DIY Apple Cider Vinegar Toner for ALL Skin Types

Apple Cider Vinegar

Out of all the toners that I have tried (6 in total), this one is the only one I’ve seen the most difference with, and it costs next nothing! Maybe $5 at the most. This toner makes my pores extremely smaller, I hardly ever break out, and it’s a natural chemical exfoliant so I don’t get dry, flaky skin or clogged pores. You may have heard of all the benefits and uses for Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV); however, if you haven’t, I’ll try and keep this short-n-sweet.

The Benefits

  • Balances pH levels of skin

“Skin is naturally acidic but when vinegar is used as a toner, it helps skin find the ideal balance between dry and oily,”

–Dr. Karen Hammerman, cosmetic dermatologist at Vanguard Dermatology in New York City.

  • Antiseptic and antibacterial– It reduces the possibility of acne and can help heal eczema.
  • Breaks up the bonds of dead skin cells– It’s naturally exfoliating and keeps pores clear.
  • Lightens skin– Gradually addresses age spots, sun spots, and acne scars.

Why Raw Apple Cider Vinegar?

Raw, organic Apple Cider Vinegar is also known as the “Mother” of vinegar meaning it is from the first fermentation of  apples and contains strands of protein, enzymes, and friendly bacteria (like the kind in your gut) that help fight off bad bacteria. It’s a murky substance that you will notice collecting at the bottom of the organic ACV bottle.

“With the Mother” is typically written on the front of the bottle, and you can now find it locally at Winco, Sprouts, or sometimes at a Super Walmart. Again, it can cost between $3-5, and you only need a small amount, depending on the size of the bottle you’re using.

Ingredients

Sensitive/Dry skin: 

1/4 c. Apple Cider Vinegar + 1/2 c. water + 1/2 c. Tea or water + 6 drops essential oil

Normal skin: 

1/2 c. Apple Cider Vinegar + 1/2 c. water + 1/2 c. Tea or water + 6 drops essential oil

Oily skin: 

1 c. Apple Cider Vinegar + 1/2 c. water + 1/2 c. Tea or water + 6 drops essential oil

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My Favorite Summer Skincare Routine

Summers in Italy were amazing. Not just for the touring, the food, and my family; but for the humidity, the long sunny days, and being outside everyday. Here is one routine that has stayed with me for a few summers because it usually results in a clear complexion and gives my skin a nice detox for a season.

 

My Favorite Summer Skincare Routine | Fairest of Them All: A Skincare Blog

My Favorite Summer Skincare Routine | Fairest of Them All: A Skincare Blog

1. Face Wipes

Although oil cleansing is the newest fad now, face wipes are the lazy girl’s way of quickly cleaning up. Whether you’re short on time or too tired to deal with the rest of the routine, face wipes are a nice way of reassuring yourself that you’re not going to bed with a face full of makeup. These chamomile and white tea face wipes are one of my favorites. But, I’ve also enjoyed the Simple face wipes, Acure Argon Oil wipes, and Yes to‘s large towelettes.

2. Gel Cleanser

I have normal/dry skin, so I don’t usually get too oily during the summers. However, it has been recommended that gel formulas will help to clean your skin without striping the good, natural oils of your skin. This La Roche Posay Foaming Gel Cleanser lathers up great and feels wonderful during the hot months.

3. Brush Exfoliator

It has been proven, time and time again, that a good exfoliating brush not only helps to give you a deeper cleanse, but also to regularly keep your skin exfoliated and fresh. As I mentioned in an earlier post, I have been using this electronic Olay Pro-X Facial brush for almost four years now, and it works great!

You can also manually brush with this Japanese Massage Brush or look at a more advanced investment with the Mia 1 Clarisonic for $130. There is also a travel-friendly, dirt-cheap, highly reviewed option coming out in more stores: Cleansing Pads. If you are going to do this physical exfoliation, I would strongly suggest not doing it more than once a day. You don’t want to over-exfoliate and damage your epidermis layer.

4. French Toner

There’s something way more romantic about something when the word “French” is placed in front of it. Mathilde Thomas, founder of the French skincare company, Caudalìe, said in her book The French Beauty Solution:

…beauty is not something you turn to in a panic when a wrinkle or pimple appears, but that it’s far more important to see it as a ritual…[those lessons] were reinforced whenever I returned to the Alps, or went to the vineyard in Bordeaux.”

I used La Roche-Posay‘s Toner in my routine, but I would also recommend trying Caudalìe’s Grape Water that is 100% organic and is extracted from grapes in Bordeaux. It’s very gentle and works as a humectant to help absorb any moisturizer you add later.

