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15 November 2010



I realize I am quite late to this party, but I remembered reading it last November and went in search of your links. I have begun investigating the Daybreak Lavender Farm products but I was hoping to ask a question about make-up. You advise that people prone to blackheads not use mineral make-up. Do you have any advice on what to use instead? There is so much out there to choose from and almost anything that is described as organic or natural is a mineral make-up. Thanks for all this information - it has been so useful. I am going to try the ice thing tonight!


I second the Paula's Choice products, they're really, really good. I've obeen using only her products for years. She covers every skin type. Do check her out. She knows what she's talking about and she critiques other companies' beauty products. It's amazing what these companies try to bamboozle us with!


Hello. I got to your blog through the Yarn Harlot's blog, and wanted to comment on this post.

I have really nice skin, maybe one or two pimples every couple of weeks that go away pretty quickly. I've had many people ask what I use on my face to keep it nice. My response? Uh, water.

I wash my face with soap maybe once a month. Otherwise, when I shower each night, I run water over my face and use my hands to "clean" it instead of a washcloth, which is rough. I can feel the oil being removed, but not all of the oil is gone... when I get out of the shower, my face is clean, but not dry and splotchy like it was when I used "cleansers."

I also wanted to say that your logic here is the same as what's behind the "no-poo" movement. You probably have heard of it--it's where you don't use shampoo on your hair--ever!

I sort of went no-poo a month or two ago, only using shampoo once a week and water the rest of the time. But, it only helped a little. I have been completely no-poo for 2 weeks and have seen drastic improvements in my hair and scalp.

I used to have a very crazy scalp--horrible dandruff, itching, more than flaking, more like peeling, sores, ick! Almost all of that has completely vanished!

I realized that my scalp is sensitive, just like my face. When I stopped using cleansers and moisterizers on my face, it got better... so it made sense to stop using shampoos and conditioners on my hair/scalp.

Just wanted to say that your post made a lot of sense to me. :)


All those expensive systems are such a con trick! I had the worst skin ever when I was spending the most cash. Now I use Neutrogena soap and whatever moisturiser I need, but only on the dry, tight spots. Neutrogena gets make up off and rinses without a trace. I'm constantly buying bars to introduce people to it.

Great, interesting post.

Claudia Conner

I was with a group of African-American women last week and the subject of beautiful skin came up. They spoke of people who had beautiful skin and by turns remarked that the women with the most beautiful skin used: olive oil, lard, or Crisco. Sitting there listening and looking at the women who were talking, I noticed that they all had beautiful skin.


Good advice! I still sometimes get sucked in by the claims that skincare companies make - the one that gets me is when they claim that a produce 'refines' your skin finish, when what actually happens is that my skin goes matte, tight and dry (well, I like one of those things).

I would also add that if you get a change in your complexion, it may not be resolved by a new product - it's useful to look for the outside influences first (weather changes, dietary influences, that time of the month...)

On the subject of sunscreen, have you tried Paula's Choice products (www.paulaschoice.com)? I've been using the non-greasy SPF 15 for a couple of years now, and I think it's genius - it has the texture of a regular moisturiser, none of that heavy or filmy feeling that sunscreens usually have. (And I love the cleansers too, they're gentle but really effective.) You can get sample sizes and see what's good for you (and the sample sizes are great for travelling too).


Love this post - thank you. I ordered from Daybreak and am expecting shipment tomorrow. One question: why avoid mineral makeup? I thought Bare Minerals was all the rage because it was good for your skin?


I am loving the rhassoul and POM bars from Daybreak, thank you SO much for blogging about them at a time when I was sort of frantic and OMGWTFskin??? and open to trying new products.

Simple is good, and I'm noticing a positive change in just a few days. Thank you!


Great information. I used to manage an Origins counter, and I would always tell women to stop over doing it in terms of cleansing, exfoliating, etc.

After 40, I found most skincare lines too fragrant for me. Happily, I can still tolerate Origins (and the lines that opt to use essential oils vs. chemical fragrance), nevertheless, I'm always looking to streamline my routine. Also, I'm always checking ingredients for parabens, PEG, PG, etc.

For the question re: shampooing less -- I broke my need to shampoo frequently by biting the bullet and waiting one full week. I also switched shampoos. Many of them container SLS, and that dries the hair and the scalp. If it lathers, it's drying. Research Burt's Bees, WEN, etc. for non-lathering, non-SLS shampoos.


