As a teenager I remember struggling with massive ingrown zits on my face. These are the ones that do not pop if you give them a nice, tough squeeze… but rather just get bigger and more painful.
I never struggled too bad with acne as a teen or young adult. It was really just those big zits that gave me trouble. It seemed like I would have at least one on my face at all times. If one cleared up, another would appear right away.
The insecurity I felt from these large bumps led me to try various face cleansers, scrubs, exfoliants, lotions, etc. During this time in my life, natural products were not something that myself, my friends, and family members had ever heard of before. So, as a result, the skin care products I tried out were filled with harsh chemicals.
“The average woman puts 515 synthetic chemicals on her body every single day without even knowing. And 60 percent of what we put onto our skin is absorbed into our bodies.” - Research by Bionsen, a natural deodorant company
At this time I was also covering my face with make-up. Liquid foundation, powder on top, bronzer to get that oh-so-desired tan look… yeah all that good stuff. All of which was laden with toxins.
It was not until I made some major shifts in my life that my skin problems fully resolved.
The first change I made was eliminating makeup from my daily routine.
In fact, I went a full month without wearing makeup just to see what would happen to my skin. Truth be told… this 30 day challenge was a game changer.
Sure, I’ll admit - it was not easy in the beginning. The first few days were incredibly difficult. I couldn’t help but feel less beautiful in my natural skin. I compared what I perceived as the “flawed” version of myself to the “prettier” version of myself who wore makeup. I knew that this was not how I wanted to relate to my true, natural self. I saw this misalignment as a BIG problem that I wanted to fix so I was determined to keep going with the challenge.
30 days later - I had a much healthier relationship with my natural self. Giving my skin room to breathe instead of caking makeup on it actually ended up greatly improving the texture, pore size, and overall look of my skin. I was ecstatic. From the inner and outer transformation that took place during this life changing experience, I knew that I would most likely never cover my face with makeup again.
The second major change I made was eliminating all toxic products from my body care routine.
Instead of finding a natural alternative for every single product I was using… I actually simplified a TON. There was no rhyme or reason for this other than the fact that I did not have much insight on the natural products that existed in the world. Instead of researching for replacement items, I omitted many items altogether.
I went from using various cleansers, creams, lotions, hair care products, to using a total of only 5 products: Toothpaste, Shampoo, Conditioner, Dr. Bronner’s Soap, and my all time favorite… Coconut Oil. I stuck with just these 5 products for over 3 years and man have they served me well.
Other vital life changes that I made which impacted the quality of my skin include...
- Eating a plant powered diet - composed of mainly whole foods and tons of fresh fruits and vegetables.
- Engaging in physical activity on a regular basis - weight lifting, running, yoga, hiking, swimming, canoeing, etc.
- Staying hydrated - drinking as much as my body asks for - recently this has been coming in the form of pure alkaline water
- Getting plenty of rest - for me this means 8-10 hours of sleep most nights, and last but not least…
- Keeping my stress levels low - I do this by only filling my life with material items, relationships, and experiences that add value to my life - also by engaging in activities that put me into a meditative state such as making art, cleaning/organizing, and exercising.
Looking back on my journey of establishing a natural body care routine… I wouldn’t have had it any other way. I love the simplicity of having just a handful of products that I use for natural hygiene and general self care.
In sharing my personal journey with you, I am not telling you what is right or wrong.
I recognize that not everyone’s journey is going to mimic mine. In fact, everyone’s journey is going to be unique to them! Not everybody strives to use only 5 products. You may feel a great sense of joy in having a more extensive face care, hair care, or body care routine. Some people love the process of putting on makeup, doing their hair, or soaking in the bath with a face mask on, immersed in their favorite aroma.
If you are someone who LOVES your routine but are striving to find more natural products to use, I want to introduce you to Arbonne.
Arbonne carries botanically inspired skin care and makeup collections. I discovered them in the Summer of 2017 and immediately felt excited to share this brand with you! Although I knew it was not just that simple... I first wanted to try out their products to ensure that they are just as incredible as they seemed upon my initial discovery.
