...And God said, “Let the earth sprout vegetation, plants yielding seed, and fruit trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind, on the earth.” And it was so. The earth brought forth vegetation, plants yielding seed according to their own kinds, and trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind. And God saw that it was good...
-Genesis 1:11-12

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Skin Care Tips Part 3 {General Tips & Questions Answered!}

{Part 1}
{Part 2}

Let's talk about some general skin care today, not just specific treatments, as well as some just general info about your skin.  (let me just clarify here that these are about facial skin. The skin on the rest of you body is a little more resilient, and may not always need the kid-glove treatment of you face)
 I'm also going to answer a reader's questions about whole body skincare.
(P.S. I loved answering these questions, and would absolutely love to have Q&A's a regular thing. If you have questions (anything related to what I talk about here) comment on any post your question with *Q&A added to the question.

This is going to be a long post  - sorry about that! :/

I am very simple and minimalistic when is comes to my skin care. I love to opt for gentle ingredients found in my own kitchen. Honey, Oats, Coconut Oil and Yogurt are pretty much the only things I use on my face for skin care. 
That being said I am definitely open to cleansers, oils and toners that I don't make myself or find in my cupboard, I just haven't made up my mind which ones I really want to use right now.
I recently fell in love with Evanhealy products the other day after hearing about and testing the products with a demonstrator at Whole foods, but at the moment they are a bit high for my budget. Caru skin care, Priya Means love, One Love Organics, 100% Pure, and many more are all on my list for "one day" but for for now, DIY suits me. 

Please also remember that these are just my opinions, shared here after not a little time of research, but I am not an esthetician or a dermatologist. Most of these tips are what I've found that work or don't work for me, what irritate my skin, and what I've learned about the skin from estheticians, and other reliable resources. But I encourage you if you are  curious about something, or disagree with something, challenge it, seek out your own answers. We have a whole world of information at our fingertips with the world of the internet. Also, remember that places like e h o w and and similar sites, are written by average people who may or may not have a clue about what they are writing about, like articles about exfoliating with sugar is a big one. 
Okay, now, onto the real content! :)

1. Regularly change your pillow case. 
This is one of the best way to prevent breakouts! Just imagine all the oil, dirt, dead skin, and maybe even leftover make up that transfers to your pillowcase. Your skin  takes the time while you sleep to repair itself, and laying your face on a dirty pillow certainly isn't doing your skin any favors. 
I would definitely recommend changing every other day to every three days 
I will readily admit I am dreadful at doing this because I never have enough cases,  but I absolutely always always see an improvement in my skin when change mine regularly. If you can't do it every 2-3 days, absolutely change it once a week at the least.

2. Good Skin starts from the inside out. 
Drink lots of water. Your skin is an organ, and just like the rest of your body, needs plenty of water to keep working properly. Being active and exercising  plays a big role in your skin's health
Keep your hormones in balance (one word. Vitex.). For me hormonal acne is my biggest skin problem. It scars the worst and is the most painful. Keep track of what breaks you out around that time of the month and eliminate it, take vitex, and drink balancing teas.
Eliminate processed foods! 

3. STOP touching your face. 
Not only do your fingers and nails transfer all kinds of bacteria to your face, you can also cause small cuts in your skin if you are scratching at irritating itches. Wash your hands very well (and get under the nails!) before using your hands for applying skin care or makeup. 
Also be careful of putting your cell phone against your face. Use speaker phone, a head set or clean your  phone with alcohol if you know you'll be talking on your phone. 

4. Quit being so harsh.
There is really no need, and any benefit you might be getting from harsh scrubbing, pressure, cleansers, and exfoliation is greatly outweighed by the ultimate damage you are doing to the inner layers of your skin. Always have a gentle touch when applying things to your face. Massage, don't scrub. 
There is no need to use things like sugar, salt or other harsh exfoliants. Try gentler options like oats (post on how I use oats coming soon), cleansing grains, or doing masks with AHA and Salicylic Acid (using fruit high in these acids as masks) Strawberries are great place to start with these. 

5. Less is more. 
Don't try out many different products (skincare or makeup) at the same time or too often. This will cause the skin to become agitated and far more prone to be troubled. 

6. Be aware. 
Usually when we break out, our body is sending us signals. Stop eating that. Eat this. Balance your hormones. Get this vitamin in your system. Detox. Don't use that product here. Don't touch me! 

For me, I know that store bought orange juice breaks me out. I can put an orange in juice I make myself, but I can't just drink straight orange juice that is the equivalent of 5 or 6 oranges. 
Chocolate when combined with unbalance hormones will cause me to break out. 
Right now I have a unslightly spot where I push my glasses, and often get breakouts where it rests on my nose. Meaning I need to be aware not to touch my nose when I touch my glasses and and to clean my frames more often! 

7. Keep your Face hydrated Externally Introduce water to your face twice a day.
While keeping hydrated by drinking water is definitely important to your skin, your skin needs more. The water you drink is first used by all the other parts of you that need replenishing, often not leaving your skin not nearly enough. Externally Introduce water to your face twice a day and  Using a humectant like honey is a great way to keep your skin healthy and hydrated.

8. Be respectful of your skin's PH.
I wish this was a more widely discussed or known-about topic. It was a long time before I learned that our faces have a delicate ph balance that is essential to healthy facial skin, and though things may be looking good on the outside, we may still be damaging things if we are messing with the PH. Avoid things with very high or very low PH. Things like Apple Cider Vinegar, Lemon Juice (or any citrus fruit) or baking soda are all thing with drastic ph levels, and definitely should never be used on the skin. (I know that ACV is a highly popular remedy, and it works wonders for acne and such, but over time it really will cause skin problems and can breakdown the ph of your skin.)


