For the women, and any applicable men, have you found reliable ways to have clear, healthy skin outside of following a paleo diet?
Ever since switching to paleo I've noticed vast improvement in my complexion. I'm no longer bloated and pasty. My skin still gets a bit dry due to winter weather. And the other day I ate a pie, the first time I've had sugar/junk food in a long time, and soon after a few pimples starting to form.
I've stopped using all skincare products on my face, including sunscreen because I rarely burn and I am more wary of the chemicals in sunscreen than getting skin cancer. I still use toothpaste, mild soap, hand lotion, deodorant, and shampoo once or twice a week. I use chamomile tea as a toner twice a day. And once or twice a week I exfoliate my face with a paste made from coffee grinds, lavender oil, and honey. I also just got jojoba oil. I started to have sensitive skin the past few years but think that is mostly due to junk products I was using. I'm naturally medium-complected and grew up in a tropical place and would spend hours at the beach (sunburn only after hours of exposure). Now I live in the Northeast and think I've been Vitamin-D deficient for several years.
Are you a recovering beauty product fiend like me? What's your regimen?
I believe in taking care of myself, in a balanced diet, in a rigorous exercise routine. In the morning, if my face is a little puffy, I'll put on an ice pack while doing my stomach crunches. I can do a thousand now.
After I remove the icepack, I use a deep pore-cleanser lotion. In the shower, I use a water-activated gel cleanser, then a honey-almond body scrub, and on the face an exfoliating gel scrub. Then I apply an herb mint facial masque which I leave on for ten minutes while I prepare the rest of my routine.
I always use an after-shave lotion with little or no alcohol because alcohol dries your face out and makes you look older. Then moisturizer, then an anti-aging eye balm, followed by a final moisturizing "protective" lotion...
I haven't used any soaps or exfoliators or toners or anything on my face for years. Not even a washcloth. No problems, a few zits if I eat sugar or have my period, and I get compliments on my skin all the time.
I've been soap-free on my body as well since October. Nothing but positive reviews in regards to how I smell.
If I wear makeup (maybe some eyeliner or mascara once every couple of months) I take it off using coconut oil. If I ever have a bit of a dry spot it gets coconut oil as well.
I use a very gentle natural shampoo on my hair about once every three days. I tried going no-poo but can't ever get past the greasy stage, and got terrible dandruff. My hair is much nicer since I stopped washing it every day, though, and I keep getting comments asking if I've dyed it, because it's darker and thicker.
I haven't used deodorant in about seven years. If I'm going to be really active or it's really hot out I'll swipe on some of that crystal stuff but I don't use it every day.
I floss everyday and brush with a locally made clove and orange oil tooth soap, or some days just water. Used to have to use toothpaste for sensitive teeth but changing my diet made my teeth stop hurting.
I have a locally made lotion with SPF 15 that I use on my nose and my ears if I'm planning for some sun exposure. Usually I just wear a hat.
I've never been huge into beauty products so it hasn't been hard on me to minimize them. I like being low-maintenance.
first thing I've wanted to share so far :).
I'd say my skincare is more about process than product. I'm of African descent, and my facial skin is oily, while the rest of my skin tends to be drier. I've always had very clear skin, but paleo has made it better, less puffy in the morning, not itchy.
I've cut all shower products, with the exception of occasional shampoo/conditioner (my hair is chemically relaxed). My routine involves hot water, a dry skin brush and a washcloth and I shower only at night, before bed. It seems that my skin and sweat glands calm down overnight in a way that they do not if I shower in the morning.
To start, I dry brush my skin (feet to neck)for about 5 minutes before turning on the shower. Using as hot water as I can tolerate, I rinse and then scrub with the washcloth (head to feet). If I need to, I'll shave my legs....I'm not 100% positive, but have the suspicion that not using soap eliminates the necessity of shaving cream, or that my skin is getting tougher. I'll then rinse off in as cold water as I can stand; ok, really, it's cool, and I'm a wimp.
After showering, I dry off and use coconut oil as a moisturizer, including my underarms. I've stopped using deodorant, and only use a small amount of coconut oil at night and a dab of Burt's Bees baby powder in the morning. A lot of my "BO" was from the ridiculous nuke strength deodorant I used. I do start to get sweaty after a while, but it takes more than 24 hours, generally isn't too offensive, and I shower nightly.
Most of the routine is about removing dead skin, oil and dirt so that my body can breathe, and then preventing dryness. It is more labor intensive than just slapping on some body wash, but the payoff of calmer skin, and potentially improved circulation, is well worth it.
I miss conventional products but I changed my skincare/beauty regimes because I believe they cause harm including Alzheimers. Also..I'm cheap on pretty much everything so it fits right in with my ways.
I use coconut oil out of the shower and on my arm-pits with a little baking soda. I use a little Dr Bronner's on my "backside" and pits and baking soda on my "front-side." I also use Jojoba Oil wherever to moisturize.
On my hair I mostly use water and then either some baking soda or some Dr. Bronner's on my scalp. I put jojoba or an avocado on my long hair before I shower to deep condition. The only bad thing I use is the cheapest conditioner I can find on just the middle to ends of my hair. I figure it's not touching my scalp and I need the extra moisture here in Colorado.
I brush my teeth with baking soda and swish with coconut oil and hydrogen peroxide. I also face-cleanse with coconut oil or just a loofah or wash-cloth and very hot water. Before I get in the shower I dry-skin brush twice everywhere. I shave razors purchased at the dollar store.
I wear light makeup--cheap as I can get within reason.
I also am very careful what my 5 and 6 year old daughters get to use on their hair and skin and I forbid antibacterial use as much as I can. (School uses it.)
This routine has been an evolution over about 10 months.
