Beauty Regimen Updates: April


I think it’s time to give you all some personal care/product updates, since it’s been about two months since I began this blog. Here’s what has changed in my routine recently.

(Also, I realize I look like a complete goofus in that photo. I haven’t managed to take any other hair photos recently, so you’re stuck with having to look at that face. But that’s me. And my friends can attest that I am, in fact, a complete goofus, so it’s an accurate representation.)

Hair

As you know, I was using Acure’s Argan Oil Shampoo and Conditioner. While I love the ingredients and found both products to be moisturizing, I still found that my scalp was getting greasy the day after I shampooed. I longed for a cleansing conditioner that would gradually minimize my scalp’s oil production so that I wouldn’t have to cleanse as often. After much searching and reading many ingredient lists, I think I found something that works! It’s Avalon Organics Clarifying Lemon Conditioner. It’s thick, but not super heavy. For the last three days, I’ve used it to wash my hair, then left it on for the duration of my shower before rinsing. It seems to be cleaning my scalp without leaving any build-up, but it’s a bit too soon to say if it will keep working. My hair has been very soft, bouncy, and well-behaved.

I also mentioned in my last post that my beloved Alaffia Beautiful Curls Curl Activating Cream had been reformulated and now contains phenoxyethanol. I recently had the privilege of talking to a distributor who works with the company, and he assured me that phenoxyethanol is added in a safe concentration in of Alaffia’s Beautiful Curls products. That wasn’t exactly the answer I was looking for–after all, their products seemed to work fine when they used natural preservatives–but I appreciated that he took the time to talk to me about it. It may seem awfully nit-picky to some to stop using a product simply because of one ingredient that only comprises a tiny portion of the whole. Alaffia is a wonderfully philanthropic company, and other than the phenoxyethanol, their products have fantastic ingredients. But I refuse to be satisfied with an explanation like “this is safe in small concentrations.” What if the product is used every day? Does the ingredient get absorbed into the body, and is it easily eliminated? How does it interact with other ingredients? Answer those questions for me, Alaffia. Prove to me that your product is unquestionably safe, and then we’ll talk.

For now, I’m still styling with a bit of the Acure conditioner (as a leave-in) with some aloe vera over that. I’ve used aloe vera as a styling aid in the past, and it works pretty well for me during the warmer months.

Body

I’m washing with Alaffia’s Unscented African Black Soap right now. (No phenoxyethanol here!) It’s pretty gentle and has more shea butter than the last black soap I was using. I’m still focusing only on washing my torso, and leaving my limbs alone in the interest of preserving my skin’s natural moisture.

I’m also still rubbing coconut oil all over myself. It cannot be helped. That stuff is magic.

I also have big plans to purchase a metal razor for the summer months. I think I’ll look for an antique from Amazon or Etsy. It’s a cost-effective alternative to plastic razors and is much better for the environment. I’ll let everyone know how that works out.

Face

I’ve been oil cleansing since I wrote my last skin care post and it seems to be working pretty well. I first used the homemade balm and then switched to 50/50 castor and olive oil once that ran out. Both worked well, but the second was just more convenient. I use a new wash cloth after two cleansing sessions (morning and night). It’s a bit annoying, but I like the way my face feels when I wash this way; it’s moisturized, but clean. I also use Suki’s Exfoliate Facial Cleanser every few days because it’s doesn’t dry out my skin, but provides gentle exfoliation.

I’m still breaking out, but I think most of that is diet-related and due to the fact that I touch my face too much. I haven’t mentioned this before because it’s a sore issue, but I had been taking an antibiotic for my skin for quite a while. It worked really well at first, then gradually seemed to become less effective. I eventually quit using it because I hated the idea of being on an antibiotic long-term, and I was resigned to heal my skin with a combination of a healthy diet and simple face products. My skin hasn’t been terrible, but I don’t know if I’ll ever fully stop breaking out. It’s been happening since my teens and I’ve tried a lot of products and medicines without much luck. Other people don’t seem to notice it as much, so I just try to pretend it’s not a problem.

Oh, I’ve been alternating between Suki’s Concentrated Balancing Toner (a free gift!) and Heritage Rosewater and Glycerin, and I’m still moisturizing with Badger Damascus Rose Facial Oil.

I recently did a web training with Badger, and they sent me three free gifts in the mail! I received two full-size sunscreens and a sunscreen lip balm. They’re an awesome company and I fully support all of their products.

That’s it for updates! I’m generally happy with my products at the moment, but I make no promises that I’ll continue using the same things. I get a lot of free samples through my job, and some products are too alluring for me to resist!

Readers: what would you like to hear about next? Would you like to see more recipes? I cook often, but don’t always document the process.  I still have a couple of drafts in the works–I’ve promised you a few interviews and those will be coming shortly. Thanks for your patience; I’m a busy gal!

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