Q: What Books Do You find Helpful When it comes to skin care?

A. Better Basics For the Home, was the book that got me started on my natural journey, and was and is my biggest resource for great information and lots of AMAZING DIY recipes for natural living in general, but definitely for skincare too.  It is a little outdated now, and many of the resources she has for companies, and products are very outdated, but it is still my favorite :)  I am going to be doing a whole post on my natural books, but for skin care this is really the only one I use. 
The internet though is really my biggest resource. When I hear something interesting about skincare (or really anything about living natural) I'll scour the internet and research until I'm blue in the face.
I have found Veronica Gorgeois on Youtube to be an excellent and interesting resource for great skincare tips. She is a certified and practicing esthetician, and definitely leans to the more natural side of things (but not completely. My favorite videos of hers that are a great place to start are "How Not to Ruin Your skin", "Skin, pH and the moisture barrier" "Skincare DIY recipes you should & shouldn't try" (two seperate videos linked there on should and shouldn't.)
  I do have one or two issues with a few things she says, especially, she states in one of her videos that Lavender Essential Oil is Phototoxic (sometimes know as photosenstive, meaning basically that it increases the harmful tendencies of the sun on your skin). Which if the EO is good quality, is simply untrue. Many Essential oils are indeed phototoxic, and you certainly would want to use them regularly on your face, but lavender shouldn't be an issue. 

Body Skin Questions

Q: Have you Tried Dry Brushing

A: No, but it is definitely an intriguing idea, and certainly one I'm open to trying. I haven't done much research though, and I have SUPER duper sensitive skin on my legs, so I'm a little hesitant. I will start research on this subject and get back to you in a later post!

Q: What about exfoliating body skin like legs and feet? 

A: As I stated above the skin on the rest of your body is quite a bit more resilient, so you are a lot safer using things like sugar on the rest of your body. I still personally just love oats for generally body skin, (though I have used sugar scrubs in the past) I don't exfoliate my legs but maybe once a year, and then only with soaked oats - just because the skin on my calves and shins is the most sensitive on my own body personally (which is really random I know) Anything on them irritates them so bad.
 I love exfoliating my feet though, and I wish I did it more often. I really only do a nice treatment a couple times a year. My favorite foot treatment is a soak of honey, lemon and acv, followed by a scrub of brown sugar, coconut oil, honey and peppermint Essential Oil. Link to the blog post I use for this. http://www.designsponge.com/2012/09/small-measures-honey-foot-care.html

Q: What about Natural Soaps? I've heard they can strip vitamin D that our skin hasn't absorbed yet. 

A: First, let me say, that though I too have heard that the vitamin D can rinse off before it's absorbed, I honestly haven't done enough research to know if this is true or not. Honestly I don't know if the soap has much to do with it. I have read, but I don't know for sure, that if you have purposefully been outside during the proper times to get more vitamin D into your body, that you shouldn't shower I think for 48 hours? To allow it to absorb  into your skin. This personally isn't a problem for me, as I don't shower everyday. I wash every day in the areas that need it and shower ever 2-3 days. (at least in the winter. I typically shower much oftener in the summer) I think if you are working on getting more vitamin d, the point is to avoid washing it off in general. 
As for soap, I use local line (Volta Organics) of all natural bar soap in the shower to clean and shave, as well as Dr. Bronners (castille soap) occasionally. A lot of natural soaps still really strip my skin. Currently I am head over heels for Volta Organics, which is actually local to my general area, it is the gentlest and least stripping soap I have ever found. I use one type in this line for my face (just in the shower, not any other time) sometimes my hair, if I don't want to shampoo it, and for the more sensitive areas, and another one in the same line for general cleaning and shaving use.

I hope this post was helpful, and not too boring. I'm sorry for having two skincare posts two weeks in a row. I generally try to pace out specific types of posts, but I've just been researching it a lot lately so it's been on my mind.  Natural Toxin free Makeup Posts are scheduled up next, and hopefully I'll have some herbalism/natural health posts up soon, as that's a subject I've neglected this year. Any requests?

Have a fantastic day!



SisterlyLove said...

All great ideas! Thanks Elissa!

Livia Rachelle said...

Love this post.
I need to wash my pillow cases more often and switch and flip them over especially since I don't wash my hair often.

Have you tried Cowgirl Dirt makeup? I just ordered samples to try. I don't know that they are certified organic, but they are natural and reasonable priced. I just cannot do mineral powder foundation; I need more smoothness and coverage (although I would love to eat healthy enough so I only wear eye makeup on week days), and I like thick concealer (and my fave Dr. Hauschka concealer stick is massively expensive).

Elissa Pickle said...

Thanks so Much Gen! <3

Elissa Pickle said...

@Livia Rachelle - I am SO glad you enjoyed the post, I hope i answered your questions well!

Thanks for pointing me to Cowgirl dirt,I hadn't looked at them before. I vaguely had heard of them, but there are so many to choose from, it takes a while to get around and check ingredients :) They look really great from the ingredients I looked at and definitely would use them myself. I update my makeup post a few days ago, if you are still looking for different options. Most of the ones I've listed are really reasonably priced. The All Natural Face has liquid and cream options for foundation, and their sampler of powder (to find your shade) is reasonable and really great. I've loved my powder foundation from them

May Fasai said...

Hi Elissa! Thank you for sharing some great skin care tips. I have already started following them and I am getting really good results.