Thursday, February 27, 2014

Diet, Detox, and DIY Skin Care

On my wedding day, I noticed a rash starting to form in my armpits and beneath my breasts. It got really bad when I was in the hospital after Henry's birth (2 weeks later); the doctors tried to treat it, but nothing they prescribed helped, and some things made it worse.

Later I was doing research on gluten intolerance because I kept seeing people posting about it on fb and it got me curious; what I read explained my symptoms, so I talked to a nurse who suggested cutting out gluten to see if it improved my health. I've been eating gluten-free ever since and the rash eventually went away, but it took over a year to completely detox from gluten. Cutting out gluten also got rid of a lot of the body pain and sinus headaches I was having; it was fantastic to wake up and not feel like I'd been beaten with sacks of wet sand all night long.

Since then I've been thinking more about detox and my body burden, especially since I'm getting older and my skin (along with the rest of me) is getting more sensitive. I've also been cutting back on coffee (trying to cut it out completely) and drinking more herbal teas (especially ones designed to detox and strengthen gut bacteria and digestive health) and water with a bit of apple cider vinegar. I've been toying with the idea of going vegan, but I'm so not prepared to do that yet. Especially since I'm not even a vegetarian now (I started eating meat again when I got pregnant with Henry). So that's sort of a long-term goal I've got in my mind to do someday, which might be years in the future, like how it took me ages to get around to making my own shampoo and such (more on that in a minute).

One of my brothers asked if I wanted to be his detox buddy, but he is doing some intense (to my mind) fasting and I'm just not prepared to go several days without food while attempting to take care of a busy toddler. However, talking to one of my sisters about how she may have "leaky gut" led me to fast yesterday. I drank a load of water, tea, and some juice and had a foggy, aching head most of the day, which is a side effect of detoxing. I ended up eating some lentil & veggie soup I made in the evening, because I wanted to be able to sleep and I can't do that with a growling stomach. Overall, it was much easier than I remember the forced weekly fasting I remember doing as a kid, and I'm thinking I might try to do it once a week or once every other week and see how it makes me feel.

This past week I also got around to a long-time goal of making my own skin care products. My skin is so darn sensitive that I didn't want to put it off any longer, although I am still using store a bought lotion to treat some  spots of eczema I've developed ('cause I haven't found a natural replacement that works well enough in this weather).

I found the simplest recipes I could for DIY face and body care, because I wanted to be sure it was something I could and would do again. All of these were made with things already around the house, which was awesome.

Shampoo is 1 TBSP Baking soda to 1 cup water, and conditioner is 1 TBSP apple cider vinegar to 1 cup water. Shake before application and leave on 2-3 minutes for each. Using this has made my hair softer and more manageable, and my scalp is far less dry than it was.

Cleansers and toner were the easiest! Just honey for every day, plus baking soda for make up removal which is only then followed up with the toner. My skin is so sensitive that I'm only washing it with honey every other day, or else my t-zone gets crazy dry.

I didn't really like any of the body lotion recipes I found, so I made a test mixture of  equal parts coconut oil and aloe vera gel. It feels nice, but the consistency is odd. I think next time I'll try 1/3 coconut oil to 2/3 aloe vera or maybe I'll try equal parts of coconut oil, aloe vera, and olive oil.

I decided not to make a body wash product, because all the recipes were based on using the type of natural soaps I was already using to wash myself with, and I use far less of it as a bar than I do when I use liquid products.

Detox! Woo! My body feels like it's carrying a lighter burden already. :)

Related posts:
What I Wish I Knew When I Became a Vegetarian
The Story of Cosmetics
Campaign for Safe Cosmetics
Test Your Home's Toxicity
Simple Daily Detox Tips

1 comment:

May said...

I haven't yet. Thanks for the tip!