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I have been meaning to write this post for AGES. One of my dearest friends has been waiting, for the (hopefully) invaluable knowledge I am about to impart, ever so patiently. I promised myself to get this out before her darling babies arrive! When I was pregnant with Teddy, I did a lot of reading, prepping (as much as anyone can) and hoarding (of all the wrong things). Waste is always something that bothers me (second to being subjected to too many unnecessary chemicals), whether it’s the ridiculous amount of wrapping paper that has to go to landfill each year or all the plastic toothbrushes, which are non-biodegradable, that will be around long after us. With that in mind, nappies were and are still a concern. Did you know that;

…nearly 3 billion nappies are thrown away in the UK every year – 8 million nappies a day. The Environment Agency estimated that the decomposition
timescale for some of the materials and chemicals currently used in disposables is more than 500 years – The Nappy Alliance, 2007

Aside from the disturbing figures reported a decade ago, we are still no closer to reducing the number of nappies disposed of each year or the length of time it takes for the materials and chemicals used to degrade. The other issue with most major nappy brands are the chemicals used to improve absorbency, an issue usually overlooked by most people. When it comes to baby products, we tend to put a lot of trust into the big manufacturers (surely the bigger the brand the more trustful?) This is a completely inaccurate truth usually misled by careful advertising. Big brands do not care about our children, they care about our loyalty. They care about our money.

Admittedly, a comprehensive study by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) shows there is no significant difference in the environmental impact between disposable and cotton nappies. However, the impact of reusable nappies on the environment can be reduced if they are used for more than one child and laundered effectively. Environment aside, typical disposable nappies contain a toxic cocktail of synthetic chemicals. These are chemicals, which have been shown to contribute to cancers, hormone disruption and skin irritations. These chemicals include sodium polycrylate (the chemical that absorbs all the moisture), dyes, fragrances, and phthalates.

Tributyl tin (TBT), a chemical compound which is known to disrupt sex hormones, has been found in disposable nappies on sale in the UK – BBC News, 2001

Without going into too much detail of all chemicals used or scaremongering, this alone is enough to put me off using typical disposable nappies.  Disposable nappies do not list their ingredients, which makes things incredibly difficult to decide if you are doing the right thing for your baby, for you and for the environment.

Cloth nappies can be a much more environmentally friendly option, especially if you are considering having more than one child. They are definitely a skin-friendly option and an excellent way to ensure you lowering the number of potentially harmful chemicals that could come into contact with your family.

The Low-Down on Cloth Nappies

Before Teddy was born, I bulk bought new bamboo cloth nappies. Determined to go cloth from day one, I had the full kit, read all the rave reviews and consulted with cloth-using friends & family. I was well and truly sold that cloth nappies were the way forward.

This is what I learned;

  • Specific cloth nappies fit better at different stages and most importantly, different babies at different stages
  • Do not invest in one system hoping it will last from ‘birth to potty’ (see above point)
  • It takes time to figure out the correct washing schedule/ detergent and method to ensure your nappies clean properly (it is not as easy as you may think)
  • Failing to wash nappies properly can leave them smelling ‘off’… and can lead you to fear your young baby may have an urine infection (so much unnecessary stress)
  • Going 100% cloth is work and may not suit your baby, your lifestyle or your will (do not feel bad if you ditch it mid-way, life is too short)
  • I am still unconvinced whether the cost of cloth nappies (taking into account laundering etc) makes for a huge saving versus ‘eco-friendly’ disposable nappies

Choosing Cloth/Reusable Nappies

I confess, I didn’t start using my stash of cloth nappies till Teddy was about 6-8 weeks old. I wanted to get through all the midwife and health visitor appointments, feel comfortable about my feeding schedule and generally adjust to my new role as a mother before embarking on a regular routine of washing nappies.