5. Oil Moisturizer

When it is super hot outside and you tend to be oilier than usual, it’s good to stick with a light, fast-absorbing moisturizer. Bio Oil has been rated one of the top-selling oils for diminishing stretch marks and scars. It has calendula, lavender, rosemary & chamomile oils as well as Vitamin A and E. I would recommend using a powder foundation if you’re planning on using this during the day.

6. High Day-Time SPF

Contrary to popular belief, wearing sunscreen will not diminish your ability to tan during the summer. It simply protects you from UVA (aging) and UVB (burning) rays. And no one wants to age faster or damage their skin. Thus, going for a high-SPF sunscreen that is “broad spectrum” is always a good thing. We don’t want to end up looking like Bill McElligott in our 70s, right?

o-bill-mcelligott-sun-damage-570

There are SO many options out there for a face sunscreen, don’t give up because one might have caused some acne. A few of the highest-rated ones I have come across are: BareMinerals  Daily Prep Lotion, it’s not greasy, light, and doesn’t clog pores; Neogen’s Day-Light Protection which not only protects your skin, but promotes anti-aging with natural ingredients; and KICHO’s Ultra Moisturizing Sun Cream that is lightweight, has a beautiful glowing finish instead of a white cast, and is made with fermented soy beans (helping to fight off bad bacteria).

7. Large Humidifier

Last, but probably the most important is a humidifier. Italian summers are extremely humid. Today, in Rome, it is 73ºF with 88% humidity. The summer that I went to visit it was consistently in the 80s with a humidity in the 80-90 percentile. However, this curse is such a blessing. Charlotte Cho, registered aesthetician suggests:

“Dewy is the opposite of oily, though–it’s a fresh look, not a greasy one….combat drying air with humidifiers…invest in a humidifier that will add moisture to the air.”

While the heat is opening up your pores and detoxing your skin, the humidity helps to add moisture. That’s why it constantly feels like your sweating, when it’s really just the moisture in the air. While most of the Mediterranean has a nice “dewy” summer, most of the western hemisphere has a very dry summer (especially here in Utah and Southern California). So, investing in a large humidifier and running it at night will help to seal in the moisture that you might be losing during the day. Cho adds, again:

“During the day, your skin is working to protect the rest of your body, and then it repairs itself at night. It does most of its restoration between 10PM and 4AM, so you’ll see maximum benefit from any hydrating products you use during those hours.”

Have you tried any of these products? Let me know what you think of them in the comments below.

What is your favorite Summer Skincare Routine? I would love to read about yours! Share it in the comments or in a contact message 🙂

What is the pH of My Skin?

What is the PH of My Skin? | Fairest of Them All: A Skincare Blog

What is the PH of My Skin? | Fairest of Them All: A Skincare Blog

Clear skin truly starts from the inside. What you eat can entirely affect the pH balance of your body and skin. And then what you apply topically can start to make a difference once you’ve balanced your internal pH.

What is a pH Scale?

In case you need a recap on middle school biology, the pH scale is a measurement of the hydrogen ion concentration [H+] in a liquid/object. Hydrogen ions are essential to our health because they assist in cellular processing within our body (serving as electron transporters).

What is My Skin's PH? | Fairest of Them All: A Skincare Blog

What is My Skin’s PH? | Fairest of Them All: A Skincare Blog

The Difference Between an Acid and a Base

Acids can give a hydrogen ion (or a proton), while bases obtain a hydrogen ion. H2O, or pure water, is the most neutral substance because it has a concentration of 7 (or 10 to the power of -7) hydrogen ions. It has the ability to act as both an acid and a base, thus making it the perfect neutralizer for our bodies. However, if you were to mix something acidic (like vinegar=pH of 2.4) with water, it can bump up the pH to 2.7, making it more neutral.

The Perfect Balanced Skin

Your surface layer (a.k.a the “moisture barrier”) is slightly acidic and has a pH between 4-7. Kerry Thompson and Coco Park, co-authors of Korean Beauty Secrets say:

Healthy skin tends to have a pH of 4.7 to 5.5, while higher pH levels are often accompanied by sensitivity, acne, and even eczema.”

When your skin is too basic/alkaline, it tends to get dry, sensitive, and flaky. Too acidic, and that’s when those horrible, deep pimples come in and things become really painful.

The human stomach is already pretty acidic, which is why eating high-alkaline foods and lots of water help to balance it out. This means, less stress on your body and your skin to try and compensate for unbalanced pH levels.

How to Test Your pH

You can easily pick up some pH paper/strips from Amazon.com or Walmart. You can test your body’s pH by dipping a strip in your urine or saliva. You can also test your products pH levels by dipping a strip in them, or (especially with your cleanser) mixing it with some water and rubbing a pH strip against the solution.

