Last week I traveled further into my late 20's and closer to my early 30's. I know its silly, but leaving my 20's is something I am not psychologically ready for just yet. It is this symbolic next step that comes with a greater amount of personal expectation.

For my birthday last week, my husband sent a limo to pick me up from my office and my surprise destination was the spa! I spent 3 hours being pampered and sipping cappuccinos, mimosas and tea. Because it rained, my husband discarded his original plans of a private backyard luau with a live band, instead we went to this little authentic Korean restaurant. The evening was superb!

While at the spa, I met a Venezuelan woman who was BEYOND gorgeous and who at 43 did not look a day over 25. Her secret, she started a skin care regimen of expensive products in her 20's. Since, I've given our conversation some thought and decided to create and maintain my own regimen with more affordable natural products. I had to share this regimen with you wonderful folks.

Any great skin care regimen has three parts. Cleansing, Toning and Moisturizing:

Cleansing: A proper cleansing routine removes dirt, makeup and any other pore blocking radicals. But over cleansing strips skin of necessary natural oils, which would further intensify a dry skin issue. Over cleansing can also make oily skin issues worse because in an attempt to self correct glands can become more active.

My current cleanser of choice is Nubian Heritage Raw Shea Butter Soap ($3.50 at local grocery store) with Soy Milk Frankincense & Myrrh. Nubian Heritage is at the heart of my everyday regime. I have been a hard core consumer of their products for about a year now. It is a sustainable, organic, cruelty free and truly natural set of products. The soap is anti-aging, healing and protecting. I was using their black soap for the summer, which is great for uneven, blemished and oily skin.

Toning: Removes dead skin, any dirt or oil the cleansing process missed, and any cleanser residue. Toning leaves skin firm, clear and with a layer of healthy new cells. Toning will also shrink pores to original size, maintain skin flexibility and prevent sagging skin.

My toner of choice is a homemade mix of apple cider vinegar, distilled water and fresh mint (from my garden).  I pretty much added less than a table spoon to my old 3 oz spice bottle and add some fresh peppermint. Here is an exact recipe:

Natural Minty Toner
1 cup distilled water
1 tablespoon dried or fresh mint leaves
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar (I used organic and unfiltered ACV)
Combine ingredients and allow to sit for three days while covered. Remove mint leaves (likely with a strainer if dried) and pour toner into a container with a tight fitting lid.

How to use toner:
After cleansing skin, pat dry and pour a small amount of toner onto a cotton ball and apply to your face concentrating you your forehead, cheeks and chin. Instead of using cotton balls, spritz the face with toner stored in a spray bottle. Make sure to avoid getting into your eyes if spraying.

Update: I've since changed toners.

Moisturizing: Moisturizing prevents dry skin and formation of wrinkles. A light moisturizer will suffice unless you have extremely dry skin.

My facial moisturizer of choice is Raw Shea Butter Anti-Aging Moisturizer with Frankincense and Myrrh ($10 at Target). It firms and rejuvenates skin. I add a few light dots on my forehead, chin, any creasing corners and underneath my eyes. I then massage in an upward motion.

My whole body moisturizer of choice Nubian Heritage Indian Hemp & Haitian Vetiver Anti-inflammatory and healing lotion ($10 at Whole Foods). This stuff is thick so brace yourself if you are accustomed to thin watery chemical lotions.

This is my night time regime. If you have any questions please don't hesitate to ask.