Okay, real talk. People always say you “grow out” of having breakouts, and that only teenagers get them because, well… hormones are crazy. But as I get older, my skin gets worse: wrinkles, acne, dark spots, redness (especially since I developed histamine intolerance). I miss the days when I would feel confident without wearing foundation to even out my skin tone. Consequently, I’ve been searching for natural ways to keep my skin healthy and blemish-free.
Here’s what I’ve been through in my quest for clear skin. First, seven years ago, I cleaned up my eating. Doctors told me skin issues could be from food sensitivities, which made sense. It hasn’t been the whole answer for me, yet (cutting gluten; avoiding dairy, processed foods, refined sugars as much as possible; adding lots of fresh veggies and fruits). I did notice a significant reduction in cystic acne – those painful “underground” ones. Okay, great! It wasn’t BAD anymore, but it wasn’t good… if that makes sense.
The next thing I tried was making my own sugar scrubs. It was super fun, and I liked the exfoliating results. My skin felt fresher and smoother. By the way, I can’t really do store-bought skin products, which is why I started making them myself. Store-bought usually have way too many ingredients and artificial colors and preservatives, and they make my skin look and feel worse. Anyone relate?
I also tried dry brushing (and still do) to get the lymph moving and scrub away those dead skin cells. This is great to do before a shower or bath. It’s also pretty meditative.
Then, the other day, I invented a “Skin Rescue” moisturizing cream that has worked WONDERS with ingredients I already had right at home. My breakouts started fading OVERNIGHT! I’ll post the recipe for you guys soon.
Finally, I’ve always been interested in clay masks, but haven’t tried them. They make me think of instant relaxation – spa day, cucumber slices over the eyes, naps by the pool. And who doesn’t like a good pampering session? I’ve had some bentonite clay powder sitting around for a few months, so I did some research, tried a few recipes, and came up with this Calendula Lavender Clay Mask for you to try at home!
You Will Need:
-1t bentonite clay powder
-1/4t apple cider vinegar
-1t raw manuka honey (or regular honey)
-1/2 dried calendula flowers
-1-2 drops lavender essential oil
-Mortar and pestle
- Grind the dried calendula into a powder using the mortar and pestle
- Add the bentonite clay, apple cider vinegar, and honey. Mix together.
- Add enough water to make the mask spreadable (I used about 10-15 sprays from a spray bottle)
- Add the essential oil drops, mix again.
- Spread on face, avoiding eyes. Leave on for 15-20 minutes, or until dry.
- Wash off with warm water and a washcloth.
- Follow with a coat of Skin Rescue! Check out that link to make the DIY or this link to buy it.
By the way, this is what I look like 95% of the time (minus the mask). No makeup (I like makeup; I’m just lazy). Leggings. Tunic. Long hair takes so much effort to style, but I’m not ready to get rid of it, so I just put it in a bun. Every. Single. Day. I only brush it once a week. It usually forms dreads on its own. #trueconfessions
I’m all about being honest on social media and portraying life as it happens, not just the highlights. I’m definitely not judging anyone for posting the happiest moments – I love seeing those! And I do it, too, because it feels good to get those likes and that affirmation when you get a new job or win an award or get a poem published. PLEASE keep posting that stuff so I can celebrate with you! But it also helps me to hear people being real about things like anxiety, divorce, miscarriages, health issues, failed recipes, or WHATEVER hardships life throws at us, because it makes me feel like I’m not alone. It’s easy with social media to constantly compare our true, messy lives to others’ highlight reels, and that’s just not a healthy mindset for me. I’m not saying I complain all the time or use it as an excuse to be negative online. But I have no problem saying, “HEY – I struggle with this. It’s human. Can anyone relate? What has helped you in your journey?”
I just thought of this as I’m telling you about my dread-y, unbrushed hair and skin issues. Haha. Back to the mask!
Let me tell you a bit about each ingredient:
-Bentonite clay: Draws out toxins, adds minerals, alkalizes: read more
-Apple cider vinegar: Astringent, removes oil, regulates pH: read more
-Manuka honey: Antibacterial, very healing for skin (especially burns!), antimicrobial, B and C vitamins, enzymes: read more
-Calendula: Flavonoids, antioxidants, immunostimulant: read more
-Lavender: Restores complexion, reduces acne: read more
Modifications: You can make this mask with JUST the clay and honey, if you want. You can also make it with the clay, apple cider vinegar, and more water.
If you have VERY sensitive skin, test a small patch on your arm before doing the whole mask. The apple cider vinegar and clay can both “burn” as they detox, so I only add a little splash of it ACV to be safe. I am the MOST reactive person in the world, though. (: The first time I tried a recipe with 1t ACV, my face turned so red it looked like I fell asleep in the Bahamas for an entire day in July. The small amount in this recipe doesn’t bother me.
Alright – let me know in the comments if you try this and if you have a favorite mask DIY recipe or product. I love trying new things.
Thanks for reading. And I really want you to know RIGHT NOW that you’re amazing. I hope you’re smiling. (:
Have a good Monday!
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