Alibi V.24 No.3 • Jan 15-21, 2015 

How to Do Literally Everything

How To DIY Awesome Skin Care Products

It’s a new year! You’ve vowed to go vegan, do yoga everyday, get eight hours of sleep every night, quit drinking and most importantly, take better care of your skin. You do you, boo! And even though you’re probably saving, like, $400 a month by not drinking your dinners, skin care can get expensive. Luckily for you the Alibi cares deeply about your pursuit of radiantly vibrant skin.

I sat down with local esthetician and owner of Flashback Skincare (4015 Carlisle NE), Kelly Gambino, to get her expert advice on how to take care of skin. In between facials (if you do that sort of thing) and having a little extra money to be pampered, the following super easy skin care recipes (that I have used over the years), combined with Gambino’s regimen of advice, will make you look and feel like you are glowing, even if yoga turns out to be too much work and being vegan makes you hungry.

Coconut oil and sea salt scrub

Exfoliation helps keep skin soft and impurities at bay by unclogging pores and removing dead skin cells from the surface of the skin. Gambino recommends exfoliating twice a week. “Over-exfoliating can strip the skin of natural oils, but once you start exfoliating a couple times a week, you will see an improvement in your skin almost immediately.” Coconut oil is packed with fatty acids that help strengthen skin tissue and boasts a decent dose of vitamin E, which helps to moisturize skin. Sea salt works to absorb toxins from skin and naturally detoxifies. If sea salt freaks you out, you can switch it out for sugar.

Step 1: Assemble ingredients.

The following super easy skin care recipes (that I have used over the years), combined with Gambino’s regimen of advice, will make you look and feel like you are glowing.

Coconut oil

Sea salt (make sure sea salt is smooth to the touch and not coarse, so as not to scrape or damage skin)

Step 2: Mix it up!

Mix one part coconut oil to two parts sea salt/sugar to create a scrub consistency.

Step 3: Put it on your face.

Apply to clean, damp skin and neck. Massage gently in circular motions, and rinse with warm water. Once removed, splash face with cool water to close pores. Store remaining mixture in an airtight and preferably glass container or Mason jar.

Honey-and-cinnamon acne spot treatment

“Cystic acne spots need drying out and shouldn’t be messed with,” Gambino advises. Other types of blemishes can be equally catastrophic if you can’t make it to the spa for a fix-me-up. Raw honey hosts anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties, and cinnamon works to dry out the blemish. If you experience regular breakouts, Gambino advises cleansing the face only once a day.

Step 1: Assemble ingredients.

Raw organic honey

Ground cinnamon

Step 2: Put it on you face.

With your fingertip apply a small amount of honey on affected area. Follow with a very small amount of cinnamon (imagine lightly dusting the surface of the blemish). A little goes a long way with this recipe, so be modest in the application, especially the cinnamon, and make sure you apply the spot treatment at a time when you can leave it on for at least half an hour.

Oil moisturizers

New Mexico might be nearly 365 days of sunshine and favorable weather, but it’s also incredibly dry, and wintertime exacerbates tired, dry and flakey skin, making it dull and irritated. “Moisturize! It’s so important and should never be skipped, ever!” Gambino recommends moisturizing at least twice daily, or as needed throughout the day. “Skin will overwork itself if it’s not moisturized enough, and that can create oily appearance and breakouts. Lots of people think they have oily skin, but really their skin is just dehydrated and working twice as hard to stay moisturized.”

Step 1: Assemble ingredients.

Coconut oil

Olive oil

Jojoba oil

Castor oil

Grape seed oil

Step 2: Mix it up!

You can either mix these oil to create a customized moisturizer or work with one oil at a time to see how your skin responds to each.

Step 3: Put it on your face.

When using oil as a moisturizer, apply modestly, as most oils are very thick. Two to three drops should be more than plenty for your face and neck. Gambino encourages us not to “oversaturate the face, just use a nice thin layer.” She also recommends trying a new product for two weeks before deciding whether or not to continue use, unless it causes obvious distress to your skin.