Sunday, March 11, 2012

zero to crunchy: the oil cleansing method

Well, hey there, strangers! I know I have this lovely little habit of popping in and out of this here blog whenever I darn well please, but I have been making some big changes in my life as of late, and I am super excited to share some of them with you over the course of the next few however-longs it takes to share. 

If the title didn't give it away, I've basically gone from zero to crunchy granola in my beauty routine + overall lifestyle over the course of a few months, and I want to share with you some of the tricks & lessons I've learned along the way-- and hopefully, convince you all to give some of my new hippie ways a try, as well :) First up: how I wash my face, or: my first foray into crunchy granola living! 

(disclaimer: I am no expert. I'll link some of my favorite articles if you'd like more scientific explanation, but mostly this will be the story of my own experiences + what I've learned :)) 

If you are basically everyone in the world, you likely saw the popularity of the oil-cleansing method explode all over pinterest + the internets a few months ago. Basically, the concept is this: when it comes to the natural oils on our faces, step away from the harsh chemicals + painful scrubbies, and remember: like dissolves like. (recommended reading: why cetaphil is the devil.) When you work so hard to strip your face of oils, it will overproduce, clog your pores, and create a big, red mess all over your face. Not cool, face. Instead, use gentle, natural oils to dissolve the unnecessary oils on your face, leaving you clean, moisturized, and free of general ick. I know, right?! 

I was so excited to give this a try, but I really was skeptical of what would happen if I started slathering my face with oil every night, so I approached it with hesitancy. Guys, let me tell you-- it has been FOUR months of oil on mah face, and I couldn't be happier. I went through the typical teenager-y/hormonal acne phase like most everyone else, which was never terrible, but now in my early 20s, I still am dealing with the remnants of that teenager-y acne, even the occasional under-the-skin oucher. In the four months I've been using oil to clean my face, my skin has smoothed out, cleared up, and I haven't had a single trace of under-the-skin acne. My skin isn't perfect (which I attribute mostly to the fact that I am a makeup wearer), but whereas the slightest breeze could cause my skin composition to freak out overnight, I've had consistently mostly clear and healthy skin since I made the switch.

Here's the part where I am going to direct you to my favorite natural beauty blog EVER. If you're looking for the nitty gritty on what kinds of oils you should use for different skin types or a more detailed explanation of how + why the OCM works, read Crunchy Betty. You will be forever hooked. 

For what I do-- read on.
In a simple cheap-o pump bottle from the dollar store, I mix roughly two parts extra virgin olive oil with one part castor oil, and shake it like a polaroid picture. In the shower at night, I pump out a quarter-sized amount on to my hand, slather it on my face, and go about the rest of my shower-ly duties while I let the steam from the shower work its magic opening up my pores. At the end of my routine, I take a clean (I get two uses out of one, and then wash it. Too much re-using = ick on your face), wet washcloth (tip: the dollar store, yet again, will provide you with oh-so-many washcloths for oh-so-little dinero), gently wipe the oil off my face, and voila: awesome skin. In the mornings, all I have to do is splash a little water on my face to 'wash', and I'm good to go! Note: I rarely need moisturizer anymore since I'm not doing anything particularly drying, but there are those occasional occasions that I'll detail in another post :)

In the interest of keeping this post from becoming a sequel to War & Peace, I'm going to stop there. Up next, skincare part deux: my natural toner that will literally rock your world, and how I moisturize (when necessary) for seriously soft skin, and my favorite morning-time face wash for those days when I need to be extra glowy. 

I am suuuper curious: have you tried the oil cleansing method? If you haven't, will you give it a try? I promise, PROMISE that your face will not smell like a caprese salad ;)

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Sunday Morning Poetry

If you've been reading my blog for a while, you've probably read this poem before-- but it remains one of my very, very favorites, and I felt inspired to re-post for those who perhaps didn't read it the first time around. Enjoy :)

Love after Love

The time will come
when, with elation
you will greet yourself arriving
at your own door, in your own mirror
and each will smile at the other’s welcome,
and say, sit here, Eat.
You will love again the stranger who was your self.
Give wine, Give bread. Give back your heart
to itself, to the stranger who has loved you
all your life, whom you ignored
for another, who knows you by heart.
Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,
the photographs, the desperate notes,
peel your own image from the mirror.
Sit. Feast on your life.

– Derek Walcot