To be completely transparent with you, I had no desire to expand the number of body care items I own and use upon testing Arbonne’s collections. My primary goal was to find an epic natural skin care and makeup brand that I could share with individuals who are seeking to replace their chemical based products.
After trying various Arbonne products for a few months, I was surprised to actually find a few which I’ve decided to continue incorporating into my personal routine.
2-4x each week:
- Nourishing Daily Shampoo
- Nourishing Daily Conditioner
1-7x each month:
- Gentle Daily Cleanser (from the Calm Collection)
- Rescue & Renew Detox Mask
- Baby Care Sunscreen (Yes, for me! Y’all know I don’t have a baby!)
- It’s A Long Story Mascara
When comparing this list to my go-to 5 products that I’ve been using for years, there are really only 4 additions to my routine, all of which are listed in the last category of items that I use 1-7x each month. Let’s dive into each of these items and why I chose to add them into my life!
Do I even wash my face?
Ever since I stopped with my old chemical filled products, I never really established a healthy face cleansing routine. I normally just rinsed my face with water and use a teeny dab of Dr. Bronner’s soap on rare occasions. Arbonne’s Daily Cleanser has filled this void for me. I still don’t find it necessary to wash my face daily, as I believe my skin cleanses itself naturally. But once in awhile I’ll feel some build up of sweat or dirt that I feel could use a bit more than just water to get off. This is where an occasional wash with the daily cleanser comes in. :)
I’ve never really been one to use face masks…
In fact I’ve probably used less than 5 in my entire life until trying out Arbonne’s Rescue & Renew Detox Mask. This. Thing. Is. Insane!!! Once applied and dried, it shows the spots on your face where toxins are being pulled out. After rinsing it off for the first time, I was hooked. In a good way! In most cases I feel like the healthiest thing I can do for my skin is leave it alone and let it be. But there’s something about this detox mask that feels extremely healthy and beneficial. I imagine it’s the detoxification. :)
Ah, the product that I get the most questions about… Sunscreen!
I don’t know how much you know about traditional/basic sunscreens, but if you don’t know about the potentially dangerous and unhealthy side effects of them I highly recommend you seek out scientific studies to gain more insight on this topic. Arbonne sunscreen is made with antioxidants, vitamins, and botanical ingredients. My personal go-to approach regarding skin care and the sun is to simply monitor my skin while I’m outside. Living in Hawaii makes it easy to spend full long days in the sun but I do not do this very often. My sun exposure varies slightly but not too much. During a typical week I tend to spend 10-12 hours in direct sunlight. On average this equates to less than 2 hours / day. If I know i’m going to be in the sun for a long period of time I might apply some Arbonne sunscreen to my more sun-sensitive spots such as my shoulders, chest, nose, and cheeks. My favorite parts about this particular sunscreen are that it’s main ingredient is Aloe Vera and it doesn’t feel greasy on my skin.
Oooh makeup! Let’s talk about it.
After years without makeup I’ve recently been dabbling with mascara again. I have only worn it a handful of times in the past few months and I’ve got to be honest with you, I really do like it. Although my utmost favorite thing is having a natural face and body without ANY products, I also do feel a little excitement and joy with wearing mascara every now and then. The Arbonne Mascara is made with pea and bamboo extracts that help condition your lashes, polypeptides which contain skin-conditioning amino acids, and various other eyelash benefiting ingredients.
Well, if you’ve made it this far, props to you!
I have so much to share about this topic and I’m so very appreciative that you are interested in hearing all about it.
In general, my approach with my personal body care routine is to keep it as simple and natural as possible while also feeling free to try new things.
If you’re in a place on your personal care journey where your intuition is telling you to try new and natural products, then I imagine Arbonne will be a great fit for you.
To receive the best deals on Arbonne products simply click here and sign up as a “Preferred Client”. This costs only $20 to sign up and will allow you receive 20% off of everything that you purchase. *October promotion: Get your $20 sign up fee waived if you spend $150+ on your first order.
Best of luck on your journey to a natural life!With love,