This week a few of my favorite lady bloggers have been getting real and honest on the heavy stuff that is going on for them in their lives. It almost feels like something has been in the air lately and everyone is going through some intense stuff, or probably more accurately, they’re going through life. My friend Shannon talked about the realness of marriage (of which I can certainly relate), my friend Julia about her isolation having moved away from friends and family and my favorite DJ Tasha Blank was talking about a block in her creative energy. This is an interesting week to read these three topics as I’m feeling each of them so strongly myself. As a creative person I often get really stuck in my head and overwhelmed by everything that’s going on in my life. This week has been so intense mentally and emotionally, I’ve been waiting for big news and it’s had me anxious and unable to concentrate. I’ve been writing a lot for my freelance clients but it’s taking me forever to get anything done. The good news is I’m very happy to have accepted a job offer and I’m finally done dealing with the nightmare that is job hunting. This round has been a huge learning experience and very different than the East Coast mentality of get it done, I’ve had some trials and tribulations, but I’m SO excited about my new job, and I can’t wait to get back in the swing of things, meeting new people and not working at home 100%! Hooray!!
Switching gears, but actually kind of related because self care and taking care of yourself is ever present, today I want to talk about an awesome new book that is a must read for anyone who cares about their skin; Adina Grigore’s Skin Cleanse. Adina is also an Integrative Nutrition grad and the brains behind SW Basics, a line of skin care crafted for those that are tired of chemically enhanced products and want to get back to well, the basics.
I’ve suffered with acne and skin issues basically all my life. In middle school my cystic acne got so bad I went on my first round of Accutane (aka teenage poison), which did treat the symptoms of my acne, but not the root. I did a little search for this post and found out that Accutane was taken off market in 2009 (thank goodness) but you can still get generic versions. I also found that it was originally marketed as a chemotherapy drug, WOW, what?! Seriously scary stuff. I link a lot of my anxiety issues today to this drug and I STRONGLY urge everyone, especially parents, to be wary and avoid at all costs. Since then, I’ve tried literally everything for my skin. Going to dermatologists that pushed every cream, pill and smelly cleanser on me that they possibly could. There are periods of my life that I refuse to look at pictures of myself, bad skin is scarring, literally.
It wasn’t until I learned a ton about food and diet and started to change the way I care for my skin and my body in general that I noticed results. I wish I could find the recipe again for the first DIY skincare recipe that I tried, total #GAMECHANGER! The facewash was castor oil based and involved a ton of oils that I had never heard of before and the ingredients also confused me, I mean, wasn’t oil bad for acne prone skin? That’s what doctors had been telling me for years: ‘Avoid oil and oily foods (lol) or you’ll break out’. They were on the right track but didn’t realize it wasn’t the oil on the pizza, it was the highly processed ingredients and hormones and sugar and chemicals within that and every other food I was eating on a daily basis. When I started using these ‘new to me’ oils like olive oil, coconut oil, jojoba and argan I started noticing a lot of differences in my skin and I realized that I didn’t need to kill everything on my face to get clear skin, Adina actually mentions that we need good bacteria on our face to eat the bad, which is not unlike the bacteria in our gut. My skin was also in need of hydration and less cleansing, rubbing and product overload. So basically, I can relate to everything in Adina’s book and it’s inspiring to me! I’m so glad she’s sharing some of her secrets with the World!
What I love about this book is that it goes through a lot of our misconceptions around skin care, walks us through a skin cleanse aka a product free period aimed at getting our skin back to a neutral state, and then brings in some really new thinking about how to use real ingredients to revive our used and abused skin. Everything goes back to diet. Just like with other health issues, Grigore says, ‘if you have a recurring skin problem, it’s most definitely the result of something going on internally’ and further, “when you are eating foods that are depleted of vitamins and minerals , you aren’t getting vitamins and minerals, sounds basic, but it’s a connection a lot of us have not really made yet.’ And that’s true, it takes a long time to make this discovery for ourselves and then we get it and it’s like a serious lightbulb aha moment. I love watching family and friends have these moments, it’s so inspiring!
My favorite part of this book is definitely the recipes! Adina is sharing some amazing secrets that I’m sure took a long time to develop and I bet she had to put a lot of random foods on her face to figure out, thanks girl, you’re FIERCE! I tried this amazing Dessert Mask and loved it! I did take a pic of myself with the mask on but I hopefully you can understand based on the ingredients why I’m not posting that.
DESSERT MASK RECIPE (Via SkinCleanse):
4 Teaspoons Cocoa Powder
1/2 Teaspoon Sea Salt
2 Teaspoons Olive Oil
1/2 Teaspoon Cinnamon (I added this in because I love it Adina mentioned it being great for skin in another recipe)
Mix cocoa powder and salt in a small bowl, then stir in olive oil to create a paste. Apply with fingers and leave on for as long as you’d like (I did 40 minutes). The sea salt may start to sting over time as it works its magic (mine didn’t). Rinse carefully–this mask will stain a washcloth (yes, it sure will). Makes one to two uses and can sit out on your counter for a few days.
Result: Really smooth and bright skin. I felt that I needed a little extra moisturizing after, but my skin felt really happy and cleansed.
You can buy Skin Cleanse here and my one word of warning is to definitely buy the actual book, not the kindle version, in some ways this is part cookbook and journal and you’ll want to highlight and take notes. Now I need to buy the actual book myself.
Let me know what you thought of the book in the comments below and if you have a favorite ‘natural’ product please share as well!