As mentioned earlier, I bulked up initially on a two-part, sized bamboo nappy system (but later swapped these for all-in-one nappies). Before you invest in one type of nappy system, let me share some options;

  • Sized nappies – these are shaped nappies, available in different sizes and usually come in bamboo, cotton or microfibre. They are the most absorbent and require a wrap (waterproof outer cover). To assist with absorbency you need to add a booster (pad of material) to the inside of the nappy.
  • All-in-one nappies – these nappies tend to be marketed as birth-to-potty, which means then can be adjusted to fit various ages. They also incorporate the absorbent booster and wrap, which means the nappy is incredibly easy to put on (a dream for grandparents and carers). Some people find these nappies less absorbent and not reliable for nighttime.
  • Pocket nappies – these nappies lie somewhere between sized and all-in-ones. Instead of the absorbent layer they have a pocket so you can stuff as much absorbency as needed.

It really is personal preference, I have had and currently have a selection of all types of these nappies in my stash. The ‘mothersite’ for all reusable nappy knowledge is The Nappy Lady and I highly recommend reading their reusable nappy advice. As well as being able to buy all brands and types of reusable nappies, The Nappy Lady also gives a really helpful description of each nappy, fitting/size, containment and absorbency.

My Nappy of Choice

As much as I advocate living as natural, as uncomplicated and as safe as possible, I am also realistic and know my limits. I initially started my cloth nappy journey with bamboo nappies and waterproof wraps but switched after a few months. The two-part, sized nappies weren’t for me;

  • While absorbency was great, they took an age to dry and Teddy always woke in the middle of the night because he felt wet. It took me a while to figure out this was the cause of him waking so often.
  • I had issues washing them, which resulted in the nappies smelling foul. Strip washing didn’t help and the nappies didn’t retain their soft, fluffy feel.
  • There was no way my mum would be able to fathom putting together the nappy, booster, liner and wrap while wrestling a wriggly baby.

So with all those issues playing on my mind, I switched to all-in-ones and to be honest, never looked back. My favourite nappy is the Miosolo All-In-One nappy by Bambino Mio. I found they fitted Teddy really well as they are a more generous cut and I never had any issues with leaking (or explosions up the back). I have used other brands of cloth nappies; Little Lambs, Tots Bots and Bumgenuis but found the Miosolo’s give Teddy a much better fit and were more reliable for us.

Washing Your Reusable Nappies

This takes a bit of practise. You’ll need a nappy bucket (with lid) to put soiled nappies in till you’re ready to wash them. This is what worked for me (after a lot of trial, error and headaches);

  • Remove soiled nappy
  • Remove any poo (i.e. flush)
  • Secure any velcro tabs on the nappy (stops them sticking to other nappies during wash)
  • Put nappy and washable liner in your nappy bucket (waterproof wraps can be used several times before they need washed) till you’re ready to wash
  • Load your washing machine 3/4 full – wet nappies are heavy so take care not to overload your machine

I feel like I need to separate the next list of instructions, this is the winning method for me and I hope it saves you a lot of time. Please read carefully (!);

  • Do a cold rinse first (not a prewash), without any laundry detergent. This helps to remove stains etc
  • After the first rinse, do a full cycle wash on 40c or 60c (ready the guidelines for your particular cloth nappies)
    • IMPORTANT! This is the magic formula and took me an age to figure out: always use non-bio laundry powder (and never Ecover). I add 1 tbsp of non-bio laundry powder PLUS 1 tbsp of nappy sanitiser. I have found this combination works best to leave my cloth nappies clean, fresh and without any detergent buildup.
    • If possible, reduce your machine spin to around 1000-1200 revs, the higher the spin the quicker your washing machine may degrade your nappies.

Drying your nappies will depend on what options you have at your disposal. We live in a flat with no outside space so out nappies are hung on a drying rack and we find this works well for us. This is what we use; heated drying rack. Nappies can be tumble dried but take care as this will disintegrate the elastic quicker. Drying outside in the sun is always the best option as the sun helps to remove stains due to its natural bleaching effects (yes really!)

