beauty is skin deep

green living December 4, 2013

In my quest to reduce both my dependance on the commercial world and my family’s exposure to the plethora of chemicals out there whose effects are still unknown, I have run into mostly dead end in the area of beauty products. Most just don’t seem to work as well without all those wonderful parabens and sulfates and what have you. There are books and blogs and articles a plenty who beg to differ, but they get my hopes up only to be crushed by empirical observation.

I have found two exceptions. Facial cleansers/moisterizers and deoderant. I can’t believe it either. These seemed like the least likely candidates to me for a simple cheap solution. I have been using anti wrinkle creams since I was in my early twenties- an ounce of prevention? Astringents, exfoliators, pore reducers, acne clearers etc. The amount of money that I have pent on hope in this area has to be gargantuan. Some time ago, I ran out of my preferred, expensive, Le Occitane facial cleanser as well as my favorite Aveda tourmaline lotion. I may be a stay at home mother in a small town, but I still want to maintain some sort of attention to my appearance. (The bar is low, trust). I had some sweet almond oil in my medicine cabinet, and out of desperation, decided to try out oil cleansing. Much to my surprise, it works. Well. My skin looks and feels better than it has in ages. I still use an exfoliator once a week, but guess what works well for that? Baking soda! Necessity is the mother of trying something new that you previously disregarded as hairy armpit hippy bull. I have since tried out other oils (castor and grapeseed) as recommended on various websites, but for my skin, sweet almond oil is the only one that seems to adequately replace the look and feel of my old favorites. All you do is wet your face with warm water, rub in the oil, let it sit for a while, then rinse it off. Bango, you are cleansed and moisterized. I use a little witch hazel now and then as a refreshing astringent, and as I said baking soda to exfoliate. Skin care regime complete.

Now for deoderant. What a disaster. I live in a town populated with not a few hippy types, my parents moved here as said types. It gives the town a careless, alternative vibe (and a vocabulary replete with words like ‘vibe’ and references to astrology as if discussing the weather). This is great and I love it, but I still don’t want to smell. Ever since I was pregnant with my son, I have been trying to find an aluminum free deoderant that works. He is over a year old and I was failing miserably until Thanksgiving, when I was desperate once again. We were going to my father’s house where the guests included some folks not from our hippy haven, and others who probably just wanted to smell the food cooking rather than me. In the midst of bundling up the toddler, and grabbing pumpkin pies, I also grabbed some baking soda and water and rubbed it under my arm. Bango. Smell gone. For hours. Amazing. I have an expensive deoderant waiting for me at the post office that I ordered after reading a review swearing that it was finally the answer. I’ll use it, but when I’m done I will be using one of the baking soda, coconut oil recipes that google coughs up in great numbers.

Now for shampoo and conditioner, the search continues.

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