Routine, schmoutine. Routine, rootin’-tootin’, poutine, pah! Now we’re talking.
The skin on my face is still not exactly normal, but we’re managing to co-exist. I think my face is calming down and getting better, slowly slowly. My forehead is OK, nose, most of my cheeks. Chin and jaw-line are still a but itchy and iffy, and usually the area between just under my cheek-bones and the wings of my nose will get grumpy and spotify later in the evening. It’s OK now (nearly 8 p.m.), yesterday it did its daily reminder around 10 p.m., last week it was around when I was coming home from work (so, between 7 and 8:30 p.m.). At the beginning of last week, the itchy rashy spottiness was further up my face, on my cheeks and temples, with some red dots on my forehead the weekend before. So it’s diminishing and coming down my face. All very fascinating to watch.
Current stuff and what I do with it:
My skin is currently not happy. It hasn’t been for about a week. Symptoms:
- Pain when touched by anything
- Stinging when touched by liquids, including water
- Constant itchiness, etc.,
- Tenderness to the touch, and, visually, swelling, blotchiness, a rash of red pimply-looking things, and dry flaky sore patches
Experiment with using up old avocado oil (we just don’t use it enough or fast enough in the kitchen), alone or mixed with meadowfoam seed oil: over. Using up the last of it on body. Zits on face. It is more moisturising than meadowfoam alone, initially anyway. And less zitty than olive. But for moisture-retention by the end of the day, better results can be observed by changing from a hyaluronic acid-based serum to a moister one without (Garden of Wisdom oat serum). I tried that with the meadowfoam-avocado mix, then with meadowfoam alone.
Conclusion: face: back to meadowfoam oil for moisture, and back (actually, way back from before this here blog…) to that oat serum.
Skin being very reactive at the moment: entirely to do with work stress. But that means that many substance that are otherwise OK on my skin, or have been in the past, trigger reaction. Vitamin C (even the very mild MAP) and green tea, for example. The antioxidant serum with which there have been least reactions has been another GoW one, Majik Green Tea. Still not as good (on me, right now) as their oat one, with which there are zero reactions.
We’ll see about reintroducing antioxidant serums for boosting sun protection, once there is more sun (and once skin is less irritable). Eating antioxidants seems to be fine, fortunately; would be disastrous otherwise, as I’m more or less vegetarian (with occasional fish).
My hair is currently shortish.
Over the course of my/its/ our life it has mostly been long; if you are an actual natural redhead and your hair looks nice, there’s often family, societal, and amorous pressure to keep it long. As it’s wavy to curly, and not uniformly, certain cuts and styles don’t work. Remember that I am lazy. So I usually have more or less the same cue, one length, longish. That also means hair can be trimmed every couple of months at a cheap unisex place.
But it gets dry and tangled, can cost a lot in products (been OK recently), certainly costs time and effort. Just getting conditioner through the stuff in the shower, for example. And, for numerous reasons and sometimes for none at all, sometimes I cut it. Lots of it off.
I went into a hairdressers when the “GET IT OFF ME” urge struck. This was, luckily, not only a good hairdresser but one who knew what to do with intermittently wavy hair, and who understood lazy people. I don’t know whether she is also lazy herself, or diplomatic, or genuinely neutral and non-judgemental. But she was sympathetic, and the first hairdresser I’ve met (or remember) who didn’t try to change my whole hair routine and force me to style and blow-dry the barnet. She did amazing things. Hair stayed amazing for the next six weeks. It also grew, as usual. I returned for some maintenance, reshaping, like topiary. (Sorry, at the start of a shorter hair phase, I find I’ve forgotten lots of stuff since the last time and have to learn all this hair excitement all over again.)
It does, however, need a little on the product management side. Hence re-excavating the products that lurk at the back of a cupboard under a sink in the guest room, so mostly used by visitors. Some stuff had been left by visitors too. Plus collected samples, freebies, etc. Many were off (to the trash!) and many smelled awful, or anyway, bad to my nose. Some led to sneezing.
Adding more conditioner: meh and greasy
Adding more of other conditioners: ditto
Shea butter on ends: good against dryness, not good on flyaway cowlick bits, just greased them
John Masters Organics shine on: bugger all difference, and if you add too much hair gets weighed down and greasy rather than shiny.