Hopefully this hasn’t deterred you from using cloth nappies. Once you get your head around washing them, things get a lot simpler.

A few points to be aware with;

  • Always use non-biological laundry detergent. Some biological detergents can degrade the fibres in the nappies.
  • Never use fabric conditioner, it seriously affects absorbency.
  • Yes I really only use around 1 tablespoon of powdered laundry detergent per load. Your nappies should not smell of anything after being washed, no washing detergent, no poo etc, nothing. A normal dose is too much for cloth nappies. I personally add an environmentally friendly nappy sanitiser to get a better clean.
  • If your nappies smell of your laundry detergent then it is likely you have used too much and your nappies are suffering from a build up (which will affect absorbency and may irritate your baby’s skin). They will need a few washes without detergent to try to strip them.
  • Many nappy brands do not recommend Ecover because it’s been shown to affect the elasticity in nappies and lead to skin irritations… do not always believe the marketing!
  • You may have to wash your nappies on a 60c wash if your baby is unwell or has sensitive skin, otherwise I recommend sticking to 40c.
  • Don’t forget; cold wash (no detergent) THEN full cycle (1 tbsp detergent) AND extra rinse

Cloth is No Longer For Me

Teddy’s now a toddler and as a very tall toddler, I’ve found he has mostly outgrown his cloth nappies (we have tried A LOT of brands) so we’re now back to disposable nappies. The horror! but with success I have been using Naty disposable nappies and would highly recommend you give them a go if cloth just isn’t for you. There are more and more eco-friendly nappies becoming available, which I’ve yet to try. Naty nappies from Sweden are made from 70% natural materials, and are also 100% GM, chlorine and fragrance free. Teddy went through phases of quite bad nappy rash, during teething, and I found the Naty nappies helped clear up the rash even better than cloth nappies. There still aren’t any nappies currently on the market which are 100% biodegradable but Naty are proactive in sharing how they make a difference by using renewable resources.

Congratulations on making it to the end of this mega-post! You’ve made it! There is a wealth of knowledge online when it comes to cloth nappies and as you know, no baby is the same. The method and advice shared in this post is what works for me and may not be the best method for you but I hope it helps, even a little.

As a quick recap, these are the products I use and personally recommend;

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As I write this, Teddy, is fast approaching his second Christmas. It’s hard to believe we’ve made it through the first year, through the craziness of sleep deprivation, the terrifying first steps of weaning and the beautiful, huge developmental leaps. I am currently reliving my birth story in my head as I write this.

Natural living is my ‘thing’ but I’m not sure a natural birth was something I was aiming for. I am very much the ‘scaredy-cat’ when it comes to anything medical, anything. Going to the hospital – I start to feel sick, being in the hospital – I’m most definitely nauseous, having my bloods done? I am freaking/passing out. You get the idea. But, I did the thing I feared above all else and delivered my beautifully perfect baby boy; naturally.

If you’re expecting your first baby, you’ll probably have friends and family, colleagues and well-meaning acquaintances, impart a lot of wisdom. Take it with a pinch of salt. Seriously. No two pregnancies are alike and you may as well accept the fact your birth plan is pointless. You can, however, prepare for it. Just now you may not know how you are going to deliver this baby, but don’t worry, our body does. We are made to do this, women have been giving birth since the dawn of time, this is what you need to remember.

And so I kept reminding myself, semi-hyperventilating as my due date drew closer. Everyone was pushing, in their well-intended way, for me to accept the fact I would need drugs to deliver this baby and most likely I’ll be screaming for the epidural before too long. I’m not sure about you but the ideal of spinal taps, large needles and possibility of losing control and feeling of the lower half of my body terrified me. More than actually giving birth.

Like I said before, I did not intentionally go out of my way to have a natural birth but I did intentionally make the decision to avoid any unnecessary drugging and intervention as much as possible. My birth plan basically consisted of letting me get on with it (whatever than meant) but if the baby is in danger then get in there and do what you need to do.

