Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Oil Cleansing Method (OCM): The Beginning

Alright, with my no 'poo experiment a success it's time to move on. My next endeavor is to eliminate my chemical filled face wash. To do that I am going to be trying something that seems very popular with beauty bloggers lately; the Oil Cleansing Method or OCM.

It sounds crazy to wash your face with oil right? But according to several blogs that I read when looking for a natural way to wash my face the science is sound. All those sites I just linked explain the science much better than I can but if you're kind of lazy, like me, and don't want to go and read a whole bunch of other stuff when you're already reading this here it is in a nutshell.

Oil and water repel each other, therefore cleansers have to be pretty harsh to break that surface tension. So the cleansers end up stripping all the natural oil (sebum) that protects your skin and keeps it healthy along with the dirt, makeup, and whatever else. However, like dissolves like so clean oil will dissolve the dirty oil on your face getting rid of everything that causes breakouts. I'm extra excited for this because one of the things people with eczema are supposed to avoid like crazy is extended contact with soap and water.

Just like the no 'poo method, you should expect things to get worse right at first before they get better. Most blogs report a brief period of breaking out while all the nasty gunk works its way out of your skin but then you'll have better skin than you ever imagined you could.

Because I love you guys I'm doing something that I never ever do. I took a before picture of my face. No makeup, just my skin before I start the OCM. Are you ready? Okay, here it is:
Now that we've gotten that horror show out of the way here's the mixture I'm going to be using:
-1/2 castor oil
-1/2 sunflower oil

Pretty simple right? Now sunflower oil isn't the only kind you can use, it's just what I have easily available. You can use pretty much any carrier oil that you like including extra virgin olive oil, grapeseed oil, jojoba oil, etc. If you want to try this too you should keep your skin type in mind. My skin is pretty normal so I'm going half and half but if you have oily skin try 2/3 castor oil to 1/3 carrier oil and if you have dry skin try 1/3 castor oil to 2/3 carrier oil.

The method is also pretty simple. Wet your face with warm water. Massage your mixed oils into your face always moving upward. Rinse with a wet washcloth and water almost as hot as you can stand it. If you find you need to exfoliate you can just add a pinch of your used coffee grounds (sounds gross, I know, but trust me) to the oil in your palm right before massaging it into your face.

If you've ever tried this or you want to try it with me please share your stories in the comments!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Updates! (And My No 'Poo Method)

So I took a break from writing for a bit, saw a shrink, saw a doctor, got on some meds, and I think I'm doing a bit better now. I desperately wanted to tell Comprehensive Mental Health to suck a big one. I went in there to get some help and because I am uninsured they basically told me that without $85 in my hand they couldn't help me. Then the woman told me in the most condescending way possible that I could go to what amounts to the mental health ER (which would cost a ridiculously large amount) or I could go to the local sliding scale clinic but she didn't know if they even took psychiatric walk-ins or what their hours are. I went to the clinic and they were fantastic! They helped me even though I was dirt broke and treated me like a human being the entire time. Here is their website in case any of you are ever in the Yakima area and need help, they're awesome.

I'm feeling a bit better although my new antidepressant kind of makes me feel like I've got a caffeine drip in vein. Thank you to everyone who reached out to me; your support meant so much to me. Now I'm ready to get back to business and thus:

No 'Poo (Going Shampoo Free)

So I was not at all expecting this to work as well as it does! I figured my hair wouldn't feel clean like it does with store bought shampoo or as soft as it does with store bought conditioner and in a way I was right. My hair feels cleaner with my homemade baking soda treatment and softer with the apple cider vinegar (ACV) than any commercial product I have ever used!

Every other blog I have read about going no 'poo has warned about a 2-6 week adjustment period where your scalp kind of re-calibrates itself to only producing the amount of oil your hair needs to be healthy. That may be true for some people but I never had an issue with it. In fact this was my hair at the end of the first week.
Obviously  in need of a trim but not greasy!
And by the end of week three this is where I'm at.
The weird bump is where I had my hair in a ponytail all day.
It's not the best picture. I didn't have my wonderful sister available to help take this one. But you can see how shiny and healthy my hair is. I've never had hair like this in my entire life.

