sensitive skin

Skin Care

Skincare Blues: Dealing with Psoriasis

Photo from my trip to Bora Bora when my skin was clear and my metabolism was fast ;)

Photo from my trip to Bora Bora when my skin was clear and my metabolism was fast ;)

It’s been such a long time since I’ve made a post, and I figured I should start the new year with something that’s been top of mind for the past few months: SKIN!

As some of you know, I’ve had psoriasis since I was 8 years old and I feel as though I’ve been on a roller coaster ride with my skin for a majority of my life, especially the past few years. For those of you who don’t know what psoriasis is, it’s a persistent autoimmune disease where your skin cells multiply 10x faster and causes new cell growth that produces raised scales on your skin.

Sexy right?

I know, it’s a real buzzkill when crop tops are in style but the only thing you can wear is a turtle neck..
With this most recent outbreak, my typical routine of oatmeal soap, Clobetasol, Cetaphil and  phototherapy wasn’t working. This HAD to happen during the winter time so my skin was already dry from the weather. To prep you, this blog is about healing and MOISTURIZING! There will be a ton of steps listed below, and they've all worked for me. So basically yes, I baste myself in creams and oils to the point where I look like a glazed donut before I go to bed. #Moisture  

So now onto the blog, below I’ve listed a few of the steps I made to help heal and calm my skin from the inside out.

Meditation:
For me, a lot of my psoriasis stems from an accumulation of stress so meditating has helped me to block out the drama and pressure from my everyday life. Because I know stress is a trigger, I have to do the work within myself and my mind first before any of the below steps can take an effect on my skin.  

Diet:
90% Plant based diet – Avoiding carbs and sugars is good for your (body, mind and) skin, so incorporating more greens into your diet will help to decrease inflammation.
*As an advocate for burgers and lemon pepper wings, this was the hardest change I had to make. 

Fish oil pills/Coconut oil Pills – Fish oils contain Omega 3 Fatty Acids that help reduce inflammation, anxiety and stress. Coconut oils provide moisture to your hair, skin and nails, which is really good as dry skin irritates psoriasis.

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Cleansers/Soaps:
African Black Bar Soap (Major Key) 
Important Ingredients:
Aloe Vera - moisturizes and calms dry sensitive skin
Lemon Balm - cleanses skin while preventing moisture loss. (And is a good source of antioxidants)
Sea Wrack - a mineral-rich soothing ingredient. Improves skin conditions like psoriasis.
Gotu Kola - helps promotes skin repair and renewal

*I purchased the black bar soap from the local beauty store for $3.99. But for more convenience I purchased the Shea Moisture liquid body wash, and while I don’t think it’s as strong as the bar of soap, it still provides healing and soothing to my skin.

Because I underwent a month and a half of phototherapy, I have a significant amount of dead skin from all the burning. So to help heal and refresh my skin, I purchased the Shea Moisture Hand and Body Scrub with Coconut Oil and Hibiscus. Below are ingredients that help the skin's surface:

Coconut Oil - Nourishes and helps firm skin with Vitamins E and K, iron and fatty acids
Hibiscus Flower - This natural emollient treats dry, rough skin and helps improve skin tone
Vitamin E - A powerful antioxidant highly effective in protecting skin from free radical damage

Moisturizer:
Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream – When you have sensitive skin, you have to avoid moisturizers that contain perfumes, fragrances, alcohol & lanolin. The Cetaphil cream is ideal for the dry patches of skin or psoriasis spots to keep the moisture in.

Medicine:
So yes, I do take a pill to supplement my daily routine. I am currently on a low dose of Methotrexate and while it is a very strong medicine-- it HAS to be prescribed to you by a dermatologist who has diagnosed you with severe psoriasis. And I can tell you first hand, that It SUCKS. You're nauseous, you're tired and you crave meat and carbs (See: Diet portion). but I know it's beneficial for my skin-- so until I find a better alternative, I will continue to crave tacos while scarfing down carrots. 

So to summarize: moisture, Moisture, Meditation & MOISTURE! Everyone's skin is different, so everyone's trigger for this disease is different, but to better your skin you have to make a lifestyle change. You can adjust the routine based on the severity, but this routine has helped me cope in a world filled with backless bodysuits and crop tops.                        