So here’s how I ended up giving birth naturally;

Taking Control

I was absolutely not taking control of the situation in my third trimester. I was freaking out. This is when I decided I needed to calm down and so I looked towards Hypnobirthing. Yes, I too thought it would be nonsense and how could some ‘whale’ music get this baby out. The reviews were promising and the stories made for reassuring reads. Hypobirthing really helped, I didn’t religiously listen to it every night but enough that when I heard the music a sense of calm took over (after my immature giggles subsided). I looked into taking classes but in the end, decided to follow programme at home with the CD and workbook. When it came to delivering Teddy, this was on repeat for four hours.

Knowing Just Enough

Read enough so you feel prepared but try to stop yourself from reading about all the horrors. Pregnancy forums will quickly become a guilty please but stray carefully into the birth stories sections. If you do, read some stories of women who gave birth naturally, proof your body is made to do this. I’m not naive to think thinks never go wrong but have a little self-belief first and if they do you are in good hands.

Mentally Prepared

The few weeks before my due date I was so big, completely fed up and utterly exhausted. I just wanted this baby out and started to worry about going overdue. Already anxious about the labour itself and going to hospital, the ideal of being induced set me on edge. Looking back, I realise how ridiculous this was, being so anxious about every little detail. Being pregnant does something to your senses. You suddenly become very in-tune with your body, waiting for that first kick, trying to work out if the baby’s head is engaged yet or if this is a foot kicking you in your ribs. Take a deep breath and repeat to yourself; the baby will come when the baby is ready.

There’s nothing else for it.

Actually Prepared

  • Most definitely do a test drive to the hospital, this will help a lot to calm nerves
  • Have your bag packed and ready to grab
    • Pack something new to wear after labour, don’t forget you’ll still have your bump though so stretch is your friend, but it’s nice to start the next chapter at least feeling like you look ready
  • Fit the car seat and figure out how to adjust straps and head supports
    • When you are ready to go home the last thing you want to be doing is having to undo the entire harness to readjust it
  • Have a fully stocked fridge & freezer
    • You will thank yourself for it when you need something to get you through the middle of the night/early morning feeds
  • Not sure on how you will deal with the pain, consider a TENS machine to take the edge off contractions, they’re not that expensive and can help you get to the hospital relatively comfortably
  • Diffuse some essential oils, these can be perfect for settling the mind and relaxing you
    • Try 2 drops lavender and 2 drops geranium in an oil burner (these oils are safe at all stages of your pregnancy)

Labour of Love

The day I went into labour I didn’t feel quite right, was this another stage in my pregnancy or was this the beginning. I felt crampy and that was it. No movie-moment of my waters breaking and Robin rushing me to hospital. I had cramps which intensified by night into very definite contractions.

Hypnobirthing music on and TENS machine hooked up.

I am not going to lie, the contractions were intense and uncomfortable but the TENS very much took the edge off and the music helped me focus. I went from feeling terrified to feeling excited to finally be meeting my baby and that’s what you need to focus on. How amazing and wonderful this is. We called the hospital around midnight and as expected they told us to wait a bit longer, my approved reading list told me to expect this as did the antenatal classes. The TENS machine pulses increased and I tried to sleep off the increased contractions, seriously, you won’t really sleep but if you can you should. You need your energy.

By 2.30am I was very much ready to be somewhere that involved a midwife and people who knew what to do. My contractions were coming thick and fast, my hips were swaying side-to-side and it was an effort to talk. We called the hospital to tell them we were on our way.

By 3am the midwife had confirmed I was 7.5cm dilated. Having been to the classes I was pretty sure this was a good thing. Surely enough it wall all too late for drugs and since I got this fair without any, they weren’t even a choice. I think by this point I was riding high on feeling like I’d been given a gold star, endorphins and ‘whale music’. I was transferred to one of the birthing rooms with a pool and instantly felt relaxed.

