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October 13, 2015

You Wash Your Face with What ?!? Part 2

So, friends, this is a part 2 to a previous blog, where  I explained my past experience with acne, and how I struggled to find a face care routine that worked for me. Today, I am going to get a little more in-depth with how I now care for my face, and the different ways you can do this, both with Red Lemon products, or using things around your house.

First off, I am going to need to explain something. I get asked a lot why I don’t sell a soap-based face wash. I do sell soap products, but not for the face. Why? Well……

 

I don’t wash my face. That’s why.

Maybe I should be more clear. I don’t wash my face with soaps or detergents of any kind. “But Kasie, how do you wash your makeup off at the end of the day?” Thank you. I am glad you asked. I do in fact wear makeup. And I do indeed wash it off at the end of the day…..with oil. (Insert long awkward pause)………..yup, I said oil.

 

How in the dickens do you use oil to wash your face?

Let’s first talk about nature and its balance on your face. When our skin is healthy, it naturally produces a substance called ‘sebum’. You might have heard the word in passing, or on fancy boutique product labels. But what is it?   Sebum is your body’s delicate layer of natural oil. And why do we have it?   Once this oily substance makes its way to the surface of your skin, it keeps your skin waterproof. It's a barrier in two ways: It keeps too much water from getting into your body, and it prevents you from losing too much water through your skin. Sebum also protects skin from bacterial and fungal infections.

Is Sebum the cause of oily skin and acne?  In a word, no. And then again, yes. When your Sebum production is balanced, it helps protect your skin. But if your skin has too much sebum, you're probably battling acne. And if you have too little sebum, you might end up with dry, scaly skin.

 

Let's get back to the soap question. 

Why don’t I use soap on my face? The answer is, because it knocks my sebum levels out of whack. Soap not only washes away makeup and grime, but also your natural sebum. This can affect people in two ways. If you are prone to dry skin, removing your sebum will dry out your skin terribly, making you very dependent on moisturizers to bring relief. If you have blemish-prone skin, washing away your natural sebum sends a message to your body that you are not producing enough sebum to protect yourself, and that you must up your production. This can turn into a vicious cycle of needing harsher and harsher soaps to cut your increasingly oilier and oilier skin. This cycle also can cause a LOT of inflammation, turning into bad breakouts.

 

Ok, I understand the soap-sebum thing now. But how am I supposed to clean my face? 

So, an easy (and cost effective!) way to wash your face is with oil. A common oil to use is virgin coconut oil, but some people also enjoy olive oil, avocado oil or jojoba oil. Here is how you use it:

  • Turn your hot water on and let it get real steamy hot.

  • Rub your hands together with some oil, and apply to face. Rub all over, including over any eye makeup.

  • Immerse an old cloth under hot water and wring it out a bit. Use it to rub off all of the oil, and all of the makeup and grime that melt off with it.

  • Apply a light, natural moisturizer to help seal and protect skin.

I used this method for years, with virgin coconut oil. Beware that in the warmer months, coconut oil melts into a liquid, so if you chose this method, plan ahead for that. Also, to make things simple, I just keep a basket of old face cloths by my sink, so that when I remove my makeup, it doesn’t stain our good (ie. guest) cloths.

 

Easy Peasy! But Kasie, didn’t you say that you can use Red Lemon products to wash your face too?

I did. Personally, I have bumped up my routine by replacing my coconut oil with Sugar Momma’s Grapefruit-Mint Sugar Scrub for blemish-prone skin. This scrub has a base of whipped virgin coconut oil, with the benefit that it is more resistant to melting in hotter months and offers a gentle, daily exfoliation! Here is how I use it:

  • Turn your hot water on and let it get real steamy hot.

  • Rub your hands together with some sugar scrub, and apply to face, avoiding the eyes for now. Rub in circular motions to rub away any dead skin cells or grime.

  • Wet hands in the water and pat them onto your face. The water with gently dissolve most of the sugar crystals, leaving the coconut oil. Now you can rub the remaining oil onto your eyes to remove your eye makeup.

  • Immerse an old cloth under hot water and wring it out a bit. Use it to rub off all of the oil and all of the makeup and grime that melts off with it.

  • Apply a light, natural moisturizer to help seal and protect skin.

Our sugar scrubs are also made with a little bit of shea butter. You may find that you do not even need a moisturizer at all. Personally, I like to lightly moisturize though, to keep my face nourished and protected. But see what you think!

 

What do you use for a moisturizer?

Well, I am so totally in love with our Red Lemon Sweet Cheeks Night Creams, obviously. I made them! I rotate between the Green Tea, Vanilla-Mocha, and Lemon-Lavender because they all support different areas of skin health, and frankly, I just can’t chose a favorite.  I should probably mention that these moisturizers are also made with whipped virgin coconut oil and a touch of shea, so if you are not into sugar scrubbing every day, these moisturizers can also be used daily to 'oil-cleanse' your face! Hurray for multi-purpose products!