Beauty 911 - Winter Skincare Routine

Now that winter is here (insert Jon Snow joke), my lips are chapped, my skin is tightening in the cold air and I know my skincare routine needs more love than usual. I've been trying out a variety skincare products that work well with my oily skin and the products listed below are my top 5 products to combat the harsh winter months ahead.

ESSENCE: May Coop Raw Sauce
The glory that is maple tree sap, absorbs deep into the skin flawlessly. The essence hydrates and delivers nourishment to skin, creating a healthy glow and creates a stronger skin territory. This essence helps to prep the skin to better absorb and boost the effectiveness of any products that follow. After applying the raw sauce onto my skin, i notice that there's barely any product residue left on my skin, but i feel hydrated and fresh.

SERUM: Ole Henriksen Truth Serum Collagen Booster
I've been using this serum for 4-5 years and It does not disappoint, I flip out anytime I start to run out of product. This serum is formulated with a vitamin C complex to produce collagen, brighten your skin, and minimize fine lines. My skin always feels healthier and looks brighter like i have JLo glow, but better! 

MOISTURIZER: Ole Henrikson Sheer Transformation
Ok so.. i STAN for Ole Henriksen's products (obvi). For the same 4-5 years ive been using the Truth Serum. I've been using Sheer Transformation. I have oily skin and this moisturizer paired with the serum AND the essence, allows my skin to be fully hydrated and glowing without causing breakouts.  

LIP BALM: Fresh Sugar Advanced Lip Therapy
Honestly any lip balm will do, I own several lip balms but I really wanted to try Fresh's lip therapy balm because of all the amazing things i've heard about it. This product is a hydrating lip treatment that conditions lips for a smooth, fresh finish while boosting moisture and volume. It really works and I worry less about my chapped lips repairing themselves in time for matte lipsticks :)

SLEEPING MASK: Dr. Jart+ Water Fuse Water-Max Sleeping Mask
For that extra boost of moisture, i use my Dr. Jart+ Sleeping mask 2-3 times a week. This product is a weightless, leave-on mask that creates a protective barrier on your skin, locking in moisture and nutrients while you sleep! After my essence, serum and moisturizer, at night i lock it all in using this sleeping mask. When i wake up, my skin feels moisturized and smooth!

After many months of trial and error (and breakouts) I've found these products to work the best for my skin type (oily, combination, acne prone skin). And if you have skin like mine, you'll be ready to fight the winter cold with these products.

<3 

Skin Care, beauty

Relief for Sensitive Skin

Ok.. Confession. I have sensitive skin, I’ve had sensitive skin since I was 8 years old and I’m obsessed with finding new skin care products to try. I have psoriasis and had to care and treat my skin using a variety of different treatments for almost 20 years. I leaned how to control and treat my psoriasis using topical medications and establishing a skincare regimen that works best to reduce my flares. Unfortunately there is no cure for psoriasis, but there are a ton of all natural treatments to ease the pain.

Most recently I’ve discovered an all natural Sappo Hill's oatmeal soap from Whole Foods. I've told anyone that will listen to me about it, and it's glorious. Colloidal Oatmeal (finely grained oatmeal) promotes wound healing, collagen and stimulates the production of immune cells in the skin, this makes your skin stronger. The oats can absorb the excess oil in the skin, removes bacteria and has ultraviolet absorbing properties. Basically the colloidal oatmeal clean's, protect's and calm's your skin.

Photo Courtesy of SappoHill.com&nbsp;&nbsp;

Photo Courtesy of SappoHill.com  

Since I was on this "all natural remedy" kick, I stepped into my neighborhood LUSH and bought the holy grail of body lotions: Dream Cream. This body lotion has oat milk, rose water, organic cocoa butter, chamomile, tea tree oil and lavender oil. Basically all the best ingredients for sensitive skin thrown in a jar, cracked with magic and sold with a smile. Anyone who's ever researched skin care, knows that oatmeal, rose water, tea tree oil and lavender are all MAJOR remedies for sensitive skin. All of these properties offer antibacterial, healing and soothing effects. Again.. it's organic/fair trade magic.

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Don't believe me? Just watch... Slap some oatmeal soap and Dream Cream on your skin and watch the magic happen. After 2 days of use I began to see results! My skin calmed down and the uncomfortable feeling of having psoriasis subsided. If you have sensitive skin like excema, acne or rosacia, oatmeal soap works like a charm. 

Now go on and get your life!