Friday, February 19, 2010

Gimme Some Skin!

For about five years I've had this strange rash on my face.  It just appeared out of nowhere, really.  There was no drastic change in my diet or level of activity.  Strange.  I have spent a lot of time researching skin rashes online, deducting and re-incorporating parts of my regular daily routine.  I've tried countless products, some natural, some not.  Nothing seems to match up, nothing seems to have worked.  The one thing I have not done is consult a dermatologist, primarily because I do not want to get on the pharmaceutical bandwagon.  There must be an all-natural, home remedy for these peskly little red dots.

Recently, however, I have noticed tremendous improvement.  My husband has noticed, too.  I'm sure if I were to just take a little pill, all would be clear.  But would that really be the cure, or would it render me dependent on the little pill in order to have clear skin?  Hmm.  I've chosen instead to use a variety of natural methods that improve my overall health in addition to my skin.  Here they are:
  1. Stop putting stuff on my face.  Seriously.  Many cosmetics and personal care products contain abundant unnatural ingredients that damage your skin, but may also create other serious side-effects.  I have not worn liquid makeup regularly for more than a decade.  But I have used a lot of cleansers, scrubs, toners, masks and moisturizers -- even those labeled "natural"; many contain carcinogens.  Check the safety of your favorite products here: 
  2. Make your own beauty products!  Grind oatmeal and mix with honey for a sweet and truly natural facial scrub.  Combine glycerine and drops of lavender, among other ingredients, for a non-sticky, non-greasy body moisturizer that really works.  Better Basics for the Home by Annie Berthold Bond is a must-have for any Green Queen or Queen-to-Be.  Packed with plentiful recipes for concoctions, decoctions, etc., Better Basics is a great mentor for anyone wanting to rid her home of potentially harmful chemicals. 
  3. I remove mascara and moisturize my eye area with virgin, first cold-pressed olive oil.  A little dab will do ya.
  4. I started wearing waterproof mascara and Burt's Bees tinted lip moisturizer to take attention away from my rash.  (LOL.)
  5. Instead of scrubbing my face violently, trying to erase the rash, I gently splash my face with water a couple of times throughout the day.  I leave the exfoliating for bedtime so my skin may recuperate while I sleep.
  6. Daily I drink a "skin juice" made with two cucumbers, one carrot, one-half red bell pepper, and one small apple.
  7. I drink at least one green smoothie per day.  My favorite is watermelon and spinach.  Spinach is a superfood!  Not only does it benefit my skin, it boosts energy and alleviates menstrual cramps.  Also, it's a great source of PROTEIN and CALCIUM, a natural combination rarely found in foods.
  8. Fruit, fruit, fruit.  I eat a LOT of fresh fruit everyday.  Some in its whole form, some blended with other fresh fruit, and some juiced with greens.  The more whole foods you consume, the better your overall health.  Better for the planet's health, too.
  9. Cut back on alcohol intake.  Since New Year's Eve I've had a whopping total of five drinks.  Multiple benefits.
  10. Reduce caffeine consumption.  Since I only drink one cup daily, two if I'm really really sleepy, I wasn't sure this would help.  However, I'm wondering if I might be allergic to the chicory in my beloved Cafe du Monde coffee.  Tomorrow I will begin drinking "regular" coffee for a couple of weeks to test that theory.  It might be caffeine, period, that I have to eliminate.  Grrrrrrr.
  11. Exercise more.  I'm running more, and I make sure I splash my face with water after I run.  This should rinse away any toxins I've eliminated through sweat.
  12. Rest.  I'm still working on this...I get so much more done at night after everyone's in bed!  And then I can spend my day learning and playing with Sage instead of cleaning, blah blah blah.  There must be a compromise...
  13. Be happy.  This I have achieved!  I live somewhere I want to live, I keep my life as simple as possible, and I have finally learned not to obsess about things out of my control.  I'm content to focus on my life and all the wonderful people and things in it, versus lamenting people or things I've lost...or have not yet found.  But I do still dream about being totally debt-free...sigh.
  14. Make time for loved ones.  I call my friends and family much more frequently than I used to.  Keeping up with them and their lives, and letting them know about mine, is good for our souls.  Humans need to feel they belong...somewhere.
  15. Keep life simple.  Do what you love.  Know what is truly important.  Although your priorities may differ from mine, they are valid.  They are what make you YOU.  Embrace you...and celebrate the differences between people.  Smile.  Often.

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