Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Bad news blues ( or is it reds and dark browns?)

I was so excited to get the great info Nuri posted yesterday because....
My face is breaking out again :-(
(and I think she has magical powers to know what I need to read and when lol)

I get bumps mainly on my chin and cheeks- the woman's hormonal adult acne zone.
And because I have a couple culprits I have to eliminate them all!  I was on a precipitous clear skin ledge apparently, still fighting this very common symptom of PCOS.

Culprit Numero Uno: Vatika Oil.
Yes, I tried to go back- even after declaring in a video that it was bad news for my skin. My hair just loved it soooo much that I thought I could sneak a little into my routine and just keep my face clean meanwhile. No, fail, negative.  Even my shoulders and chest doth protest- so I am pointing 8 fingers at this cursed (whhhyyyyyyy!) miracle oil.

Culprit 2: Mac Mineralize powder Foundation.
Now this just sucks... My skin had been doing so much better that I thought I could switch to a light coverage, high quality powder.  I usually use Maybelline Mineral Power liquid foundation (I must mix natural beige and pure beige to get a good match though) and had had no issues except that it is a little heavy on days I don't need it, or it's hot outside.  So I splurged on a Mac brush and powder compact in Medium Plus.  And right around that same time = small bumps.  They had escalated to larger bumps by the time I ceased using vatika and the powder both so I can't let it off the hook.

Culprit 3: Stress and hormones
A few dramatic changes occurred in a short amount of time for me (sick family member, large baby-shower I planned, and an 8 yr old in the house for the summer) and I am on Metformin at 1000mg a day now.  I typically get stress bumps on my usually clear forehead- and low-and-behold... a bump.  And the Metformin should be helping and not harming.  I do know that my hormones have been HELLA whacky since I got on this stuff but I haven't had any troubling side effects nor increased acne until now.  This may just be a part of that hormonal cycle I was previously on.  I'm going up to 2,000 mg of Metformin next month so I am playing the watch and wait game with these meds for now.

So I have cut back to bare minimum on my face for the past few days. no makeup, 2 washes a day now, a moisturizer and what I had left of my topical antibiotic and Tazorak. I got a referral to a new derm, but I don't think I'm going to go just yet.  FIRST I plan to try Beantown Brown's bentonite mixture. My partner blogger has beautiful skin and is on the same page as me when it comes to empowering yourself to change the things under your control.  So I WILL work on this and master it.  I am also looking back at the comments you all had on my revealing Acne post.  Thank you for those- and keep them coming!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Bentonite is Bangin!

When I was five, my skin was awesome. But whose wasn’t? It’s a few years later now (ahem) and my skin is a few years less awesome, but (thankfully) not terrible. A little hyper-pigmentation here, the occasional breakout there, nothing that can’t be handled with proper care, maintenance, diet and general internal health (check out Nia's AWESOME post on her skin if you haven't already where she mentions the internal causes of external skin conditions). I’ve had pretty much the same skin care “routine” for ages. I say routine in quotes because I am not disciplined enough about anything, let alone taking care of my face, to call it a routine. I can regularly be counted on to grab a washcloth, wash my face with some warm water and slap on some moisturizer (always with SPF!). Other than that, my skin care is a fly by night operation. I have used Aveda products for years though, with excellent results. So much so, that I’m mostly afraid to try anything else. The fact that they work well on my skin, coupled with the fact that Aveda works really hard to be environmentally sustainable and as non-toxic as possible makes me ride with them til the end (or til they get trumped by a less-expensive equally conscious competitor). I particularly love the All-Sensitive Cleaser

One of the young ladies who works at the Aveda store in the Braintree, MA Mall hipped me to a new technique for using the cleanser. Instead of following the directions on the bottle and wetting your face before applying the cleanser, she suggested applying the cleanser on dry skin, and then rinsing like you would cold cream. GENIUS! The product works even more effectively this way, really pulling out all the dirt, oil and makeup. 