Having only given birth once I have no idea what the wards are like but the birthing rooms were lush, they didn’t feel medical at all and I had my own private space. I tried the birthing pool but labour slowed right down, I think somewhere at this point my waters broke. After the struggle of getting out the pool, I knew there was no way I could get back in unless I was somehow hoisted up and barrel-rolled in.

By 6am I was very much needing to push – I always wondered what this felt like. I generally concluded that you’ll just know when you know. And, yes you do. You basically feel like you need a huge poo. Trust me it’s not, you’re baby is coming. You will suddenly feel like you can’t go on, there’s no way you can deliver this baby and what a huge mistake not-opting for the drugs. You can deliver this baby and you will deliver this baby.

Labour is just that. Labour

I was actively pushing for half an hour before Teddy was born, it was probably the longest, most difficult half an hour of my life. But I did it. Without any intervention, without any drugs and without gas & air. I, the biggest scary-cat of them all, just delivered a healthy baby boy naturally. This is something I was meant to do.

Teddy was born exactly on his due date at 7am, weighing 4kg and with an APGAR score of 9/10. We did it. I did it.

I’m not saying you shouldn’t choose drugs for your delivery, the choice is completely yours and no one else, but you can do it. You can deliver this baby and you are going to be an amazing parent.

In the words spoken to Chandler Bing, “You are a strong, confident woman.”

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If you’re like me and have a lackadaisical approach to washing your face, which ends up all a bit fast and furious, then at some point you’re going to have issues. Sadly it’s true, this kind of impatience is not going to get us that big screen, movie-star glow we all secretly lust. But! there is a fix AND it doesn’t involve surgery/chemical peels/hiding behind giant scarfs.

Impurities (aka dirt) found on your face can be put into two camps; oil-based (i.e. makeup and oxidized sebum) and water-based (dust and sweat). The secret to the magic is to make sure you tackle both types of dirt with two types of cleansers, which follows the basic scientific rule ‘like attracts like’. While the lazy-girl cleansing routine may be working for now its best to aim to do a proper deep cleanse every other day or at least once a week. Cleansing twice will ensure you remove all impurities, leaving your skin completely clean and more susceptible to creams and serums. Thus improving your overall skin condition.

Double Cleansing

This is not a new technique. Geishas would often use the double cleansing method to make sure they removed every last piece of their heavy makeup. The first step was to use oil, which would best dissolve the caked on makeup then follow with a second water-based cleanser to ensure all the oil and leftover water-based impurities were washed away and pores left clean.

Double cleansing is still a common method throughout Asia because it offers a far deeper clean, while being extremely gentle and nourishing at the same time. Plus oil is a fantastic way to remove stubborn makeup like eyeliner and mascara.

A clean face is a happy face. Clean, open pores are more likely to be able to absorb creams and serums better, improving your overall skincare routine. Double cleansing is a great way to feel like you’ve just given yourself a home facial for a fraction of the price but all of the benefits.

The First Cleanse

Use natural carrier oils to gently yet deeply remove impurities like dirt and oil. I know you might be freaking out about now, clean with oil? Yes!

Oil cleansing (also referred to as the Oil Cleansing Method/OCM) has a hardened army of fans but also its fair share of critics. I suffered terribly with acne (as an adult) and can have spontaneous breakouts if using the wrong products but I have only good things to say about the OCM. It really is amazing at removing makeup (especially eye liner and mascara) and leaves my skin feeling extremely nourished as opposed to just using a standard cream cleanser where I feel like I am practically scrubbing my skin raw.

The basic idea is to mix 2 to 3 carrier oils together (it can take a little experimenting to get the perfect fit for your skin type). The mix you use really depends on your skin type:

Oily Skin: 1/3 Castor Oil or Hazelnut Oil and 2/3 Olive, Sunflower or other oil

Combination Skin: 1/4 Castor or Hazelnut Oil and 3/4 Olive, Sunflower or other oil

Dry Skin: All nourishing oils like olive oil, or a very small amount of Castor/Hazelnut Oil added to the nourishing oils.

