Free Your Face

I’ve been thinking a lot about how my skin is changing, and I thought I’d share some amateur advice so that I might possibly help some other lost souls out there…

Did you know that your body (and specifically your skin) undergoes multiple transformations throughout your life, even after puberty? They call it: Second puberty.

I’m sure that anyone who’s been through young adulthood is nodding their head right now. “Yup, my body is growing tons of hair and aches 24/7 and I never eat sugar anymore. The good old days are gone.” Or something like that…

I don’t want to get older and have my body mature again! I thought it already matured and was done with that. I’d rather stubbornly stay youthful forever and never have any more responsibilities than I do now. Finding out about this second puberty thing feels like I just woke up out of a coma. My life is a lie! I thought that as I got older maybe I’d know what I was doing a little more. Nope! I get more lost with every step on this journey through life.

I need to start caring more about being more healthy because it’s going to get more difficult as I age. If you never think about taking care of yourself, you’ll suffer in the long run. Now that I’ve noticed a couple warning signs of my body aging, I’m absolutely terrified! I feel a wee bit dramatic here, but this is actually pretty devastating when you first come to notice what’s happening in your own body. It’s just not an option to be apathetic about my health anymore; I need to change my lifestyle now before I create permanent ugly reminders of the damage I’ve done to my body. Drinking = bad skin and kidney damage. Sugar = diabetes. Veggies = good. Excercise = GREAT. Coffee = bad but also good. Bubble baths = my only hope…

Hopefully, in the next 10 years, I will make some solid good habits (not likely) before I just deteriorate into nothingness. I know I need to work on my discipline because I haven’t put that tool to use in a while, and it’s a little rusty.  I need to be a more conscious consumer and read the ingredients on my food and consistently work out and take care of myself and my skin. Relax time is vital, and I need to think about how my actions impact my body and my mind and my craziness levels.

***

As I’m aging I have new problems to deal with. I’ve graduated from keeping my grades up to keeping my bills managed. And my body has gone from a lightning fast metabolism to one that can’t handle a few pushups. Now that I’ve climbed over Mt. Decade #2, my skin acts like it doesn’t even know me anymore. It’s trying to adjust to and prepare for this long-term state of being alive and all that. I guess I’m entering the middle of my life where you don’t feel young and alive anymore, but you aren’t close to dying either.  Between creation and destruction: that’s where we are right now.

The 1st major factor of this adult puberty that affects me is the changes occurring in my skin. My face requires a completely different treatment than it used to. And that has been a tremendous adjustment. But I have found a solution that works (there is hope!!!).

I think this all started earlier this summer as I was finishing up at my community college. At first, I had trouble even comprehending that my skin was changing and needed an updated treatment to keep it healthy and happy. Throughout high school and up until my 20’s, I had pretty typical skin; I tried to be gentle with it for the most part and listened to its signals of what it needed. I usually didn’t bother with foundations and face makeups (and still don’t) because I felt good about my face back then, and don’t really think I needed that stuff to look good. It’s just not worth it to me, and it takes way too long. My skin responds better and looks healthier the more I just let it be on its own and show off its natural glow. Just go without makeup for a while, it’s good for you!

When my face began to transform into a new creature, I wasn’t treating it how I needed to anymore. I was embarrassed by all the blemishes on my skin and how red it had become from irritation. I stubbornly thought I could treat it as I always had because I thought I knew my skin well enough to diagnose its problems myself. But I sure didn’t, and I needed a new acne remedy to save myself from the shame of not knowing how to feel good about my face anymore.

I was also terribly insecure about the entire thing and had a lot of other self-image issues at the time as well. I was convinced that I could just cover up all my blemishes with makeup rather than diagnose the problem. I was out of options. This began the downward spiral of the battle against my face. The worse my face got, the more makeup I wore because I didn’t want anyone to see my damaged completion. But then, of course, the more often I tried to combat my acne by scrubbing and ripping parts off and covering and clogging it up, the worse and worse it got! It fought me aggressively during that period. There was no hope for me; I wouldn’t even take advice from other people with their own complicated faces.

The thing that finally lifted me out of this ravine of self-loathing was a meditation about positive body image. It emphasized that you need to accept yourself the way you are right now, without changing or improving anything. I listened to the uplifting words through my headphones even though I was far from that mindset. Eventually, I just cried it all out felt better and ready to give my face a second chance. Meditation helped me quiet that malicious inner voice that doesn’t want to see me happy; the devil in your mind that distracts you when you’re trying to be productive (or finish a post), and who interrupts your progress in any way it can. There are mind demons in all of us, no matter your beliefs. Demons of anxiety, of jealousy and greed. They plague us all when we are weak and don’t have any power to combat them.

Meditation helped me quiet that malicious inner voice that doesn’t want to see me happy; the devil in your mind that distracts you when you’re trying to be productive (or finish a post), and who interrupts your progress in any way it can. There are mind demons in all of us, no matter your beliefs. Demons of anxiety, of jealousy, greed, and sloth (the most powerful of all). They plague us when we are weak and don’t have any power to combat them or when we just aren’t paying enough attention.