An ideal reading for your internal pH is 5.5. For products, it’s the same. I finally did this science project on my skin and products and these were my results:

Me: 6.0-6.5

Most of my cleansers that work with water were 6.0 by themselves.

My DIY toner and oil-based products were in the perfect 5.0-5.5 range.

Overall, I think this isn’t too bad of a rating. I could be eating less sweets and purchasing more mild cleansers. One recent recommendation I’ve heard about is the Su:M37 Miracle Rose Cleansing Stick which is made with fermented rose petals and has a perfect 5.5 pH level.

 

 

 

DIY Healing Serum

DIY Healing Serum | Fairest of them All : A Skincare Blog

DIY Healing Serum | Fairest of them All : A Skincare Blog

A serum is a nutrient-packed oil blend that you pat into your skin as a treatment, after using a toner or an essence. Whatever serum you decide to purchase is based on the type of anti-aging treatment you would like to focus on: brightening, wrinkle reduction, collagen production, or exfoliation.

This specific DIY serum will focus on scars and collagen production. I have linked each ingredient down below. Here’s a little information about each ingredient:

Avocado Oil: This oil is rich in essential fatty acids which assist in the skins’ natural barrier function and feed the epidermis. It can help sooth sunburns (being rich in Vitamin E + C), and literally helps rebuild collagen. A study done in 2013, confirmed:

avocado oil can promote increased collagen synthesis and decreased numbers of inflammatory cells during the wound-healing process and may thus be considered a new option for treating skin wounds

Jojoba Oil: Jojoba is a shrub that grows in North America, and the seeds of the shrub are press to make an oil that is moisturizing without clogging your pores. In fact, it literally “dissolves the sebum that clogs your pores, which gives you relief from acne and allows your skin to breathe more effectively,” says Letha Hadady, author of Asian Health Secrets.

Wheat Germ Oil: Wheat Germ is the heart of wheat (the center of the wheat berry), and is literally the “bread of life” for your skin. It’s infused with Vitamin A, D, B, antioxidants, and fatty acids. It is one of the base oils highest in Vitamin E content, meaning it also will help prevent scarring and skin damage.

Lavender: There has been so much hype about lavender oil, I’m sure I would just be a broken record.

Carrot Seed Oil: This essential oil is expressed by steaming the seed of the carrot, and is an all-purpose skin reliever. Carrot Seed oil is high in Vitamin A, which is the purest form of what cosmetic companies call “retinol.” Vitamin A / retinoids help to chemically exfoliate your skin and increase the rate of wound-healing/scarring.

Ingredients

Questions or insights, please leave a comment below!!

My Current Evening Skincare Routine

At the beginning of this Spring, I started basing my routine on a typical 10-step Korean skincare routine. I would like to note that I didn’t buy all of these products all at once. Some I already owned, some I made, some I purchased over the span of 4 months, and some I only use once or twice a week. I rated each product, based on what I think of it so far.

Fairest of Them All: A Skincare Blog | My Current Skincare Routine

Fairest of Them All: A Skincare Blog | My Current Skincare Routine

Makeup Remover: Boots Botanics Soothe Eye Makeup Remover  (♦♦♦◊◊)

Oil Cleanser: Liz Earle Hot Cloth Cleanser (♦♦♦♦♦)

Water-based Cleanser: Cosrx Salicylic Acid Exfoliating Cleanser (♦♦♦♦♦)

Exfoliant: Acure Organics Brightening Facial Scrub Trial Size (♦♦♦♦♦)

Toner: DIY Fermented Rice Toner mixed with 1/4 of Burt’s Bees Garden Tomato Toner (♦♦♦♦◊)

Fairest of Them All: A Skincare Blog | My Current Skincare Routine

Fairest of Them All: A Skincare Blog | My Current Skincare Routine

Essence: Innisfree Green Tea Fresh Essence (♦♦♦♦♦)

Eye Cream: Tony Moly Panda’s Dream So Cool Eye Stick (♦♦◊◊◊) – Close to empty

Andalou Naturals Luminous Eye Serum Brightening (♦♦♦♦◊)–Recently purchased

Serum: Pixi Rose Oil Blend (♦♦♦♦♦) and Rosehip Seed Oil (♦♦♦♦♦)–Mix together or switch between each oil. I normally only buy one serum, but the Rosehip oil is really cheap, so I thought I’d give it a try.

