moody skincare must haves

I think my new name should be MIA Maddie because I always introduce a new post with the fact that I never post often enough.

Let’s just face it, I’m very inconsistent (but I’m working on it, I promise). Instead of boring you with life updates- I decided to dive right into what I put on my face because I know you’ve all been dying to know.

Just like every other girl I feel like I’m constantly changing it up and experimenting with beauty products, but for the most part and for a number of months, I’ve been pretty dang loyal to these skincare products.

Of course everyone has different, unique skin yada yada yada and I’m not going to bore you with the history of my skin (if you’re interested, just read the majority of my past posts).

However, I did just graduate from esthetics school (I am yet to be certified by the state, but hold your horses, I will get around to it ASAP) so these products, in my educated opinion have really helped my skin.

And if you’re new here, I have oily/combination acne prone skin (so in other words… the worst type;)). But if you’re in the same boat, don’t be discouraged, skin is just skin and ALWAYS gets better. Unless you continue to do nothing that will better it and only complain about it, then it probably will not improve- just a word of advice.

1. Facial cleanser: Eminence organic skincare clear skin probiotic cleanser

In my honest opinion, cleanser is not the most important part of the skincare routine because, think about it, you rub it on your skin for what? 30 seconds? And then you wash it off and doesn’t really penetrate deeper than the first layer of epidermis. So yeah, I like this one, but is it my all time holy grail cleanser? Nope, I haven’t found that yet.

The pro to this product is that it’s all natural and organic- which, to me equals happy healthy skin!

2. Toner/hydrator: Rosewater & Glycerin

Now this one is a winner. Soothing, hydrating and best of all- pH balancing. As you may already know, our skin is made up of an acid mantle and the barrier of our skin can sometimes be stripped due to the products we use, therefore causing the pH to become unbalanced. So after using a stripping product like a cleanser, it’s good to use a toner which levels out the skin once out of the shower. This one also smells nice and feels extremely refreshing. 10/10 would recommend!!

3. Min Erbs face oils/serums

Believe it or not, I don’t use conventional moisturizer or lotion anymore. All I use are these nifty face oils before bed, do a little massaging, and BAM, I have glowing skin in the morning. On most nights I use the sea buckthorn and prickly pear oil, because I researched the ingredient list and found it to be the best one for acne prone skin with reishi mushroom, prickly pear and vitamin e to name a few. Love love love it.

A couple times a week I will use the rose and chamomile glow serum when I’m feeling fancy. This one smells amazing and I truly believe it does what it says… makes you glow baby. And who doesn’t want that?

Best part? Min Erbs is a locally sourced and owned small business here in Southern Oregon that uses 100% natural ingredients in each of their products (mainly designed for mama and baby). I can’t rave about them more and encourage everyone to get their hands on their face oils.

Check out their website here

4. Tea tree oil

Want to know the best all natural spot treatment on the market? That’s right, yes tree oil. Just dab it on and voila, it helps dry and lessen those pesky breakouts. I use this after I apply my face oil (may not be the correct order, but that’s just how I like it).

Well, that’s all friends. I hope this was somewhat helpful or interesting- or maybe you even learned something. Eh… at least I had fun rambling. Until next time, stay sassy. xoxo

How I Cleared my Skin (pictures included) // My Diet

I’ve been hesitant to make this post for a number of months now…

Why?

Because my skin, especially during it’s bad stages, is something that is extremely personal to me.

But, if you’re anything like me when my skin was at it’s worst, you are desperate for any advice or miracle products, just anything that will improve your skin. So, my hopes are that by sharing my experience in clearing my acne, my story might be helpful for at least one person struggling with the same thing.

I really think that only people who have acne can relate to what it feels like to have troubled skin. I struggled with acne for nearly five years, and I can honestly say that it has been one of the hardest challenges I’ve faced in my life. Having one or two pimples isn’t that bad, but experiencing acne is somehow entirely different. It effects a person on a deep, self-conscious level like nothing else. No matter what you do- cover it up with makeup, wash your face constantly, invest in expensive products- it seems impossible to get rid of. For me, five years seemed like an eternity, and one point I couldn’t even imagine having “clear skin” because it seemed so far out of reach. So, if you have acne, or even just periods of troubled skin, please read my experience, because I was able to achieve clear skin (for the most part) through a lot of trial and error.