Anyway. Implementing positive meditation and focusing on your thought patterns will have a ton of healing potential. It gives more volume to the voices of love and truth and harmony – the optimistic ones that will encourage you and not tear you apart from the inside. Inner peace and all that (A little cheesy, but isn’t that how meditation is?)

But the thing that really helped me with my insecurity was finding peace with myself. It wasn’t some secret magical remedy that grants you instant happiness and beauty. You have the potential for happiness within – you just have to love yourself. Whatever it takes, you have to get there before you can live happily. I focused on my self-love to heal internally what I could not heal externally; the reason for my suffering was not solely based on how I washed my face or how healthy I ate, as I had thought before. Once I felt more confident about my natural face, the healing really began. I stopped wearing as much makeup and even went without for a little while, despite the imperfections. I also started being more gentle with how I washed my skin and stopped being so persistently aggressive about it. And it has made a huge difference!

“Beautiful skin requires commitment, not a miracle” 

With my younger skin, I found that exfoliation was my friend. One of my favorite exfoliates was the Clean & Clear Deep Action Exfoliating Facial Scrub. It tingles when you put it on your skin and has tiny little blue scrubbies that do some high quality deep- cleaning work against the bacteria in your pores. It leaves behind a very soothing and refreshing feeling when washed away. I loved this stuff because it really did the job thoroughly and felt great in the process. It’s an intense and deep cleanse, so be careful if your skin is more on the sensitive side. What I like most about it is that it’s inexpensive and widely available in most grocery stores or here on Amazon.

However, my skin now hates that scrub or anything too intense like that. It likes to be gently caressed. Now, I switched to Burt’s Bees products and I’m obsessed (didn’t rhyme on purpose there). I have two of their products right now: the Burt’s Bees Soap Bark & Chamomile Deep Cleansing Cream and the Orange Essence Facial Cleanser. I didn’t realize that I had them both because I bought them separately, but I’m glad I have each of them because they’re similar enough that my face is used to them but different enough that I feel like I’m mixing it up sometimes and don’t get bored.

While I know there are a lot of other good cleansers out there, this is the best one I’ve tried for a lot of reasons. They smell and feel really great and are 99.99% NATURAL, which your skin loves a lot more than all the preservatives and other damaging substances that many commercial face products are loaded with. Both of these products have a moisturizing effect, and the Soap Bark and Chamomile one feels cool and soothing because of the ingredient menthol. Neither of these two products lathers up much or exfoliates aggressively, so look away if you’re into face products for that.  But if you need a sweetly gentle and natural way to cleanse and pamper your face, this is for you.

The orange essence cleanser contains two vital ingredients: olive oil and aloe vera. This cleanser contains a lot of other natural oils, which makes this a very smooth and moisturizing product. You might know that olive oil has been used for skin since ancient times and that it’s packed with antioxidants and doesn’t clog your pores like you’d think oil would do. Aside from cooking and promoting hair and nail growth, it can be used as a makeup remover, moisturizer, mask, in baths, and a TON of other things. Aloe vera is already pretty well-known for its magical properties. It’s a powerful antioxidant and antifungal, and works wonders for clearing, soothing, hydrating, and rejuvenating your skin. The adaptations this plant made to the harsh desert environment made it into a modern necessity for wounds, irritation, and general skin care.

The main ingredients in the soap bark and chamomile cleansing cream are chamomile, aloe, and menthol. Chamomile is another super ingredient that is mainly known for its soothing properties in tea (it’s so mild that it can even be given to babies). It is also an anti-inflammatory, which helps with sensitive or damaged skin. Menthol is derived from peppermint and eucalyptus plants and has soothing and pain relieving properties that can be useful for irritated or hot skin.

***

I decided that I need to stop subjecting my face to the carcinogenic chemicals in popular makeup as much as possible. It’s not healthy for our skin or bodies at all and can be just as toxic as the chemicals in the preservatives in the food we eat. I found some shocking info in this article about what’s in your makeup. I didn’t recognize most of the chemicals, but what I did know were the hormones, lead, formaldehyde, parabens, and a bunch of scary-sounding compounds that we expose our skin to when we use some products. It’s insane!! (I might even revisit this topic in depth at another time because it’s mindblowing to me what we willingly put on our skin).

I prefer natural remedies over all the chemicals and hormones I’ve been slathering on my skin to cover up all the damage I’ve done to it. I’ve already noticed my skin clearing up because it isn’t suffocating from all the muck I used to cover it with. Just let your pores breathe. Then clear them out gently, and tend to them with natural treatments, and your skin will thank you for freeing it. Give it a break! A lovely natural break.

“Know yourself, and you will win all battles.”

Just take the time to treat yourself better. Be conscious of what your inner monologue is telling you. Meditation dude – that’s what I used to heal my skin initially. The cleansers I use just help to maintain the good balance I have going. I’ve also just started using olive oil on my skin, and I will report back with my results on that very soon once I have solid results…

So if you want to try out the magic of Burt’s Bees for yourself, check out what this amazing brand has to offer. Stop with the face abuse!

 

 Here is the soothing exfoliant I used to use. Very effective against stubborn acne:  And the natural products I use currently:

 

Till next time…

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