To take off makeup (yes, I do put that on my face, mostly a natural mineral-based powder) I wash with a very hot washcloth and a mixture of olive oil, castor oil and lavender. Before showering, I clean my face with apple cider vinegar on a cotton pad. I also use Burt's Bees carrot moisturizer.
I never use sunscreen.
I do use toothpaste (non-fluoride), Dr. Bronner's soap and Burt's Bees shampoo/conditioner (not every day). Sometimes a coconut-based lotion. Also, an aluminum-free crystal deodorant.
I have the same reaction to sugar as you do - I tried everything to get rid of the acne over the years, including Proactiv and medication but nothing worked. Now that I'm eating Paleo, my skin is clear and radiant. However, if I eat lots of sugar or anything with maltodextrin in it, my skin will break out within 2 days. I've tested it over and over with the same result. I've found that going Paleo has allowed me to shower less often, which has reduced my need for all kinds of products, including moisturizer. I still wear deodorant, I guess as a type of insurance policy, but I only wash my hair once a week. I don't wear sunscreen either, and haven't been sunburned since going Paleo. I've heard that people use coconut oil for all types of things, including in their hair, and that is something I'm going to try next. I've been using it as a moisturizer for my hands during the winter months and it works great. I've also added some essential oil of lavender and tea tree oil and used it on my son's scalp to get rid of cradle cap and that worked great too.
I'm convinced it was my diet alone that cleared up my skin, but ditching the soap has really make it soft and smooth. I used to wash my face with Cetaphil, and was very surprised to learn that even the "dermatologist recommended" unscented sensitive skin stuff contained sulfates and other nasties. I now use jojoba oil to remove eye makeup, and wash my face with water and a warm washcloth. If I need an extra moisturizer, I use a few drops of vitamin E or coconut oil. Once in awhile as a toner, I use straight apple cider vinegar (ACV) applied with a cotton ball. In the shower, I just use a stiff-bristled brush on my skin, followed by all-over coconut oil.
My skin looks so nice now, that I gave up foundation/concealer, and can now get away with just a light mineral powder and mascara. Yay! :)
I haven't used commercial antiperspirants in years, but now I've also given up commercial deodorants. I make my own homemade deodorant from a mixture of coconut oil, baking soda and arrowroot powder, and sometimes take a chlorophyll supplement on days I think I'm going to need extra "protection."
I've replaced glycerin-containing commercial toothpastes for a homemade mixture of baking soda, peppermint oil and cinnamon oil. Much cheaper, fluoride free and doesn't inhibit enamel remineralizaton.
I use sunscreen extremely rarely - and only when I know I'm going to be exposed for a long time with no chance of shade (like when we go river tubing all day). I'm naturally pretty pale, and although I'm far less likely to burn these days, (thanks to the protective saturated fat in my diet) a full day in the sun is too much for me. Sunscreen inhibits vitamin D production and won't prevent the damage, but at least it will spare me the sunburn.
I've also tried to give up shampoo, but I think my hair type, haircut and our water hardness might all be conspiring against me to prevent this from working. I've been experimenting with different combinations/amounts of diluted baking soda and ACV or lemon juice for about six months now. I've also tried using egg to wash and the "conditioner only" method. Egg + conditioner works better than anything else I've tried, but it's still not great. So for now, I'm trying to limit shampooing (with a detergent-free shampoo - Kiss My Face Whenever) to twice a week, max. I'd really love to find a shampoo-free alternative, though. More than anything, I dislike how much oilier my scalp tends to get when using shampoo. KMF Whenever is better than most other types I've used, but I still get a bit greasy on the the third day, and I really wish I could find a solution for that.
I make my own herbal body products.
I have a homemade muscle relaxing salve made with olive oil, beeswax, peppermint oil, kava root, and thieves oil.
I use a homemade cleanser for my face that contains rose water, rose geranium essential oil, beeswax, and sweet almond oil. my dry sensitive skim has never been better.
If you have the time and a blender, I highly suggest making your own herbal body care products. You can find great recipes online.
I do just about nothing. (except of course eat healthy). This is partly out of laziness, partly because still at 51 (soon to be) I see results. I actually almost never wash my face...I think this depletes it of its natural oils. I make my own cream from shea butter (and then hardly use it). I don't use sunscreen but wear hats and sunglasses always. I use pure aloe vera gel for mosquito bites or mostly for my daughters skin irritations. Tea tree oil for mouthwash, excema, bacteria. (A MUST HAVE) I use solid shampoo bars from J R liggett with apple cider vinegar rinse. I apply shea butter or coconut oil, if I see my skin is excessively dry.
What I really think is important is ATTITUDE.
When you feel crummy you usually look crummy. Often if you feel down and sit and think a moment, you will notice that your facial muscles are pulling downward. You can actually pull them back up and outward. A virtual mini facelift!!! I use to model and this was an important part of the job. You make yourself look great for those few seconds on film. I do believe that keeping the facial muscles toned is important. Alas I don't do this, but I do remember when I am feeling tired or angry or sad...to STOP LETTING IT EFFECT MY FACE. You can control your emotions and your muscles and thus your outward appearance (even if you still have a nagging headache or home sickness or whatever). Just like in my kitchen, there is not one single product in my bathroom that can't be eaten, (oops except toilet paper)...honey, vinegar, cornstarch, baking soda, peroxide (teeth whitening), simple clay, salt, though again, I am lazy so don't use them. I guess I spend too much time reading about treating the inside.
I use baking soda for washing my face and sometimes my hair. I haven't used shampoo in 5 months. My hair doesn't ever look greasy now...it took about 3 weeks to get past the stage where it was greasy and I had dandruff, but as soon as I started using baking soda that problem disappeared.