When Is The Last Time You Left The House Without Makeup?

3 Better Ways To Cover Acne & Feel Confident

It wasn’t that long ago that I would never even think of leaving my house without going through my makeup ritual first.

I had so much acne, inflammation and oil on my face that I couldn’t fathom the idea of not covering it up under a layer of foundation. I wouldn’t even go to the corner store without it. Even when I slept over at someone else’s house, I put on my face before leaving the bedroom and eating breakfast with them. And it didn’t stop there – I didn’t wear tank tops ever because I had pimples on my shoulders. Would you believe that the very first time I wore a tank top was just a few years ago?

I felt so inadequate, insecure and disgusting without makeup, sometimes I would even look in the mirror and cry. Wearing makeup really made a difference, made me feel more confident. But I was dependent on it, and I spent a lot of money and time on drugstore products and making my face “perfect.”

And honestly, I didn’t work up the courage to leave my house without makeup on until I had (finally) cleared my skin of acne completely, just a few years ago. I vividly remember the first time I did it: I was walking around outside doing my thang and just kept thinking “OMG OMG OMG, I have no makeup on does anyone notice how do I look what is going to happen next why isn’t the world imploding!?!?”

So I’m not here to tell you what you’ve all heard before: “Stop wearing makeup now because it clogs your pores!” No, most makeup isn’t great for our skin, pores or acne-free dreams, but it can do wonders for our confidence while we try to clear up our face other ways. You feel better with some makeup on. I get it. So did I.

I do believe in following a beauty routine and using products to keep our skin looking great, but let’s use some natural stuff to cover those spots and minimize the artificial ingredients and harsh substances clogging our pores and causing breakouts.

In an effort to convince you of the benefits of natural makeup (and maybe scare you silly,) here is a list of ingredients from a drugstore foundation I used to apply religiously:

  • WATER • ISODODECANE • CYCLOPENTASILOXANE • GLYCERIN • CYCLOHEXASILOXANE • PEG-10 DIMETHICONE • METHYL METHACRYLATE CROSSPOLYMER • BUTYLENE GLYCO • DIMETHICONE • ISOEICOSANE • DISTEARDIMONIUM HECTORITE • CETYL PEG/PPG-10/1 DIMETHICONE • SODIUM CHLORIDE • POLYGLYCERYL-4 ISOSTEARATE • HEXYL LAURATE • C9-15 FLUOROALCOHOL PHOSPHATE • ISOSTEARYL NEOPENTANOATE • DIAZOLIDINYL UREA • METHYLPARABEN • PROPYLPARABEN • TOCOPHEROL • PANTHENOL • ALUMINA • METHICONE

Ummmm what the heck is all this stuff? No idea really, but I do know this stuff isn’t natural (who’s heard of a Disteardimonium Hectorite plant?), is highly processed and toxic to our skin.

Here are three ways to cover your acne with more natural ingredients that will actually feed your skin nutrients, helping to get rid of those pesky pimples!

Option 1: DIY Green Clay Face Powder

This face powder is SO easy to make and OMG you’ll save so much money too! This is the only makeup I use these days – wash, moisturize, powder, done!

Green clay is highly absorbent (goodbye oil!) and full of skin friendly minerals like magnesium, silica, calcium, copper and zinc. It also tightens pores and reduces the appearance of red acne spots (green neutralizes red.) Awesomeness!

Here’s what ya gotta do:

  • ½ cup cornstarch or arrowroot powder
  • ½ cup green clay powder

Mix both the powders together until fully combined.

Using a large soft makeup brush, apply all over face (and even your neck and chest if you want.)

But wait! There’s more!

Here are some optional ingredients for the Green Clay Face Powder:

  • ¼ teaspoon cocoa powder, nutmeg, ginger or cinnamon
  • 5 drops oil such as tea tree oil, lavender essential oil, vitamin E or jojoba

If you’re looking for a bit of a bronzing effect or have darker skin, try adding the cocoa powder or spices to the green clay mixture above. All of them have skin nourishing nutrients, but experiment with the spices – they’re powerful superfoods, and so can potentially irritate the skin.