Spot Treatment: Mizon trouble Clinic Acence Blemish Out Pink Spot (♦♦♦♦◊)

Moisturizer: Jason’s Age Renewal Vitamin E Moisturizing Crème (♦♦♦♦◊)

Lip Balm: Korres Lip Butter in “Jasmine” (♦♦♦♦♦)

Fairest of Them All: A Skincare Blog | My Current Skincare Routine

Fairest of Them All: A Skincare Blog | My Current Skincare Routine

Peel Mask: Alba Botanica Hawaiian Papaya Enzyme Facial Mask (♦♦♦♦◊)–Only use twice a week

Detox Mask: Pixi Glow Mud Mask (♦♦♦♦♦)–Only use once a week

My favorite product out of this entire routine is the Liz Earle Hot Cloth Cleanser. It smells slightly herbally, and it feels so soothing. The only down side is that it probably won’t last as long as a typical oil cleanser would.

What’s your favorite product in your current skincare routine? Let me know in a comment below! ♥

My Favorite Water-Based Cleansers Under $10

A couple days before I created this blog, I sent out a survey. One of the posts that interested many of my readers was this one. This makes me so happy, knowing that I am catering to an audience that doesn’t give into the propaganda of consumerism. Don’t get me wrong. I love a little luxury once and a while, and I enjoy experiencing new brands. However, there should always a line when it comes to spending money. And there is no amount of money spent on products that could make up for the adventures this world has to offer, or true happiness that is exponentially greater than materialism.

My Favorite Water-Based Cleansers Under $10 | Fairest of them All: A Skincare Blog

My Favorite Water-Based Cleansers Under $10 | Fairest of them All: A Skincare Blog

Although a cleanser is only on your skin for a few seconds, it’s important to get one without sulfates or ethyl alcohol near the top of the ingredient list. If your skin feels tight after cleansing, this a sign your cleanser might have a main ingredient that is stripping it. Charlotte Cho, founder of the online Korean skincare company Soko Glam, concurs that

…tightness isn’t a sign of skin being clean, but a sign of damage. Cleansers that are too alkaline over dry your skin…it can also make your oil glands try to overcorrect by producing too much oil.

My husband and I have used and experienced great results with the following cleansers. If you’re interested, you can click on each cleanser to see where to purchase it.

NUBIAN HERITAGE AFRICAN BLACK SOAP [$4]

There’s something nice about a fresh bar of soap. It’s simple, tangible, and savory in a minimalistic sort of way. Black Soap is a traditional remedy in Africa for its healing properties and nourishing source of Vitamin E (typically known for fading scars). This hardened mixture of plant-based ashes, oils, and oats is soothing to sensitive skin, yet helps to gently exfoliate when used with a wash cloth.

RAW HONEY [$6-8]

Who wouldn’t want to smear honey all over their face at the end of the day? Seriously though, this cleanser is a treat. Literally. And it’s one of the cheapest, long-lasting cleansers I’ve bought. There is a significant difference between regular honey and raw honey so it’s important to look for a thick, unmoving raw honey online, in your local Sprouts or Winco. Raw Honey, which is unfiltered and contains pureed pollen has a much higher antibacterial rate. That means that this natural cleanser will help to prevent acne from popping up. My teenage brother used it a few years ago when I came to visit and he attested that it felt “so soothing” on his broken-out skin.

BURT’S BEES SOAP BARK & CAMOMILE DEEP CLEANSING CREAM [$8]

This cleanser is my standard go-to when I need to grab something quick, local, and cheap. It’s so invigorating with a hint of menthol to add a cooling affect. Yet, it’s also super soothing and calming with the camomile and aloe ingredients. The fatty oils & alcohol help keep your skin moisturized, while healing it with the Vitamin E, soap bark, and plant extracts. I like using my Olay Pro-X brush (that’s one-fourth/one-eighth the cost of a Clarisonic) for a nice deep clean.

BULLDOG NATURAL SKINCARE: ORIGINAL FACE WASH [$9]

I originally bought this Men’s cleanser for my husband. He resorted to using hand-soap on his face before, which cleaned his face, but also combatted the drying ingredients by filling up his pores with sebum. This resulted in constant blackheads around his nose. Bulldog cleanser is plain, herbal-smelling, and has 8 essential oils in it. After just one week of using this morning and night, the blackheads on my husband’s nose were gone and his pores had shrunk immensely!

COSRX SALICYLIC ACID EXFOLIATING CLEANSER [$9]

This Korean cleanser is an acne-fighting machine with tea tree oil and salicylic acid! Tea tree is a natural anti-inflammatory and sterilizer, while salicylic acid helps to exfoliate dead skin cells. You get a large bottle for a great price, and only need a pea-sized amount each time you use it because it froths up into a rich, RICH lather. The first time I used this, I squirted out a nickel-sized amount, and soon realized I had way too much. It will probably last you, at least, a year.

Have you tried any of these cleansers? Do you have any favorite budget-friendly cleansers? Let me know in the comment section below!