the one about rubbing oil on my face

I'm bringing you something different today.

I've never wanted to provide "tips and tricks" for anything because

1. I am not an expert at all. On anything.
2. I am not a professional at all. At anything.
3. I am sure none of you care what I think. About anything.

HOWever, this is my space to write about what I feel like writing about, and today, I want to write about my skin.

I have always struggled with problematic skin. I have frequent breakouts, even at almost 31 years old. The tone is very uneven-- ruddy in some spots, pale in others. The texture is unpredictable, too…soft, then rough, then oily, then dry and flaky. It's a mess.

Having three babies in 5 years will make your body go nuts, and all those hormones have really screwed up my skin.

I have tried a lot of different products…from the very expensive regimes to the stuff you can find at the grocery store. I have never felt like anything touched my weird skin problems.

As I was applying a full face of makeup a couple weeks ago (primer, concealer, foundation, powder, bronzer), I was feeling really frustrated that I felt the need to coat my face in all of these products just to cover up all my skin problems. It is nearly summer, and I want to be able to just go out without makeup and not worry about caking my face with creams and powders, only to sweat it all off and look and feel disgusting by the end of the day.

So, I decided that since none of the products I have been using were working for me, I should go about it another way. I started researching natural skin cleansers and became really interested in an article I read about using coconut oil as a face cleanser and apple cider vinegar as a skin toner/astringent.

Click here for the article I found at Overthrow Martha.

I am pretty obsessed with vinegar. I love to clean with it, rinse my hair with it (try it…it's amazing), and I LUH me some salt and vinegar chips. Wowee. I was pretty excited to try another use for it on my face.

The coconut oil was what threw me for a loop. For reals? You want me to slather OIL on top of my skin and hope (AND PRAY) that my skin doesn't just erupt into one, solid, grease-filled zit? It took me two days after reading the article to muster the courage to try it.

I purchased organic, unrefined coconut oil at Target (in the cooking aisle) for about $7.00 for a large jar. I also purchased raw apple cider vinegar. The article I read stressed the importance of getting the raw vinegar (it has some sediment at the bottom and has a murky appearance) and the unrefined coconut oil. The apple cider vinegar was $4.00 for a bottle that will probably last forever.

P.S., I later went to Aldi and found organic, unrefined coconut oil for $5.00 a jar. 

So what compelled me to rub sweet-smelling, greasy oil all over my face and let it sit there for a minute before wiping it off with a warm wash cloth? Well, the article states that the coconut oil has a number of properties that help with clearing the skin.

1. Antibacterial and antifungal properties (which zits are caused mostly by bacteria)
2. Antioxidants for fine line & wrinkle reduction (not saying I have any, but…)
3. Moisturizing
4. The oil tricks the skin into thinking that it has enough oil already, so it slows the body's oil production.

I followed up with a swipe of raw apple cider vinegar all over my skin with a cotton ball. This helped to clean up any extra coconut oil that the wash cloth didn't remove, and it made my skin feel clean and fresh. My skin does turn just slightly red immediately following the vinegar, but it is only temporary and quickly fades.

I only do this routine once per day, typically at the end of the day when I am getting ready for bed. I also found that the coconut oil is excellent for taking off waterproof eye makeup. Just be careful about rubbing the oil in your eye-- gives you that awesome vaseline-on-the-eyeball effect.

I noticed a change in the way my skin felt within the first day. It was soft, smooth, and moisturized, but it wasn't greasy or shiny.

By the second day, the large blemishes I had started to develop around my hairline were drying up and barely visible.

By the end of the first week, my skin has truly started to look different. The texture and tone are more even, my blemishes are clearing up, and I believe my pores look smaller.

I truly could not be more happy with the results. I have never felt this way about any other kind of skincare I have used.

I have also added an oral probiotic to my daily routine. I purchased hyperbiotics Pro-15 from Amazon because they were the highest rated and best quality. I had never taken probiotics before, but I figured it couldn't hurt. I had been reading all kinds of great information about the benefits of probiotics, and one of those benefits is clearing up your skin! Probiotics keep good bacteria in your system, and the good bacteria helps to counteract the bad bacteria. Too much bad bacteria can cause inflammation in your skin.

Quick Recap

1. Scoop out about a quarter size amount of coconut oil with a spoon and put it in your hand.
2. Rub hands gently together to warm it up.
3. Apply to your face (face does not have to be clean first) -- rub all over!
4. Use caution around the eye area, but it can be a great mascara remover.
5. Feel disgusting because you have oil all over your face.
6. Let sit for about 30-60 seconds.
7. Wet a washcloth with warm water.
8. Place washcloth on top of face and let sit for a few seconds-- allowing heat to open pores.
9. Use washcloth to remove oil.
10. Rinse washcloth and repeat steps 8-9 if necessary until all oil is removed.
11. Follow up with a swipe raw apple cider vinegar all over the face.
12. Take a probiotic for added benefit!

If you're like me and struggling with post-pregnancy, hormonal skin nightmares, you might consider giving the natural route a try. I would recommend that you test a small part of your skin first with the oil and the vinegar before applying to your whole face so that you can keep an eye on any kind of adverse reaction. If you find that this combo doesn't work for you, there is a whole slew (scientific word) of blogs dedicated to cleansing with other types of oils.

And in case any of you try to sue me if this doesn't work for you --

1. I have no money.
2. I told you to test a small part of your skin first.
3. I have no money.

Good luck!

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