Monday, April 16, 2012

Skin Part 1: Topically

I'm not good at allowing myself to be vulnerable. I have thin skin and would rather hide my imperfections than publish them. I hate being perceived as ugly, but I've learned over the years that we all have imperfections and there is always someone prettier than you. I'm also trying to build up courage to share post partum "before" pictures as I work to get my health and pre-pregnancy body back.

I guess I should thank my skin problems of my youth. The severe acne I had helped point me in the direction of a healthier lifestyle and natural healing. Thankfully, the acne has eased greatly, but time and pregnancy have affected things, too.

Let's start with an analysis of the photo of my cheek and forehead above:

1. I'm sure you notice first off a lot of scarring. Chalk that up to severe acne left untreated and bad acne advice. "If you force it to pop, it'll heal faster!"

2. Secondly, when I'm pregnant, I get red dots on my face. Not sure what they are called. Stork bites?

3. Third, if you look diagonally upward from my (unbrushed!) eyebrow and my hairline, you'll see a black head. Genetically, I have large pores, so while pimples are pretty much a thing of the past, I still get blackheads.

4. My undereyes are slowly getting darker and fine lines are just beginning to appear. My skin is not as taut as it used to be. For the record, I'm 31.

5. I have pale skin.

As anyone can guess, I would love to even out my complexion and not feel compelled to use make-up so much.

So, this series will address my skin and how I'm planning on treating it:

Part 1: Topically
Part 2: beyond the face
Part 3: Internally, the Liver Connection

So much has been said of Bio-Oil. As I peered nose-to-nose with my reflection in the mirror, I decided to go ahead and buy it, but something told me to look it up. What does it contain? Here's the list straight from Bio-Oil's website:


Calendula Officinalis Flower Extract (Calendula Oil)
Lavandula Angustifolia Oil (Lavender Oil)
Rosmarinus Officinalis Leaf Oil (Rosemary Oil)
Anthemis Nobilis Flower Oil (Chamomile Oil)


Retinyl Palmitate (Vitamin A)
Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E)

Oil base

Mineral Oil (Paraffinum Liquidum)
Cetearyl Ethylhexanoate
Isopropyl Myristate
Glycine Soja Oil
Helianthus Annuus Seed Oil

Fragrance (Rose)

Alpha-Isomethyl Ionone
Amyl Cinnamal
Benzyl Salicylate
Hydroxyisohexyl 3-Cyclohexene Carboxaldehyde

Color (Orange)

D&C Red No.17 (CI 26100)

Um, I'm not a fan of some of the ingredients. Ok, most of them. Pretty much from "Vitamins" down. So, my wheels started turning and I thought, "Hey, why can't I make my own Bio Oil?" The first 4 oil ingredients are easy enough to get. For vitamin e, I can use sweet almond oil. For vitamin c, I can use rose hip oil. Both are excellent for the skin. If I want fragrance and a thinner formula, I can add rose water, which is also great for the skin.

Right now, I just wash with my homemade soap, use witch hazel as an astrigent, and sweet almond oil for a moisturizer. I'd like an herbal boost, though, which is why I'd like to make my own Bio-Oil.

How do you treat your skin?

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