Monday, September 06, 2010

A Nice Rest on Labor Day

This weekend has been everything a weekend should be:  relaxing, rejuvenating, and full of good food and good people.  After a fairly crazy week, we all needed a rest and some diversion.  On Saturday, we hosted a football party for 18 of our friends and their kids in our living room, during which Eric smoked and grilled the most aMAZing ribs ever.  Sunday was spent at church, eating lunch with friends, and enjoying the afternoon: Eric and Ian went to play ultimate frisbee while I took a much-needed three-hour nap on the couch.  Then today, we spent the entire afternoon at Warren Dunes, our special Labor Day spot, where we took a picnic supper of PBJs, carrots, watermelon, and homemade cookies packed in my great-grandma Lulu's picnic basket that I just recently acquired from my Aunt Judy.  We sat on the beach, splashed in the waves, dug in the sand, and just generally enjoyed each others' company.  A truly stellar day capping off a truly stellar weekend.  I'm so thankful for my little family and the fun we can have together.
Eric and Ian during a lull in the waves of Lake Michigan
Ian and I sharing a cookie (with Gamma popping out in my tummy)
Digging in the sand with his little friend

Friday, September 03, 2010

The Oil-Cleansing Method

Twenty-three days ago, I began an experiment that I felt was fairly low-risk based on the testimonies of people I trust.  Still, it was a little scary.  Using oil to clean my face at night was a completely foreign concept to me, and one I was still a bit skeptical about.  "What if my face turns into a mass of hideous blemishes?" I thought to myself.  But I figured that was a bit dramatic, and I really didn't have that much to lose.  So I gave it a shot. 

I started out with a 25%-75% Castor oil to sunflower oil ratio.  Night #1 left me pleased:  my face was instantly soft, my makeup came off effortlessly, and my skin had less redness than usual after a deep cleansing.  I was feeling confident. 

But by the day after Night #3, I had two pimples on my left cheek and a patch of dryness on my right cheek.  What's up with that?  So I trusted in my knowledge of my skin (which is usually dry) and added more sunflower oil, figuring that the blemishes were an effect of things being purged from my skin.  I think I was right.  By the day after Night #5, my pimples were gone, and the dryness was still there, except it was everywhere.  So the next night, I added more sunflower oil to the mixture, making it about a 15%-85% ratio.  I also mixed a tiny bit of sugar in with a little bit of the oil to act as a scrub to clear away the dead skin.  This seemed to work, and I haven't had to do it since. 

So seventeen days later from the dryness issue, the skin on my face is soft, clear, nearly devoid of redness, and quite happy.   You should know that I usually don't have the best skin:  it's typically patchy, dry, and blotchy-red, and I have hereditary dark circles under my eyes. But take a look at me sans makeup: 
This was taken using Photobooth on my iMac (because our camera is broken), so it's not the clearest shot in the world, but there are obviously no blemishes, the skin is soft and shiny without looking tight, and my cheeks don't have patches of dry redness.  I have a little mascara on (because even with relatively dark brown hair, I have blonde eyelashes...go figure), but that's it.  Hopefully you get the picture: this method works. 

The only thing I've had to be careful about is completely rinsing my face at night.  After a week, I noticed that my pillowcase was looking quite oily -- not cool. But since then, I've done a double rinse (once with the cloth, once with warm water), and I haven't noticed any problems. 

So there you go!  Success!  I know a few of you have also been experimenting with me.  If you would care to leave a note in the  comments as to how it's going for you, I'd love to hear about your own experiences.  And if others of you have questions or reservations, feel free to voice them as well.