Recommendations, resources, or whatever you want to call it: these are all things that I love and so do Love Vitamin readers!
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Lots of love,
Natural Skin Care
I highly recommend using smooth, raw, unpasteurized honey as a face wash! It’s gentle, natural, and full of healing enzymes. Always get the creamed kind, otherwise the honey will be too grainy and abrasive. Any kind from a local health food store should do, or here is a good one from Amazon.
Although I recommend starting out with regular honey, there is also a special kind of honey from New Zealand called Manuka Honey with astounding healing properties for skin and combating acne. Read my article about why Manuka honey is so special for treating acne. The best quality brands I recommend include: Manuka Health New Zealand, Natural Solutions East Cape, Haddrell’s of Cambridge, Comvita
Despite it being completely counter-intuitive, oils are hands down the absolutely best thing you can possibly moisturize your skin with in order to treat acne and skin imbalances. If you have oily skin, they can be used to trick your pores into thinking they are already saturated with oil and therefore that they do not need to overproduce. And they unclog pores like a dream!
Argan oil is a great all-around oil and is the one I currently use and love, but it really depends on your skin type. If you have very oily skin, hemp seed oil, or jojoba oil might be better. Click here to read my article on moisturizing with oils and choosing the right oil for your skin type.
Also, click here for how to use oils to remove makeup naturally.
Aloe vera is very soothing and great for healing red marks left by acne. I personally like to mix it with my argan oil, as in my DIY anti-acne anti-aging moisturizer recipe. It brings hydration (ie. moisture) into the skin, and the oil then locks that moisture in.
Make sure you choose a quality brand of aloe vera with 99% or more aloe vera and very few preservatives. The typical ones from the drug store won’t cut it. My absolute favourite is Green Leaf Naturals.
I do not recommend any manual exfoliation (ie. rubbing or scrubbing) of the skin if you have acne or other skin imbalances. However, I do recommend enzyme exfoliation with fruit enzymes, such as papaya powder. Mix this with water or organic apple cider vinegar to use as a mask every three or four days to heal your skin, unclog your pores, and re-train it to regenerate, exfoliate, and glow on its own again.
Read my article on papaya enzymes for full background and instructions!
PS – For Canadians or other non-US peeps, papaya powder can be hard to find. This one will ship to Canada and hopefully other countries as well.
While it can be difficult to get rid of deep or rolling acne scars without expensive procedures, there may be hope with MSM – a sulphur based natural supplement. A Love Vitamin reader, Tamar, has had amazing results getting rid of her deep acne scars using MSM cream, and so have many others after she recommended it to my blog via a guest post.
However, the cream she used had some other questionable ingredients in addition to the MSM so I highly recommend making your own MSM gel by buying MSM on its own and mixing it into aloe vera, or right into your oil / aloe moisturizer mix like I do. You can also take it internally if you wish for added results.
Essential oils are another thing that I like to use in my skin care. There are a ton of different oils to choose from, and you can add them right into your moisturizer oil (such as argan oil) for added skin healing benefits. Two of my favourites are frankincense and lavender.
Caution though! Using essential oils correctly is very important so please read my article on them first before trying them out.
One last thing I like to add into my DIY moisturizer mix is niacinamide, also known as Vitamin B3 powder. This natural vitamin is a strong anti-oxidant which protects your skin’s oil from oxidizing, which makes it sticky and pore clogging. It also helps with anti-aging, and has a ton of studies under its belt that show direct acne reduction benefits.
Click here to read my article on niacinamide and get more info on this awesome anti-acne ingredient.
One thing I highly recommend if you want healthy skin in the long run is to switch to a natural acne-friendly makeup. They aren’t that easy to come by but I’ve done some serious research about what should be avoided and why, and I’ve compiled an entire list of healthier options for you to try.
On my skin, I personally only use a powder concealer as a spot coverage. It’s a DIY recipe that I made up from pearl powder, zinc oxide, arrowroot powder, iron oxides and some argan oil. Recipe to come soon! Oh and I use Juice Beauty’s phyto-pigments concealer under my eyes, as a cream is much better than powder there.
Good facial sunscreens are very hard to come by, but this sunscreen has by far the best acne safe ingredients I have ever seen! This is what I currently use on my face on days I am going to be out in the sun for more than a half hour at a time, but it’s perfectly safe to use every day as well.
Click here to read my full review of this product!
Dr. Bronner’s organic castille soaps are the bomb. I use this as body wash and as a shaving “cream”. Not only that but I use it to clean my house AND it can be used as a natural laundry detergent too!
Note that this 32 oz bottle is massive and lasts forever!
I’ve used a natural tea tree deodorant for years, similar to the one linked.
