Beauty Update: My Vegan Hair, Skin and Makeup Routine

A few months ago, I wrote a post about my basic skincare routine. This routine was working well for me then, however, my skin is quite sensitive and I started breaking out again.

My skin has been my biggest insecurity. I honestly can’t remember a time I wasn’t researching or testing out new products or changing something in my diet to prevent breakouts. I wrote a lengthy post about my skin story and how veganism completely changed this problem for me in an older post, which I will link here.

Even though I still get breakouts , I still maintain that cutting out dairy and becoming vegan severely aided in my skin healing. The breakouts I get now are hormonal, which has lead me to believe I have an in balance in this area. I am still in the process of researching and finding out what will work for me, but the products I am going to talk about today have been working pretty well for me.

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Since going vegan, I am more aware of what is in the products I use. All the skin care I am about to talk about are vegan, cruelty and chemical free. These items are not hard to find, either. Target has a selection of cruelty free/vegan products and so does any health or whole food grocery store. I don’t have a lot of extra money to be spending on expensive products so these are all cost effective as well.

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I found this Pacifica Sea Foam Face Wash at Target for about $9.00. I love the way it smells, kind of like coconuts, and how it foams when washing my face. My skin is left soft, moisturized and clean after using.

I use this at night after taking my makeup off with coconut oil.

 

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I don’t think I can say enough how much I love this Thayers With Hazel with Rose Petal. I found this at Sprout’s for $10. A few days after using, all the little bumps on the sides of my cheeks and jaw line were completely healed. After washing my face, I apply this with a cotton ball to my entire face and neck. The great thing about this product is it doesn’t leave your skin feeling dry or moister deprived. Sometimes I feel that I don’t even need to apply coconut oil on my face after using. It kind of acts as both a toner and a moisturizer for me. Rose Petal has a ton of beauty benefits. The natural oils in rose petals trap moisture into skin cells, hydrating and moisturizing them which is why this has been working so well for me.

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I exfoliate my face about 2-3 times a week. When I do, I use Acure’s Brightening Facial Scrub. This scrub has organic sea kelp and lemon peel mixed in with a green clay. This is the first exfoliate that I have been completely satisfied with. The beads are not too rough or too soft for my skin so I don’t feel I am damaging it or that I’m not exfoliating it enough. This product also doesn’t leave my skin feeling dry. I highly recommend. I purchased this at Target for about $8-$9.

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During my research for healing acne and breakouts holistically, I came across a Youtube video that really blew my mind. Organic Olivia created a video where she discussed how she cured her cystic and hormonal acne. There is so much information that I don’t want to rely here, but I will link the video below.

Although there is little information directly linking L-Lysine to acne healing, the supplement does promote collagen and tissue renewal. Olivia discusses this more at length in the video as well as how digestion and gut health has a lot to do with your skin’s condition. I started taking L-Lysine and a pro-biotic after watching the video. It has only been a few weeks, so I can’t be sure if the supplements or the skin care has made me skin softer, but I definitely see a difference.  As I do more research on how to heal hormonal in balances with holistic remedies, I’m sure there will be a few more supplements I could be taking. But for now, I feel really good about L-Lysine.

Hair Care

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I ditched the Seaweed Co shampoo I was using in this last post, because after a few weeks my hair became very dry and brittle. I switched to Nature’s Gate with Jojoba and Sacred Lotus and my hair became to regain it’s moisture. I bought the duo at Whole Foods for $6 each, which is actually really cheap for hair care. It smells like baby shampoo, which I kind of like. But it’s not too strong or overpowering, it just leaves your hair smelling clean. Again, this product is vegan, of course, and also GMO, Paraben and Soy free.

Makeup

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There was a few month during the summer where I did a complete makeup detox (you can read about this here). Since my breakouts have been coming back a little bit and I have been getting less sun of my face from working so much, I have decided to re-incorporate some products into my life. Some are old products from before I became aware of vegan beauty and cruelty free items. But moving forward, I will only be buying these type of products. I haven’t reintroduced mascara or any kind of eye makeup into my daily makeup routine. This is mainly due to laziness and not feeling the need. In the past, I used 100% Pure’s mascara which was made of berries, and I loved it. Once I am able to afford more beauty products, I will be buying more from that line.

Physican’s Formula is on PETA’s list of cruelty free makeup products, as is Wet n Wild. I will be phasing out my Maybelline blush soon , as they are not vegan and do test on animals.

Until then, this is my daily look.

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My Vegan Hair + Skin Routine

This health journey has taught me so much, and I’m learning more everyday. I have this overwhelming desire to be as wholesome and chemical free as I possibly can. As I mentioned in my post about my  makeup detox and skin story, I have eliminated the majority of what I was using for skin care. I have stopped wearing makeup to aid to my skins healing process and I have only been painting my nails occasionally. Part of that reason is laziness, but truthfully, we don’t really know what is in nail polish and the smell alone will tell you that its mostly chemicals.

