Wednesday, April 12, 2017
I recently switched over my entire skincare routine. Online friends in beauty forums I belong to have been raving about oil cleansing — something that I thought maybe would be helpful for me. I've mentioned here before that I grew up with bad acne and have always been self conscious of my skin, and that it's only been the last five or six years that I've really gotten a routine down. In my research of oil cleansing, I was reminded of Chicago friends Scratch Goods — food-grade, small batch skincare made right here in my neighborhood. After microblading the brows of the owners Elizabeth and Maureen, I took the plunge.
Overall, my goal is just to have clearer, more even skin that plays nice without makeup. After decades of topical and oral acne medications, harsh cleaners and other products loaded with mystery chemicals, I felt like my skin was prone to redness and oiliness.
It's not a surprise that I wear a lot of makeup. Lately, I've been trying to pull myself at least a little bit away from it because it's time consuming. I still love doing a full face, but my schedule is busy. Committing to makeup in the morning and then the removal process at night takes a lot of dedication — and sometimes I just don't have it. Prior to this process, I was wearing heavy coverage foundation every day. Aside from the obvious issues of creasing in my aging lines (particularly smile lines and crows feet), sometimes the texture of my skin wasn't playing nice or certain foundation would oxidize and leave me looking orangey. No thanks, I'm not trying to look Trumpy and heavy foundation wasn't doing my skin any favors.
What definitely made me more aware of the ease of no-makeup were eyelash extensions. I got them just before Mexico and oh my gosh. They were beautiful. I had to be extra careful with oil cleansing though since oil will break down the extensions' glue. I rolled around Mexico for a few days with the most perfect eyelashes and no eye makeup until my sensitive eyes betrayed me and I had to come to terms with the fact that I was definitely allergic to my extensions. Tragic. I was forced to remove them before even leaving Guadalajara.
I had been spoiled with the no-makeup routine. In May I'm getting my eyebrows microbladed and that's going to be one more element out. I'm seeing the light at the end of the tunnel and if I wanted to feel confident without a heavy coverage foundation, I needed to figure out a way to make my skin happy.
In comes oil cleansing and my other products from Scratch Goods.
My eyeliner is still the hardest thing to remove. I use micellar water for that, in the gentlest way possible. But for everything else, I've moved over to the Cleansing Oil from Scratch Goods. Per the instructions, apply and then let it sit with a warm washcloth for a minute before removing. I do this nightly, and sometimes in combination with a my konjac sponge.
Within a few minutes, I am sure to use a face oil. I have both the Morning Face Oil and the Night Face Oil and use them accordingly. I prefer lightly applying the morning face oil in the shower during my daily routine and using the night oil after my makeup removal in the evening.
While I had my extensions, I wasn't able to use my Lash + Brow Oil. Since I had to remove them, I'm back to using this stuff about every other day. I apply it with a clean eyebrow brush.
And of course, the body oil. It's really difficult for me to pull away from my favorite Lush Love and Light Lotion (the scent!) — but at the end of the day, the Scratch Body Oil leaves me feeling less greasy. Considering that I have a lot of tattoos, the oil actually makes my skin look less dull and therefore my tattoos brighter!
I have always been a big fan of exfoliating scrubs. When I was younger, I lived for the popular apricot scrubs — but was horrified to find out how bad they actually are for your skin. I have tried a few coffee scrubs (and even made my own!), but nothing has yet to compare to the consistency of my Dark Matter Coffee Scrub. Dark Matter also happens to be one of my favorite local coffee roasters, so picking this up was a total delight. When I feel like switching it up for a softer scent, I reach for my Lavender Mint Scrub. This is also the one I love using the shower as a body scrub!
Within the past two weeks, I've been trying to switch over the the Lavender Mint Underarm Butter. It smells wonderful on it's own, but I think is a little stronger than I'd prefer a "deodorant" to be. I normally wear men's deodorant in an attempt to stay away from aluminums in antiperspirants. I definitely want to pick up the Tea Tree Underarm Butter to see if it's a better fit for me!
As far as the butters go, I am obsessed with my lip butters. I always carry around Chapstick and Baby Lips, but lately I've only been using the Scratch butters! The Peppermint Mint Lip Butter was my first and was my favorite — that is until I tried the Dark Matter Coffee Lip Butter. Unfortunately, the Dark Matter version is not currently on their website. I also have the Bike a Bee Honey Rose Lip Butter, which adds a little bit of tint to my lips.
And per usual, I'm a sucker for a good mask. I started religiously using the Charcoal Mask to detox. At first, my skin broke out, but after sticking to the routine, I have evened out and look forward to doing a Charcoal Mask every 1-2 weeks. I also will be adding a lighter mask into my routine soon! One of my favorite parts of the mask is the cute little clay bowl, wooden spoon, and brush I got from them to mix and apply my mask with. It's very important to not use any metal while making your masks! You can get your own mask kit here.
And if you're feeling like you want to be extra pampered, you can schedule a time with Scratch to visit their Mask Bar. You have the option of going with friends and learning about a customized skincare routine!
Since switching to oil cleansing and adhering to a more strict routine using more natural products, my skin has never looked better. I no longer have dry patches in the creases of my nose, my breakouts are contained to once a month during my cycle, and I'm down to wearing just a tinted moisturizer. I barely need concealer and it feels so good.
And for transparency's sake — this post is not sponsored. It's easy to appear that way! Scratch has been kind enough to give me a few items here and there, but I also buy from them because I truly do love their products and love the results I get. I love supporting local business, and especially those run by women!
If you're in Chicago, they are going to be at the current location at Damen and Addison for just a few more days — after that, there are big things in store. Follow them on Instagram for all of the updates.
Have you switched to oil cleansing? What improvements have you had?
Header photo: String Lights and Bora Bora Gold Candle c/o Ankit.
Product photos: Scratch Goods