However, I recently just switched to a DIY magnesium based deodorant (kind of like this), and it’s honestly the best deodorant I’ve ever used. Not only does it really work, what’s even better is that you get a hit of magnesium every time you use it. Magnesium is an important mineral for stress and hormones, and one that most people don’t have enough of! Recipe for my DIY deodorant to come.
Switching to a natural, fluoride free toothpaste is a good idea as some people have trouble with the fluoride causing acne around their mouths. I have tried tons of different natural toothpastes and this one from Green Beaver is by FAR my favourite. I love the green apple flavour!
I’m currently using a natural brand of shampoo called Acure! I use the volumizing one and think it works great. Obviously your hair care needs may be different than mine, but luckily they have a whole range of shampoos, conditioners, and hair care products to choose from!
Remember that when you switch over to natural shampoo, you might find your hair seems oilier at first. There is an adjustment period of a few weeks, but it’s worth it! Your hair will look so much better after you ditch the drying, harsh shampoos!
Most conventional dry shampoo is full of nasty chemicals and is kind of expensive. I use plain ol’ tapioca starch as dry shampoo (although you could use any starch, like arrowroot or corn) and it works like a charm! I love it! I actually think my hair looks better on dry shampoo days than on the days I actually wash it.
To use it, I put the starch in a small wide mouth mason jar and dip a kabuki brush in it and then brush it over my hair. I then shake any excess out of my hair with my fingers, and voila! Commence looking fabulous!
I couldn’t imagine having my period without my trusty ‘cup’. It has no toxins in it, it’s better for your health, it’s better for the environment, and it’s far more convenient than tampons or pads. It’s also much more cost effective! I’ve had mine for literally ten years, so you do the math!
Supplements for Acne
Estroblock is like my dream come true as far as hormonal acne goes, and by far my personal fave supplement of all time. It is the thing that finally got rid of my last bit of acne (mild hormonal acne around my chin), and allows me to stay totally clear 99% of the time with little effort beyond a basic healthy lifestyle. I can’t say it enough that I LOVE this supplement. Great for females battling the dreaded hormonal breakouts that won’t budge.
Thorne SAT Liver Support is my second fave… it’s a quality supplement full of herbs that support liver detoxification. Your liver is super important to filtering your body’s hormones and toxins so that they don’t show up on your skin in acne form. I personally take this in order to make my other supplements work better and consider it like the partner in crime to Estroblock. Just one a day for a little boost!
Read the article in which I talk about supporting the liver for clear skin.
Zinc picolinate is more of a recent addition to my personal supplement repertoire, but it’s one that seems to have stuck, and I now take it every day along with my Estroblock and Thorne SAT. Zinc has an incredible amount of studies behind its use as an effective acne treatment, and if you have acne, it’s honestly worth giving it a shot! Especially since it’s a rather inexpensive supplement.
For the ins and outs of zinc supplementation, check out my zinc and acne article here.
Digestive and gut health is hugely important to having a healthy body and clear skin. Our guts are full of bacteria, good and bad, and most people have some serious gut flora issues due to antibiotics, birth control pills, and other things that kill the good guys. Probiotics will help!
I mostly take Natural Factors probiotics these days because they’re convenient for me to buy, but brands of probiotics I’ve used in the past and recommend include BioKult (no refrigeration required), Bio-K, Primal Defense (no refrigeration required), Prescript Assist (no refrigeration required), HMF. Also check out my 7 Day Candida Cleanse Challenge!
This supplement kicks ass as far as an all around supplement that will replace half your vitamin cabinet and also help you have gorgeous skin. Packed full of Vitamin A, D, K, Omega 3s, and other nutrients your skin loves. Butter oil helps the cod liver oil be 10X as effective. I admit to being kind of slack on taking this regularly nowadays, but it makes a difference when I do.
Read the article in which I talk about why this supplement is so awesome.
Food & Kitchen
Wonderful website for finding local farms in your area that supply safe, healthy and nutritious pastured animals, dairy, eggs, and other wild edibles.
Coffee is okay for a treat, but relying on the caffeine as a daily thing to keep you functioning can have some pretty serious consequences for your health and skin. If you truly love your coffee, consider trying an herbal alternative such as Teeccino as your daily go-to. I think it’s pretty darn tasty! They have all kinds of flavours; I have tried and quite enjoy the vanilla nut and hazelnuts flavours.
Do you like making green smoothies and other blender recipes? Do you find it frustrating when cheap blenders leave your mixture all chunky and far from smooth? I know I do! And even if I did find a cheap blender that blended alright, it would always break after 6 months and I’d have to keep buying new ones!
I finally upgraded and now I use Omniblender, which is a quality high speed blender at a mid range price (ie. half as expensive as the crème de la crop Vitamix Blender). Anyway, it works great and I’m very happy with it!
