Hey lookie! Makeup Monday is back! It’s not just about makeup, despite its name. It’s about beauty, and products I like, and maybe even a tutorial or two. After all, I want you readers to be even better looking than you already are! Well, actually, you can be hideous if you want. It’s not really my business. But I’m here to help you look ravishing if you’d like to. And before we even think about makeup we need to think about skin. It’s your blank canvas. Your makeup can be absolutely perfect, but if your skin is no good then it hardly matters.
I am 40 and my skin still looks pretty darn good. I get compliments on it almost every day. Part of it is genetics, part of it is staying out of the sun, but a large part of it is due to two products: olive squalane and shea butter. I make my own soap (soap being nothing more than a combination of water, lye and oils). While I think soap is sort of important, it’s washed off every time it’s used. But moisturizers stick around. To me moisturizing is where it’s at. I love the idea of using completely natural products on my skin. Because of my soapmaking, I have many, many oils and butters on hand. I have tried everything to see what works.
I have dry skin that has only gotten dryer as I’ve aged. Dry skin looks tired and lackluster. So I was thrilled to find my first product: Olive squalane. Squalanes are produced by the skin and are basically fats pumped with antioxidents. They are what gives a child that radiant, glowing complexion. But our bodies slow down squalane production in our early 20′s. After than we’re left with skin that gets wrinklier every year. Excuse me while I sob about that for a minute. But lo, here is squalane in a bottle! It is wonderful! Seriously, it is light and quickly-absorbed by the skin. I apply a few drops to my face, neck and hands every night after I wash my face. When it’s dry weather I’ll also put some on before I apply my moisturizer with SPF.
The thought of putting oil on my face freaked me out a little the first time I tried it. I mean, I spent my entire adolescence getting rid of oil! But this isn’t heavy and won’t clog pores. It’s nickname is “A facelift in a bottle”. While I think that might be pushing it, olive squalane is fantastic stuff; my skin glows. It is soft and moist and healthy-looking. It will forever be my favorite facial product.
My second favorite product is shea butter. I make a salve that has several ingredients but the backbone is pure shea butter. I’ve used it by itself for quite a while and it’s great stuff. When I was about 35 I started getting dry, scaly skin under my eyes. The skin in that area is very delicate and I had an impossible time trying to get rid of the dry cracks. I even tried chemical peels which worked for a couple of weeks but never cured the problem. One night as I was going through my soapmaking supplies I came across my container of shea butter. I though, “what the heck?” and rubbed a bit under my eyes. By the morning the dry skin was gone and has never come back.
Shea butter is very heavy and greasy. I only put it under my eyes and around the mouth on my smile lines. It’s incredibly gentle and has never irritated my eyes. It is also great to put on lips or on chapped baby cheeks. If you live in a dry or cold climate, you need this stuff!
Olive squalane and shea butter are specialty ingredients that can be hard to find locally. I get mine from Texas Natural Supply. They are here in Austin but are exclusively a mail order company. I have been thrilled with the quality of their products. Their prices are very good too (although shipping is not cheap. But in the end these products are not going to be any more expensive than nice drugstore moisturizers). You can find olive squalane here and shea butter here.