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Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Six Weeks to Wellness: Skin Health





















So…I missed a few weekly updates on my Six Weeks to Wellness Journey because I all but pressed stop on blogging for a couple of weeks save for a couple of quotables. I did stay on my journey to wellness though. This week, I’ll give you the download on my hair, skin and nail health. Let’s start with a confession. I am hard on my skin. Translation: I am lazy. Most days, my routine goes like this:

SKIN

When I am rushing (most of the time), I shower with an anti-bacterial bar soap. It’s fairly drying but it’s an old faithful and I know I’m clean after using it. When I have more time, I use either a sea salt scrub or an argan oil-based body wash.  

I wash my face with a deep cleansing, over the counter creamy soap on most days. I have almond oil and used to use it daily. I got lazy. I also suffer from sleep-in-my-makeup syndrome.

If I have time, I use an in shower lotion. If not, my skin just goes dry all day. I do apply moisturizer with SPF 15 to my face daily.

In terms of make-up, on most days, I use a pore minimizer, foundation, concealer and mascara. I add eye shadow, lip balm and lipstick on date night. On weekends, if I’m not doing anything but running errands, I use a BB Cream or go bare.

NAILS

Polish, polish, polish. I do my own manicures/pedicures and use all types of colors and textured polish. I usually give myself a manicure once a week—rarely with a clear base. During the week, I file and clip as needed.

HAIR

When my hair was long, I rarely used heat on my hair. Now, with this short, summer bob, I use heat (blow dryer and flat iron) to straighten my curls a couple of times a week. I only wash my hair once or twice a week so it’s not a complete frizz bomb and my natural oils can do their job. I use a color preserving shampoo and conditioner…they come up as a 7 (high hazard) on EWG’s Skin Deep toxicity scale. I was BPA and paraben free for a while but when I dyed my hair, I opted for color preservation over the less toxic stuff. Terrible, right? Ugh.

I thought I was doing pretty well before starting this wellness process but I also knew from other things I’ve tried that I could be doing better. It really boiled down to taking time to better care for myself instead of pressing snooze a few more times. So, here are the changes I made.

THE CHANGES

SKIN
I started putting my skin brush to use again. It really only adds a couple of minutes to my morning routine and the impact it has on the softness of my skin is worth it. It also helps with lymph drainage. I also slather on jojoba oil and then hop in the shower. I know it seems backwards but it helps moisturize as your pores open in hot water. I still use my antibacterial soap and argan oil-based cleanser.  I use the sea salt scrub once or twice a week. I try to work in an Epsom salt or sea salt bath once a week. I moisturize my skin with oil or low toxicity lotion every day.

I am drinking water like someone whose been in the desert for months. I drink a lot of water generally but I'd gotten bad about getting up from my desk to refill my 24 oz. cup a few times a day. I'm better now...and less thirsty. 

My makeup routine is largely the same.  I have gone back to using almond oil to remove makeup and to cleanse my face. I also—at the very least—use a make-up remover towelette to remove makeup at night if I don’t feel like going through the whole oil cleansing routine at night. I also added a dead sea mineral mask to my routine once a week. Finally, I’m testing new, less hazardous make-up.

Confession…I did get in some tanning while on vacation. I used a 30 SPF sunscreen at first and then moved to 50 SPF when I started to burn a little. I also wore hats most days. I know tanning is bad but I wanted a little color. It’s a vice. Sorry. In addition to oil, I’m using aloe to soothe my skin as needed.

Result: I'm feeling soft and glowy. The dryness (ashiness) on my legs is gone. I'm also breakout free. 

NAILS

I’ve incorporated coconut oil into my manicure/pedicure routine for its antibacterial/anti-fungal properties. I’ve also gotten a LOT better about using a base coat to prevent staining. Like with my skin, I’m trying low toxicity polish removers and polishes. It working out just fine. I also try to let my nails “breathe” for a couple of days by keeping polish off and coconut oil on.

Result: My nails aren't stained yellow and are buffed and neat. They are strong and today, they are under clear polish. I will be painting them this week though. 

HAIR

My hair has been curly through 95% of this wellness process. I’ve been using Shea Moisture products, which are a 0 on the EWG toxicity scale. They make my hair manageable and frizz-free. I also deep condition once a week. I’m going to start doing that with coconut oil this week. (I swear that stuff is miraculous.) I will say, I am going to keep up with dying my hair because I love my new color but I will be as kind as possible so my hair doesn’t give up on me and fall out.

Result: My hair actually feels thicker. I don't mind it curly and short anymore. The color needs to be refreshed so that's coming up but the rest of the routine will stay the same. I'll also do a deep conditioning about a week after coloring (since they do it for me at the salon on the day of). 

Overall, I'm really happy with the changes I made. I even feel a little pampered. What do you do to keep your skin healthy? Any additional detoxifying skin routines worth trying? 

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