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Thing of Beauty

How to DIY (and Eat) Your Way to Drama-Free Skin Like a Pro

Thing of Beauty BY courtney conway 06/13/2017

 

Micaela Hoo has been battling eczema her whole life. “I remember going to preschool with my hands wrapped in bandages. I would be constantly scratching and would just end up bleeding—it was really such a mess,” she recalls. Though Micaela tried every prescription her doctor gave her, it wasn’t until her late teens that she finally found relief by tooling around her eating habits and creating salves with her mom, Dawn Marie—potions that eventually became a line of soothing, smoothing, plant-oil-based body butters, called Drifter Organics. If you too are looking to take matters into your own hands with any skin flare-ups, let her point you in the right direction.

 

LOOK BEYOND THE USUAL SUSPECTS

“I wanted to fix the problem at the root, so I saw a nutritionist when my eczema really started acting up again a few years ago. I was diagnosed with leaky gut syndrome, which is when you’re intolerant to a food but the symptoms don’t make you immediately physically ill like an allergy. So you keep eating them, and over time, they begin to wear holes in your intestines. Because of this, I had to be aware of not only what I ate but also what I put on my skin. People don’t realize that whatever you slather on your skin, your skin is absorbing it, which then goes straight to your bloodstream. If you wouldn't eat a chemical, then why would you put it on your skin? Everyone’s issues are different, but don’t give up on finding a solution you haven’t considered yet.” 

 

DO YOUR OWN RESEARCH

The Environmental Working Group has an app called Skin Deep, which is a really good catalog of all these different personal-care products. You can either scan the product or manually type in the name, and it will give a rating on how safe it is to use. A good book to read is called Skin Cleanse by Adina Grigore, the founder of S.W. Basics [Ed. note: We’re huge fans!]. Also, Mountain Rose Herbs is a great place to get a lot of ingredients for your own DIYs, and they have a lot of great info about the products they sell.”

 

CHECK THE RECEIPTS ON THE LABEL CLAIMS

“The FDA in the United States doesn’t regulate any skincare products, so pretty much any company can say they’re natural and not get fined—it’s a very unregulated term that doesn’t really mean anything anymore. Same thing with organic, except for certified organic. It’s not a perfect system, but looking for that is your safest bet.”

 

LOOK BEYOND THE BEAUTY AISLE

“Don’t be afraid to start out in your pantry. When I started getting into natural beauty, I had no idea olive oil could be great for your skin. Some people think quality skin stuff has to be super fancy or expensive, but you can really just use the oils that you use to cook with, like coconut and avocado oil.”

 

SEEK OUT NATURAL ALTERNATIVES TO YOUR FAVES

“My skin is really dry, so my mom and I wanted to start out with something that was really good and thick. I was a notorious user of Vaseline, especially on my heels and my feet. Petroleum, the main ingredient, is not great for you in the long run, so our original goal was to find something to mimic that creamy barrier. We found out that shea butter is really great because it’s a very deep-penetrating and protecting ingredient. Focusing on something like a texture you like can help you narrow down your options when trying to find a new natural version of your go-to thing.”

 

 

OILS CAN BE ESSENTIAL—BUT PROCEED WITH CAUTION

“Essential oils are really good for treating damaged, irritated, or dry skin. You do have to be careful, though, because a lot of them are super potent. Definitely do your research and test a skin patch before trying anything. But in general, chamomile is really gentle and benign for mostly all skin types and is a good one to start out with. We use it in our original Blushing Ambition butter!”

 

KNOW THAT IT TAKES TIME

“I started seeing results within a month, but in reality I’m still working through it. It really is a long haul! I’m 23 now, and for the first 20 years of my life, I was using stuff that my body didn’t agree with—so it’s going to take awhile to completely detox. Be patient and gentle with yourself!”

 

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