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Thursday, February 28, 2013

milk wash

I like to oil cleanse my face at night. Castor oil 60/40 with another lighter oil or blend of oils, a good massage to loosen any debris or makeup, and a hot face cloth to sweat my pores clean... It's lovely. I'll have to post about it separately!

But I cut myself a fringe a few weeks ago. I haven't had a fringe, or "bangs" as my American friends call it, since I was a kid, basically, but I watched the 2012 The Amazing Spiderman movie recently with my husband and got inspired by the heroine's gorgeous heavily-fringed look. Got the scissors out the very next morning. Anyway, oil cleansing was all well and good until I had a fringe. And then, I suddenly discovered that oil cleansing in the morning was a bit of an impediment to my usual regime. I have very dry skin, you see, in part just because I do, and in part because I suffered through several years' worth of acne medications as a young adult. Living in the desert doesn't exactly help matters. Unlike most people, I don't have to worry anymore about the skin on my forehead being too oily with a fringe. In fact, it's quite nice not to have peeling dry skin there anymore! My hair protects it. Not what I had expected, but there you go. However, oil cleansing, while at night still a great idea, in the morning leaves just a little too heavy a residue on my forehead for me to then go fix my hair right away. Most days I don't wear makeup, nor use products in my hair, and I like to get dressed, quick scrub up, and get on with my day. I don't have time to faff around in front of the mirror as I did during my teens.

Solution? Milk wash! There are several places online you can find a version of this recipe, so I'll just give you my simple recipe and you can credit it to whomsoever you like.

Milk Wash
1/4 c plain, full fat yogurt
2 Tbs fresh lemon juice
1 tsp grapeseed oil, or any other light oil

To use, clip hair away from face. Massage wash into skin, in any quantity you like, and leave on for about 5 minutes. Rinse clean. Pat dry. No need for any further steps unless you feel you must have moisturizer, but it's easy enough to reduce the lemon or add more oil to the wash for whatever balance of skin you have.

Store Milk Wash in the refrigerator for up to a week. Discard any leftovers after one week and remake fresh. The above amount is just about right for me alone to use every morning for a week.

If you suffer from skin blemishes, don't shy away from using this wash. Use plain old yogurt and nothing else if you feel you must. The probiotics in good quality yogurt will help to combat acne infections without disturbing the natural ph of your skin. Lemon is astringent and will help cleanse and purify pores, while also offering antibacterial qualities to, once again, fight infections. You can use any oil you prefer. Raw coconut oil has a lot to offer, but I have opted for grapeseed oil as something lighter for the mornings. Other light oils you might want to use are sweet almond or apricot kernel oils. You may add a drop of vitamin E oil if you wish. For an even better punch of health, have a look at my directions for making your own yogurt. It's surprisingly easy, tastes great, and if this milk wash were not cheap enough already using homemade yogurt will help you even further stretch your budget. 

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