When it comes to skin care I will be the first person to say, anything goes! Each one of us has unique needs and desires for supporting our skin, nourishing our senses, and tending to our energetics via skin care rituals. This approach is what I call intuitive skincare. It can be fun, liberating, and more beneficial in the long run to care for your skin intuitively, rather than feeling like you have to follow specific steps with specific products day in and day out. It's helpful to start with some structure (such as one of the 4 Skin Rhythm Rituals) to guide you into a certain flow with products designed to support and nurture your current needs. Yet, it's important to follow your intuitive knowing as to which products you want on your skin and how long or brief you want your skin care practice to be in any given day.
Morning skin care routines are the perfect example of why it's important to follow your intuition and practice intuitive skin care. First, I need to say this: culturally we tend to have an obsession with being clean. Maybe this comes from those early Puritanical influences, but in the US the message of "cleanliness is next to godliness" is a stubborn undercurrent in the pervasive zeitgeist. I could go off on a wild tangent about how we view and therefore experience nature, ourselves, and "dirt" as a result of this imprinting, but that might be best for another (longer) post. For now, I want to focus on the concept of morning skin care. I'll go deep later... I promise.
In the morning I suggest you skip cleansing altogether. The metabolic waste that's released onto skin's surface while you sleep is water-based, so splashing with water in the morning is truly sufficient to clear skin of anything you don't want to carry forth into the day. Save your cleansers for the evening when your skin will benefit most from a thorough cleanse, mask (if you feel inclined), and good drink of hydration and moisture. Over cleansing compromises your skin's barrier and can lead to a dysregulation of oil production, inflammation, dryness, acne... all sorts of imbalances that are avoidable by taking a simpler approach to your morning skin care. After you splash with warm water be sure to follow up with hydration and moisture.
With all that said, if you enjoy masking in the morning - go for it! I recommend doing so no more than twice per week so your skin isn't being over-worked (especially if you're using a clay based formula) or over-stripped. Do you like exfoliating during your morning shower? Enjoy, beautiful one! Just avoid over-exfoliating; two or three times per week is best. Most importantly, follow your intuition. Get in touch with your true needs and desires and you'll be well into practicing intuitive skincare.
There are times when I wake up in the early morning hours and paint my face with the creamy sensuousness of Sterling Honey Polish. I've been known to leave this face mask on for over an hour. Sterling does not dry hard like a traditional clay mask; it stays flexible and draws hydration into skin. Most mornings I just splash with warm water, pat my skin dry, and enjoy a generous misting of Rose Quartz Botanical Mist followed by the moisture my skin is craving that day. Lately, it's been Tourmaline Radiance Elixir.
Skin care products are a luxury of modern times - a gift of nature and human inventiveness combined. Use your potions wisely and be gentle with your skin and your precious being. Treat yourself with kindness and let your intuition - your inner knowing - guide you in nourishing and caring for your skin.