I couldn't help but throw in an altered Napoleon Dynamite quote for this post's title, especially since I understand the pain and suffering brought on by chapped lips. Most people who know me well know that I ALWAYS carry multiple chapsticks with me, just incase. Anyway, I digress. The point of today's post is not how to keep your lips from going chapped (I highly recommend any flavor of EOS lip balm though ^_^), rather, how to prevent your face from becoming dry, red, and cracked thanks to the winter winds and arid air. If your faccia (face in Italian :-)) is crying out for help, I suggest reading on!
Currently, I'm getting along with my face pretty well. I've been tirelessly working to figure out what the causes are for my cystic acne and have made a ton of progress since this past summer. I'll have to make a separate post for that, because it truly was a science experiment with many variables and theories tested.
Anyway, the point here is that I've gone almost 100% holistic with my face cleansing/moisturizing methods, and the texture and moisture levels of my skin have been AWESOME! It is as smooth as almond butter (oh boy, I don't want to push myself into a relapse...), and not dry and flaky as it has been in the past. Therefore, I'd like to share with you the flaws of chemically-laden products, the products that I currently use or have used in the past, and hopefully hear what your "miracle" product is!
What's Wrong with Chemically Infused Products?
Even though I plan to do some more extensive posts on face care, I highly recommend staying away from non-holistic/mainstream products. The number of chemicals and impure ingredients in facial cleansers and lotions is pretty terrifying, and you're putting this stuff on your money-maker! Not good. Some of these chemicals can strip your face of its natural moisture, can irritate your skin which causes redness, and can even clog your pores. That sounds like a recipe for disaster, and I would know! My face used to look like someone took sand paper and olive oil to it (I struggled immensely from combination skin since my face couldn't make up its mind whether it wanted to be oily or dry >.<).
What Has Worked for Me:
1. Neem Oil - This oil is a godsend, although it honestly smells horrible until you get used to it. Its scent is similar to burnt peanuts and burnt hair, but if you can get past the smell you will be rewarded kindly! Neem oil is made from pressing the fruit and seed of neem, which is an evergreen tree found in India, incase you wanted to know ;)
Benefits: protects skin and fights against aging, combats acne, helps reduce eczema, moisturizes your skin, and helps get rid of pigmentation. For more information on the amazing benefits of neem oil, check this website out.
2. Manuka Honey - I LOVE using Manuka Honey for face masks. My face feels so smooth and nourished after doing one. I glob some honey onto my face and let it hang out for 20 minutes to a few hours, depending on if I have to be somewhere. Even better, this honey, as opposed to raw and store-brand honey, has active antibacterial properties, so it helps remove your skin of harmful bacteria while protecting it from getting dry. FYI: You want your honey to have *bioactivity* levels of +15 so that it can do all of the great things listed below. I use this brand, and while it is expensive, it lasts such a long time. To learn more about the different levels of manuka honey, click here.
Benefits: Combats acne, anti-aging, helps to retain moisture.
3. Jojoba Oil - This was the first oil I used when I transitioned from using modern-day moisturizers full of chemicals. I don't use it anymore, because neem oil has my heart, but I highly recommend jojoba if you can't deal with neem's smell :-)
Benefits: Helps to heal scars, moisturizer, facial cleanser (I'll post an article about oil cleansing/pulling at some point!), combats acne. See a trend here yet? Natural is the way to go! For more information on the benefits of jojoba oil, click here.
4. Hemp Oil - Using hemp oil is another great way to fight against dry skin. I use this on my arms and legs, and used it on my face and scalp for a little bit when my skin was having major issues. This is just another option to add to your arsenal!
Benefits: Reduces redness, reduces sizes of pores and blackheads, protects the skin from free radicals, moisturizes skin, reduces inflammation. More benefits can be found here.
5. Aloe Vera - Aloe vera is widely used after we get a sunburn, but it can also help keep your face protected from harsh winter weather (which will be extremely helpful for my peeps back in the north east who got hit with that Billy Fucillo "HUUUUUUUUUGE" snowstorm). I need to be better with incorporating AV back into my regiment, since it helps with red marks and acne scarring, but there are plenty of other positives as well. It's also crucial to make sure that you get an organically made aloe vera gel, or you can always buy the plant and extra the insides yourself :-) I'm not that patient/talented.
Benefits: Moisturizes skin, fights acne, fights aging, heals sunburns, reduces scarring and pigmentation. More information can be found here.
*Side note: I have also tried vitamin E cream, but only use it every so often.
Honestly, any of the aforementioned oils will get the job done if you're suffering from dry skin. Even if you have oily skin, putting oil on it will help you reduce oil production - more on that at a later date :-)
I have included an amazon link with each item so that you can look into purchasing these products for your own consumption. I get EVERYTHING from Amazon since I have Prime (just ask my roomies, I accumulate Amazon boxes like no other), and it's hard to find some of these products in stores. I am in no way affiliated with these companies, but I will talk about how amazing these products are until I'm blue in the face - my face was a hot mess before I started using these lovely items.
As always, everyone is different, so always be prepared for side effects before trying any new products.
Okay, so hopefully this post has given you some ideas on how to make your face happy and looking healthy :-) Of course I left some things out (i.e. coconut oil, which makes me break out like crazy, so that's why I don't use it!), so please share in the comments what moisturizers and skin products work best for you! What's a skin product that you swear by?
Until next time!
Bhatt, P. (2013, November 13). 23 Amazing Benefits and Uses Of Neem Oil For Skin And Hair. Retrieved January 28, 2015, from http://www.stylecraze.com/articles/amazing-benefits-of-neem-oil-for-skin-and-hair/
Gottesman, D. (2014, January 24). 15 Surprising Beauty Uses for Jojoba Oil. Retrieved January 28, 2015, from http://www.wellnesstoday.com/beauty/15-surprising-beauty-uses-for-jojoba-oil
Hemp Seed Oil Skin Benefits. (2013, August 13). Retrieved January 28, 2015, from http://www.thehappyskindiary.com/treatments/hemp-seed-oil-skin-benefits/
Home Remedies for Dry Skin | Top 10 Home Remedies. (2014, January 25). Retrieved January 28, 2015, from http://www.top10homeremedies.com/home-remedies/home-remedies-dry-skin.html
Rocchino, E. (2013, February 7). The Benefits Of Using Aloe Vera For Skin Care And More. Retrieved January 28, 2015, from http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-7654/the-benefits-of-using-aloe-vera-for-skin-care-and-more.html
The many skin benefits of manuka honey - Body Unburdened. (2014, July 8). Retrieved January 28, 2015, from http://bodyunburdened.com/skin-benefits-manuka-honey/