Thursday, July 24, 2014

Oil Cleansing, Boo.

Today, I rode my bike to and from work for the first time in about ten months. I used to do it every day- but then... Ionno, I just didn't anymore. Commitment issues.

Oh muh gawd... I am so out of shape. I maxed out at 18 mph coming home - that's MAXED. I think I averaged like, 13. It was three miles - what's up, Meg - seriously. So much for 100 mile rides like the good ole days, chunky! And of course, I was absolutely soaked in sweat. Shower time.

I got the water nice and intolerably hot. I scrubbed my roots with super-crunchy-organic-and-no artificial-anything shampoo, then conditioned with the matching conditioner. I'm pretty sure I scrubbed the top layer of skin off with my organic castile soap and washcloth. Then - my face. Oh, I hate you, FACE!

After that bike ride, it was greasy and sweaty. I can't use soap because it dries my face out. If I just use water and a washcloth, it will feel sticky. Gross. I can't use soap because I have painful cystic acne and it dries out my face (all soaps. yes, all. I said ALL of them)... when acne skin gets too dry, what's the next step? Pores FLOOD with oil to overcompensate, of course! Then I get to wake up with a new, red, painfully special something on my chin. Or cheek. Or forehead. Lovely.

(Here's a ridiculous crazy-eyed selfie of when my acne was first getting fired up (not a ton of acne scars, yet). In my defense, I took this photo for the purpose of a before and after - at least I had hope there was an "after.")

So here's what I do - even when I am a nasty, sweaty, dirty mess. I scrub my face with oil. Cuz I'm crazy? No, just informed (read that in your best William Shatner impression). Okay, and a little crazy.

See, Heather from Mommypotamus and Jennifer from 20 Something Allergies and Counting... Down joined forces and made a blog post-baby that changed my freakin' life.

It really wasn't all that and, but the consider the fact that those pimples were mostly 3-in-1s and intensely sensitive and gruesome. And I used to have really pretty skin. Curses.

Oh- you're expecting information, here. Right.

Acne is a combination of things. In my experience, it is mostly hormones. My diet effects my hormones, so I have to try and control my diet, balance my hormones, and topically address it as best I can. This is my topical remedy! Get those hormones in check if nothing's worked and you're at a loss (check out tips on hormone balance from Lauren G at Empowered Sustenance -here's my favorite post about acne control. She's basically a hormone warrior).

So basically, if you use soap, you strip the protective goodies straight off of your skin. There's oil (protective goodies) there for a reason - we need it to protect the pores from the dirt and dead skin that can clog them and create inflammation and a big, nasty ZIT. Now, oil cleansing - oil dissolves oil. You use hot steam on a washcloth to help "melt" the oil cleanser from your pores and it takes the pore-clogging goobers with it. But leaves a super thin film on your face that keeps it moisturized.

My face still feels tight-ish and clean afterward, and the best part is I don't have that gross shiny oil thing going on a couple hours after I bathe. Yay.

Here's my recipe - everyone's will probably be a little different. I would love to try to add some Sandalwood essential oil, as it's great for fading scars. But, baby steps.

Oil Face Wash
1 tbsp organic olive oil
1 tbsp organic jojoba oil
1 tbsp organic sweet almond oil
1 tsp vitamin E oil
1/4 tsp melaleuca essential oil/tea tree oil
1/4 tsp lavender essential oil

Place in a jar that won't get water in it - I use a little glass medicine jar with dropper. Shake it before you use it and follow the instructions in Jennifer's video, below.

Here's the video of adorable Jennifer explaining the basic process. I scrub the oil into my skin with the  if I've been sweating and gross - which is pretty much anytime I touch my bike, play in my garden, or go to work.

I still get zits - don't get me wrong. I just don't have nearly as many because of this + elimination of dairy. I still have a monthly hormonal influx that all us fertile ladies love so dearly that punches out a couple of awesome face volcanoes, but for the most part, I'm good. Thank you, Heather and Jennifer. You guys are marvelous.

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