(source: wellnessmama.com)

Some people also find a mix of coconut and olive oil to be hugely beneficial however I personally stay clear of coconut oil on my face as it can clog pores and lead to outbreaks.

The Oil Cleansing Method

  1. Start with a dry face (as you know, oil & water don’t mix so oil will just slid off a wet face)
  2. Pour about a tablespoon of your oil mix in your hands and massage into your face
  3. Take your time to massage, in gentle upward strokes, for a good minute or 2 (but no longer than 10)
  4. Use a hot cloth to remove the oil (take a face cloth or muslin cloth and place it in hand hot water, wring, place on your face and wipe)
  5. Repeat step 4 till all the oil has been removed
  6. Pat dry

The most important part is to ensure all the oil has been removed.

The Second Cleanse

After using your oil cleanser to remove makeup and grease, use a gel/cream/milk type cleanser to get rid of any leftover dirt such as dust and sweat.

Spend time massaging the cleanser into your skin, in a circular motion starting from the chin and moving upwards.

Rinse your face with warm water and pat dry. You will instantly feel a difference in your skin, it will be soft, feel clean and look healthy.

If you find your skin is dry then try changing the ratio or types of oils used in your first cleanse. It can take a bit of trial and error to get the perfect recipe for your skin but once you do you’ll quickly notice the difference.

Double cleansing can be done as little or as often as you feel you need it. I prefer to double cleanser at nighttime only, a before-bed-ritual if you like, which I then follow with a rejuvenating serum for the ultimate skin treat.

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She Loves Natural was founded from my personal experiences and struggles to stay healthy in a modern world vying for convenience. Everyone has their own reason(s) and perhaps like you, your decision to switch to natural skin care starts with a skin condition. Mine, acne.

Acne is synonymous with coming-of-age high school kids. Nothing more than a phase and something you grow out of off once your hormones calm down. Maybe, if you’re lucky.

Acne Isn’t Just For Teens

Acne didn’t affect me until I was a young adult in my early twenties and lasted on & off till I was in my late twenties. Your twenties, that crucial decade when you’re figuring out who you are, having fun and taking on the world. Confidence is everything when you’re in your twenties.

My face, especially cheeks were covered; aggressive, red and sore. While my friends were out and about, I was trailing behind embarrassed and ashamed. Naturally introverted, acne made things feel impossible. Days where I didn’t want to leave my bedroom and weeks where I wouldn’t look in the mirror.

My skin care routine became a game of hide and seek. Stuck in a vicious cycle of trying to treat my acne with over-the-counter creams to medically prescribed drugs.  And then trying to hide it with a colourfully toxic combination of concealers and foundations.

Nothing worked and after several failed attempts with antibiotics and contraceptive pills, my doctor decided there was only one path left: Roaccutane. I was made aware of the side effects but I didn’t realise just how dangerous Roaccutane was. I was at my lowest and willing to do anything to get rid of my acne so I went along with the weekly blood tests and pregnancy checks (read scientific studies carried out on Roaccutane here) After my first course on Roaccutane,  my acne cleared and I was elated. I quickly forgot all about the side effects I’d experienced; feelings of extreme lows, despair and depression, having to moisturise excessively every day to alleviate dry and cracked skin and heightened sensitivity.

How I Cured Myself of Acne

I was finally acne free. Or so I thought.

A year after Roaccutane, the acne returned and persisted for another long twelve months. I watched all those skincare adverts promising to get rid of acne for good but for me nothing worked. Having gone through Roaccutane once before I wasn’t keen to do it again, even though it was an option.

Now older and a little bit wiser, I spent more time researching. I wanted to understand what caused acne and why it faired up seemingly suddenly. I pushed through the embarrassment and shame I used to feel and wasn’t in such a rush to hide my face. Quick fixes do not work – lesson learned.

