My skin has always been an issue. I’ve experienced varying degrees of acne since adolescence and it has always had a big impact on my self esteem. The times when my skin is clear, I feel healthier, happier and more confident. When my skin is flaring up, I simply want to hide inside alone. I’ve tried many, many different treatments including expensive brand-name creams & washes, dangerous pharmaceuticals, and any ‘oil-free, dermatologically-tested, non-pore-clogging’ fad product I could get my hands on. Nothing has ever completely taken care of the issue but certain times in my life have been better or worse.
Since moving to Ireland, my skin has had a terrible reaction and become as bad as I can remember it being. I don’t know if it the water (which has done a number on my hair), the weather (sunshine has always helped and there is no sun here), the stress (new place, new house, new job, busy travel schedule), the fact that I stopped taking birth control or a massive combination of all of the above. But I am feeling terrible about myself. And when I look at the beautiful photos taken while travelling I always focus on how terrible I look.
I decided it was time to do some research and approach the situation differently. Thanks to the beauty of the internet and people graciously sharing their experiences on their blogs, I was able to find some great advice. For a while I have been thinking that the chemicals in my skin care routine might be contributing to my reactions and negatively affecting my health overall, so when I read this quote, something just clicked. – “Our skin is like a second mouth and anything we put on it, is absorbed into our bodies. So caution should be taken with anything you put on your skin. If you wouldn’t eat it, don’t use it!”
With this in mind, I’ve decided to try a few all natural solutions including a honey face wash, a jojoba and tea tree oil moisturizer and a cinnamon & nutmeg spot treatment. All products were simple enough to find – even in Belfast! – and the mixes were very easy to make. I’ve been using it consistently for about one month now and I’ve had mixed results. I am hopeful that with continued application, reducing of stress, increase of exercise and changes in eating habits, I will be able to cure the problem completely.
So phase one was a detox of my cosmetics, and step two will be a detox of my diet. As to why, another quote explains it perfectly – “Be thankful for your acne. It’s your body’s way of telling you something isn’t right.” I’ve read that dairy and wheat allergies can present as skin conditions and reducing those items can help skin improve. To start I will make small changes to my diet by increasing my intake of green juices, adding acedophilius to aid digestion, and drinking green tea. Once I have some more time to set aside for recipe reviewing, I will do my best to cut out wheat and dairy. All of these changes are part of an effort to reconnect with my body, prioritize my health and re-charge myself so I can start feeling happy and alive again.
Today I say yes to low cost, low tech and low chem. Yes to the power of all natural, plant-based ingredients. And yes to try curing a life long problem.
The future belongs to those who prepare for it today.