DIY Face Toner for Combination Skin

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I’ve been meaning to share this recipe for my most favorite face toner for like three years! And I got a fresh bottle of Frankincense in the mail a few weeks ago weekend (my crunchy is showing) so I could make another batch of this wonder potion. I am an extreme case when it comes to eczema and sensitive skin, and this toner is my JAM. It takes the sting out of eczema flares and fights acne without causing another flare. It’s hard to find something that can help both extreme conditions without exacerbating either and apple cider vinegar is the magic ingredient.

Basically from like age 16 to 26 anything that I used to fight the eczema caused clogged pores and anything to help fight the zits caused an eczema flare. And then I covered it all up with kinda orange drug store foundation. Repeat cycle.

This toner came to be in my postpartum days after Lincoln when my eczema flared all over my body. I was on a mission to simplify all of my beauty products so I knew EXACTLY what was going on/in my body (like literally I washed my hair once a week with baking soda and ACV) and I’ve just kept it in my life ever since because it works so well.

In the crunchy community there’s a lot of talk about oils and which ones are best or safest, etc. and I’ve used a lot of different kinds and for my everyday cleaning oils I’ll get the ones from Whole Foods or the Amazon best seller, but for things I apply directly to my kids or face I try to barter from someone who sells Young Living or I order directly from Hopewell. I’ve never tried DoTerra, or Plant Therapy but I hear great things! I’m a distributor of Young Living (got my starter kit back in 2015) and order from them occasionally just to keep my membership active, but unless I want something specific to their brand (most recently: Christmas Spirit PLEASE) I keep my options pretty open. If you have any questions about oils I have a TON of friends that know and use them regularly and I can share my little bits of knowledge and connect you if you have questions I can’t answer! I do love those little colorful bottles and what they add to my life (STILL LOOKING AT YOU CHRISTMAS SPIRIT).

Ingredients:
Raw Apple Cider Vinegar (with “The Mother”) // 1/3 cup
Witch Hazel  // 1/3 cup
Lavender Oil  // 10 drops
Tea Tree Oil  // 10 drops
Frankincense Oil // 10 drops
Water // 1/3 cup

I have this funny little glass container on my sink so I just eyeball it when I fill it up, but these are the approximate measurements. 1 part of each, although depending on your skin sensitivity you may want to dilute. Also, I’ve heard some concern from friends that don’t like  the smell of ACV  and it lingers for only a moment– and the yummy smell of the oils is what stays. Definitely do a small test area at first, for me redness will show up immediately if I need to dilute more. Listen to your body and enjoy the tingle of balanced skin!  Let me know in the comments if you try it or if you have any questions! toner06toner05toner03

Our Skincare Favorites for the Littlest Ones

Just an FYI if you decide to buy, this post contains affiliate links and I will get a small percentage from your purchase.
Your shopping helps keep my little blog afloat and I’m so thankful! 
  1. Eucerin Baby Eczema Relief Body Creme // Target // Amazon
  2. Honest Company Organic Healing Balm // Target // Amazon
  3. Beautycounter Countermatch Adaptive Skin Lotion // Beautycounter
  4. Beautycounter Baby Daily Protective Balm // Beautycounter
  5. Beautycounter Calming Diaper Rash Cream // Beautycounter
  6. Honest Company Diaper Rash Cream // Target // Amazon

Four years and lots of trial and error later, we’ve got a great arsenal of products that we love for our littles and love to recommend! We probably have about a year left of diaper life (seriously, that went by fast) so the diaper cream won’t hang with us much longer, but the others are here to stay. Both of my kids have eczema like me, but have been totally clear for about a year with a few small patches here or there. It is a lot easier to maintain a healthy skin barrier than treat an already broken one with eczema, so I always recommend keeping that in mind when developing your kids’ skincare rhythm. Maintaining skin barrier is the goal!