There was a lot of online information about diet related skin conditions and how diary could be a potential trigger for acne. And so it began, I cut dairy completely out of my life, substituting it initially for soy and now nut milks. There was a marked improvement!

Step 1. Fix Your Diet

Let food be your medicine and let medicine be your food
-Hippocrates, founder of modern medicine

The relationship between diet and acne is still debated by some, science tells us bad skin is an indication of a poor diet, lacking essential vitamins and minerals.  I truly believe improving my diet has been a significant factor to improving my skin and overall health.

Two weeks without dairy in my diet and everyone started to notice an improvement in my skin. My acne was less angry, less red and less inflammed. I was still prone to mild hormonal flare-ups (especially around TOM) so I decided to eliminate sugar. Having such a sweet tooth, this was tough but I stuck with it and by the end of the second month I noticed not only my skin had improved dramatically but I was also less moody, less bloated and my outbreaks had virtually stopped.

Just changing these two things made a huge difference to my skin. I now adopt an 80/20 approach to the way I eat (or if I’m honest, 60/40) 80% of the time I eat real, unprocessed, ‘clean’ food and 20% of my time I still reach for that slice of cake with my coffee.

Lotions and potions are a quick fix but if you want to sort your skin out for good consider a diet overhaul. With so many ‘diets’ to follow I would suggest any that encourage you to eat real food; no more refined sugar or processed food.

4 Acne Fighting Diet Tips

It seems obvious now but these four steps made a huge and noticeable difference;

  1. Lots of vegetables, especially dark leafy greens
  2. Lots of water to flush your system of toxins
  3. Eliminate dairy, especially milk
  4. Eliminate or significantly reduce your sugar intake

If you are looking for a new way of eating I can highly recommend Paleo/Primal (often referred to as the caveman diet), check out my go to blog Nom Nom Paleo for more information and recipes as a starting point.

Step 2. Live Clean

There is no magic pill.

Treating acne can be a complex, laborious task, different for everyone. But removing dairy and heavily reducing my sugar intake really made all the difference. Discovering the side effects a bad diet can have, I turned to other unnatural factors in my life; skin care.

It was an epiphany. All those empty promises and clever marketing campaigns are nothing more than overpriced water and skin irritating chemicals. Deciphering the labels on my products and a lot of research lead me to understand how certain ingredients commonly found in beauty products, were actually doing more harm than good. Sure changing my diet made a difference but that was only half the battle. I truly wanted to feel good about what I put in and on my body.

Improving your skin takes more than some miracle cream, no matter what the price tag, it’s a healthy combination of good diet and a clean environment. Eating better spurred me on to clean up what I was putting on my face and seek alternatives. I ended up making my own natural skin care products and quickly loved how easy it was to whip up a body butter in my own kitchen. Tailoring products that suited my needs perfectly.

Pamela’s 3 Things to Remember for Winning Skin

  1. Ditch the gunk and let your skin breathe. Acne isn’t forever but covering it up with makeup will slow down the healing process by clogging your pores and irritating sensitive skin.
  2. Make the switch to natural skin care. Learn to make your own products or for convenience swap your products for cleaner, more natural versions. Free from alcohol, parabens and fragrance. Once your diet is on track you skin care routine should only need to be minimal.
  3. Smile, you are beautiful. Stress and low self-esteem are the last things you need. Feeling stressed can be a potential trigger for many skin conditions and cause immediate and can trigger flare ups, making things worse. It took me a while to figure this out.

More than five years since my last acne outbreak and I am proud to say I am still acne free. There were moments when I gave up and started to accept I may always suffer from acne and other times the quick fix was all that mattered. From experience it has been the small and incremental changes that have really made the difference.

Going natural didn’t happen overnight but those small steps I made daily to improve my diet and lifestyle have meant my skin is in better condition than ever before.

Don’t give up, try a different approach. I hope my experience can help you too.

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