Friday, November 9, 2012

A Little Skin Care Passion

I have a lot of passions. Some that are reasonable careers, others that are not. Obviously, teaching is a big one, or I wouldn't have spent 5 years in college earning a degree. And I was told, throughout those five years, and before, that I was a natural. I was going to be great. And I believed I would be. If I had gotten a job. But....teaching jobs are few and far between, so my degree is sitting in waiting.

When and if I have the opportunity to go back for my Master's, I'll do it counseling. It's something else that I feel I could be good at. My counselor has taught me so much about myself, and how to deal with things, I feel like I could really use my experience to fuel it. Maybe someday.

I love writing. About anything, really. Hence, the reason for this little blog. I just have a lot I want to say, and it's always been easier for me to put it into type than into spoken words. Just how I roll. So I'm loving this. My bff's sister asked me today when I'm going to write a book. Made me laugh, because I think it's a compliment that is not at all deserved, but made me think too. Maybe someday? THAT would be fulfilling a life long dream.

In the mean time, if I could be anything in the world? An interior designer. For sure. But that's a whole other degree that we just don't have the time and funds for right now. So I'll just play around with my own house, and offer my advice and help when other people ask me for it. And I'll do it for fun, not for work.

I'd also really dig being an aesthetician. I am OBSESSED with skin care. Mine, yours, the guy down the street. Obsessed. I spend way too much time each week reading articles about skin care products, treatments, trends, everything. And I am a product junkie. I'll try anything. And when someone compliments me on my skin? Well it's right up there with being complimented on being a good mom. I love it. I love that people ask me what I'm using, and what I'm doing. That I'm the one they come to. My bestie and I started this exchange a couple years ago, and every few months or so, she checks in to see what I'm doing now. Earlier this week, I got in a bit of trouble for holding out on her, because I've made some pretty drastic changes. I shared them with my cousin, who is in the process of doing it, and now the bff and her sisters have jumped on the train. So I figured I'd share it with all you, too. Because we are all LOVING it.

{Disclaimer: Please note that I said I would LOVE TO BE an aesthetician, not that I AM one. I make no claims for miracle working or medical reasoning or advice. This is only what works for ME, and is working for a few of the ladies closest to me. This is only from one normal ol' girl to the next, nothing more. Hopefully just helping someone stuck in a skin care rut, out of it.}

{One more disclaimer: You are going to think I'm nuts when you start reading this, and that's ok. Because I thought I was when I started it too. But, my skin is here to tell you that it's really not all that crazy. It may be bordering on genius. And no, I didn't come up with this all myself, the links to the pages that I came across during my intense research and obsessive reading, are at the end of the post. So the genius behind it really isn't me, and I in NO way mean to take credit for it!}

Morning Ritual:
Skip the expensive, chemical loaded face washes. You don't need them. Wash your face with honey. Raw, organic, honey. Yes, that sticky sweet stuff. Honey has natural antibacterial properties, so when you wash your face with, it makes it nearly impossible for the bacteria that hides out in your pores and causes zits, to survive. [Case in point: When I started this routine, I had two large hormonal related break outs on my forehead. I washed my face with honey that morning, and that evening. When I woke up the next day, those two pimples are gone. Dried up, swelling down, and gone. You could still see the marks, for maybe another day? But the gunk from inside was nowhere to be found. I was sold.] So yes, use a warm washcloth, wet your face, slather your honey on, and rinse off. It will NOT leave your face sticky, or grimy, or tight. It'll just leave it clean, sanitized, and glowing. Promise.
I follow my honey wash with a homemade toner. Being that it's homemade, it again has none of those questionable chemicals or big long nasty sounding ingredients that make you wonder if using them will cause permanent infertility or brain cancer (yeah, those big words reeeeeeeally freak me out, they should you too. Do some research). I mixed mine up in an old (and I mean probably like 1970's old....thanks for cleaning out your old kitchen stuff, gram!) Tupperware smoothie making type contraption. Really, it's just a large cup with a top that can be popped open just enough to wet my cotton ball, nothing fancy. So I put it on a cotton ball, and rub it over my face. I'm currently searching for a small spray bottle to put it in. I was told once, by a REAL aesthetician, that spraying toner on works better than rubbing it on, so I'm on the hunt. But in the mean time, my cotton ball is working wonderfully.
To make your toner, mix:
1/2 Cup Lemon Juice
1 Cup Water
2/3 Cup Witch Hazel
2 Tablespoons Rubbing Alcohol
I made my entire container for probably about $1.50. This is all common, every day stuff, that you can find at your grocery store and drug store, for dirt cheap. The lemon juice will help with blackheads (which are my biggest issue), the witch hazel will help tone the size of your pores, and the rubbing alcohol will help dry up extra oil. I am obsessed with this stuff, honestly. And it's all so simple. Blows my mind, really.
I follow that with my regular moisturizer. Daily, I use the Target brand (gasp!!!) that is equivalent to the Aveeno Positively Radiant. Check your ingredients before you spend $2.50 more on the Aveeno brand, they're the same exact thing. There is soy in it, which helps to lighten dark spots, which I always have an abundance of at the end of summer. By Christmas, you won't be able to see a single one on my face. Soy is amazing! (And not crazy scary)

