earth Clay is the bomb.com isn't it? I use it for spot treatments!

    @Ms. Princess; Thank you, I hope this helps keep those flare-ups under control!

    @Anonymous; Here, check out this post; http://moptopmaven.blogspot.com/2010/08/calling-all-mixtresses-want-to-ditch.html

    @SJD; Thank you! Thank you for the wonderful compliments as well! I am glad you found this useful!

    @Hermine; The Grapeseed Oil that I use as my moisturizer protects the skin from free radicals, and damage from the sun's rays. It is loaded with antioxidants and other properties that helps to protect the skin.

    @Music is the new black; Oh heavens no! LOL Lets just say I had breakouts around my hairline, cheek, chin, etc. Coupled with whiteheads/blackheads. It wasn't cystic acne, but it was pretty bad.

    @Fashion Intel; Thank you, thank you! Means a lot coming from you, as I love your blog!

    @Sarah; I believe the name of the song is midnight [from a random artists that offers royalty free music], I will put the link in the youtube description box [i have to find it]

    @Lipstick Diva; Thank you!

    @"iamDahlingNikki"; Thank you, glad you love it so far! The cold water splash helps keep those pores closed!

    @Afrikan Latina; Orange peel powder is a godsend! I love treatments utilizing that!

    @ebonie; Thank you! You can Smashbox Anti-Shine on your face in the morning, this helps control excess oil. Also, what moisturizer are you using? It may be too heavy for your skin.

  26. Your skin is amazing! What brand of hazelnut oil do you use? I could only find one brand at Whole Foods, La Tourangelle. It is 100% hazelnut oil but the bottle says it is roasted and I was wondering if it mattered if the hazelnut oil is roasted or not. Thanks!

  27. So I tried this last night and YES. Honestly, my skin looked magnificent right after as well as right now, twenty hours later. I used almond butter rather than hazelnut oil though.
    I abosolutely love this blog btw. Such a refresher!

  28. Thank you so much for this post. I've been using the OCM technique only for a couple of days and my skin is really responding SO WELL! It's so much more supple and feels so clean! LOVE IT!

  29. I've tried odd combos of OCM (grapeseed, coconut) and it had adverse effects...When you started the OCM did you initially break out and then was it smooth sailing afterwards? I LOVE your blog btw <3 Thanks!!!

  30. If you break out after trying this method for the first time, it's probably your skin releasing the toxins as MTM says. My skin is not very smooth, acne prone and oily. I will definitely be adding this to my shopping list.


  31. I'm planning on incorporating some kind of skin care regimen, but I think I'll try yours first. I've always had clear skin until I hit my late 20s. Then, I developed acne and oily spots neither I nor my derm could control. I was rooting around in my closet and found Etre Cuticle Oil. I've never used it since I don't do my nails, but I'm glad I kept it because the ingredients are amazing and include grapeseed oil. Now, after I wash my face with African black soap, I apply a little of the oil on my face and I can't even feel it! And, the soap is doing miraculous things to my face and my partner's beard/face as well. Thanks for the inspiration!

  32. how do you make the vinegar and green tea toner

  33. The castor oil that you use, is that the laxative form that is found in most drugstores or the other form of castor oil that people but online?

  34. Thanks for this post. I've never considered using oil to clean my face, but I will try it.

  35. @Anonymous; I use whatever I can get my little hands on! I have used that brand before and it works well! Go for it!

    @Caro; Yay! Glad it worked well for you! Thank you very much for the compliment, and I may have to try your concoction!

    @Anonymous; You are welcome! I am glad it is working out for you!

    @Anonymous; You may have experienced what is known as purging. It's basically the skin's way of expelling toxins [unfortunately at your expense] - If your skin is prone to acne, coconut oil may be a little too greasy. If you're still open to it, try out Grapeseed + Castor [you don't want to leave out castor because it is that oil that acts as the cleansing agent]

    @Anonymous; You are right on the money! I hope it works just as well for you!

    @Napfrocurlzgirl; You are welcome! And I am glad you found something that is working for you. My skin was excessively oily as well so I definitely understand your pain with that one!

    @Lykia; I have a post on it, check it out here: http://moptopmaven.blogspot.com/2010/08/calling-all-mixtresses-want-to-ditch.html

    @Anonymous; It's the type that is found in most drugstores!

    @Curly Hair; You are welcome, give it a try and see how it works for you. I hope it works as well for you as it did for me!

  36. I will definitely be trying these out. My skin is so strange because it's oily one season and dry another. And when I'm stressed... It's a guarantee that I will break out! So the fact that your recipes are customizable is absolutely fantastic. Thank you!

  37. Thanks for this post!! About how long did it take for you to begin seeing results using OCM. I have noticed the change in smoothness of my skin so I know it works. I just want to know how long until you observed a marked difference overall

  38. Nik, I started using OCM two days ago, thanks to your post. I was intrigued, and I wanted to try it right away. I couldn't wait for my Whole Foods trip. I am enjoying the benefits so far. Radiant skin and a satisfaction that I am using a natural, home made remedy. It does the skin good and it does the heart and mind good. I rest easy and happy!

  39. Hi, Nik how long do you keep your oil mixtures? Also same question for the green tea/apple cider vinegar toner? Do you keep the toner refrigerated?

    I have been using OCM for about 3 weeks. I saw some great results and now my skin is having those tiny pimples...Do you know what it's due to? I think I already had the purging during the first week...:/


  40. I was wondering how long you can keep the bentonite clay and sour cream mixture if you made a large batch.

    I still have some left over and really don't want to waste it.

    P.S. I LOVE LOVE LOVE your blog!

  41. Hi Nik,

    Do you find that you have any harsh reactions to Bentonite Clay since you have sensitive skin also? My skin is same as yours except i have combo skin (oilty T-zone) and acne prone sensitive skin..i wanna try Bentonite but am hesitant since my skin is sensitive.

  42. I tried the OCM, the brown sugar & honey & the clay & sour cream and I loved them all!!! My skin feels great!! I'm going to continue with this and see how it works! My skin feels softer already!!! =)

  43. Is it ok to start adding cod liver oil to your regimen if your are already taking multivitamins?

  44. Hey Nikole- I know you posted this entry and video a while back but I just came across it. First of all, I love, love, love your blog- you're full of fantastic advice. :) I've used castor and almond oil on my skin for a while and rosewater as a moisturizer/toner but I'm definitely going to incorporate ACV/green tea. I do have a question that I'd like you to weigh in on: do you have any natural suggestions for lightening dark eye cirlces? Maybe I'm not getting enough sleep, but I have perpetually dark undereye circles and the area just above my eyelid/browbone area is always dark and kind of bruised looking. I haven't tried any over the counter products yet, but I'm definitely looking for something. Thanks!!

  45. Nice regimen!

    I wash my face with African Black Soap, tone with a water/aloe vera/honey/tea tree EO toner and moisturize with my shea butter. I also do a bentonite clay/aloe vera gel/honey mask every week and I do a oil/sugar scrub when I can remember.

    My skin has been glowing since using all natural products.


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