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  1. Eucerin Baby Eczema Relief Body Creme // Target // Amazon This creme is super thick, goes on easily and doesn’t leave a greasy feel. We use it all over on the kiddos after bath time and twice a day in the winter when the temps are cold and cheeks are chapped, or after pool days when skin is dry after being in the pool water. This creme gets a 5 on the Think Dirty scale, 3/21 ingredients are considered “half n’ half” which show up in studies from 1999 has having potential “toxicity” or are known to be potential eye irritants.
  2. Honest Company Organic Healing Balm // Target // Amazon I got this when Lincoln was a newborn and had a really terrible diaper rash from Pampers diapers. I tried all the regular zinc creams and even a prescription cream from our ped, and this cleared it up within 24 hours. I was a believer immediately! We actually ended up switching to Honest diapers after that for a long time to keep his bottom clear, but this place earned a permanent place in my diaper bag (purse) and in each kid’s room. Cuts, scrapes, hangnails, pimples, etc. — it’s basically the Greek Man’s Windex. Some people have told me they had success with it treating their eczema but I did not have that luck, sadly. I still love it anyway. IMG_0040
  3. Beautycounter Countermatch Adaptive Skin Lotion // Beautycounter Once you’ve tried something from the Countermatch line you just keep trying more from the Countermatch line. When I became a consultant I got a free giant bottle of this moisturizer that I love, so I just stuck it in the kids’ bathroom for hands before bedtime, etc. It became our go to for warmer weather moisturizer. It’s lightweight, not greasy, and totally smells delicious. I’m always very cautious when introducing a new product, even a “safe” one, to my kids and their skin love this. Definitely keeping it on the kids’ shelf! Their hands are little so it’ll last forever. My eczema is significantly better on my hands since being on Dupixent, but this stuff brings life back to my hands within minutes if I’ve overdone water exposure. You can read about the Countermatch technology above– it’s truly amazing. LRG_DSC09840
  4. Beautycounter Baby Daily Protective Balm // Beautycounter // This balm is everything that loves my skin rolled into one. After doing a pretty intense “elimination diet” so to speak for my skin, I found that my skin loves jojoba oil, shea butter and sunflower seed oil. This balm contains all of these things and other great things! We use it for extra diaper help, chapped lips, dry patches, inside my nose (TMI?), an extra boost for eczema hands, etc. It’s truly a wonder. I got it at the tail end of my breastfeeding journey with Em and it was a lifesaver for chapped nips and TOTALLY safe for baby mouths. Recommend 10 out of 10!
  5. Beautycounter Calming Diaper Rash Cream // Beautycounter //  This is new to my arsenal, but it worked literally overnight. We tried a new “clean” brand of diapers and my daughter’s bum did not like them. This cream + the daily balm above cleared it up literally overnight. IMG_0049
  6. Honest Company Diaper Rash Cream // Target // Amazon // This has been my go to diaper rash cream (think zinc) for years. I also think it smells like Fruit Loops and I love that about it. Weird? Probably. Pleasant? Definitely. We keep one of these in the diaper bag and one of the BC tubes upstairs. A great, clean, safe choice if you’re at the store and need something for your baby’s bum.

October Eczema Awareness month. Read more about it on the National Eczema Association website here: https://nationaleczema.org/eczema-awareness-month/.

Comment below with any questions, shoot me an email or message me on Insta!

Less Skincare, More Life

 

For as long as I can remember my skin has been a topic of conversation. As a child I had eczema so I was always being moisturized and more severe or infected areas were being treated with topical steroids and carefully crafted bandages. In the summer I was slathered in sunscreen and when it failed (it always did) I was usually very sunburned and peeling. The teenage years brought acne into the already dry and eczema mix and which was frustrating as all the treatments for acne seemed to exacerbate the eczema situation. Into my twenties the acne and eczema combination worsened and after my first big eczema flare in 2014 I simplified my skincare down to virtually ZERO products. I did UVB therapy 1-3x a week for almost two years so I have substantial “sun” damage on my face and all over. In the past four years I have simplified my beauty and skincare routine to the bare minimum and found that in the absence of products my skin and hair really seem to flourish on their own when left to their own devices… and when provided with fruits and vegetables. That element is clutch. Dairy and gluten lead to acne breakouts on my chin almost immediately. As if the eczema and gut health wasn’t a motivator enough to eat clean (it’s not, sometimes I really want cheese.), I get the bonus motivator of a zit-free chin.

The most fascinating thing about my eczema journey is really the way my soul morphed through it all. I was an average lady when it came to appearances. I didn’t wear a TON of make up, but I wore a lot to achieve a “natural” look. Which kind of makes me laugh, looking back. I was not okay going out without something on my face, even though my light mineral make up usually wore off pretty quickly.  I’d always cover blemishes and those dark circles under my eyes (which didn’t exist because I slept SO much in my twenties), and leaving home without wearing mascara was not an option. When my eczema started worsening in 2014 I upped my make up game, covering as much as possible which definitely made it worse. After weeks of literally causing myself stinging, burning pain just to keep up appearances I really questioned myself WHY I continued to wear make up when literally it was just for other people to feel better about the way I looked. No one gave me sad looks or made comments if I covered up the sores. Is that a metaphor or what?

One of the core values of our church’s code is we do more by doing less  and it has permeated every part of my life just about. Skincare included. By using less on my skin, less in my hair, less on my body I am overwhelmed with more. More confidence in who I am and not what I look like. More time to sleep in the mornings. More money in our budget to spend elsewhere. More life, less showering. Literally, MORE natural oils in my hair and on my skin which is an indicator of health. More fun, less worry about the long term effects of

Over the next few weeks I’ll be sharing my simplest of simple beauty and skincare routine and favorite products. Face toner, shampoo, make up remover… all kinds of stuff! Some are super crunchy (looking at you, Apple Cider Vinegar) and some you can buy at Target (hello, Eucerin baby eczema cream). Some are from Beautycounter (you can shop here: www.beautycounter.com/kelliechaney— I recommend checking out their Countermatch line) and some are from the grocery store. Less really is more! Let’s go!