30-s are quickly approaching and I am freaking out. My skin is not what it used to be. It’s not horrendous but definitely not as elastic and smooth and responsive to care. Also I absolutely cannot get away with drinking and partying all night and then looking fabulous at 8 am the next morning. Not that I do much partying (with a 14 month old and being 22 weeks pregnant anyhow) but if I wanted to I know I couldn’t get away with it.
Also pregnancy does destroy your body, kind of. All those stretch marks on your skin, lifeless hair, boobs that blow up and then blow down to your knees, etc. I mean it’s not a death sentence but a rude awakening that it’s time to get serious with your beauty routines. No days off, no cheating.
For someone who was never quite into getting pampered, it’s a challenge. For someone who also watches their money, its an ordeal. I did invest my time into research and came up with a few conclusions that work for me beautifully.
First of all, the beauty world is not much better than the baby world. They feed off of your fear and desire to win the battle with age and they take advantage of you big time. Some products are outrageously expensive, there is a new invention every month that you absolutely have to try, not to mention that there are sooo many options that it’s simply impossible to make an informative decision. You will get fooled. One way or another.
During pregnancies, and I have to admit I’ve been pregnant for too long in too little time, one becomes rather cautious as far as what you put on your skin and inside of your body. The joke is out – parabens and the like lead to birth defects. Even if they don’t, why would you want to take a chance? While looking for those parabens, you start reading labels, and then you wish you didn’t. How much crap is in our cosmetic products?!?!?! The next question is what kind of products will I need to fix the damage done by that crap???
The general mood is to give up and just get old. As fast as possible. Or start saving for botox and whatever it is they do to look science fiction young.
I opted for a slightly gentler option of looking into natural remedies. I mean why not? No thrills, yes, but why not? It’s safe, cheap, accessible and proven to work! I might not look science fiction young after my coffee scrub but damn!!! So here is a list of natural remedies I narrowed down and use happily on a daily basis
For deep cleaning I use an old trick mom taught me: mix a tea spoon of salt with 2 teaspoons of sour cream and use it as a scrub once or twice a week. Well I know that scrubs are not to be overdone though the results are addicting, so i wouldn’t recommend using coarse salt, nor would I recommend using it more than twice a week. Sour cream might also not work for people with oily skin. BUT it works for me.
For daily moisturizing I use a mixture of argan oil and a geranium essential oil (5 to 1 ratio). I’ve only been applying it for about 2 weeks and I love it. My skin certainly is more moisturized than it’s been in a very long time! I’m curious to see what the long term effects will be. I’m excited. There are other options as far as the combination of oils you can use; just look it up. The two I picked are proven to be pregnancy safe, that’s why I picked them (also argan oil is on double duty for face & hair).
For occasional face masks, there are so many options. Tea bags under your eyes for dark circles (or ice cubes of frozen tea – I know someone who has rubbed those cubes under their eyes every morning for years and the results are unreal; the combination of the coldness of the ice and the effects of the tea are intense); cottage cheese with parsley – to revive and moisturize the skin; honey w some oils; anything you can find in your fridge/pantry is likely an option.
Best body scrub I’ve ever used is the coffee scrub. They now sell it haha. My godmother has used it for years and her skin is to die for. No thrills, she just takes the grinds from the coffee grinder after she is done with it and saves it in a jar and gives herself a good rub once a week or so. It removes dead cells, must also contain something amazing in it, the results are to not be argued. I have just started doing it, but I mix mine with honey or sour cream – both great for moisturizing.
Lemon. Don’t underestimate the qualities of lemons!!! I lived with Greeks for a while, they put it in everything along with the olive oil. Results? Youthful looks and long lives. I started adding lemon to my cooking then and I got to say – you can’t ruin a meal with it, only enhance it. Additionally I add it to my drinking water, sometimes I add lemon juice to ice cubes in my freezer, BUT what so few people do is use it for their skin. I don’t apply it to my face just because how strong acidic/whitening qualities are. I apply it to “rough” spots on my body – knees, elbows, heels, toes, sometimes nails, etc. It clears the skin, makes it soft and pleasant to look at and touch. I couldn’t believe it after I used it for about 2 weeks… Now only when it’s necessary but it’s good to keep it mind
Apple cider vinegar. Same as above. I dilute it in water if using on my face, but for rough spots – it’s amazing! Even more effective than lemon. Smell is a side effect but it’s sometimes worth it.
Vitamin E/Coconut oil/and the likes. I only buy them raw and as unprocessed as possible but those are amazing for your skin. Be mindful though because coconut butter for example stimulates hair growth so I try to NOT apply it on areas where I wouldn’t want additional hair growth, if you know what I am saying. My mom was so in love with coconut oil, she was applying it to her face daily. Result? Her skin improved tremendously but her mustache also grew like it shouldn’t be growing on a female 😉 she had to stop, it was out of control. But areas like your butt, your feet etc – oh yes please
So here is the truth – my hair was never spectacular and let’s be honest. Hair is the first thing people notice. After having my kid, I was in a state of shock watching my hair fall out as if I was a cancer patient. But I was not to be defeated. I tried a bunch of different options available to a budget mindful consumer. Fist of all, those pharmacy sold shampoos and conditioners are mostly horrendous for your hair – they contain more chemicals than anything you put on your body ever should and they destroy your hair taking oils and nutrients out of them.
I’ve tried a bunch of organic/specialty products but they don’t belong in this article, the price tag is not friendly. It bites and it kicks and it’s just horrible. I’ve really enjoyed a line of hair products from https://telabeautyorganics.com/. But even the basic shampoo/conditioner/volume booster spray trio will run you a $100. Packaging is also small, so, yes, kill me please. Another line I surprisingly liked were Honest shampoo/conditioner, $10 each, not too bad. Then I tried Jason – not bad either, same $10 a bottle. But though it made me feel better as far as the quality and the cleanliness of the ingredients, they didn’t make much difference in how my hair looked.
I heard a lot about Viviscal, and I have to say – that’s the product that works. I take dietary supplement twice a day ($100 for a 3 month supply) and also use their shampoo and conditioner ($15 a bottle but does go on sale). These are absolutely worth investing in and as soon as the baby is out I will go back to taking those magic pills. The results were not overnight BUT after 2 months you can see a huge difference – no split ends, so much new hair growth, and overall better looking hair.
Now back to budget friendly options. Having freaked out as much as I did and before I discovered Viviscal I went for natural remedies. When all fails, we turn to mother nature. I did raw coconut oil hair masks 3 times a week (rub all over my hair and sleep with a towel on my pillow). That made a difference! First time I ever notice massive new hair growth, and my hair definitely was looking better. Then I started adding other masks, that I would apply for an hour or so. Hot pepper oil is very popular in Europe -I’d mix it with argan, vitamin E or coconut oil, add an egg yolk and some honey and rub it in my roots. Hot pepper oil stimulates hair growth also, didn’t hurt. Overall after enough time those measures truly improved my hair. And no need to spend hundreds of dollars on professional hair kits. Natural oils vary in price from $10 to $15, eggs are always in your fridge and most likely honey is in your pantry. Voila!
Bottom line, natural remedies are amazing and I think all caught up in the marketing beauty machine we forget that the best options are most likely in our kitchen already. I will never forget that ever again 😉