I was using a generic brand of shampoo and conditioner for awhile, which was bothering me because I could tell it wasn’t good for my hair. I did some research on what is actually in shampoo and conditioner so I could find an all natural brand. If it’s going on my head and seeping into my skin, then it is getting into my blood stream. I found this chart on livelovefruit.com, which highlights all the toxic ingredients that can be found in most shampoos.

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This is crazy! I have been putting all this into my body for years!

I promptly took a trip to wholefoods and scoured the shelves for products free of all the harmful chemicals. I didn’t have much direction but I settled on a brand called The Seaweed Bath Co. FullSizeRenderAccording to the label, their shampoo and conditioners derive from seaweed, argan oil and gluten free barley protein. All the ingredients are natural, paraben, sls and gluten free, as well as vegan and cruelty free. I picked out this lavender scent which smells amazing. After my first hair wash, I was extremely satisfied. The consistency of the shampoo is somewhat thick and requires you to shake it up before applying. I saw this as a good sign because anything you make with whole ingredients eventually settles to the bottom of the bottle without unnatural chemicals to keep it them in place.  After shampooing and conditioning, my hair felt so refreshed. I let it air dry and my hair kept its natural body and thickness. It didn’t fall flat or feel weighed down. The smell also lasted into the next few days, as I only wash my hair every three or four days.

So far, I am really satisfied with these products. It also feels really good to know that I’m not adding anything harmful into my skin, all for the sake of clean hair.

For my body and my face, I don’t have much of a routine. I wash my body with African black soap.soap It leaves my skin  feeling clean, but not greasy or sticky as some soaps do. This soap contains a number of antioxidants as well as vitamins A and E and it has contributed to the fading and healing of some of my body acne.

I wash my face in the morning and at night with water and I pat my face dry. If my skin feels dry or I have been in the sun all day, I will smear on some coconut oil. I have been hearing great things about jojoba oil for your skin and I am intending on buying some when I get paid next. So I will keep you posted on that!

I have recently incorporated a mask into my skincare routine. Once or twice a week, I have been applying Indian Healing Clay to my face. It’s made out of 100% natural calcium bentonite clay. I mix the clay with a little water and apple cider vinegar and let it rest on my skin for about 15 to 20 minutes.IMG_2353 My skin feels so clean and refreshed after this mask. The clay draws out the toxins in your skin and I can feel the difference.  I usually do this at night and in the morning my skin is almost glowing. I still have some remnants of breakouts because when I moved to California from the east coast my skin kind of freaked out with the climate change. But every day it is getting better, and I very rarely have any active pimples or clogged pores anymore. It’s wonderful!skin

If anyone has any other suggestions or hair or skin products that work for them, please comment below and let me know!

My Makeup Detox + Skin Story

As a woman today, the need to be flawless is of high importance. Society’s standard of beauty  is far from attainable and it leaves so many beautiful girls and women feeling unattractive, undesirable, or just not good enough. Our bodies are picked apart by the media as they constantly exploit female celebrities, examining each part of their body under a  dehumanizing microscopes, like they are animals in a zoo. Just there to be looked at.

It infuriates me more than I can express. I’ve met so many young girls that hate their bodies, or focus on a specific area to loathe and condemn. They go to great lengths to hide a flaw, or make this body part look bigger or smaller, all to attain a level of beauty that has been feed to them through social media, TV, magazine, advertisements…you get it. It’s everywhere.

I have been this girl.

My biggest complaint about myself use to be my skin. Ever since I was a teenager, I struggled with acne and breakouts. Throughout the ages of 14-20, it seemed that I was never without a breakout on my chin. This is a hormonal area and at first I thought it was just puberty. But by the time I hit my early twenties and not much had changed, I was extremely frustrated. I broke out along my bikini area as well and then pimples started appearing on my neck and under my arm pits. Most of these were really painful, to the point where I had to start basing what I wore around my breakouts so the clothes wouldn’t touch the area and make it worse. This did a number on my self esteem. 104_0284

Every time I would look in the mirror without makeup, I felt sad. In the morning, I couldn’t wait to cover my face with foundation to erase the red marks. After my face was full of concealer, bronzer, blush, mascara and lipstick, then I could feel attractive. Makeup became my only way to self confidence.  I was aware that this wasn’t healthy, that I should still love my face and my skin and my body, even with the blemishes, but it was really hard for me to do so.  I was my own worst critic.

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The funny thing was, I  didn’t really enjoy putting on the make-up. I would go through phases, especially with my sister who is a make-up artist and esthetician, and buy a bunch of new products and experiment with them. Sometimes it was fun, and sometimes I would think everything would look better if my skin was flawless. I didn’t even really want to wear it! But, I felt like I didn’t have a choice. Pretty and feminine, to me, meant clear skin and make-up. I just couldn’t see a way that I could give it up.