During the winter of 2015 I decided that I was completely fed up with looking in the mirror and disliking my skin to point of immense insecurity, so I made some drastic changes. Now, about one and a half years later, I can testify that three main things radically improved my skin. Today I will be talking about the affects of diet on my skin, and over the course of this week I will go in-depth into facial treatments that have improved my skin and my product recommendations.

 

My diet

On January 1st of 2016 I made the drastic decision to eliminate all gluten, dairy, refined sugar and fried foods from my diet. I also got a blood test which showed that I am allergic to eggs and most nuts, which I then cut out of my diet as well. At first I was very strict to the point where I wouldn’t even eat honey or real maple syrup. After about four months of eating a clean diet I began reaping the benefits. I noticed major improvements in my skin tone and texture, and I also slimmed down without even having that intention. I cannot stress enough the importance that diet plays in our health, especially the health of our skin, which is the largest organ of the body.

About six months ago, I began taking Great Lakes Gelatin Collagen. Collagen offers so many benefits for the hair, skin, nails, gut and overall health. I swear by the powdered collagen that I use because I truly feel like it has improved my skin’s elasticity, texture and tone dramatically. Not to mention, I notice my hair to be much healthier, thicker, and shinier when I take it on a regular basis. I cannot recommend the Great Lakes gelatin collagen enough, and I would encourage everyone to buy some for themselves. It literally makes your skin glow.

Yes, eliminating staple foods from your diet may seem daunting and impossible, but after eating the way I do for over a year now, I can say that it is so extremely rewarding. My recommendation would be to start with at least one food group you’d like to cut out, see how it makes you feel, and then proceed from there. After reading countless articles on how food effects acne, I would highly recommend eliminating all forms of dairy from your diet, for at least two weeks, and see if your skin improves at all. If you do decide to make a change in your diet in hopes to clear up your troubled skin, just know that it does not happen overnight, and like any other medicine, it takes time to see the results.

Since starting my diet, I have now altered it in a sustainable way that is not quite as strict as I used to be, just because my skin is nowhere as bad as it was. I consider myself to live out a healthy lifestyle, which means listening to my body and not depriving myself of foods that my body craves. However, I still follow the no gluten, dairy and refined sugar for the most part.

I’ve also found so many other pros to eating my specialized diet. I used to have the biggest sweet tooth, and now that I don’t let myself indulge in processed, sugary treats, I don’t crave them as much. I never feel bloated after my meals, and best of all, I never feel guilty after eating something “bad”. The best advice I can give to someone who wants to make the change is to always have healthy alternatives and snacks on hand for when those cravings do hit. I will be doing a post on my favorite health food snacks very soon so stay tuned for that.

Diet played a large role in the clearing of my skin, but throughout the same time period I was consistently getting facial treatments and using special products on my face. I will be delving deeper into those topics in my upcoming posts.

Pictures:

December, 2015

January 7, 2016

January 14, 2016

February 1, 2016

February 8, 2016

February 18, 2016

March 12, 2016

Current without makeup (May, 2017)

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Thanks for reading, please let me know if this post was at all helpful for you. If you have any tips or advice regarding skin or acne, feel free to leave them below, I am always interested in reading what others’ have to say.

Stick around for my follow up posts on skincare products and facial treatments. xoxo

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Read my previous blog post: Life’s a Rollercoaster

How to Feel Like the Best You.

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Processed with VSCO with m5 preset

My Health Journey.

I began eating healthy on the first day of 2016, otherwise known as January 1st. I made the unthinkable choice to cut all dairy, sugar and gluten out of my diet. And just to clarify, when I say sugar-free (which in my opinion, has developed a bad rap), I do not mean that I was okay with fake sugars like ‘sweet and low’, sucralose, aspartame, etc.. Also, on top of cutting these things out of my diet, I began eating healthier, whole-foods that benefitted my body. The reason behind my extreme diet was that I hoped to completely cure, or simply subdue, my mild acne. However, at that time I did not know nearly as much about the pesky skin condition as I do now, for example, the fact that my acne in-particular is mostly caused by genetics and hormones.

During the first few months of my lifestyle change, I learned many things and experimented A LOT. For the first three months, I was eating maple syrup and honey in small quantities in place of “sugar”, however, after doing my research, I found that these two natural sweeteners both have a high glycemic index. This really just means that when honey or maple syrup are consumed, they turn into (pretty much) the exact same thing as sugar in your body. And since I was trying to get rid of my acne, which is many times made much worse from sugar, my body couldn’t tell the difference from these natural sugars compared to white, refined sugar. That was my first mistake of many.

