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Thursday, October 17, 2013

Zits: the joy of all joys

Lovely title, isn't it?  Oh, yes.  Well, let's get real.  Zits are a fact of life.

Pop that thing, girl!
Some people get loads of them while they go through their teenage years and then are relieved when they hit their twenties and the zits seemingly stop.  I, however, think I had four zits from the time I was 13 until I was 21 and then get them now more frequently in my thirties.  It's a wonderful life.

But now - as of these last three or so months, I have almost eradicated the nasties from my face completely!  I don't know exactly all of the causes, but I did only one thing dramatically different.  This caused me to wonder if this change was indeed quite helpful.

At any rate, I thought I'd share it with you so that if you'd like to try it out, you may.  Perhaps it will bring you a measure of success (and I hope it does!).

Now, most of you know that I already make my own eye makeup remover and facial cleanser.  They're both simple recipes - the eye makeup remover is nearly 50% witch hazel and 50% organic extra-virgin olive oil.  Pour those into a little container, shake 'em up, squirt on a cotton round.  The facial cleanser is witch hazel steeped with thyme leaves.  (Thyme is a natural anti-inflammatory agent, thus a zit-shrinker.)

Until a few months ago, I was using a store-bought moisturizer.  I need a moisturizer because I slather my face in chlorine every other day and without it, I have that feeling of your skin being ripped to shreds if you attempt smiling or speaking.  It's lovely.  I hope you've experienced such loveliness to know what I mean.  Now, the moisturizer was labeled 100% natural (which, you know, means totally nothing), but I was using it anyway - mostly because it was somewhat inexpensive ($17, not $70) and I could pronounce the ingredients.

Store-bought 100% natural moisturizer.
But I think there was something in there that just bugged my face.  I would get a zit like clockwork (girls, you know what I mean) and I chalked it up to hormones.  (Indeed, I think it was.  But the other half of the story is that I don't think I was helping myself any with what I was putting on my face.)

So I ran out of my moisturizer and as I went to the store to get more, they didn't carry the item anymore!  What the heck!  I went to a couple other stores and they didn't have it either.  Usually this means it's time to go find it on ebay or amazon, but I went a different direction.  I thought, "Well, what the heck.  I already make the eye makeup remover and the facial cleanser, what if I try making a moisturizer?  It's worth a shot."  

I didn't really know what to make it out of, so I went to my favorite crunchy granola hippie health store and looked at their $70 facial moisturizers.  I read their ingredients.  Some of them contained questionable ingredients that I wouldn't really want to put on my face, especially since I would have been paying ridiculous amounts of money for it.  I noticed a thread of ingredients and decided I would just go with simple and try mixing up the basics.

I used three ingredients: coconut oil, jojoba oil and shea butter.  If you know anything about these ditties, you know that two of them are solids at room temperature.  That is all good and grand, but it makes it a bit more difficult to combine with an oil and rub on your face in any good way.  So, I did the Crunchy Betty thing and melted them up and mixed them together.

I wish that I could remember the exact proportions, but I never even use exact proportions for baking, so I lament to you that you may be out of luck for this if you're into the precise.  I can give you an idea, though.  I would say I went about equal measures of the coconut oil and the shea butter and then did a few squirts of the jojoba at the end.

I used a stainless steel pot to melt the coconut oil first and then added in the shea butter.  I remembered from a Crunchy Betty recipe once that she said if you let it go too long, you can get weird grainy results with your shea butter, so I just mixed it all together until it was a liquid and then took it off heat.  This was when I made a hopeful squinty face and squirted in the jojoba oil.

I put it into a glass facial moisturizer bottle I cleaned out for just that purpose and stuck it in the fridge to get it to solidify.  (Now it lives in my makeup bag like a good little moisturizer.)

If you're used to having white colored facial moisturizers, then you may be a bit weirded out that this puppy is yellow (due to the shea butter), but I can assure you that your face does not turn yellow.

And dudes.  I totally don't get zits anymore.  It was just what my face needed.  

(Is this so ironic?  Wasn't your first reaction to "put oil on your face" the exact opposite?  I'M GOING TO GET A THOUSAND ZITS!  I know.  But I haven't.  And it was in all of those expensive mixes, so maybe it's just cheeseburger oil you don't want to rub on your face.)

If you want it to come out liquidy, you have to heat up your bottle under hot tap water and then squirt it out (which I did initially because I was brainwashed into thinking this is the only way to get moisturizer on your face).  I switched over after about two weeks of doing that to just opening up the bottle, lifting the straw-like thing up and wiping a little blob onto my finger.  Works like a charm.  The warmth of your hands and face turn it into a liquid anyway (since coconut oil is a liquid above 76 F).

It's really lovely!  I say if you're out of yours and you're up for mixing it up in the kitchen that you give it a try.  It sure is a heck of a lot cheaper than $70, $17 or even $7.  I haven't figured the price, but I'd say it cost under $2 to make that batch, and even perhaps under $1.

Knowing your ingredients, knowing how to do it, saving money - what's cooler than that in the world of facial moisturizing!?

Peace, love and let us always bond together to fight the good fight against the attack of the zits,
Ms. Daisy

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