Is your cleanser doing your skin more harm than good?
Over a year ago, I created my very first facial skincare product.. a cleanser! This cleanser left my skin feeling squeaky clean. After some time, I learned that the "squeaky clean" feeling came with some unforeseen consequences.
This cleanser was "all natural" but it missed the mark on several other important aspects. After I removed the cleanser from my shop, which happened to be a best seller, I began a long journey to understand why a cleanser is so important and how it has drastic effect on our skin health.
I'll share how this story ends, but first let's talk about what you need to look for in a good cleanser.
Surfactants break down the dirt and oils on your skin but they also break down the lipids that make up your skin barrier. An easy way to know if your cleanser is too harsh is to take note if your skin is left feeling tight and dry after a wash.
One ingredient to especially avoid is Sodium Lauryl Sulfate.
You can also check the ingredients listed on your cleanser using this website : https://www.skincarisma.com/ingredient-analyzer
Is your cleanser PH balanced? Cleansers with a high PH disrupt the acid mantle of our barrier by breaking down the ceramides that hold skin cells together leading to dry, itchy, sometimes oily skin.
Soap based cleansers have a high PH. This includes bar soaps and cleansers made with castile soap.
At this point you may be a little flustered thinking that cleansers do more harm than good. I've been there! I was so frustrated when I found out that the cleanser I had been using was doing my skin a huge disservice.
Just keep this in mind.. Cleansing is essential to healthy skin.
We just need to pick a cleanser that will do good for our skin vs one that just gets the job done at the expense of our skin's health. Be mindful about what you are using on your skin and understand how you can create an optimal environment for it to glow.
HIGH OIL CONTENT
You will need a high oil content, a high oil content is a great indicator that a cleanser will leave your skin feeling nourished vs stripped.
I like to use botanical, cold pressed oils that are rich in fatty acids to help restore the skin barrier.
I always try to treat my skin gently, so I avoid using abrasive wash clothes and spinning brushes. In the past, I believed the harder I scrubbed, the cleaner my skin would be, and the healthier it would look. That theory did not pan out.
Gently lathering the cleanser in circles with your fingertips is sufficient enough to get the job done.
Although surfactants can break down the skin barrier, there are some simple ways to prevent lasting damage from occurring.
1. Prevent the cleanser from absorbing into the skin by rinsing immediately after you have lathered.
2. Ensure that it is completely removed. I like to flush my face several times and then pat it dry with a microfiber towel just to be sure.
HOW THE STORY ENDS
A few months later after working back and forth with a chemist, completing endless sample recipes, and finding the best possible combination of gentle & effective ingredient combinations, the Honey Calming Cleanser was completed.
There were so many times when I could have simplified this cleanser's formulating process or saved money by compromising on the ingredients, but after risking everything, removing my original cleanser from the shop, and dedicating hundreds of hours to this project, I wanted it to check every box.
This cleanser is a fragrance free skincare product that is also great for hormonal acne.
What makes this cleanser truly unique is how it starts out as a creamy honey consistency that emulsifies into a gentle lather leaving the skin feeling soft. Never tight and dry.
Made with one of the most innovative surfactants on the market: Sodium Surfactin. This surfactant makes up less than 1% of the final formula (Simply unheard of!) and it is extremely gentle and non irritating. It is among the great non toxic skincare ingredients that we use here at Lavender Meadows. It is also reef friendly.
Thank you for letting me share a part of my story with you. I hope that these tips help you along your skincare journey. Please reach out anytime if you have questions.
If you would like to try our cleanser SHOP HERE.
First pregnancies can be scary and the fear of birth paralyzing.
Instead of taking action, you’re overwhelmed. You can only hope that your healthcare provider will make the best decisions for you.
I wish I’d been better prepared but I didn’t know what I didn’t know. I felt like birth was just one of those miserable experiences women have to push through and endure.
Now that I’m in my third trimester expecting my second baby, I’m choosing to embrace birth with intention.
What I’m doing differently this time around:
Choosing a Natural Birth:
This felt scary at first, but I want a redemptive and peaceful birth. One where I have the autonomy to move my body into positions that support my baby’s efforts to enter the world.
Instead of letting fear take over, I’m absorbing as much information as possible. I’ve consulted with my midwife to craft my ideal birth plan. I’m also watching birth videos to get more comfortable with the experience.
I’m seeing a chiropractor to help me align my hips and back to help make the birth experience be more comfortable. I made sure to look for a chiropractor who is certified in the Webster technique to help ensure my baby is in optimal position for labor.
Pelvic Floor Specialist:
My pelvic floor specialist and I are preparing my body for birth. We’re doing exercises to learn how to relax certain muscles during delivery, strengthen my pelvic floor, and improve my postpartum recovery.
Postpartum Skin Care Products:
This time I’m not using the postpartum skin care products provided by the hospital. I didn’t know better the first time. I didn’t realize how many questionable ingredients were in those products that did nothing to support my healing process. Instead, I’ll be using my own products like the Boob Balm, Herbal Relief Body Mist, Lavender Soaking Salts, and Revitalize Postpartum Cream which I believe are the best postpartum skincare products. All of them can be found in my Postpartum Care Package.
I combine the stretching technique with the Baby Cheeks Barrier Oil to reduce my chances of tearing. The oils help the skin to become more elastic and the stretching helps the skin become more flexible. It also teaches you to release tension during intensity and allow your body to expand.
I’m incorporating strength workouts to reduce the aches and pains I felt during my first pregnancy. By working out at least twice a week I have almost completely eliminated back pain, sciatic pain, and abdominal pinching. I have been doing the Bodi Barre Prenatal workouts and absolutely love them!!
Pregnancy hormones like Relaxin cause the skin to be less firm and often lead to stretch marks and cellulite. I have been strengthening my skin’s elasticity throughout pregnancy with our postpartum belly cream: the Revitalize Postpartum Cream. It contains Lupin extract that produces type I Collagen and increases skin elasticity and firmness. I have no stretch marks. The cellulite on my legs that I had at the beginning of my pregnancy has all but disappeared.
Strengthening My Faith:
Even though I’m doing everything in my power to prepare my body and mind for birth, there is still a whisper of fear in me. I’m strengthening my connection with God to replace that fear with faith. Believing in the knowledge that I was built for birth and that I can trust in Him for strength.
Preparing and planning for birth has felt like an extra full-time job. But, I feel so excited.
I hope this empowers you to decide and take charge of your baby’s birth and motherhood journey.
I'd love to hear what you've been doing to prepare for your birth? Comment below!