After about four months of strict eating, I decided it was time to invest in an actual food allergy test in order to find out exactly what foods my body had a hard time processing. For this, I was recommended a blood test, because it is said to be quite accurate. I went to my natropath, who drew my blood, sent it off to the lab, and voila! three weeks later I was greeted with my results in my mail box. And I’m not going to lie, what I saw really surprised me. The test results show a select number of foods in which many people are commonly allergic to. They are broken down into mild, moderate and avoid categories (but I was only instructed to really worry about the moderate and avoid foods). Eggs and peanuts were the two foods that I was told to avoid. All dairy products, except for goat’s milk, landed in my moderate range, along with almonds and a grain called gliadin. I was very thankful for these results, because for the four months leading up to my test, I was still eating eggs on a normal basis and had been consuming close to 1 and ½ cups of almond milk per day in my breakfast smoothies. Also, I freakin’ love peanut butter, and I may have had an unhealthy addiction. Needless to say, I was sad to find out my body does not process peanuts well and that I shouldnt’ be eating them.

After my blood test, I made another drastic change to my already-strict diet by eliminating all nuts, eggs and honey/maple syrup. In all honesty, I wanted to cry just a little bit after finding out that I was allergic to foods I thought of as “healthy”, and hearing from my natropath that I should steer clear from sugar for as long as possible to help my acne. Even though I had no intention of incorporating sugar back into my diet, this was still hard to hear since I have a major sweet tooth and sometimes I just really want an ooey gooey homemade cookie, ya know?

Now, fast-forward 2 months, equalling a grand total of healthy eating for six whole months, or half a year. I have continued to eat a strict non-dairy (including eggs), non-sugar and non-nut diet. However, I do sneak in very small quantities of gluten once in a while due to the fact that my body can handle a moderate amount of it. I just make sure it’s all natural and organic. In addition to all of the non’s I mentioned, I try to eat whole foods, such as organic, or free range meat, that is not pumped with hundreds of unneccessary hormones. I also try to limit my red meat and pork intake, leaning more towards small portions of chicken and fish whenever possible. I make my best effort to include dark, leafy greens in most of my meals, whether it’s in smoothies, salads, or stews.

As for extra vitamins, I try to remember to take my iron supplements, vitamin a, b-complex and calcium each morning. because I don’t eat dairy, I try my best to incorporate enriched, unsweetened rice or coconut milk at least once each day for the added nutrients and calcium that I am lacking.

My diet is constantly evolving and being minisculey tweaked. This is not a bad thing, it just means that I am continuing to learn from my mistakes and build upon my healthy foundations that I have laid for myself.

What I Have Learned Along the Way.

There is no doubt that my healthy lifestyle changes have impacted me in a way that I never could have imagined. I can 100% say that at the start of this journey I did not believe in myself, and did not think that I could achieve the place where I am at today. I can proudly say that I’ve grown so much as a person while on this journey; I have developed impeccable self-control and have learned how to listen to my body and adapt to fit my own needs.

Of course I’ve gone through hard seasons while being on my diet. Times of unhappiness, cravings, deficient self-worth and the impatient desire for clear skin and a toned body. But in the end, everything has been worth it, and I can now say that I have never felt better. That being said, no my acne has not completely disappeared, and do I expect it to soon? Not really. Like I said, even with my radical diet, I experience breakouts due to the fact that my acne is caused by genetics and hormones. Does it suck? Yes. But does acne define me? No. And hey, even though my dreams of magically waking up with clear skin have prominently let me down, I am in no way saying that I regret my lifestyle change. I have benefitted from my lifestyle change more than I ever thought possible, and I hope to continue with my progress and journey for many months to come. I have experienced unintended weight loss which is an obvious plus and an obvious decrease in acne, which I am very grateful for.

My advice.

If I had the opportunity to inspire even just one person by my healthy habits, nothing would make me happier.

What’s the number one tip you would give to someone wishing to begin a healthy lifestyle?

You can do it. You are stronger than you think, and have everything it takes to be healthy. I am not special in any way, and it does not come easier to me than it does to you. I believe in you. Begin small and keep progressing until you’re happy with where you’re at. Don’t completely deprive yourself, or think that counting calories is necessary. Just listen to your body, and eat what makes you feel good (things that are healthy, of course). I promise you, you will see a world of difference if you’re consistent and patient with the process of becoming healthier.