The Tourmaline Charged Hydrating cream saved my skin this winter. In spite of the epic snowfall and freezing cold temperatures we had this winter, I was outside for much of the day every day with my puppy, who thinks snow and cold are the greatest things since rawhide bones. All of that outdoor time basically made my face crack and fall off. I was walking around looking like a mummified corpse in the Egyptian wing of an art museum. Not cool. I made a trip to Aveda, where the Tourmaline cream was recommended and it made instantaneous improvements. 
During those 5 or 6 days of spring that we had, I noticed that my skin still had some recovering to do from the trauma of winter and so I decided to try a bentonite clay mask. 

I checked out a few videos on YouTube, copped some clay at my local health food co-op and came up with a recipe that made sense for my skin’s needs.
My bentonite recipe was:
(Mixed In a plastic bowl w/ a plastic spoon)

2 TSP Bentonite clay
1 TSP Organic Apple Cider Vinegar
1 TSP Raw Organic honey
4 drops Jojoba oil
4 drops Organic Tea tree oil
2 TSP Water

Mix well to a smooth paste and apply to clean skin that has been dampened with warm water (to open pores). Allow to dry completely (time may vary, but for me it was about 20 min). Rinse thoroughly with warm water, follow with your regular moisturizer and enjoy having skin like a baby’s butt.
(FYI, Moptopmaven has some great info on her blog about which oils might be good for different skin types. Check out: this or this)
Pictures don’t really illustrate the effects of the bentonite mask, but let me tell you, I could feel the difference instantly. My skin felt fresh and super smooth. I also noticed that my moisturizer was more effective with less product.

But let’s be real for just a moment, shall we? There is no miracle product that will drastically change what any of us look like (plastic surgery/botox aside). Genetics, hormones and health play a huge role in the appearance of our largest organ and these are factors over which we have little control (other than the latter). The best we can do is to try to take good care of what we’ve got. I believe that our strongest weapon in that battle is diet, but using quality products which are appropriate for our individual skin is also important. For ME, the bentonite worked well, as do Aveda products, but I’m not endorsing any of these things for anyone else. What I will get behind is the notion that we are all beautiful, flaws and all, and that as long as we are healthy and happy, that beauty will shine. It may sound corny, but that other kind of beauty they sell in magazines and movies is so subjective it’s too silly to even focus on. That said, I’m still interested in what has worked for others in improving the health and appearance of their skin, so share your stories and secret recipes folks!


Sunday, June 19, 2011

SunFest and Happy Father's day!

Hey there!  Happy Fathers Day to all the daddies out there, including my daddy!

 Me, my dad, and his dad.

Today I will hanging with my BF and his son at the SunFest in Silverspring.  There will be a little natural hair area with a few vendors including Safi Haircare!  I'll be there to meet folks and answer any questions people have about natural hair.  I made little tiney cards too lol.  Even thought I'm not selling anything I hope to be able to contribute to the booth.  Come by with your dad and the dads in your life.  There will be lots of entertainment.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Summer Hair Cut Part 2 - Explanation Video


Image by Brianna McCarthy

80's- Sheila E
Whitney in the 80's.  Actually probably just about anyone with curly hair rocked this in the 80s lol. 

And who can forget then model/actress Ola Ray in the Thriller video! It is a jerry shag? lol. 
I would put the soul glo shag from coming to America, but I think you get it lol.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Hair Cut Picts- Before and After

Here are picts of what I've done!  I want to get all into the why/how/what but I don't have time right now :-( but I don't want to hold these up!  So this is part 1 of a 2-part post.

BEFORE:                                                                AFTER:

Monday, June 6, 2011

I Cut my Hair

A lot of it. But so far no one has noticed LOL. Gotta ♥ curls and kinks!

I cut it back into shaggy glory. No more angled bob goings on.  It has not dried yet for me to take after picts but they are on the way. 

I can still get it into a pony though!

Which goes to show how exaggerated the shape was before.

Even though I cut ALL this hair off!! 

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