It's wonderful when you find a skincare regime that works.

Can you help me devise a routine that doesn't make me feel like I have to wash my hair everyday? The dry shampoos seem to work great but after about 3 hrs I am itchy, itchy!


I have, for 3 years or so, put nothing but oil on my OILY face. I cleanse with Lavitton water soluble oil cleanser, and use jojoba or coconut oil as a moisturizer. Period. No more acne, no more oilies. Skin looks awesome, and once in a while I get tempted by some lovely thing at Sephora, and I always regret it. The whole "anti comedogenic"/oil free myth is total and utter bullshit.


Um. I do absolutely nothing, except sunblock in the summer when I'm out in the sun. I don't even use soap or any other cleanser on my face, I must confess. Aside from the wrinkles that go with being 57, I like the way my face looks.


I've read your blog for a long time and lately have been nodding in agreement more and more vigorously every time you post. :-) Thank you for being so candid and insightful!

Little by little I have been discovering that the first rule of skin care for me is to get out of the way of my body's natural processes. I stopped using sulfate-based shampoos and silicone styling products, and my scalp doesn't produce nearly as much oil now that I'm not stripping it every day. Same goes for the oil cleansing method for my face, which another commenter mentioned above. I have good skin genes anyway, but after an OCM cleanse my face feels and looks fantastic.

The latest revelation was anti-perspirant. Ever since I was a teenager, I would always noticeably sweat through my clothes - it got so that I couldn't buy shirts without seriously considering how badly the large wet spots at my sides would show in whatever fabric it was. I used stronger and stronger anti-perspirants with no real improvement. Finally about a year ago I started using a natural deodorant from Lush on the recommendation of a friend, and after just a few days my body adjusted to the absence of pore-blocking chemicals and stopped overproducing perspiration. I can't tell you how relieved I was not to be so constantly embarrassed, nor how mad I was at the beauty industry for convincing me there was something wrong with my body all those years.

Less is most definitely more (except apparently when I am commenting on a blog post, sorry).


I had a similar discovery, possibly due to a comment during a rare facial - that my oily face was in fact dry. Come to think of it, a facial was also where I discovered that I was not, in fact, acne-prone; I just have a ruddy complexion. (I thought it was acne brooding under the skin all those years and couldn't figure out why I was 30 and still suffering.)

I am still looking for the right regimen, but at least I better understand my own skin. :)


I'd be interested in your take on this:

I get super dry skin in the winter when hello, all air is cold and dry. This is a new development for me (last couple of years). I'm one of those who uses whatever soap is handy in the shower and that's that as far as skin-care goes. In the winter? I suddenly need moisturizer. This winter? I have been using almond oil. Straight out of the bottle. I tried the castor oil/other oil method a few times and really liked it. As soon as I develop a routine, it'll probably be that. Until I see how it works for 6 weeks or whatever at least. So far, I've tried it approximately 4 times, and that was at the end of last winter.

Now, I do the soap in the shower thing, with almond oil on my face after. It also has reduced the ingrown little facial hair things that I so dearly love. (No one ever mentioned whiskers to me as a getting older thing. Damn.)


I feel like such a hippy now! I wash my face with a facecloth only, no soaps, and moisturize morning and night. Other than those hormonal times, I seriously have no troubles at all. Great information here. Thanks for pulling this all together!


With you on all those things, but I was fortunate enough I did not have to find it out the hard way.

I've never had much trouble with my skin. I've never used many products, either. I had the odd spot as a teenager, but I certainly did not have trouble skin. At some point I started using hippy products (from Lush) on my skin. Seven years later, I am still with them, though I have evolved through a few different products as my skin has changed over the years.

I don't know if that is why I still look so young that recently I got asked for my ID trying to buy a pint in the pub. I've been old enough to do that for a decade and a half... Now if only the grey hairs would keep their heads down!


Good post. I agree with the concept of less is better, like some weekend days when I don't wash my face for one day at all, and it ends up happier than when I do wash it every day. My current favorite moisturizer is called Face Pudding, from Bar Maids (bar-maids.com). They vended at Sock Summit last year. I loved that their business card is a drink coaster and decided to give them a try. I use the stuff with 20% emu oil. It has definitely lessened my incidence of breakouts. Now I'm off to click on your links!

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