Demonstrating the Difference
A lot has changed in my life in the past 3 to 4 years. I started powerlifting in 2011 and was in a car accident in 2013 that forced me to quit lifting for a time (about a year, actually). I had ankle surgery (2014), walked the UK (2014), and got hit with some type of autoimmune disorder (2014) which kept me from restarting powerlifting when I wanted. Then I bleached and dyed my hair (2015), then I hacked it off (2016) to avoid dying in the heat (again). I joined the SCA (2016) and began researching medieval skin care. I started using oil to wash my face, based on historical evidence that oil is actually a really good skin cleanser. I believe I started that in August 2016 as a way to prepare for the first, ever, SCA class I was going to teach at Great Western War.
This year, I’ve had to make a diet change for my health. I had no idea that sero-negative celiac disease was a thing and that I would have it. So, no more grains and, for me in particular, no more legumes/lentils. I really don’t want to be sick and it doesn’t take a lot to make me sick. I’ve drunk more water in the past checks calendar 2 months than I have in a few years, and my skin has been very thankful. I’ve also continued my skin care regimen of oil and rose water, and have just recently added a oil moisturizer to the mix that actually really does some wonderful things for my skin.
But, is it just placebo effect, or is there an actual difference?
The image to the right shows me 3 years ago and just last week. The picture on the left, my skin looks dull. It looks like its aging. If you embiggen the picture, you can see fine lines at my eyes. I look like I’m in my 30s in that picture (which is so very true! I was 36!). The image on the left is me just last week. I was picking up Geiri from work and had some time, so I snapped a selfie. My skin looks clearer, even, supple, and there is no evidence of fine lines forming anywhere on my face. I look like I’m not quite 30 yet (in fact, I’ve told people just recently how old I am and they’ve just stared at me in wonderment…they thought I was only about 25).
I used to wear a lot of makeup. I don’t anymore simply because it’s a lot of work and I don’t always have the spoons to do it. These two pictures have about the same amount of makeup effort going on, which is why I chose them. Before, I was using whatever products I could buy at the store to wash and moisturize my face. I have acne-prone skin, so many of the things were super harsh and drying (as is evident in the left picture, on the cheek). My skin care routine has completely changed and the difference was noticeable within a week.
My routine is as follows:
- Cleansing Oil – I use olive oil as a base and add rosemary and tea tree oil to it. The olive oil, alone, is fine; I like the scent of rosemary and the anti-bacterial properties of both rosemary and tea tree oil.
- Toner – Toner is good to close the pores. Rose water is a fresh type of tone that is mildly astringent, so it also helps quell the raging outbreaks I’m prone to have on a monthly basis.
- Moisturize Me – This part will vary depending on where I am and what I’m doing. If it’s a normal day in which I will not be outside, I use a moisturizing oil consisting of a jojoba oil base with evening primrose oil and palmarosa essential oil. If I’m going to be outside, I treat my face with commercial sunblock in SPF 30 (Hawaiian Tropics) and the rest of my body with SPF 70 (Neutragena). I have one skin and I plan to keep it until I die…which isn’t going to be from skin cancer.
I have also switched my hair-care routine to include the use of oils for treatments and as part of my shampoo. My shampoo consists of peppermint castile soap, coconut oil, coconut milk, and a blend of anti-inflammatory oils to help combat the eczema/psoriasis I have on my scalp. I use henna on my hair, now (and for now… I may go back to blue…or add blue streaks or something), and my hair just looks and feels healthier (though in desperate need of a cut).
In Egyptian times, oils were how everyone from royalty to slaves cleaned themselves. In fact, up until the 1950s, oils were the basis for all cleansers and moisturizers. I find them healing and effective and I think the difference is clear.