When I was a young teenager, my mother shared her secret for beautiful skin with me. It was the same secret her mother used, and her mother’s mother. Three generations of women in my family had all done the same thing: washed daily with Noxzema followed by an application of Oil of Olay.
I wonder what they would say if they knew I now wash my face with dirt and beef tallow balm!
The truth is, I don’t trust most commercially available soaps, cleansers, and lotions. They’re full of unpronounceable ingredients, toxic chemicals, and do more harm than good.
Your skin is the largest organ on your body. While it may seem like an impermeable barrier that protects your internal organs from the elements, it’s actually highly absorbent and allows up to 70% of the ingredients you slather on it to move into your blood stream.
So, instead of burdening my skin with toxins and strange chemicals, I use a combination of two ancient skin cleansing methods that keep my skin naturally radiant and healthy.
Morning Skin Detox With Bentonite Clay Mask
I begin my mornings with a simple bentonite clay mask. Bentonite clay is a powerful healing clay due to its ability to become “electrically-charged” when hydrated.
Katie of Wellness Mama shares:
Bentonite clay carries a strong negative charge which bonds to the positive charge in many toxins. When it comes in contact with a toxin, chemical, or heavy metal, the clay will absorb the toxin and release it’s minerals for the body to use. Bentonite also helps get oxygen to cells as it pulls excess hydrogen and allows the cells to replace it with oxygen instead.
Healing clays have a long and rich history in human culture, but rather than importing an ancient clay from half a world away, I opt for bentonite clay because of its unique detoxing properties. It also helps that there’s a large supply of bentonite clay available right here in the U.S. In fact, it gets its name from Fort Benton, Wyoming!
While this is easy to make at home (and I’ll post a tutorial soon), it’s also convenient to buy it pre-made. I buy this U.S. produced bentonite clay facial mud.
I LOVE THIS STUFF!
The before and after difference is out of this world. A bentonite clay mask helps clarify your skin, removes excess oil, shrinks pores, draws out toxins, tones skin, removes impurities, and deep cleans. When I’m done applying it, my skin feels soft and tight, and my pores are noticeably less visible.
It’s also fabulous at healing acne or removing unsightly zits.
Bentonite Clay Mask: The Method
Applying is simple. I apply a relatively thin layer, allow to dry for 10-15 minutes, then remove using warm water and a wash cloth.
Nightly Cleanse with Tallow/Olive Oil Balm
At night, I resort to the world’s best facial cleanser (made by one of my sponsors), the “whole food of skin care,” a lovely balm made with grass-fed beef tallow and locally-produced olive oil.
According to my friend Heather of Mommypotamus:
Tallow is uniquely compatible with the biology of our cells. About 50% of the structure of our cell membrane comes from saturated fats, with remaining amounts consisting of monounsaturated and to a lesser degree polyunsaturated fats…. Tallow [also] contains skin nourishing ingredients that plant-based oils do not. Though I am still a huge fan of coconut oil, the skin on my face is visibly more toned with tallow. I think that may be because of the abundance of fat soluble vitamins (A,D,K and E) that naturally occur in pastured tallow, along with the potent anti-inflammatory conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) and anti-microbial palmitoleic acid.
As with the Bentonite Clay Mask, you can make a tallow balm at home from grass-fed beef. The idea is simple: just render your tallow traditionally (rather than skimming off the top of gelled broth, since that has a higher moisture content) and blend with olive oil to make it spreadable. You can even add a few drops of essential oils to scent it. 1 part olive oil to 10 parts tallow will do the trick. However, I’ve found that it’s a lot more work than I want to do!
Made with tallow from grass-fed cows and olive oil from my friends at Chaffin Family Orchards, Vintage Tradition Body Balm is both healing and soothing, and comes with a long string of amazing testimonials tucked under its belt.
Here are a few of my favorites:
Nina from Wisconsin — Eczema vanished!
When I was four months pregnant, I began to get very itchy, red, and flaky eczema around my nose and upper lip. Some days it was so bad I was embarrassed to leave the house. Makeup wouldn’t cover it up, and even organic or homemade makeup didn’t help. Eczema cream AND coconut oil wouldn’t work! This lasted for 6 months, and it began to spread once the baby was born. I was so embarrassed to leave the house with hormone-ridden acne, dark bags under my eyes, and very red and flaky skin around my nose. After just TWO DAYS of using your unscented balm, my eczema and acne were completely gone! In fact, my skin is even more smooth than before. I’ve been telling everyone about this product! It’s going to last me a long time…a little goes a long way.
Michelle from California — Keratosis Pilaris gone!
I originally purchased your product to *hopefully* help with my keratosis pilaris (on chest and upper arms) …. I’ve been using your tallow balm for 3 or 4 weeks now, and the KP is almost completely gone from my arms and vastly improved on my chest. (Mind you, this is something I’ve had for so long that it’s hard to remember.)
If you want to read even more testimonials, click here.
And then there’s ME!
While I didn’t have any skin issues that needed healing, I do have to share what happened one day with a friend. After about a month of regularly applying this tallow-based body balm to my face each night, I had someone pull me aside and say, “Spill it. What have you done to your skin? You’re positively glowing!”
Tallow/Olive Oil Balm Cleanse: The Method
So, it’s strange to say I clean my skin with oil and fat, right? Isn’t this more of a moisturizer?
Yes and no.
Yes, it’s a moisturizer. But just like healing clays, oil cleansing has a long and rich history in human societies.
To use the tallow balm as a cleanser, this is what I do:
- Apply a thin layer to your skin with a gentle massaging motion. You don’t need to scrub, just rub it in well. You also can apply it directly over makeup.
- Steam your face with a hot washcloth. Run the washcloth under hot (not scalding) water, wring it out, and let it rest on your face for about a minute.
- Wipe off the oil & makeup. Rinse the washcloth in hot water again, wring it out, and this time use it to gently remove the oil & makeup.
Do I also use the tallow balm as a moisturizer? Sure. But it works amazingly well as a facial cleanser, too!
P.S. You can save 10% on Vintage Tradition Body Balm through April!
All you have to do is click here to take advantage of the savings.
(photo credits: depositphotos.com)