Getting "Crunchy"

So . . . I've been experimenting. The more I read about natural living and whatnot, the more I think, "that's nice, but I'll never go that far . . . " then I take another step. I'm sure there will come a wall where I can go no further. (Taco Bell, yes, I don't think I'll ever give that up--just being real, here). However, back in the fall I stopped using conditioner.

There's an enormity to that statement.

I LOVE conditioner and have always, always been so picky about it. Pantene, Infusium and Thicker, Fuller Hair were the only conditioners I would use with my hair--I especially LOVE Pantene. However, around the time of my in-laws wedding I started reading about people who are going "no-poo" and washing their hair with baking soda and occasionally rinsing with vinegar. At the same time, we were low on funds and I ran out of conditioner. Since groceries trumped conditioner, I went without and was surprised to discover that after a week or two I could not only live without it, but my hair was doing great! It took on a slightly coarser texture that I love and I only have to wash my hair perhaps twice a week now--it really gets less oily than it did when I was regularly conditioning. I was washing my hair with off-brand Head and Shoulders, but switched to some T-gel we had. It doesn't really foam up, but seems to clean perfectly well. I purchased the cider vinegar and baking soda, but haven't gotten around to dispensing it. When this shampoo runs out, I'm going to take that next step. I'm especially curious about the summer's heat and humidity. It seems that the baking soda rinse may work well for that! Plus, it's such a money saver.

The second experiment has been the Oil Cleansing Method. I read about this on Gracie's Sister's blog (modobject@home) and initially the thought of washing my face with OIL(?!?!) seemed so incredibly counterintuitive and wrong. But isn't it so that many things in life are counterintuitive?

I had flawless skin in high school. I honestly never had and was never sure what a pimple was until I hit late college and marriage. Then, I learned about all of that wonderful, nasty affliction. Until then my pores were tiny, complexion clear and I NEVER washed my face unless I randomly thought about it. Occasionally I would smear vaseline all over it and wipe it off--my grandmother did that. In recent years, though, what with pregnancy, hormones and who knows what else, I have had breakouts and such an annoying time figuring out what to do with my skin. The Clinique bar would work for a while, then stop, then I'd try Cetaphil--because it seemed every one else did and it just seemed so earnest and simple and right. Cetaphil never worked for me, however. And I could/would never moisturize my face because it seemed to make it more oily and dirty feeling.

So, enter the OCM (oil cleansing method). Since the Thanksgiving holidays no soap has touched my face. I started with baby oil (that's what I had and I wasn't patient enough to read up on it) but some point after Christmas, I read some more and began the "proper" regimen.

I've been using approximately 25% Castor Oil and 75% Olive Oil. I keep it in a travel size detergent bottle. You can read more about it here. I may go more 30-70 next time. Anyway, I've been thrilled with the results! It's fun to take the time in the tub or shower to rub the mixture in and steam my skin. I thought my skin would feel oily afterwards, but it's quite the opposite! If anything I've had drier skin than before. That's why I'm going to adjust the ratio a wee bit. I've had only one or two pimples and the rest of my skin has stayed clear! I've started moisturizing a bit more in the morning--I LOVE Burt's-Bees-Can't-Remember-What-It's-Called.

So, I highly recommend it if you've thought about it but haven't taken the plunge. I found Aubrey in the bathroom with my precious bottle today. She had squirted all of the contents into the toilet--grr. I have to say that when I first began, my baths smelled like focaccia bread dipped in olive oil. That was cool with me. And Kroger has Castor Oil if you don't want the awkward ness of asking around for it.


guitta chaiban hogue said...

my only addition is to say that you should avoid mineral oil (it is in most cosmetic and skin products in the US). But botanically based products ARE the way to go. :)

Paula said...

I gathered that after I started and am mineral oil free, now! I like the way the castor oil feels.