Spaz's stuff
Going's a process of discovery

(Thu Jan 19 08:41:23 2012)

how usung natural products is changing my life for the better

so, i like essential oils, aromatherapy, herbal medicine and homeopathy. i like ingredients lists on products that read easily in english, not chemistryeese. but, sometimes, i can really be a dolt.

back in college, i started developing these acne, but not really acne whitehead sort of things, on my cheeks and in the eye area.  they were firm, largish, would not yield to pressure(no pus) and lasted for months to years.  they have plagued me constantly by ruining my complexion from then until...2 days ago.

2 days ago, i received an order of a travel set of aubrey organics sensitive skin line (cleanser, toner, mousturizer, mask).  Just the baby softness of my skin after using the cleanser the first time was enough to win my loyalty, but i also know that time is needed to see how skin reacts to new products. imagine my surprise not 12hrs later when, not only was my skin still soft and moist,  the offensive non-acne bumps were receding into my skin!  they are nearly gone now, 48hrs after.  im pumped. even without using the mousturizer, my skin is not itchy dry or irritated, which it has alway been to my adult memory.

i tried to place a common root cause and with only a bit of reflection, i found it: Mary Kay. ive been using mary kay cleansing products since i was 19. i love how they smell and feel, but i could now, seeing aubrey products remove the dry skin and the blemishes, tie them to my timeline as culprits. im only sad in terms of brand loyalty, because anything that heals old wounds and costs less money wins in my book, but i will miss those nice pink bottle that have grown so familiar.

further along on the topic of personal care, i've been considering my relationship with shampoo.  i grew up using pantene. when i got married, i realized my hair just wouldnt grow much past my shoulders. it was dry and brittle.  in an attempt to solve this, i went looking for natural products, realizing that sulfates and cones were probably the problem. 6yrs ago, i switched to aubrey organics hair care and was able to grow my hair far down my back without breakage and dryness.

my hair was healthy, but my scalp was suffering. i tried traditional products again this summer, only to find that my scalp continued to be dry, flaky and painfully blemish-ridden and my hair suffered from drying brittleness. obviously, conventional wisdom wasnt going to solve my problems. aubrey's products saved my hair but did nothing for my scalp. i still daily found new, painful, swollen, angry blemishes hidden beneath my hair.

5 days ago, i took what had always seemed an extreme step: i went shampoo-free. i really knew nothing about it. i thought it meant just living with smelly hair!  after really reading up on it, i decided giving baking soda shampoo and ACV conditioning rinse a try was worth a shot. i mixed some up and gave it a try.  i also added some yummy smelling essential oils to make the venture  to make it a more appealing thing to my husband.  you see, there is a glitch in going shampoo-free; it takes some weeks for your scalp to adjust to the reduced need for sebum.  this means, during the transition period, hair looks oilier.

im williing to cut some slack on the oil issue, though, in lieu of my success - i no longer have angry blemishes all over my scalp. i dont suffer pain when i brush my hair, or have to worry about shampoo cleaning up pus, or being sensitive to the scabs all over my head, covered only by hair.

in one week,  i have found answers i didn't know i was seeking that improved my health. i mostly made these choices as an issue of frugality; natural was cheaper than MK and homemade was cheaper still. the benefits i received were not wholly unexpected, but a welcome surprise nonetheless.  im not a hippie or greeny, as my own flesh and blood family accuse. im just someone seeking simpler, less expensive, healthy solutions to my own life.  i think this week has been another success in that direction.

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