Nighttime Ritual:
If I have a ton of make up on, I'll use a plain, simple, face wash to get most of it off first. I use Cetaphil, which comes in a huge pump container for cheap. And it has no salicylic acid, or benzoyl peroxide, or anything else aimed at acne prone people. Honestly, you don't need it, not if you're using the rest of this stuff. And if you happen to be preggers, they aren't totally sure how any of that affects your babe, so those pregnancy pimples that you're dying to treat, can be handled NATURALLY, without the worry. ANYWAY. I wash with that to get the majority of my make up off (when I say a ton of make up, I'm talking foundation, bronzer, blush, etc. If I don't have the foundation on for the day, I can skip this step, the honey will get rid of the rest....just my experience), then follow it with my honey wash. On an average night, then I follow that with my toner, and then my nighttime moisturizer. I use CeraVe Night, which is a super light, non comedogenic moisturizer that contains ceramides, so it it helps to retain the moisture in your face, instead of adding a ton of un-needed moisture. My face would be a battle ground if I layered on moisturizer and then went to bed. But again, that's just me. You might find that this works better for your skin if you use something heavier, you'll have to play around to get your right combination. 
BUT. Once a week, I do a scrub / mask, after I wash with honey. Again, I made it here at home, so I know EXACTLY what's in it, and I assure you, it's not scary. However, fair warning: It smells awful, and it tastes awful (why would you eat it, Kelly? Not purposely, thank you very much. But it can get runny. And since its on my face, and my mouth is on my face, it's only inevitable that it's going to find its way in. It will find its way into yours too, I guarantee it. So I'm warning you now), but it's not going to hurt you (might make you like me a little less), and you'll know exactly what is running into your mouth, because you're making it yourself. 
So, to make your scrub, you need, in no particular measurements:
Old Fashioned Rolled Oats Oatmeal 
(just your every day oatmeal, I didn't even spring for Quaker, I just went with Kroger brand. Do NOT use "instant" oats. Not the same)
Baking Soda
Honey (sensing a theme?)
Mix the ingredients together in a bowl, so that you have a paste. Before you go rubbing huge ol' oats all over your face, they need to be ground down, so they are a fine powder. I ground mine up in my food processor, but I am assuming a blender would also get the job done. I did a large amount all at once, so I always have it on hand and don't have to whip out my food processor every time I want to do a mask. Start with a warm compress, to really open your pores up. Then slap that paste on. Rub it in well, and then let it sit for about 5-10 minutes, and rinse off. You're going to feel like you're scraping the skin right off your face, I promise you're not. It's the baking soda, it's doing its job. The baking soda is there to buff off the dead skin cells, so they don't clog your pores and cause acne. The honey, again, is antibacterial, so it'll kill all of that stuff off. And the oatmeal is soothing, so it will keep you from turning bright red from the scrubbing, and it will calm any redness, swelling, or flare ups you currently have. I follow the mask with the toner, and my moisturizer, and head to bed. 

BUT. Once a week, I don't use my morning moisturizer. Instead, I use coconut oil. Just plain, straight, organic coconut oil. I generally do this on days that I don't have to put make up on. I just find that it gives it more time to really sink in, and do its job. It's serious moisture, which is why I only do it once a week, if I did it any more, I don't think my face would tolerate it. But doing it once a week gives my skin an amazing glow. Not to mention how smooth it feels. 

And that's it :)

Again, this is what works for ME, it might not work perfectly for you, so play around with it. Use the coconut oil more than once a week, or don't use it at all. Maybe you think you would benefit more if you did the scrub twice a week, or cut out the face wash and just solely used honey. You'll figure it out, your skin will let you know what you need, for sure. Just listen to it, that's way more important than listening to me, the wannabe facialist. 

In case you're thinking I'm completely nuts, these are the articles I originally stumbled upon. I did massive research on all of it before I tried it myself, because these people could just be crazies like me, and may have had no idea what they were talking about it. But they did. And it's amazing. So I hope it works for you like it's worked for us. 

Skin Brightening Toner:

Oatmeal Mask and Honey Benefits:

I love hearing your feedback and thoughts on all of my posts, and I'd especially love to hear how this works for you if you decide to try it! Keep me in the loop, and I promise I'll keep you in on what I'm doing next ;)

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