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Natural Hair and Skin Care Tutorial 2009-12-29 04:00:36

The Natural, Week 1: I Smell Bad

The headline sorta says it all there. After a week of substituting various old-fashioned, edible beauty recipes for my normal routine, Mr. Bella has both told me that I "smell like a salty carny" and said that he "feels bad for my face" because my skin has now broken out terribly and I can't wear makeup to cover it up. He also just called me his "little rennet" (yes, as in the cheese ingredient). The worst part is, he's just making the best of a smelly, acnefied situation. I need to adjust the recipes I'm using—big time. I've got too much to say about what's gone wrong to put it all up here, so to find out how disaster struck, just read more.

OK, so it all started with my hair. I had planned to use odor-eating baking soda to wash just once a week, so to keep my hair clean the other days I've been using apple cider vinegar. Bad idea (for me, at least). Vinegar smells like, well, vinegar, and no matter how much I rinse, the smell will not come out of my hair. I spent 20 minutes in the shower the other night rinsing, and when I got out, Mr. B went "Phew, you been eating fish and chips with malt vinegar in here?" And using milk as a daily conditioner only ups the smell factor (although my hair does feel nice). I'm going to start rinsing with a dilution of baking soda every night. If you've had good results with anything else, please let me know—I'm open to anything at this point.

Then, there was my skin. Thanks to a combination of clindamycin topical and tretinoin, my face had been relatively breakout free of late. Not anymore, obviously. My skin reacted very, very badly to the lemon in the lemon and apple cider vinegar wash, so I suggest a patch test before you try it. The rice powder and argan oil have been lifesavers and work wonderfully, but I'm definitely pretty pathetic-looking, and I can't tell you how much I miss my concealer. I've been putting tea tree oil on my (numerous) big, new zits, but I'm not seeing a lot of progress just yet. Hopefully this is all just a rocky beginning for a face and body used to a boatload of chemicals. I'll report back in a few days with any new developments or findings.

GummiBears GummiBears 7 years
You are brave. Do you use diluted vinegar and added a essential oil like lavender oil to diffuse the smell?
tlsgirl tlsgirl 7 years
I've been using a mask made of honey, ground nutmeg, and ground cinnamon, then giving my skin a quick scrub when I rinse it off. It's AMAZING. I was skeptical, but scars that have been there forever are already noticeably faded, and my breakouts have gone way down. I'm officially a convert.
sloane220 sloane220 7 years
smelling bad in conjunction with bad skin...good lord, maybe it's just a sign to go back to what you know.
ashearer ashearer 7 years
I don't know why, but I laughed SO HARD seeing your expression and reading the story. That's adorable!
ren_kr ren_kr 7 years
u can use olive oil as a skin/hair moisturizer. I especially like using honey or a honey/cinnamon combo as a very gentle face mask and it is also supposed to help heal acne. I use the honey/cinnamon combo as a spot treatment every other day because I find it either helps it bring to the head faster or dries it out. A good way to prevent the honey getting everywhere is to either put those cloth tape on it or just put a very thing sheet of toilet paper on it. I can't believe how brave you are! hang in there!
Molambert Molambert 7 years
When you wash your hair with acv, you should dilute it to about 5 parts water 1 part vinegar. You can also add a few drops of an essential oil of your choice to change the smell (rosemary always works nicely). hope that helps
cupidpout cupidpout 7 years
Ooh, have you tried washing your face with honey? Or manuka honey, they work great on your skin.
ahles ahles 7 years
There's an awesome shampoo/conditioner in one made locally here out of honey. If you're going to go food products only, try yogurt at least instead of milk. Or jojoba oil. Lemon and apple cider will KILL your skin as I put in your first slide. Rose water, you want rose water, witch hazel (alcohol free mind) and ground oatmeal is good face powder. Be gentle to your hair and skin, what you were doing is stripping it.
polkadots567 polkadots567 7 years
I don't know for sure because I've never tried it, but I heard somewhere that olive oil is really good for acne? It's worth a shot, and I guess maybe combined with some of the other remedies mentioned you will see an improvement! Good Luck :)
bonchicbongenre bonchicbongenre 7 years
Bella, you are a brave soul! I hope you keep at this though- its definitely very interesting. And I agree with the other ladies that your picture is adorable! Also, definitely up your intake of omega 3 in the mean time!
alexask alexask 7 years
haha, damn - good luck with this! keep us posted!
GlowingMoon GlowingMoon 7 years
How saddening. Personally, I happen to have a natural beauty regimen because I have sensitive skin and scalp. Many synthetic chemicals triggers my eczema. For my hair, I use only organic products, like Aubrey Organics. I use jojoba oil to condition the ends of my hair. For my face and body, I use only water, and baking soda to exfoliate. Through trial and error, I learned that this is what works for me.
sham28 sham28 7 years
#27, sounds like your grandmother was not a woman to be messed with. :)
nikki815 nikki815 7 years
Bella, while I applaud your ambition to be green, what I've learned about experimenting with my hair and skin is that if it ain't broke... Especially if you have spent so much time to perfect your routine, only to overhaul it. I promise not to judge if you cut this short. I am all for trying new things, especially if they are easy and cheap like things found in your kitchen, but all at once? The last time I did something like this was my at home peel with retin-a. I had a big tube and obviously some free time to ponder the wrinkles I thought I had at 24. I don't remember the exact events, but it lead to at least $300 in new beaty products, 3 visits to the dermatologist (the first of which took almost a month just to book) and weeks of regret and anger before I felt somewhat normal again. I gave myself a great case of contact dermatitis on my face. For weeks I had patches of discolored skin, raw skin and flaking skin in various combinations. I wish you the best with this and hopefully my story can help others to avoid doing what I have done.
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