In the last 1-2 years, I have been experimenting simplifying my skincare routine partly in an effort to save my hard earned moolah, and cut short my morning routine before heading to work, but as well for the long term effects that will eventually show up on me. I remembered as a little girl, my grandmother used to tell me and my cousin to avoid using cosmetics as much as possible. Her only long standing, if only singular item that dominated her dressing table at that time was this traditional compact rice powder with an image of a chinese lady in front of it. Interestingly enough, I associated the image and the smell of it to my grandmother ever since. Today she is a healthy 70 something, and I believe she looks easily 10 years younger.
Of course at that time I didn’t really listened, and began my long term relationship with this thing called ‘makeup & cosmetics’ at the tender age of 13. And so began my dabbling with an array of items that would make any departmental store proud. Cleansers, toners, moisturizers (oh that famous Clinique 3 step gimmick), foundation, mascaras and eyeshadows.
It was only sometime in 2005 onwards when I became conscious over food, herbs and other ‘hippie’ stuff as they call it, that got me to be aware that it is not just about what you put into your body, but what you put on to it as well. A series of event including my favorite aunt who passed away in 2007 from her 10 year long battle with breast cancer, and the day my dad brought home an article which lead me to this book and the real awareness that cancer, and all things nasty is not solely a result of bad luck or your DNA gone wrong, but a culmination of choices we make throughout life that eventually contribute to it.
Giant cosmetics industries add a lot of synthetic ingredients in to what will eventually be the very thing you schlapp on to your skin religiously every morning and night. Sulfates and parabens are amongst the top two in almost everything that you find in your standard household and bathroom items. Sulfates and parabens are also top ingredients linked to a range of skin allergies and quite possibly dare I say, to cancer as well.
Obviously this is not to create a sense of paranoia and send you straight to your dressing table for a huge dumping rampage of everything synthetic. The point here is awareness. To be aware of everything that you choose to buy, to eat, and to nourish your body and skin both internally and externally. Through my own observation, and blog-stalking some great natural advocates (Kevin Gianni, David Wolfe, the ladies at Crunchy Betty and High on Health), I began to realise, the less you put on your face, the more it will benefit you as you age and trick people into thinking you are easily a decade younger than you really are.
And so in my quest to simplify my skincare routine, and the very reason why I am writing this today, is to rave and praise of this simple ingredient which we call – Jojoba Oil.
I had picked up my second bottle of organic jojoba oil last weekend. One of my colleague, AC accompanied me down to the organic store which I am obsessed with every time I get a chance to return to our head office. She was standing behind me while I eyed the glass cabinet for the item I was looking for so that I could point it to the sales lady and have her whip out her magic set of keys to retrieve it. (Which makes me wonder to some point, maybe stealing organic oil is quite high on the theft list these days..)
AC, who is a couple of years younger than me, and sweet as can be looked curiously into the glass cabinet. “Ohh! So that’s what you called Jo-Jo-Ba oil!”
I looked at her, shocked to silence that she just said that out loud while she proceeded to giggle and said “I’m kidding lah, of course it know it’s Ho-Ho-Ba oil” – with extra emphasis on the final two words in her sentence.
So what is a bottle of jojoba oil good for?
If you do a simple google search on this oil, you will pretty much be able to see its multitude of uses for the skin. This is because, jojoba is one of the rare oils that is able to mimic the exact composition of a human sebum. Which means, a couple of drops of these, straight or mixed with essential oils, make a treat as a moisturizer. Because it is so similar in composition, your body recognizes it as its own, and so play a hand in regulating sebum production on your face. Dry skin will be sufficiently moisturized and oily skin, regulated. Magic isn’t it?
Because skin is also the largest, external organ on a human body this applies to your scalp too. I make a blend of a couple tbsp of jojoba oil, 2 drops of rosemary essential oil and 2 drops of lavender essential oil and keep it aside as a hair and scalp moisturizer. Obviously, sparingly is the key word here unless you want to end up looking like an extra from the Grease play.
All of these can sound like a whole lot of effort and you might wonder why? For the simple reasons of knowing exactly what you are putting onto your skin will be absorbed by your body safely. And while you are doing good for yourself, you are also doing Mother Nature a bit of favor by refusing to contribute to the collection of pollution in the air and waterway caused by these synthetic nasties. Good enough of a reason to put in that little bit of extra effort don’t you think?