A few months after I turned 25, I decided I didn’t want to feel this way anymore. My face breakouts were getting better, but my body acne was still in full effect. I had tried tons of products: cleaners, toners, creams, foundations, scrubs…everything it seemed. But once the acne started becoming painful and cystic, I realized that something inside my body was trying to tell me something. Pimples and acne are bacteria from within the skin trying to get out. But your skin is your biggest organ. Everything in your body is working together. And I thought mine was really trying to get a point across. It had to be something I was eating.

I went to a dermatologist who diagnosed me with hidradenitis suppurativa, a chronic skin disease, that “didn’t have a cure”. She said this explained my cystic like acne on the hormonal places on my body, like my bikini area and arm pits. She prescribed me a pill and topical solution full of chemicals. I asked her if she knew of a more holistic approach, such as what I would avoid eating. “No,” she said, shaking her head. “Only these medicines will work.”

Okay, I thought. Looks like I’m taking matters into my own hands.

The Facts

This is when I cut dairy out from my diet, as I have mentioned in other posts. According to my research, I found that milk and cheese products contain a huge amount of hormones. Even if a dairy product claims to be “hormone free”, it really can’t be. Cows that are producing milk are pregnant. They are producing natural hormones that cows create during every menstrual cycle, and even more so during their pregnancy. So cows milk is FULL of the natural cow hormones. Plus, there is also the the hormone injection, BST or bovine somatotropin, that are given to cows to make them produce even more milk. So labeled “hormone-free” or not, whenever you drink milk you are getting a high dose of growth hormones right to your system. The hormones that baby cows need to grow strong. For us, it just causing rapid hormonal growth, weight gain and inflammation. Your skin produces more oil, which clogs the pores, your insulin spikes, which prompts your liver to produce more hormones AND dairy also glues dead skin cells together inside your pores, trapping everything in there*. Eww.

After realizing this horror and thinking back to all the cheese I have consumed in my life, I knew what I had to do. NO MORE DAIRY.  no-dairy

I may have wanted to cry at first as visions of my favorite foods, ice cream, pizza, brie cheese, cheddar cheese, goat cheese (okay all cheese) and yogurt, were being snatched out of my fridge. But I knew this was going to help. I could just sense it.

The Impact

Within a month, my skin began to heal. The redness had gone down and the pimples where slowly filtering themselves out. I didn’t even miss dairy like I thought I would. My body felt so good that I didn’t want to pollute it with excess hormones. I also stopped eating meat and limited my intake of sugar and gluten.  WAS THIS ALL I NEEDED TO BE DOING ALL ALONG??

Now that my skin was getting better, I knew needed to work on my self esteem.I still didn’t feel comfortable without makeup and I really wanted to get to the point where I felt comfortable and beautiful in my natural skin.

Our trip to California was going to involve a lot of camping. The plan was to drive for 5-6 hours and then camp along the way. I wanted my camping experience to be fun, and most of all, simple. I wanted to wear comfy clothes and not bother with hair and makeup. I wanted to cleanse my mind of all concepts of beauty and just be a woman on an adventure. Just me being me.

I decided to do a make-up detox.  d95a8e2b167cf65db13176e75ad0c1d2

I thought it would be easy because we were going to be in the car most of the time, not around a lot of people. But sometimes, I would feel self conscience if we stopped at a restaurant or a gas station and I was bare faced, without flawless skin and in sweat pant shorts. I was still fighting against the lie in my head, that I was unattractive in these moments. I mean, I honestly I felt good, if I only thought about myself.  I was clean (for the most part), I was on an adventure and I was comfortable. So that’s what I focused on.

Soon, I really began to love not wearing makeup. My skin felt so fresh and smooth! I was simply washing my face with water and then applying coconut oil to it, if my skin was feeling dry. The easiest skin regiment I had EVER been on. My skin was free! And able to breathe!

When we got to California, I became a little self conscience again. A lot of the women here are dressed beautifully, with immaculate makeup and hair and clothes.

Comparison is the root of unhappiness. I am happy with how I look and that’s all that matters. Now, I hardly ever make up my face. I haven’t touched a mascara wand in 2 months. The only time I apply anything is when I go to work. I usually apply a little bronzer to even out my tan and a little lipstick to look more professional. THAT’S IT!

I actually learned to love looking at my bare face in the mirror and BE HAPPY with my reflection.  My skin is almost completely healed of redness and blemishes. I finally have the skin I have always wanted. But more importantly, I learned to value myself for who and what I am. I am more than my skin and my body. I am a strong woman with valuable things to say and do. I can contribute to this world.

And I’m not going to let society’s standard of beauty hold me back.

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NO FILTER, NO MAKEUP 🙂

 

Have a happy and healthy day 🙂

-Kailey