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Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Superstar Moisturizer for Acne-Prone Skin + All Skin Types & Current Skincare Routine

Let me start by saying that I have oily skin, so moisturizers have always scared the heck out of me. Are my oily skin friends with me on this one? I feel like I can hear you loud and clear! Even still, I have learned that it is mega important to use a moisturizer regardless of your skin type. Without one, your skin will become imbalanced and will produce more oil to make up for the moisture it is lacking.

Surprisingly, I use organic Argan Oil to moisturize my face, which I know may sound insane. It took a mighty long time to convince me to use an oil on my face. Combatting excessive oiliness with an OIL? Come again? I had a difficult enough time being convinced to use cream or gel moisturizers, now I'm using an oil?! Yep! 100% pure, unprocessed argan oil is so wonderful because it is a multi-purpose product. I use it on my face, neck, under the eyes, on the ends of my hair to hydrate and treat split ends, and on my cuticles. It works like magic. People have complimented me on the health of my hair for a long time now and I always tell them the secret is argan oil (and very little heat, non-toxic shampoo & conditioner, but mostly argan oil has made the biggest difference!). This incredible oil is healing, hydrating without being greasy, and has anti-aging properties as it contains vitamin E and essential fatty acids to condition, repair and nourish the skin keeping it supple and youthful.

Argan oil is especially beneficial for oily, acne-prone skin because it replenishes the skin with just enough moisture and has anti-inflammatory properties (vitamin E) to reduce the redness that comes with acne. Most acne products dry out the skin. That is precisely what I experienced with Benzyol Peroxide. It was awful! Though it dried out existing pimples very well, it didn't prevent them the formation of them. As a result, I had extremely dry skin and extremely oily skin at the same time. Talk about imbalance! Argan oil has provided my sensitive acne-prone skin with balance and relief, which is what I have been seeking for years.

Argan oil is typically all I use in the spring and summer months but for drier months such as fall and winter, I couple it with an even more moisturizing product to combat dryness and flakiness. I love Sally B's Skin Yummies' Antioxidant Daytime and Nighttime Serum. I mix 3-4 drops of argan oil with those serums for extra moisture and nourishment. I also love their Carrot Facial Dream Cream when my skin feels and looks especially dry.

These products are pricey but long-lasting. A little dab will do! I have only bought one full-size product so far because I started out with The Traveler sample pack, which is so lovely because it has given me the chance to try various products in small amounts. I am happy to report that I still have a lot left of each sample product. It also comes with the Tamanu Luxury Facial Cleanser that I love and use daily. I bought the full-size of this when I ran out of the sample. I particularly love that it is made with over 95% certified organic ingredients and is very light but cleanses my skin completely. 

The serums, moisturizers/oil, cleanser, and once-a-week baking soda exfoliation have worked together to help clear my skin, even out my skin tone, restore moisture, and reduce redness, inflammation and hyper-pigmentation. I have tried countless skincare products over the past several years hoping to improve the condition of my problematic skin and nothing has worked quite like these products. I am overjoyed and relieved to say that I have finally found my tried and true skincare crew! Nothing worth having comes easy, eh?

I am a huge supporter of Sally B's because they use high-quality non-toxic ingredients that are cruelty-free and effective. Most of their products are suitable for vegans, too. This company truly cares about the health of people and the planet. Sally B's recognizes that cosmetics and personal care products are minimally regulated by the government meaning that manufacturers can use any ingredient no matter how harmful, and pre-testing or review is not required before a product hits the market. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) only steps in after it has entered the market. What good does that do?

Also, manufacturers do not have to list all ingredients used on their packaging. This means we have to self-police! Many of the toxic ingredients used are carcinogens and hormone disrupters, which have been shown to be very damaging to our health when accumulated in our bodies over time. These ingredients are absorbed into the skin and into the bloodstream. According to The Cancer Prevention Coalition, The National Institute of Occupational Health and Safety have found that 884 of the chemicals available for use in cosmetics have been found to cause cancer, genetic damage and biological mutations. They reported this to the government but no action was taken.

The Environmental Working Group, an environmental health non-profit organization, just released an awesome mobile app for iPhone and Android called Skin Deep that you can use to investigate the ingredients of any personal care product no matter where you are. You're even able to scan the barcode of an item for easy access. This app (and their Skin Deep website) provides consumers with safety ratings for nearly 80,000 products. It essentially helps us to make smarter decisions while shopping so that we can ensure that we're in charge of our health because we cannot rely on the government or cosmetic companies to look out for us.

At some point I will put together a blog post of my skin journey with pictures. I am just not quite ready to reveal that sensitive part of my life yet. If you have read my "My Story" section, you'll know it's been a trying three years. Changing to a vegan, gluten-free and refined sugar-free plant-based diet and incorporating moderate, enjoyable exercise such as yoga, stress management techniques such as meditation, self-care, and a non-toxic natural skincare regimen has completely transformed my skin which therefore tells me that I am successfully healing myself internally since outer symptoms are our bodies cry for help. Collectively, these changes got my digestion moving and grooving (largely due to green smoothies), my cycle regulated, major increase in energy, greatly reduced stress and anxiety, eradicated infections, and my hair and nails strengthened as well.

You won't see an improvement overnight, probably not even for several months, and it is likely you'll fall back into old habits and patterns along the way, but as long as you know why you're doing what you're doing, have your own back and keep your commitments to yourself, there is no way you won't get to where you want to be, and you will eventually heal yourself and come out of the "darkness" feeling and looking lighter, brighter and healthier than you could've ever imagined. If you need any help or encouragement, please know I am here for you! Contact me at any time. We're in it together. <3

Happy Thanksgiving, loves! Wish me luck for my first gluten-free vegan holiday. ;-)

"Health is a state of complete harmony of the body, mind and spirit. When one is free from physical disabilities and mental distractions, the gates of the soul open." ~B.K.S. Iyengar


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