It's embarrassing to admit now, but when a Mary Kay Lady told me that the reason you're not supposed to mix and match skin care is because the differing formulas can react with each other and create "chemical warfare on your face", I believed her and imagined some logic there. Now, I wonder what I was thinking - shouldn't my first response have been "No way am I putting something on my face that is a viable contestant in chemical warfare!!"?
So when I dropped Mary Kay and started using up the last of my products, I knew for certain that whatever I replaced them with wouldn't come with any crazy warnings. I'd find things that worked and were perfectly safe - no matter what else I used them with! Also on my list of crucial criteria was that any new products had to be something I could make myself; I'm done using products that other people can change the formula on or cycle out at their whim.
Enter the absolute easiest product change I have ever made: Coconut Oil Moisturizer. I was inspired by the recipes over on Crunchy Betty, but the one I use is ludicrously simple: melt organic virgin coconut oil and add a few drops of Tea Tree and Lavender essential oils. Pour into a pretty jar (with a lid) and let cool (it will solidify). To apply, rub your fingertips on the top of the oil, picking up a thin film. Apply to your face (again, very thinly). Done! (Note: this works best after washing your face with warm water or taking a shower.)
I've always had oily skin, so at first I recoiled from the idea of applying straight oil to my face. But counter-intuitively, this moisturizer actually makes my skin less oily. It absorbs completely into your skin (and if you put on too much, the excess just wipes off cleanly) and leaves you feeling soft and healthy. Both coconut oil and Tea Tree oil have anti-bacterial/anti-microbial properties that help prevent breakouts, which is a happy bonus.
All ingredients are completely safe things you should have around the house anyway, and you use so little that it lasts forever and costs pennies per day. This Small Step is going to save me a huge amount of money, time and hassle this year. I'm still working through my back-stock of cleanser, but I hope when the time comes to transition off of that as well I'm able to find an alternative as appealing and effective as this one!