Combating Stressed out Skin…With Oil?

This week has delivered more than its fair share of stress. I have had quite a large workload in addition to a FAST approaching menstrual cycle (ain’t it grand being a girl!) There has, however, been a silver lining to it all, because despite everything else going on – stressed, broken out skin has not once been something I’ve had to worry about. I attribute this, not to any pricey miracle skin care system, but to a few common ingredients that I always have on hand – oil.

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Yes, you heard me correctly. I actually take oil, and rub it into my face on purpose! It is really not as crazy as it may sound, for this is actually a tried and true skin care method that has been around for centuries. It is called the Oil Cleansing Method (or OCM for short). There are articles all over the interweb that go into laborious detail about this routine, its history, and the thousands of oils you can use – I do encourage you to take the time to read more about it if you would like to know the technical, chemical and historical side. However, so as not to stress YOU out with tedious details, I have chosen to give you the simplified version.

The Process
1. First mix about half a tablespoon each of Castor Oil & Olive Oil (I prefer extra virgin) in your hand and massage into your face.

2. If you have a Clarisonic brush, this would replace the little facial brush shown, however both will accomplish the same thing. Use the facial brush to massage the oil further into your skin using soft circular motions. This will serve to exfoliate and stimulate the circulation in your skin and dislodge any dirt or clogged pores.

3. Take a clean washcloth and run it under very hot water from the sink faucet (as hot as you can stand to hold). Squeezing out the excess water, place the heated cloth over your face to steam in the moisturizing oil. Once it cools, simply whipe away any excess oil.

4. Your skin should feel incredibly smooth, soft, and moisturized. However, for those who have more dry skin problems, you can dab on a bit of vitamin E oil in areas that feel a little dry. I also like to use the vitamin E around my eyes and on my forehead to prevent fine lines.

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And that, dear ones, is all I do to keep my skin in good working order. I would like to point out the side by side comparison photo above from October of 2013 to the picture I took this evening. It isn’t a drastic infomercial type difference, however you will notice that my pores are smaller and my skin texture has become much smoother. Oh and did I mention my cycle starts in 2 days! (No major breakouts)

No matter what your skin concerns, I firmly believe you will be very impressed with the effectiveness of this skin care regimen that has stood up to the test of time. Suitable for all skin types, not only will it save you a great deal of money, but you can also rest easier knowing that what you are putting on your skin is something natural,  chemical free, and safe enough to ingest – if you are so inclined (Note: Castor oil is a laxative, if you do feel like ingesting any of these oils – please keep that in mind!).

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Unfiltered Beauty Project

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Being that it was my day off, when I awoke this morning I had every intention of letting my skin “breathe” and skip the full face of makeup. Then I remembered that I had to go to MAC and Sephora to purchase some supplies. (No, the irony of wearing makeup to go makeup shopping is not lost on me). I believe that most makeup artists would agree, that when you go into a beauty eatablishment, putting on your best “face” is a way of communicating with the employees that you know what you’re doing and you are all part of the sisterhood (or misterhood – as we all know there are some Fab-u-lous male MUA’s to be found at MAC and Sephora *finger snap*!).

However, when I was sitting at my vanity putting on my face, as I have done hundreds of times – I stopped to look, and I really mean look, at myself. As I sat there letting my face bake, I wondered how I may be being perceived by those who don’t personally know me and my strong feelings about the importance of inner beauty.

Yesterday at work, I spent a good two hours speaking with this woman, whom I immediately thought was gorgeous as soon as she walked into the room. When I told her so, she gave this self – deprecating laugh and and went on to list everything that she disliked about herself. She ended by saying rather emphatically, “YOU’RE the one who is beautiful, look at your makeup!” It made me more than a little sad to see a woman with such beauty inside and out who had not only convinced herself, and consequently let others convince her as well, that she wasn’t.  Despite my furtive attempts to assure her of how beautiful she in fact was, I could see that the many years of lack of self love had taken its toll and left a negative lasting impression on her. I also repeatedly tried to impress upon her that I was wearing a FULL face of makeup, yet to her, that was what made me beautiful.

I was reminded of this encounter while yet again putting on another full face of makeup, despite the fact that this was to be the day to give my skin some much needed rest. It was at this moment that I decided to follow in the footsteps of a woman that I have so much respect and admiration for – plus sized model Tess Munster (the force behind Eff Your Beauty Standards). I decided to start a movement of my own (I say movement, because although it is just me at this point – most movements start out with a party of one) for those of us in the beauty industry. I am calling it the Unfiltered Beauty Project

I will start using the hashtag #UnfliteredBeautyProject on twitter, instagram & facebook whenever I attach a picture of myself, one of my models or anyone else that depicts one of the following: 1) No makeup 2) the makeup process (I.e. unfinished face, before and afters) 3) Somone who has so much inner beauty that it is just bursting forth and far overshadowing any cosmetic enhancement (a child laughing, an elderly woman with lively dancing eyes, etc). The most important aapect of all of the images tagged in this project, is that they won’t be retouched in ANY way whatsoever. I love those instagram and photo editing software filters just as much, if not more, than anyone else, but they do their job just a little too well – they filter out a lot of the natural beauty to be found in any image.

This is not to say I will abandon my beloved filters full stop, nor am I encouraging anyone else to follow suit. What I am encouraging everyone, eapecially beauty professionals, is to show the real you every now and again. Be proud of those baggy shadowed morning eyes, honor that zit smack in the middle of your forehead, and resist using that brighten tool to erase those coffee stains on your teeth. Let people know that beauty is about so much more than what we wear and paint on ourselves, and that we truly can be comfortable in our own, real, skin.

We are artists and have a talent that should certainly be showcased. But lets also honor the other vast forms of beauty that are found in each and every individual, starting with ourselves.

(stepping down, and putting away my soapbox)