Tuesday, April 26, 2016

My Skin: A Love Story

 Hello my friends...I’m having a real moment with my skin right now and I’m going to tell you about it at the risk of possibly oversharing some pretty personal details about myself, but hey, I’m technically a millennial so it kind of comes with the territory…so get comfortable or close your browser and come back later if you don’t want to hear about my endocrine system. : )

Natural skin care is one of my favourite topics because discovering it really changed my life and I want to tell anyone who will listen. I struggled with acne and oily skin starting in grade 5! I covered my face in cheap shitty, orange, cover girl foundation and powder which I scrubbed off with harsh cleansers, spot treatments, and oxy pads…Nothing worked and it seemed like the more I washed my face the more oily it became! As I got older my products got more expensive but my skin didn’t really improve…now I had dry AND oily skin with pimples AND wrinkles! I wouldn’t face a soul without a full face of makeup on. It wasn’t until I started to try and get pregnant that I started to face the fact that my entire body was out of whack. My periods were irregular, my skin was bad, my hormones were all over the map, even my scalp was itchy and flaky! I got diagnosed with a minor case of PCOS and on one of my many tearful trips to Dr. Google I found the book No More Dirty Looks which led me down this crazy path of throwing away thousands of dollars worth of cosmetics, reading many many more books on women's health and making some pretty drastic changes to my diet and lifestyle. The diet and lifestyle stuff took a hit once I got pregnant but I’m back on that train now and have never felt better. (More on that later.)The skin/hair care has remained steady for over three years now because my skin and hair look better now than it did when I was 11 years old! No joke.

'No More Dirty Looks' lists all the ingredients that are bad that are found in so much of our over the counter cosmetics and then it tells you what that means. The thing that hit me the hardest was that some of these ingredients were proven to be hormone disruptors…and are actually linked to PCOS! Here I am with all these problems and I’ve been wearing this shit day and night for more than half my life! I was done. I literally went home, got a garbage bag and threw away EVERYTHING. I was pretty empowered about the whole thing and I had no choice but to do a 'skin cleanse' because I got rid of everything and still hadn’t found organic replacements. After a few days of minimal makeup and only using organic soap, my skin was already looking better.

It took me a while to relearn everything I knew about skincare and to research products that were clean but I think the biggest lesson was learning that stripping your face of oil will not make it less oily, it will do the opposite. I started doing the oil cleansing method with 'grapefruit balm by Stark Skincare. (A major ingredient is organic coconut oil). My skin was so soft, not dry, and NOT oily at all. I did get some zits but eventually they went away and I was left with clear, hydrated skin. Serious game changer. I realized I didn’t have oily skin at all, it was dry and i was just messing up the oil production of my face by using super drying cleaners. All these products that we use disguise our skin and we really have no idea what condition it really is in until we stop using everything.

Since then, I’ve used some super awesome, super expensive organic stuff that has been amazing for my skin, but terrible on the bank account, so I started to simplify my routine and DIY some stuff.  My original routine was shared here if you want to have a look at the specifics but I've made some changes since then. Right now I’m cleansing with coconut oil (organic, raw) and then using Manuka Honey as a face mask (OH MY GOD MANUKA HONEY, I think it deserves a post of its own), rinsing that off and putting my face serum on (One Love Organics, Love Springs Eternal). To oil cleanse you use about a tsp of coconut oil...warm it up in your hands and rub it all over your makeup covered dry face and remove it with a warm soft wash cloth. I only splash my face with water in the morning and then put more serum on under my makeup. I’ve also started using a Konjac Sponge…which I got at Noah's Health Food Store.  It’s a good exfoliator when I feel like a scrub.

It’s been a few months of just using the coconut oil, Manuka honey and serum and my skin is looking AMAZING. People comment on it. I catch myself looking at it and touching it often and Eloise has started to caress my face. This is huge for me and I've been telling everyone I meet to toss out the soaps and cleaners and just get yourself some coconut oil and honey! Just be sure to get organic since you don't want to be putting pesticides on your face. Your local health food store will have both.

If you're interested in reading some of the books that have helped me on this skin journey I strongly recommend 'No More Dirty Looks' and 'Skin Cleanse'. I've linked them for purchase but if you have a Toronto Library Card you can read the ebook online for free! Isn't that great!?

Thanks so much for reading,

Next we can dive right into into how I’m balancing my hormones with food...so hurry back now. ; )

Love Desiree

The beautiful illustration above is by Ensee and it pretty much sums up my current mood. Pin It

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