I encourage you to never be too hard on yourself. I can say from personal experience that some days it does not make me happy to look in the mirror and only be able to focus on the bad things. For me, my biggest struggle has always been my unclear skin, but for many others’ it can be their weight, hair, teeth, height, etc.. Honestly, anyone can find something to be unhappy about. But before you put yourself down and tell yourself your unworthy, ugly or not good enough, just remember that you were created for a purpose and your flaws are not what define you. You are so much more than your insecurities, even if you don’t feel like it. I believe that trying to better yourself, whether it be through health, spirituality or things like education, is always a good idea, but it should be done with grace and patience.

You are so loved, never forget it!

Want to get motivated? Follow me on my health Instagram

or want to see my personal escapades? Follow me on my personal Instagram

Have any questions about my health journey, or want any advice on how to start your healthier lifestyle? Let me know below, I will be answering all comments!

cleansing my body, detoxing my soul.

funny title, right? but don’t take it too lightly, because i mean what i say. just recently i have been more troubled with the state of my skin than i have been in a while. i have large pores (curse my genes), which causes them to be more prone to clogging. even though i am adamant about washing my face twice a day every day, my skin continues to produce stubborn acne and the occasional “break out”. being a teenage girl, it’s hard to live with such a struggle, therefore, i’m always researching new ways to rid young skins of pesky pimples. and believe me, i’ve tried a number of different methods in which people claim work for their skin, but apparently not mine.

1. the most expensive treatment i’ve used is Proactive, and let me just say it is not worth all the hype. i first used it two years ago in the fall, but stopped using it because the drying effects it had on my skin (probably also due to the colder, drier months). not to mention back then my acne wasn’t as bad as today, so it didn’t make a big difference if i used it or not. back to present time, i began using it again around a month ago and haven’t seen any good results… if anything, it made my skin worse. and a definite disclaimer for Proactive is that it isn’t formulated for sensitive or dry skin. in my opinion i have combination skin, but my T-zone gets unmanageably oily throughout the day, causing the cream to make the other regions of my face flaky and dry. another down side is that the cleanser/exfoliator that comes in the kit is much too abrasive and irritated my skin. in no way would i ever recommend purchasing Proactive because i have had no luck with it’s properties.

2. i’ve never bought any other acne treatments, but i have tried countless home remedies, never one seeming to do the trick. i’ve made many face masks including: oatmeal, egg white, honey and cinnamon, chocolate and greek yogurt and countless others. some seem to improve my skin for a short period of time, but never anything lasting.

after a few years of desperately trying to find the magic trick, i’ve resorted to eating a healthier diet, taking skin-friendly vitamins, and buying a retinol serum off Amazon that is said to work wonders. i’m hoping that by taking all of these measures i will see drastic improvements with my troubled skin in upcoming months. since sunday i have been eating healthy, for example, smoothies, vegetables, limited sugar, and gluten free. so far it hasn’t been a problem for me and i’m really enjoying the change:) after thanksgiving (starting Friday) i’m planning on doing a cleanse/detox in order to start eating fresh with a clean system and clearing out the impurities of processed foods. the cleanse was formulated by Dr. Oz, where you follow the planned out recipes, including green tea, smoothies and vitamins for three days straight. since you don’t get any protein with the diet, it isn’t recommended to exert too much energy during the time span. my mom and sister are going to do it with me, and i cannot wait to feel cleansed and detoxed. if you are interested in cleansing, we can do it together! i’m starting on friday morning and going until sunday night, here is the whole plan for all 3 days if you want to print it out.

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today i went to my local herb shop any purchase vitamin b5, which is said to treat acne very well according to many non-professional studies that are found on the internet. one of the cons to this route is that the recommended dosage is somewhere around 10g. (20 capsules) and to me that sounds like an extreme amount (not to mention, expensive as heck). i plan on starting with a lot less than that and seeing if it affects my skin in any way, if not i will slowly increase my intake at a safe amount. if you have ever tried this method of acne treatment or know anyone that has, please tell me how it worked for you or them so i have more knowledge on the natural vitamin. like i said i also ordered a retinol serum that is meant to help troubled skin in a more intense way, from the outside in. i’m praying that i’ll like it and that it will help my skin combined with taking the b5. i ordered it off Amazon and it’s called, Retinol .25 by the brand SkinMedica, i was told about it by a friend who said it worked for her. all i can do is hope this treatment works for me, and i can keep all of you updated if you would like. love all. love madeline.