Skincare update: trials and progress

If you’ve been around here for any length of time, you know that I have tried and trialled many skincare products, in an effort to alleviate the hormonal/cystic acne that seems to erupt every once in a while for me. I’ve struggled with my skin since puberty, and spent hundreds on different products. I have heard that your skin changes in your 30’s anyway, so my efforts now as a 35 (eeep, 36 tomorrow) year-old woman are more towards natural and breathing life into my skin as much as possible.

Last year I did a one-month sugar and dairy cleanse, to troubleshoot if those were triggers. I used #foodforskinmamma. I didn’t notice any major connections. (kinda happy about that!) The one product I have found success with is Rodan & Fields – and while they aren’t natural or organic, it works, and was okay to use when I was pregnant!  You can see more of that initial acne skincare journey here where I showed some before and after pictures. I have now finally consented to use their Unblemish line when I need to, and supplement the rest with natural skincare products. I have tried to go ALL natural, and it doesn’t seem to prevent or treat fresh breakouts for me like I wish it would! Some of it actually irritates my skin more.

So here is a list of the products I have tried and like, and what I use them for. I don’t use each one every day, but throughout the week.

  1. Rodan & Fields, Unblemish – An American product, and the creators of ProActiv, this product works. It just does. I am using the wash and lotion once daily. I find that using it any more than that dries out my skin. But within days I notice a difference with this stuff!
  2. Coconut oil – this has been the best product to remove make up and nourish my skin at the same time. I use this at night with about a quarter size lathered into my skin. Then I place a warm wash cloth over my face, let it steam, and remove the day away!
  3. Apple Cider Vinegar – I use this as a toner, twice a day. I mix a little bit of water with it, as straight ACV is quite strong!
  4. Jojoba oil mixed with essential oils – I currently have a roller boll with 3 essential oils mixed with jojoba oil as my carrier oil. I found tea tree oil is quite strong just used topically, but this mix of Rosemary, Lavender and Frankincense (doTerra) are my current moisturizer, day and night. These oils are touted for their skin benefits, and this mix doesn’t seem to irritate my skin!
  5. Lush, Dark Angels scrub – I’ve tried a few different items from Lush, and this one I chose because it has charcoal in it. Charcoal is something I had ‘heard’ was good for skin. My main qualm about this product is that it’s kind of hard to get off; a gentle rinse doesn’t do it. You have to really scrub! Maybe it’s just my skin texture? It’s a great exfoliator though, and smells wonderful! I use this maybe twice a week, as I heard you should exfoliate every few days 🙂
  6. Bentonite Clay – I first heard about this clay when I was pregnant, but it wasn’t advised to use for pregnant women. It is a fantastic detoxifier, among many other things. Here’s an article by Dr Axe on the health benefits of bentonite clay. I mix it with a bit of water and ACV to create a mask and it’s oh so smooth and I do notice it ‘purges’ the pimples! (gross, I know). I use this now maybe twice a week.

So, there you have it. My skincare routine that seems to be working (fist pump/hallelujah/happy dance)! Perhaps some of that could help you?

Happy friday all …

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I’m no food blogger

So, I quit this weekend. The #foodforskinmamma journey I mean.

For several reasons such as: I wasn’t seeing any difference in my skin after 2.5 weeks, I was finding myself low on energy without whole grains, and since I am nursing, there are multiple changes in my hormones anyway. I found that all my spare time was used on looking up recipes, suggestions, tips… and I was just done with it. I want to enjoy this new mamma stage as much as I can, even with the things that can be frustrating. I can’t change and make it all better, and I need to be okay with that.

I’m happy I tried and got beyond the point of sugar-free crankiness (oh, on about day 3!)… and tried amidst the business of a new life to take care of myself.

I love food, and will continue to eat healthy like I normally do. I also realized I’m no food blogger – it just doesn’t get me excited!

So for the many reasons stated, I am back to just enjoying food and making smart choices, and just asking God to show me if there’s things I need to change that will help my health/skin overall.

But before I go and end the #foodforskinmamma journey, here are a couple more recipes I came across from other bloggers that I tried and really enjoyed!

*Gut healing cinnamon coconut latte ( I am TOTALLY going to do this one more often! After this journey, my blender may just remain a permanent counter-top appliance!)

*Honey lemon glazed chicken and baked barley (I did it with chicken breasts. Very yummy!)

*Buckwheat pancakes (the maple syrup I drizzled on them softened the buckwheat flavor!)

 

One week later and homemade spaghetti sauce (or something like that)

Good day all!

Well, one week in to the #foodforskinmamma journey of no sugar/dairy/wheat and I’m not seeing a whole lot of difference yet to be honest. Rather disappointing. It’s such a learning curve, and I’ve definitely flubbed up a couple times on the wheat spectrum (hello, ordering turkey NOODLE soup!) I’ve done my best. On the weekend I was pretty cranky with cravings and near wanted to give up (already, sigh). Troy said to me, “Hun, you’ve got this! This is the best way to know if your body doesn’t like something.” I may have teared up when he said that. And I know, I know, I won’t stop until the month is up.