JMO gel, the one that smells of orange: good, but smell got to me
Giovanni, The Body Shop, Desert Essence (various): scent issues and skin reactions. See, that’s something to remember with shorter hair: more surrounding skin is exposed…
And a bunch of others that went in the trash.
So I went on an expedition, online and IRL. Looking for something gelid but unscented. There may well be others I didn’t get (feel free to add comment below…), but the one I did get, being easily obtained here, was the Curelle gel. It does what I need it to do: tame flyaways, control frizz, generally help hair to behave itself. And it does so with discretion. Apply small quantity, distribute evenly through hair, let hair dry, that’s it. You don’t feel the stuff all day, no grease or crunching or desiccation. And no sneezing.
A quickie post this one, mainly as a pathetic excuse to repost some glorious images of chocolate-based tasty treats!
It is now winter. Not quite officially, we have a couple of days yet to go. Unofficially, and according to older calendars, we’ve been in winter since the beginning of November and will stay here until the beginning of February. At once a more pessimistic version of the season—it starts earlier—and a more sensible and practical one. As soon as you’re wearing extra woolly layers and scarves, it’s winter. Sorry.
This older version of seasonal categorization also works out better at the other end: the start of spring vegetables (and, alas, lambs destined to live and end their lives as “spring lambs”). It may still be freezing cold in February, but you’ll also be noticing more light. Even in the horrors of extreme northerly areas such as those I’m originally from, and from which I’ve spent as much as possible of my life escaping by living in lower slightly sunnier latitudes like Vancouver.
But winter means winter skin. And hair. And nails. Continue reading
Yes, so much for the fancy-pants complication of my life by moving from ONE to TWO multi-purpose oils. It’s just way too complicated for me, my bathroom, my clumsiness first thing in the morning, and my myopia.
Back to basics, tried and trusted, that work: ONE OIL TO RULE THEM ALL and in the darkness bind them. In a good way, Continue reading
Happy New Year!
This won’t be one of those feckin awful “new year, new skin, new you” bits of baloney. I don’t like baloney, or indeed many sausagey things like it: you know the sort, the texture’s a bit too smooth for comfort, there’s something suspicious about it. And you’d be right to be suspicious: compare and contrast baloney vs. Vegan Dad’s home-made sausages.
No matter how thin you slice it, it’s still baloney. You can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear. Or, in other non-words:
Other than in situations where I can only use one oil (travel, staying with friends/family and forgotten to bring stuff with me or it’s an impromptu stay-over, etc.) I’m no longer just using the one oil for everything for which an oil could be used. The DIY multi-purpose oil has now become two such great, amazing, and no not actually at all original and unique concoctions: see here, blame this dude or her ladyship here; regarding the latter, remember—especially anyone who’s thinking of making money out of something that’s already there and claiming the credit for it as their invention, and those who are doing this already (your names and company names are two proper nouns long)—remember that hubris is a very bad thing, as exemplified by this poor lass.
Happy cheery story-time over, on to the unctuous oiliness proper:
- multi-purpose oil #1: the one that gets rinsed off, and sits on skin first in a gloopy way = currently
- sweet almond oil: any brand
- or olive oil: extra-virgin, Greek and more specifically from Crete, in a large 3 l bright green can; c/o the Parthenon, Broadway, Vancouver.
Which is a fabulous grocers/deli. Sorry, non-Vancouverites; but there’s plenty other good delis all over the world. Thank the peaceful commercial gods for millenia of global trade: one upside to desire and consumption.
Praise be to Folly in the highest!
Note: I’ve also bought oil many other places—supermarkets, grocers, delis, markets—and I’m not that fussy about it. EVOO is always cold-pressed etc., that’s in its nature and definition; so if there’s too much bunkum on the label touting how cold its pressing is I’ll get annoyed and might not buy due to marketeering allergies.