Once all those ingredients are thoroughly mixed, add some more love to your skin with one of the natural oils. Check out some more cool oils like Myrrh and Neroli from Body Unburdened, and how they can help clear your skin of acne.

The great thing is that you can customize this powder for yourself – just experiment with different combinations until you’ve got just the perfect colour for you.

Bentonite clay can also be used in place of green clay powder, if you don’t have too much redness or inflammation to cover up. Bentonite has a whole host of clear skin benefits, similar to green clay, and also provides a nice matte finish.

Option 2: Mineral Foundation

The bad news is, all liquid foundations contain toxic preservatives to prevent bacteria and mold from taking over. The good news is, you can make your own natural and mineral rich foundation at home!

You’ll just need a couple of ingredients:

  • 1 teaspoon natural face lotion (I use Green Beaver, but any natural lotion will do)
  • 1 teaspoon mineral makeup (buy some at Well.ca)

Using a small jar or bowl, mix together lotion and mineral makeup until fully combined. Apply to face as you would any other foundation, and voilà! Just give it a few minutes to set. Rinse the jar or bowl and keep it on your washroom counter to use each day for this purpose. Since mineral makeup does not contain preservatives, it will go bad quickly.

Option 3: Water

Yep, that’s it. Water.

Some mornings, I just splash my face with warm water a few times, dry and moisturize. And I actually leave my house like that! I recommend you try it out too – just own it!

But be sure to use a face wash in the evening when you do this (water is great, but not that great!) I’ve used Desert Essence for years and am totally hooked.

 

The reality is that no one has perfect skin – not even the idealized celebs we’re exposed to everywhere we look. Don’t judge yourself against them because it’s just not a fair comparison; check out this awesome read from Smell The Roses about celebrity culture and the makeup myth.

When we don’t wear a ton of makeup, some imperfections will show through and that’s OK. Really.

3 better ways to cover acne and feel confident

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PS – if you haven’t heard yet, I recently released the second edition of my eBook “Food For Your Face: Clearing Your Skin From The Outside, full of easy DIY beauty product recipes that you can make at home with food that’s probably already sitting in your kitchen. Food For Your Face eBook Sample and buy it now by clicking here!

Food For Your Face: Clearing Your Skin From The Outside

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Do Skin Like The Brazilians Do

4 Things We Can Learn About Clear Skin From This Beautiful Country

Well we’re more than half way through the Rio Summer Olympics and I’ll admit, I’m not a sports fan and have not been following it one bit. But I do love Rio and have been thinking, Hey! Those beautiful Brazilians can seriously teach us a lot about clear acne-free skin.

I travelled to the Amazon and Rio last year and got to experience these natural and yummy treats for reals – no matter where you live, you can get a taste of Brazilian beauty too!
 
 

Coconut water

How Coconut Water Gives Us Clear Skin

Not to be confused with coconut milk, coconut water is the thin juice that can be poured out from inside a fresh coconut.

It naturally hydrates and moisturizes skin without making it greasy – it’s important to keep even oily and acne-prone skin hydrated, as dry skin with produce excessive amounts of sebum in an attempt to balance it out.

We’ve all heard about coconut water being used to replenish electrolytes after a workout, but those electrolytes are also vitally important for good skin. Potassium, magnesium and manganese, all available in coconut water, play a role in clear skin and help keep it alkaline (acidic skin is a hot spot for bacterial infections like acne.)

Another plus is that coconut is one of the best natural sources of cytokinins. What the heck are those?? They’re plant compounds that promote cell growth and considerably slow the degenerative process (aka: aging) of cells. This keeps our skin cells strong, helping to shed old cells that could clog pores, replacing them with fresh new cells which will also help scars fade faster. Nice!

Here’s How To Use It

  • Drink it straight if you love the taste! Avoid brands and flavours that add sugar (a single serving bottle should be no more than 9 grams of natural sugar that comes from the coconut.) Blue Monkey, Zico (tetra-pak bottles only) and Vital Juice are good ones to try.
  • If you’re not super crazy about the taste, like me, then stick it in your smoothies. All the other stuff you put in there will hide the taste but still give you all the nutrition.
  • Use it as a toner (those cytokinins work topically too!) Coconut water is antibacterial, smooths out the skin and can even enhance skin tone. Just dab some on a cotton ball and saturate your gorgeous face.

