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Monday, October 14, 2013

DIY Two-Ingredient Baking Soda Exfoliant for Clear & Glowing Skin

Hi guys. :-) As you know, my blog focuses on providing you all with healthy recipes, nutritional information and tips. Coincidentally, nourishing our bodies with unprocessed, whole foods is vital to the health and appearance of our skin, as it is our body's largest elimination organ, but an effective, gentle and non-toxic skin care routine is an integral part of healthy skin as well. With regards to the skin care products on the market today, some people may experience short-term results, some may experience no change, some may find the product has worsened their condition, and many don't realize the damaging effects these chemical-filled products have on our long-term health.

I have a deep connection to this topic with acne, but the same goes for dry, flakey, dull, ruddy, blotchy, excessively oily skin too. Exfoliation is imperative if you want to achieve beautiful, healthy skin. Regardless of your skin type - oily, dry, combination, normal - everyone can benefit from regular exfoliation. Removing dead skin cell particles through exfoliation allows for cell renewal and elasticity, providing us with clear, even, glowing skin while also reducing the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and hyper pigmentation (which I suffer from). 

I've battled adult acne on my face, back and shoulders, as well as other skin conditions like dermatitis for a little over 3 years now. I talk about it in detail on the "My Story" page if you're interested in reading more. :-) I have tried numerous topical and oral treatments from dermatologists, whom I no longer see, and more skin care products, even natural, organic ones, than you could imagine. But who would have thought that two simple, inexpensive ingredients in my kitchen would work better than all of the guaranteed-to-work-or-your-money-back-well-I-want-my-money-back, pricey, oftentimes toxic and ineffective products, combined. 

I've always been terrified to exfoliate my very sensitive skin because I felt like any irritation would exacerbate my acne. In all honesty, I was afraid to try any product, whether it be a facial cleanser or moisturizer. I went a long time without a lot of these things because I felt that every time I used something new, it would cause breakouts. I always blamed the product for new blemishes. Even with all of that fear, I knew I needed to find a way to slough off the dead skin cells piling up from products and the environment. My skin was suffocating underneath all of the blocked pores filled with dirt and oil. These clogged pores were interfering with my natural oil production so my skin would overcompensate and produce more oil, especially since I wasn't using a moisturizer to balance that out. As a result, my skin's capacity to absorb all of the nourishing properties from the skin care products, even the most natural and gentle ones, was essentially non-existent because of that build-up. So, I blamed the products for making my acne worse, but they didn't even have a chance to do their job.

I have been using this do-it-yourself baking soda exfoliator for many months now. I wanted to really test it and see if I experienced positive, sustainable results to determine if it was worth sharing with all of you. Luckily, it has worked wonders! I noticed a difference the very first time I tried this exfoliating treatment. This has been a major breakthrough for me and my skin. After exfoliating in this way, my skin feels incredibly soft and smooth and it looks noticeably brighter, too. I suffer from red hyper pigmentation marks that linger after the pimple itself has healed and they usually take several months to fade. That has been most frustrating for me. However, thanks to this exfoliant, I feel so much more confident in my skin. And though I am still working on eradicating acne completely on my face, in combination with my diet and lifestyle changes, this treatment has helped tremendously. My skin has never looked better since my battle with acne began 3 years ago in August. I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel. So, without further ado...




Baking Soda Exfoliant

YIELD: 1 use for face, neck, chest, shoulders, and back

INGREDIENTS
• 1 Tbs + 1/2 tsp baking soda
• 1 and 1/4 tsp water

DIRECTIONS
1. In a small bowl, mix the ingredients together until it forms a thick paste.
2. Cleanse your skin first. Then, spread the paste evenly on your face. As a bonus, you can also use it on your neck, chest, shoulders, and back, if you're doing this in the shower like I do. You could also exfoliate your entire body - just double the recipe.
3. Working from the center of your face outward, in circular motions, use your fingertips to exfoliate/scrub the skin for a few minutes. Apply medium pressure. You want to make sure you are applying enough pressure to pull out impurities and remove the dead skin cells, but not so much that you cause damage or irritation. Also, be sure to avoid the eye area.
4. Let the paste sit on your skin for 5-10 minutes and then rinse off well with water.
5. Pat your face dry with a towel and apply your favorite moisturizer immediately after to lock in the moisture.

I have cleared up the acne on my neck, shoulders and back and the dermatitis on my chest using a combination of tea tree soap from Dr. Bronner's (which you can also purchase from Whole Foods, The Vitamin Shoppe or Sprouts), the baking soda exfoliator, and the removal of refined sugar and processed foods. A powerful trio, I tell ya. All without harmful chemicals!

I use this exfoliant once a week though 2-3 times a week should be fine too. Tailor it to your needs. The skin on your face is more delicate than the rest of your body so be as gentle as you can and monitor how your skin looks and feels after the first go-round. You may experience a tingling or warming sensation while the paste is on your skin but not to worry, it's harmless. 

Because the exfoliation process removes dead skin particles, a temporary purging of impurities will occur. With that said, you may experience a few initial breakouts if you're prone to acne, but keep with it and you'll see dramatic improvements in your complexion without the disappointment, empty bank account and long-term health consequences that come with brilliantly but deceptively marketed skin care products.

Let me know how this works for you if you give it a go! Even if you don't suffer from skin problems per se, still give it a try and see if you notice an improvement. I'd love to hear from you! Stay tuned for my next skin care post where I will discuss my all-time favorite face moisturizer - you may be surprised when you find out what it is. ;-)

"The critical ingredient is getting off your butt and doing something. It's as simple as that. A lot of people have ideas but there are few who decide to do something about them now. Not tomorrow. Not next week. But today. The true entrepreneur is a doer, not a dreamer." Nolan Bushnell

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