But I will pay a little more for one that’s a fair price. I know how olives are grown and the oil produced. It’s labour-intensive. If it costs less than a certain amount, there are corners being cut. The usual corners are unfair labour and mixing with cheaper oils made with cheaper labour (this seems to happen a lot in Italy, lately, with mixing of oils from other countries, but enough of the production is in Italy for the oil to count as Italian-made). A generous (but bordering on stinginess to workers) base-line for bulk larger quantities: at least $10.00 – 12.00 / litre, if shipped directly, family business, co-op, no middle-men, buying from a smaller place with regular turnover (and strong supplier connections, ex. to family and ancestral location). If not, then more.
That’s not crazy money: especially compared to actual ready-made shop-bought “proper” moisturisers…
- multi-purpose oil #2: the one that stays on skin, and sinks in fast = currently
- meadowfoam seed oil: Mountain Rose Herbs is the last lot I got; I’ve also bought it from local Vancouver suppliers
The relevant posts have duly been updated:
UPDATE (2012-01-04): back to just one oil, The Universal Multi-Purpose One And Only One (meadowfoam). Two oils was just too much arse. This is what happens when you’re a minimalist, hate clutter, despise prissy multiple products kicking around in the bathroom ready to trip you up, AND combine that with being short-sighted and lazy.
Also, a reminder of a chocolatey oily joy:
My skin has varied over the years, as has what I’ve used on it. Now, my skin’s been sensitive all my life, for various reasons and in various ways. Some of that sensitivity is inbuilt: that’s how my skin happens to be built: physically thin and with genetic eczema, for starters. The first oil I ever experimented with was jojoba, in my teens. LOL. It was fashionable, what more can I say… In my late 20s to early 30s, my skin was more hormonally-charged. I tended to have better luck and results with oils that were somewhere around about 0-1 on the standard comedogenicity and irritancy indices; had a lower molecular weight; and were lower in oleic acid, lower in alpha-linolenic acid, and higher in linoleic and gamma-linolenic.
Some oils have been constants, from cradle to currently-nearer-the-grave: mineral, sweet almond, sunflower. I’d always prefer to use a plant-derived oil where possible. Not because I’m one of those fools who think mineral oil and petrolatum (Vaseline) are poisonous and evil because they’re actually petrol/gas/crude oil (chemistry 101 ROFL), but for reasons of sustainability. Factoring in costs of production and transportation, too.
Over the last couple of years, my skin’s been changing. Continue reading
(updated variously, further down)
- A-Derma Skin Care Cream
(no longer cruelty-free)
around CAD$ 24.00/100 ml = $7.00/oz
- CeraVe cream
(cruelty-free, cheap: but the thing here is renewable sustainable ingredients, though not a deal-breaker and I’m not throwing this stuff out!!!)
around CAD$23.00/453 g= $1.43/oz
- Dr.Hauschka rose day cream
(greener, more sustainable: but why can’t someone produce something like this but unscented and cheaper?)
CAD$43.00/30 ml = $43.00/1 oz
All are in recyclable packaging. None contains aloe vera (UPDATE: now pretty much OK with it again!!!), other of my irritants, or palm oil (of the to-be-avoided de-rainforest-and-inhabitants-ation sort). Each has pros and cons as summarized above, plus some others on availability, transport costs (A-Derma and Dr.Hauschka), production methods, etc. Otherwise, I’m not prejudiced on price. These three all work well on my skin, end of story.
I use a separate hydrating / humectant layer underneath, and a separate sunscreen on top. Yes, one happy day, the perfect product will exist that will do all three jobs. Right now it doesn’t. Yep, that includes Olay Regenerist and co.; yes indeedy, permission granted to flame away…
Best options so far: the ones below, all generally decent and eminently usable (if they don’t work on face, try them elsewhere, and you can never have enough handcream). Even the most expensive of those below is cheaper than Dr.Hauschka. All sink in beautifully, seem to keep skin moist, and would be (in principle; the first
two one, in practice) on the rebuy list. All moisturisers were tested out on clean skin, dampened with witch-hazel hydrosol, with sunscreen (BurnOut Ocean Tested) on top in the morning and nothing on top at night.
One of the best oils I’ve used: for the usual multiple purposes. Mostly moisturising: face, body, hair. Also removing eye make-up, shaving armpits, etc. So why is it used so little? And when I say “little,” the main commercially-available cream that’s based on it, and one of the places where people will be most used to seeing the ingredients, is this complete and utter farce: Continue reading