 

Açai

How Açai Gives Us Clear Skin

Açai berries come from the açai palm tree, which is native to the rainforests of Brazil.

So it any wonder that no matter where I went in Rio, there was açai in my face (in a good way)? There was even a restaurant dedicated entirely to dishes made with açai!

This Brazilian berry is one of the top antioxidant foods in the world. Antioxidants are so important for clear and acne free skin, because they fight the free radicals that damage our skin cells and clog pores (see more about antioxidants under “Brazil Nuts” below.)

Here’s How To Use It

  • It can be hard to find whole açai berries outside of Brazil (maybe try your luck on Amazon?), so the next best thing is blueberries, which have a similar nutrient profile. Add them to smoothies, sprinkle on Greek yogurt or oatmeal and add them to your homemade pancakes, muffins or corn bread.
  • Sambazon offers ultra convenient frozen and powdered açai – I love using the frozen stuff in my smoothies and it’s so easy to add the powder to anything and everything I eat!
  • Why not add the powder to your clay face mask – just stir it in and get a dose of antioxidants on your insides and your outsides!
  • Grab a ready-made açai bowl (all the rage in Rio!) at one of my favourite juice bars in Toronto, The Good Press.

 

Brazil nuts

How Brazil Nuts Give Us Clear Skin

Would you believe that just one serving of Brazil nuts (about 1 ounce) give us 767% of our daily requirement of selenium?* Brazil nuts are the highest source of this important acne fighting mineral (with a number like 767%, I would hope so!)

Not only is selenium yet another potent antioxidant, it also increases the body’s overall antioxidant levels by serving as a cofactor for other antioxidants, especially vitamin E, improving their effectiveness, helping them to fight free radicals even harder and even regenerating those antioxidants that have been previously used, so they can be used again (hello recycling!)

Antioxidants come up again and again and you better believe they really are important. Oil blocks our pores, which then oxidises when it comes into contact with gross stuff like toxins in our body, pollution, sunlight, and chemicals in body care products. These things react and combine with the oil on our face to create an ideal breeding ground for acne, with even more pore clogging and inflammatory power. Gah!

Selenium also works closely with zinc (the most important clear skin nutrient), enhancing its acne fighting ability by transporting it into cells where it can do its thang.

Here’s How To Use It

  • Eat them straight (they’re pretty tasty!)
  • Use them as a replacement for almonds in recipes like salad dressing, granola, baked goods…whatever!
  • Make this easy DIY Brazil nut milk yourself at home, courtesy of The Full Helping

* Source: http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/nut-and-seed-products/3091/2
 
 

Fresh Veggie & Fruit Juices

How Fresh Veggie & Fruit Juices Give Us Clear Skin

Little juice bars are all over Rio! I had sucos morning, noon and night while I was there.

I’m talking fresh juice, from real fruits and veggies – there’s no added sugar (provided you tell the barista not to add it!), natural flavours and other fillers.

Clearly, fresh juice is an easy way to get tons of skin friendly vitamins and minerals in one concentrated shot.

In Rio, it’s super easy to get cool exotic fruits like caju, passionfruit, caja, lychee and graviola (I feel so tropical just writing these down!), but any type of veggie and fruit will do – they’re all packed with amazing nutrients for our skin.

Here’s How To Use It

  • Invest in a juicer and make your own at home (look out for my upcoming blog post about how to build a proper acne fighting juice!) Use organic produce as much as possible to avoid toxic pesticides. Access to exotic Amazonian fruits is limited in other parts of the world, but no worries – juicing any and all fruits and veggies will make your skin happy!
  • Check out your local juice bar (click here for some of my favourites in Toronto)

Four Things We Can Learn About Clear Skin From The Brazilians

 

Share this post with your friends by clicking the social buttons below!

PS – if you haven’t heard yet, I recently released the second edition of my eBook “Food For Your Face: Clearing Your Skin From The Outside”, full of easy DIY beauty product recipes that you can make at home with food that’s probably already sitting in your kitchen. Food For Your Face eBook Sample and buy it now by clicking here!

Food For Your Face: Clearing Your Skin From The Outside

 

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