Beauty Confidential: Soothing Sensitive, Delicate Skin with Oatmeal, Beta Carotene, and Shea Butter

oatmealRight after we moved into our new home, I noticed my skin seemed to be having some issues.  Oh, I’d noticed an issue or two before I moved, and chalked it up to all the stress of house purchasing, hiring movers, and so forth.  Also, a bit to a cleanser I was using that contained Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs,) and possibly some contact dermatitis from towels I laundered with too much detergent.  Was it really either of these or could it be something else?  How was I going to treat my lumpy, broken-out forehead and the lumpy redness on the sides of my face?\r\n\r\nBefore I go on, let me explain a bit further what was going on with my face, and why I suspected the AHAs.  Yes, all the info out there says AHAs are safe, that they act like a very, very gentle exfoliant that sloughs off just enough skin to make wrinkles look less noticeable.  Cleanser claims contend that AHAs are better for sensitive skin than other kinds of scrubs that contain little bits of ground up walnut shells, almond shells or plastic micro-beads.  Maybe that’s quite true, and maybe it was other ingredients in the product I was using that caused the rash and breakouts.  Still, I had lumps and bumps that, even after I stopped using that product, did not go away.\r\n\r\nSince the rest of me didn’t break out in a rash, I decided that too much detergent in the towels wasn’t the problem either. The usual rash remedies, hydrocortisone or calamine lotion, weren’t working either.\r\n\r\nI started to feel really bad and to pine away for my lovely, expensive Chanel cosmetics that never gave me any trouble.  But my fortunes were not about to take a momentous enough turn in the next month or two so that I could afford Chanel again.\r\n\r\nThen I remembered: Oatmeal! It’s not just a great exfoliant, but is also fantastic for soothing irritated skin!  If you had chickenpox as a kid, you might have remembered your Mom bathing you in something called colloidal oatmeal, that came in little packets kind of like the instant oatmeal you eat for breakfast. I remembered my Mom using her own oatmeal scrubs, and telling me to try oatmeal scrubs for my adolescent acne (of course I didn’t back then. what did Mom know?)  A quick Internet search gave me this site with five recipes for five different oatmeal face scrubs!  This was definitely more info than I needed.  Still, though, nice to know that oatmeal scrubs can progress from simple oatmeal and water to oatmeal and other natural ingredients that you can blend at home to make a spa-quality face scrub.\r\n\r\nFor me, oatmeal and water was enough.  I soaked a tablespoon of oatmeal in three tablespoons of water, let it get pretty soft, and used it as a scrub.  My face felt so much better!  I also used some of the oatmeal water as a “toner” and applied it to the burning rash breakouts that I broke (I thought they were pimples!  no!)  Twice daily use of the oatmeal scrub and oatmeal water toner helped clear the rash and drive up the breakouts in less than a week.\r\n\r\nNow, I simply mix up some scrub the night before so that it’s soft enough and ready for use the next day.  My skin feels cleaner and healthier than it has in a long time!\r\n\r\nSo, what about make-up?  I put some of my usual Physician’s Formula BB Cream Foundation and braced myself for the worse.  I had no problem with either foundation or eye make up!  Getting the foundation off, however, would require a bit more than just my oatmeal scrub.  For this, I turned to another product I remembered my Mom using, and one I knew was great for taking off theatrical makeup:  Albolene Makeup Remover!  Albolene takes off not just foundation, but also waterproof eye makeup easily and without irritation.  Its formula is pretty simple: mineral oil, petrolatum (same as Vaseline,) paraffin, ceresin, and beta carotene.  We all know beta carotene as Vitamin A!  People go to dermatologists for prescriptions of Vitamin A for acne and others use creams with Vitamin A for wrinkles. And here it was in an inexpensive, nothing fancy makeup remover!\r\n\r\nAlbolene though wouldn’t provide the type of emollient my skin needed.  For this, I turned to my favorite, favorite hand and body cream: Cococare Super-Rich Shea Butter Cream.  This is another great product with minimal ingredients and a very light, pleasant, non-irritating fragrance.  It had been great on my cuticles so I was sure it would be great on my super sensitive skin.  Sure enough!\r\n\r\nNow, I have a skin ritual consisting of products that are free of a lot of the fancy and long-chained chemicals we see listed in most of our drugstore face cleansing products.  I start with a simple oatmeal scrub, followed by some moisturizer, then a light coating of Albolene to seal in the shea butter and further protect my skin.  I can use my regular foundation over this, and the foundation formula is not affected by any of the products.*   At night I use the Albolene to remove he makeup, followed by a light toner (I use Boots Expert Sensitive Gentle Refreshing Toner) then moisturizer and protectant.\r\n\r\nIf you’re having trouble with over-dry or over-sensitive skin, you may want to give this inexpensive, and mostly natural, regimen a try!\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\nNote:  Regular old-fashioned oatmeal, the same kind you eat in the morning, you can use for your face.  Quick oats isn’t recommended.  Also, if you want to use an oil, I would not recommend food grade oils, as they are not easily absorbed by the skin.  Sweet almond oil rather than olive oil is a better skin oil and can be purchased from the same site as the Cococare Shea Butter moisturizer.\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\n*It does not change color or consistency.\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\n \r\n\r\n \r\n\r\n 

One comment Add yours

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *