a few years back i got on a kick to go “all natural”. i read a lot of information about synthetics, chemicals, additives, etc. that are in everyday products and i was determined to rid them from my life. i succeeded for a little while but found that a lot of “natural” specialty items were EXPENSIVE. i needed to save money so i sort of gave up. funnily enough, the only things that stuck with me after i was done going full throttle hippie were the most inexpensive products: baking soda and vinegar. magic materials. i always clean my kitchen counters and mirrors with a vinegar/water solution. suuuuper cheap and suuuuper effective. and when i need to give the bathrooms or any surface a good scrub, i pour on the baking soda. add vinegar to it and it’s 6th grade science all over again. plus it’ll eat away all the gunk and make for squeaky cleanliness. and the best part: it won’t require ventilation or a breathing treatment afterwards. and your dog or baby could lick it and, you know, not die.
so, since i’ve been on the straight and narrow with the foods i’m putting into my body, i’ve decided to ease myself back into my hippie jeans and revisit the products that can be used outside the body. revelation: a lot of the time what you put into your body is just as suitable for use outside the body. and if you think about it, doesn’t it make sense that you would not want to put something on your body that you would not be able to eat? skin being the largest organ and all that. and it absorbing, like, everything it touches.
my aim is to slowly convert back to natural whole products that are inexpensive and as multi-functional as possible. 2nd revelation: duh, you don’t have to spend tons of money on natural products–just buy them in their most basic form! last night i took the first step. i nixed my shampoo, conditioner, and lotion for baking soda and coconut oil. i’m so excited by how much money i’m going to save. i was even able to invest in organic coconut oil which doubles as body lotion and a deep hair conditioner (and i can cook with it if i so choose).
thanks to nourishing flourishing i learned to use baking soda as shampoo. baking soda is wondrous. i mixed about a tablespoon with some shower water in my hand, rubbed it into my scalp, let it sit a bit, then rinsed it out. the conditioner was where things got fun. apparently, oil does not feel super slippery like bottled hair conditioner (dur!) so my stupid self kept adding TONS of coconut oil to my hair (the ends only) thinking i wasn’t using enough and i woke up today with a grease-ball head. i’ll have to use a MINISCULE amount next time or just leave it for a deep conditioning treatment. i read that vinegar is a great hair conditioning agent which i may try next time (lord knows i’ve got tons of it).
anyhoo, i got out of the shower and slathered myself head to toe with coconut oil and it was AH-MAZE-BALLS. i was so scared it would leave me feeling sticky but it was luxurious and made my skin look super dewy and glowing. and the most interesting part of this experience? i used it on my face. i have suffered from acne 4eva and have been suuuuper psycho about things that go on my face. i’ve been on antibiotics (tetracycline, minocycline, erythromycin), i’ve used horrendous prescription topical treatments (cleocin-t, peroxide, retin-A—>all strengths. and they eventually stripped the pigment from my face which didn’t come back for years), i used birth control pills, and i almost killed a doctor who wouldn’t prescribe me accutane (thank GOD i never used it). so putting anything oil-based on my face was enough to give me a panic attack. i eventually got off all medications and just used proactiv which worked pretty well.
but i’m done being harsh to my poor skin. after changing my diet to follow the principles of deep nutrition i saw pretty immediately that my acne was being soothed. i only have to wash my face at night (that’s ONCE a day! UNHEARD of for me). i’ve reduced the proactiv products i use to only the cleanser. and i plan on replacing it with a natural product after i do a little more research. i almost thought dr. cate was being too ambitious when she explained in “deep nutrition” that removing sugar and vegetable oils from my diet would significantly improve acne (along with tons of explanations as to why this is so). but the logic was sound and, so far, i’m free of acne and the trapping cleansing routine that comes with it. dr. cate also mentions in her book how ancient egyptians “enjoyed protection from acne and other skin infections because of a secret ingredient in their makeup”…FAT! and she goes on to say that “quality beauty products are made with natural saturated fats”. so i decided to give it a go.
this was supremely out of my comfort zone since my entire life i have believed that my oily acne-prone skin should avoid oil-based products at all costs (magazines, tv, doctors, everyone tells you this!). then i thought “i’ve bombarded my skin with toxic chemicals, ingested harsh medications, spent tons of money on doctors and products and never has my acne been totally controlled. why the HELL is my breath catching at the mere thought of putting some nourishing organic coconut oil on my face?!” i was almost enraged when i recognized how backwards my beliefs had become and overcome with emotion that i was finally taking charge. so i dunked my hand in the oil jar and gave my face what it has probably been screaming for my whole life.