Thursday, May 5, 2011

Live Your Best: Challenge #3

(Go here for #1 and #2)

So, how did Challenge #2 go? Did you do something frightening but awesome? Technically, you still have until the end of today to finish it. One of my readers, Beth, said she is going to start a monthly service club for women she knows. That is so inspiring!

I have to tell you, I decided to complete this challenge twice (I didn't think it was fair that I had already done my challenge before I issued it to y'all) and volunteered to play in a piano recital with my younger sister this weekend. Gulp! She is 16 and takes lessons from the same professor I studied with in high school. My mom called to tell me she was playing in a recital this weekend but was feeling insecure. I don't know what got into me, but I piped right up and said I'd play, too. Haven't done this in about six years! Wish me luck. It's in a few days and I'm playing a somewhat difficult piece.

As for my EVCMO audition request, they have quite a bit of interested folks so the earliest I can audition is August. At first I was a little bummed, but I guess that gives me a chance to hone my skills in the meantime!

Onto the subject at hand. Since starting this blog, I've become a little more "natural" than I was before. Meaning, I do things like no-poo, eat 50% raw, make my own bread, clean my floors with vinegar and water ... that kind of thing. A lot of these things save me quite a bit of money, but all of them have improved my life in some other way, too.

A few weeks ago, my younger sister (19) told me about this new facial cleansing method she'd been trying, the oil cleansing method. I had heard of this before but was too scared to try it. The basic idea is you use oil (part castor oil, part olive oil) to clean your face. And only oil. No soap. Crazy? Yeah, now you see why I was reluctant to try it.

But after my sister mentioned how smooth and fresh her face was looking (and I could see the difference, too), I thought I'd give it a whirl. My sister has suffered from pretty severe acne since she was really young and even went on Accutane a few years ago. She said she noticed recently that her breakouts werecoming back full-force, so she decided to try the oil cleansing method as a last-ditch effort to conquer acne.

Now, I've never had SEVERE acne, but I have pretty dry skin which causes my oil glands to overproduce at times (usually related to my hormones, not surprisingly). This results in not only occasional breakouts, but also red blotches and flakiness around my nose, eyes and on my forehead. My make-up, no matter how much I spend on it, has never gone on smoothly and seems to just get absorbed into my skin.

One thing I have always done is wash my face with a cleanser. Well, apparently that has been my problem all along. Cleansers -- even "gentle" ones -- contain harsh chemicals that strip the face of its natural oils (sounds familiar? Like shampoo!). This dries out the skin and makes the oil glands think they need to make more oil. So they do. And then, BOOM! Acne.

After my sister educated me on this topic, I felt ready to try it. I'm pleased to report I've been doing the oil cleansing method every night for two weeks, and I am LOVING the results. My face has never looked better. It's taut, smooth and healthy. And I've found yet another natural replacement for a chemical-filled, expensive product! Now that my trial run is over, I'm finally ready to ditch my cleanser and make the switch to oil permanently.

Next time, I will detail the oil cleansing method for you. But first, it's your turn to complete the challenge:

Replace one household, beauty or food product you use/eat regularly with a more natural alternative.

Examples: you can go no-poo finally. You can replace paper towels with regular ol' hand towels. You can switch to cloth diapers. You can make your own bread. You can use vinegar as a fabric softener. You can stop buying cookies and only eat homemade ones. You can try the oil cleansing method!

See what you can come up with. The possibilities are endless!


  1. i'm dying to know this oil cleansing method!!! i've been searching lately for an alternative to the cleanser i use because my face has all of a sudden started breaking out. i'm almost 25 and am WAY over having skin issues. can't wait to here more about this. i hope you post it soon!

    plus, i've done both challenges so far and am excited about this one as well! for the second challenge i decided to start a new craft blog. so excited about it!!

  2. Jenna, you always have such great ideas on here!! I love cheap, natural alternatives for expensive cleaners and use vinegar to clean almost everything...

    I must admit, the no-pop was a total fail for me. I have thin, limp hair that actually does better NOT conditioned at all. But I do use a sulfate-free shampoo and get great results with that.

    I thought your oil cleanse sounded awful so I read up about it and, ok, I am going to give it a whirl. I have had terrible skin for years, and it's a million times worse when I'm pregnant. I pay a pretty penny for skincare that I'm not even completely happy with. I'll do anything to save a buck AND see if I can finally get beautiful skin. I'll report back in a week or two. Thanks for all your great tips!

  3. Jenna, I really admire your positive outlook on life and getting things done.

    I have to admit, I forgot about the first challenge.

    Could you tell us more about mopping with water and vinegar? I would like to try that!

  4. I second the water and vinegar details. I've heard ants HATE vinegar and my sister is fighting ants really bad. I'd love to learn more!


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