This is what I do to wash and condition my hair without buying shampoo and conditioner at the store:

Every three days I "wash" my hair with a solution of 1 tbsp baking soda to 1 cup water focusing on the roots. Just pour the solution in a little bit at a time to focus on different parts of the scalp and scrub. Because my ends get really dry I "condition" my hair every day with a solution of 1 tbsp ACV to 1 cup water. Pour the solution on like you're rinsing your hair focusing on the ends. If your hair is normally pretty oily I would do the ACV every 2-3 days and avoid putting it on your scalp at all. You can also add a few drops of essential oil to these solutions to make it smell nice although I have noticed that my hair doesn't ever smell like vinegar after I get out of the shower. Rinsing it out under the water seems to get rid of the smell.

I didn't want to mix up my shampoo and conditioner every time I wanted to wash my hair so I thoroughly rinsed out a couple of old shampoo bottles and just pre-mixed a bunch of my solutions. A quick shake in the shower and they're ready to go!

Going no 'poo can also have some unexpected benefits. I have dealt with an itchy scalp that is prone to dandruff all my life and I haven't had a problem with it once since starting this regimen. Also, my hair is much more manageable! I have very thin, fine, curly hair that tangles into impossible rats nests withing minutes of brushing and usually takes 20 min or so just to get all the tangles out. Since I went no 'poo I can brush my hair out in 5-10 min and it doesn't tangle nearly as easily.

Have you gone no 'poo? Are you planning on it? Please share your pics and stories!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Reactor Core Meltdown

So today I was totally going to write about my No 'Poo routine and show you pictures of how well it's working and all that fun stuff but something more important has come up. Allow me to be totally honest with all 5 of you actually reading this, I have depression and anxiety and on a normal day they're both pretty bad. However, at the moment I am battling the most sever depressive episode I've ever had.

Why admit that to strangers on the internet? Well, first I don't know how anyone else's personal battle with depression goes but my brain shames me into keeping quiet about it when I get depressed and that's how it wins. I will be damned if I'm going to let this win so even though I feel stupid and clichè I'm talking about it. I'm going to tell people that I'm sad and I'm tired and I have had a migraine every day for the past two weeks. I'm going to let you and others know that I am having difficulty being a mommy right now because my head is saying such ugly things to me. I am going to ask for help because if it weren't for the fact that my children need me I wouldn't have any reason to live right now. This is the closest I have been to suicidal in five years and I don't like admitting it but if I do then the people who care about me can help and this awful disease will not win. Like Jenny Lawson says depression lies. It tells me that no one will have the time or energy to deal with me if they even believe me at all and I'm better off not talking about it and that is a lie. I can't beat this on my own, it's my own brain that has turned on me and the only way I'm going to get better is if I let people help me.

The other reason I am writing this is in the hope that other people who are like me, who are having a nuclear meltdown inside their heads will see it and realize that they are not alone. If you are fighting depression please remember that it can't win if you let others fight with you. The people who love you aren't going to be annoyed at you for asking for help; that's just your brain lying to you and trying to keep you sick. Join me and refuse to give in please. There's always someone to listen.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Well That Was...Unexpected

So I am a modern girl. Really modern. I live on the internet, I would be lost without my smartphone, going anywhere more than the grocery store requires full makeup, I own so many shade of nail polish and scents of lotion it's kind of scary. However I'm giving it all up (well anything with chemicals, like hell if you're taking my internet or phone) and going natural.

I didn't intend to get rid of chemicals, in fact I'm a fan. They let me cover up multiple flaws and enhance my favorite features. Unfortunately I have eczema and I'm poor. That means that I can't afford doctors and medicated ointments to treat my eczema, I just have to kind to live with it. Lately it's been pretty bad. I mean my hands look like I have leprosy bad. While looking for home remedies online one thing I discovered over and over again was that a lot of people got relief from their eczema symptoms by cutting down on the number of chemicals that come into contact with their skin.

So first I'm going No 'Poo and cutting out commercial shampoo and conditioner. So far I'm two weeks in but that will be another post. After adjusting to No 'Poo for a month I'm going to start the Oil Cleansing Method (OCM) for my face and after that I'm going to experiment in making my own body wash. I thought it might be fun for you, my thus far imaginary readers, to follow along as this city girl becomes an unintentional hippie.