*Cue instant gratification music*

I am learning about buckwheat flour, how to make the most of my daughter’s nap times (they are short around here), and that eating healthy as a new mamma is a challenge! Prep, grocery shopping, meal planning… takes time! So, I’m doing my best. And Elizabeth has enjoyed sitting in her bumbo watching Mommy create 😉

Yesterday, I made a chicken lentil soup, and took the recipe as a guide, and put it in the crockpot all day. It ended up more like stew because I put more veggies than required, but it still got me some protein and I was able to freeze some for later! Along with the soup, while Elizabeth was enjoying playing before bedtime, I made these tortillas to go with it. I’ve never done them before, so I’d say they ended up tasting better than they looked!  I also have been missing the crunch of cereal, so I found this recipe for some granola. Again, mine doesn’t look that pretty, but it’s healthy and will suffice 😉

Last night I made a spaghetti sauce of sorts, along with rice pasta shells, and it wasn’t half bad! I kind of threw everything in haphazardly, but here is what I came up with …

3 Roma tomatoes

½ zuccinni

1 green onion

handful of fresh parsley

garlic salt

oregano

basil

1 tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar

1 tbsp (approx.) honey

salt to taste

I must say, it was tangy and full of flavor, thanks to that ACV!

Onward with this #foodforskinmamma journey…

“I want ice cream, stat” says this #foodforskinmamma

Good Saturday morning all! Before my world awakes, I wanted to share a quick update of things I’m noticing on my #foodforskinmamma journey.

  • I really want a bowl of ice cream. Like, now. I said to Troy last night, “Those oreos would taste sooooo good in that ice cream!” As kids, we used to crush the cookie part of the oreo into vanilla ice cream and make our own blizzards. Seriously having sugar cravings the past few days, especially for ice cream. The other night I quickly made these no-bake fudge cookies (without the coconut flakes as I didn’t have any on hand) and they have satisfied my sweet tooth the last couple of nights! I also made this yummy beet salad with supper. I recently started liking beets, and my husband says that if you close your eyes, they actually taste like corn on the cob! True, true. My spinach froze in the fridge, so I used green beans instead. Here’s the recipe for that.
  • The other thing I am noticing is I actually feel more full. Which is a rarity, since I am breastfeeding. I usually feel like I am always hungry. I know that’s normal, since I burn as many calories as a 2km hike every day (I read this somewhere at some point). But I wake up more full and go to bed more full! I guess if I’m not stuffing myself with empty carbs and filling myself with more nutrient-dense snacks and food, it must be filling me up more!
  • My skin still feels tight and a little dry, but I don’t think I’ve had any new breakouts in the past few days! Hurray!

Even if it is just hormones of breastfeeding (which the majority of my skin issues are hormonal I believe), cutting out sugar/dairy and wheat will never hurt. I am still eating sprouted grain bread and cooked oats for breakfast (fill you up and good for nursing mamma!). At the end of the month, at least I may be closer to targeting what causes my skin issues to spike!

Thank you for reading my little indulges of sharing to whomever listens on the other side of this screen. May you steer your life well, run to Jesus in all things, and love this Saturday in whatever it brings you!

My 30 day food and skin care change up

Me and my girl

Oh to have the skin of a baby, hey? This is me, au natural, to give you an idea of where I am at, starting day 1.

 

As some of you know, I have struggled with skin issues since I was 12-years-old. It’s been now 23 years of on and off break-outs, dealing with scars, and trouble-shooting the cause. So. Annoying.

I blogged a little over a year ago about my skin, when I started using Rodan & Fields and found success. The thing is… a) It’s not natural in any way b) It’s a temporary fix, only working when you’re using it. As soon as you stop using it, breakouts happen again c) It’s an expensive US product.

Since getting pregnant and now breastfeeding, I feel like I’ve taken the seriousness of my health to a whole new level. And I love it! I love good food. God has given us such an array of beautiful food not only for enjoyment, but for our body’s nourishment. But I also have indulged in sweets and all the ice cream a summer can hold. I’m burning all these calories nursing, right? 😉

The past 6-8 weeks my skin has taken a turn for the worse again, and I’m at a loss. I have been using coconut oil as a wash for almost a year (which I love!), along with Witch Hazel (using that fairly recently), essential oils, and as much natural healers as I can (oats, honey, etc). Since I am nursing, it could very well be hormones, but I also know different things we eat will affect our hormone levels. Like…sugar, dairy, wheat (that breaks down into sugar in our bodies). Can you tell I’ve been pulling my hair out trying to figure out the cause? Alllllll these years.

So, I’ve decided the one thing I haven’t done (and all dermatologists have recommended), is to cut out sugar/dairy/wheat. For the next 30 days (August 10-September 10), my goal is to eat a more raw food diet along with good proteins like beans and grass-fed meat (as much as I can find and budget will allow!).

I’ve received the go-ahead from my doctor’s office, and am excited and hopeful for how this could help! I will share recipes I find and try, along with the frustrations and the victories 😉 You can follow along on Instagram with #foodforskinmamma

This morning’s breakfast was steel-cut oats with mango and blackberries. I’ve never made steel-cut oats so they overflowed in the microwave to a pasty texture. Here’s to new beginnings tomorrow 😉 Lunch was this yummy avacado lentil salad and this is what I have planned for supper, only with brown rice. Am I the only one whose recipes NEVER look like the picture!? Oh, and I also made these energy bites yesterday that helps satisfy my sweet tooth. I’ve made them several times before and LOVE them!

Now, excuse me while I go and shush my crying 4-month-old daughter.