Whey protein is a huge acne causer, and many of my readers have asked me what I recommend for a protein powder or whole foods supplement powder that they can add to green smoothies. Well my answer to that is Vega products.
I used Vega for a while way back when, but stopped only due to expense. However, if you are looking for this type of product, I highly recommend them! Their products are dairy free, gluten free, soy free, and packed full of good stuff that can definitely boost your health and skin.
In my opinion, coconut oil is a very healthy fat to consume in your diet, and absolutely the best fat to cook with because it is so stable and heat resistant. Although I don’t recommend using it externally if you have acne, using coconut oil internally has so many health benefits!
Read my article about coconut oil. For the best deal on quality brands of coconut oil to cook with, I recommend big tubs of these guys: Omega Nutrition, Tropical Traditions, Wilderness Family Naturals
What doesn’t taste better with butter? Well believe it or not (seriously, forget all that mainstream propaganda about it), butter is actually good for you if it comes from cows which were fed their natural diet of grass. Kerrygold is a brand of butter that is grass fed and widely available in many grocery stores. TASTES SO GOOD!
Read my article about why butter is good for you!
Books, Blogs, & Courses
Skin Deep is a free ebook written by psycho-dermatologist Ted Grossbart. It’s all about how hidden emotions and patterns can be what is causing our skin to break out. Our skin, after all, is extremely sensitive to stress and emotions. The book helps you to work out exactly what’s going on under the surface and move past it. This is an AMAZING resource (and it’s FREE!!)
Read my article in which I talk about what your skin may be trying to tell you.
If you have trouble with chronic skin picking, or just have a tendency to pop all your pimples (and don’t realize that it may be causing you to get way more acne than you would otherwise), you need to read through the free site StopPickingOnMe.com. It will definitely give you the help you need, or a reality check on what you are doing to your skin. I know it really opened my eyes.
Note: The Stop Picking On Me website seems to currently be in disarray, but I’ve contacted the author and have been assured the information will be returning soon
Due to the onslaught of media and advertisements in our society, women are being told that the very most important thing about them is how they look, not their talents, kindness, or achievements. This is leading to a pandemic of body hate, shame, and women and girls cutting themselves short from their dreams. Beauty redefined challenges this and shows women that there are much more important things about them than looking hot. This website totally rocks.
Read the article where I talk about how women are constantly being degraded in our society
This ebook/program is very helpful if you have acne due to PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome), or suspect that you might, and aren’t getting the help you need from a doctor. The author, Stefani Ruper, explains the wide variety of causes and types of PCOS, and provides a simple, natural cure for every unique woman.
Read my article in which I talk about PCOS.
I personally like to do a fair bit of yoga at home, rather than heading to expensive classes. One of my favourite resources is Yoga with Adriene’s free yoga videos on youtube, especially if you’re new to yoga. Adriene’s yoga is gentle and she’s also super dorky, meaning she’s about as un-intimidating a yoga teacher as you can get!
Although I’ve shared with you on this page all the beauty and hygiene products that I personally use, you may use other things in your routine that I didn’t give you a direct alternative for. That’s where this book comes in! It’s an extremely comprehensive bible of clean cosmetic suggestions for everything from hair dye to self tanner. The authors also have a fun blog of the same name.
Something to note though is that you should still consider my advice over theirs for what you will put directly on your acne prone areas (ie. facial makeup, face wash, moisturizer etc). Just because something has non-harmful ingredients, doesn’t mean that all non-harmful ingredients are great for acne in particular. However, the book is fantastic for all those other products you put on your body and in your hair!
Check out my article where I talk about this book: How Your Beauty Products Are Making You Sick and Acne Prone
Also read my article ‘How I Eased my Anxiety and Avoided a Full On Panic Disorder‘
Loved this book. The author discusses how far removed we are from the simple, sustainable joy that comes from living close to the land and the people we love. Salatin has many thoughts on what normal is and shares practical and philosophical ideas for changing our lives in small ways that have big impact on our planet, food system, and happiness.
This is an extremely life-changing book that I recommend everyone read. It’s a ‘guide to spiritual enlightenment’ in which the author, Eckhart Tolle, speaks about the profound power of being in the present moment. It’s easy to read (unlike many books of this genre) and leaves a really strong imprint on you. This is a best seller for a reason!
Watch the video where I talk about the Power of Now.
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Some of these are affiliate links, meaning I get a small commission if you purchase something through the link. However, I absolutely do not endorse products that I have not personally used and enjoyed. All recommendations and related affiliate links that you see on this page and blog are products that I use and trust and have no qualms about endorsing! Thanks for supporting The Love Vitamin and allowing me to continue supporting you in your blessed journey 🙂
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