 

I leave you with this….

At first, it might feel weird to consider washing your face without soap. It took me a few months to build up the courage to actually try it, because I had struggled for so long with bad acne and I was afraid. I can tell you though, that it works magic on my face, and has for countless others as well. And after hearing the good experiences that so many people have had with this method, I am confident in recommending it to others. In fact, I am downright excited to share this natural and effective strategy with you!

Happy ‘Washing’!!!!! 

 

 

October 13, 2015

You Wash Your Face with What ?!? Part 1

For years I struggled with acne. I know the pain of trying every product on the market, buying each one with the desperate hope that this, THIS, is the finally going to be the thing that makes my clear-face-dreams come true. And every time? I was disappointed. How could there not be a product out there that worked for me? I’d tried drug stores, high end boutiques, TV orders, everything! Was I doomed to plaster my face with makeup and be afraid to swim in public for the rest of my life?

 

No.

As I got older, I started questioning my whole face care routine. I learned that I had hormonal acne (a genetic thing). Once a month I would get cystic pimples that were so bad that they could barely heal before the next month’s round would begin.  It felt like a never ending cycle! My acne was so bad that I needed thick, thick makeup to cover it. I was pretty sure the makeup inhibited healing and probably caused more acne, but what else I could do? I was deeply embarrassed to be one of the only adults I knew that still had full blown skin issues. Something had to change.

 

What are my options?

Eventually, I consulted my doctor about my skin issues, and he recommended acne medicine.  I knew that I wasn’t comfortable with taking skin medication for the rest of my life. I wanted to fix the problem, not barely manage it. I decided it was time to rethink the whole mainstream face care strategy. I couldn’t help wondering how the ladies of generations gone by had managed their skin without all of our modern medicated washes and creams? I get the impression that acne was not a big epidemic in the early 1900s. I decided that I needed to step away from modern advancements and maybe try something a little more basic.

 

What do you mean, you don’t wash your face?!?

I started with something SO SIMPLE. My tiny, beautiful, crunchy Momsie was telling me how she started washing her face every night with coconut oil. Coconut oil!?! Ugh, I have acne problems, the last thing I need to do is add MORE oil to my face. It was absurd! But, I also trust my Mom. She has been crunchy since long before being crunchy was cool. She said that coconut oil isn’t greasy and has never clogged her pores. It took a few months to build up the courage, but I finally decided to try.

It is a very weird thing to go from stinging, medicinal face washes to simply wiping an oil that smelled like heaven onto my face. There were no suds! Um…..weird? How was this supposed to penetrate my thick, armor-strong makeup? But do you know what? It totally did!

So, I daily slathered coconut oil on my face, and then wiped it all off with a steamy hot cloth. The oil just melted the makeup away, even my waterproof mascara. And frankly, the whole experience just felt luxurious.  It was so nice, that sometimes I would do it in the morning too! I kept waiting for my skin to break into a pimple-mask of epidemic proportions, but the acne-explosion never happened. In fact, I started noticing that my breakouts were smaller and seemed to heal more quickly than before.

 

Success Breeds Success

So inspired by my progress with this new, natural (and CHEAP!) face cleanser, I decided to push the envelope. I started looking for more natural makeup options. I tried a few that weren’t bad until I came across a good quality mineral makeup. THIS, I believe, was another important aspect of my healthy skin journey. I started to realize that the makeup I had been using made the breakouts worse. Which in turn made me need more makeup to cover them up. And so on and so forth, until the situation was out of control.

Now, before I go further, I want to insert a little courtesy heads up. When I cut out all my medicated products, and industrial makeup products, I did notice a small detox. My face was wonderful, then broke out a little bit (but differently than before, little pimples). It seems that my face was expelling the chemical buildup from my pores, now that it was able to breath. It only lasted for a short while, and then…..

 

 

I experienced the skin I'd always dreamed of having. No joke.

As my skin got rid of all the (years’ worth) of buildup from synthetic ingredients, chemicals, etc, I started noticing that I needed less and less makeup. One day I even went to the grocery store without makeup on. I hadn’t even realized until I got home! ME?! I used to be so hyper-focused on keeping my skin covered. I had makeup in my purse, my car, my work…all so that I could constantly touch up my face as the day wore on. And now I felt so comfortable in my own skin that I forgot to wear any makeup at all?!? Out in public?!?!?! When I got home and realized what had happened, I looked at myself in the mirror for a long while, and decided that I really wasn’t embarrassed at all. I looked great on my own. And then, yes, this realization brought me to tears.

 

I want everyone to feel good in their own skin.

The freedom I feel now, that freedom I had always dreamed of, is such a gift. And I truly wish it for those out there who feel like they are constantly hiding. I want people to know that there are options other than what comes from the drug store. What worked for me might not work for everyone, but please keep trying. Go back to the basics. Use real ingredients. And don’t be afraid.