Monday, August 24, 2015

My somewhat routine beauty routine

I received most of these items in exchange for an honest review. The face wash my boyfriend purchased for me.

I have to laugh at myself a bit here. One of the really difficult things about being in chronic pain is just adapting to any kind of routine and sticking with it. So often I find myself trying to stick to routines, but then I get sick or I'm just having a really high pain day and so the routine goes out the window. Since I'm a homemaker and my schedule typically revolves around whatever schedule my boyfriend works, it's even more difficult when he's off work or changes jobs, whatever. If he's home, for whatever reason I just tend to relax and forget about any kind of routine. That's not exactly helpful when it comes to maintaining an exercise routine, which is one of the things I'm right in the middle of doing right now: trying to balance out his new work schedule with my work, getting back to exercising again after taking a few months off due to a leg injury, getting used to the idea of starting to volunteer at my local senior center soon, and trying to ignore the growing feeling in my chest that I'm coming down with bronchitis (yeah, volunteering may have to wait if I don't get better soon!) All of that, all at once, while dealing with my usual chronic pain is, quite frankly, exhausting. So I'm doing my best to take care of myself, and today I will be sharing with you a few of the tools I've picked up to help myself do that.

This is going to be a long post :D

Here is what my morning looks like: wake up about 4 am, make coffee and wakeup. After Mike leaves for work, I exercise, do dishes and whatever cleaning needs to be done. 7 am I feed the pets, and usually myself. After the cleaning, cooking, etc. is done I have the rest of the day to myself to blog, work on genealogy, whatever, until I have to start thinking about making supper. None of that is really relative to the subject at hand though. This is the morning beauty routine I'm working on getting myself used to:

1. wash face using Lather ultra mild face wash
2. rinse and massage face using Konjac sponge
3. dry face and apply jojoba oil

I want to talk about each of these products for just a moment. The Lather face wash I received as part of my first Ipsy bag. I'm not really crazy about the scent, but it lathers well and seems to do the job so what else can I say? The only thing I don't like about this soap is because it's in a sample size bottle, the bottle itself is really thick plastic which I've found impossible to squeeze! I just take the cap off to pour the soap into my hand which usually means I get too much out at a time.

My Konjac Sponge

MY Konjac Sponge is the highest quality konjac sponge in the market. Our products are proudly carried by Whole Foods Market, King's Food Market and major online retailers.

MY Konjac Sponge are made exclusively with the konjac fiber, a pure vegetable fiber taken from the root of the Amorphophallus Konjac plant.
Konjac plant, also known as konnyaku potato or elephant yam, is a plant that is native to eastern Asia.
Konjac root is rich in minerals, vitamins, and it has been traditionally used as a beauty treatment for a long time in eastern Asia.

MY Konjac Sponge is made to the very highest of standards, using the purest volcanic rock filtered water and food grade konjac. All of our products are hypoallergenic & fragrance free.

All of our products are never tested on animals, and they carry the Vegan Society logo as well as Leaping Bunny logo, the highest standard of cruelty-free status in the cosmetics industry. 

I kept seeing these sponges everywhere online so I was excited to get the chance to try it. The texture of my Konjac sponge reminds me a little bit of Styrofoam when dry, which I found to be a bit weird. I had read that these sponges normally have to soak in water for about 15 minutes when you first use them. I was delighted to find I only had to run this one under water for about 30 seconds before it began to soften. It works well, and I like that it comes on a string (which is a bit cheap but it does the job.) You're supposed to store this in a dry place, but it's so humid here this really isn't an option for me so my sponge never fully dries after I use it so I haven't had to really "soak" it again at all. This sponge is supposed to last about 3 months so I haven't been using it long enough for it to degrade. With two weeks of use, it still seems brand new. This particular sponge is made with charcoal and I can't say whether or not I've noticed any effect this has had on my skin. It did seem like I started breaking out a bit more once I started using this, so I think the sponge brought out some of the nasties temporarily before my skin began to clear.

You can find out more about My Konjac sponges here or you can purchase one for yourself on Amazon. This one is $10 and qualifies for free shipping on orders of $35 or more. My Konjac sponges also come in green, red, and pink clay sponges as well as full body sponges.

Deluxe Botanicals Certified Organic Jojoba Oil

The Hidden Secret to Naturally Luscious, Healthy, and Hydrated, Skin and Hair.Deluxe Botanicals Organic Jojoba Oil for Naturally Healthy Skin and Hair, 4 Fl. Oz.

- Superior Quality Certified Organic Golden Jojoba Oil, originating from the best available seeds.
- Lab Tested to ensure 100% Purity and Undiluted with Nothing added or taken Away
- Cold-Pressed lightly, to optimize quality, not to maximize yields.

With the constant torture your hair and skin goes through you're in need of a gentle alternative restore your hair and skins beauty naturally.

- ALL PURPOSE USE - Jojoba oil can be used as a Face Moisturizer, Hair Conditioner, Facial Cleanser, Makeup Remover, Body Lotion, and so much more.

- HEALTHIER, HYDRATED SKIN AND HAIR - Our Organic Golden Jojoba contains almost all of the essential vitamins and minerals like, Vitamin E, B-Complex, Copper, Zinc, Selenium, Iodine, and Chromium all which aid in healthier skin and hair.

- GREAT FOR DRY AND SENSITIVE SKIN - Because our 100% Pure Jojoba oil mimics the natural oils our skin produces, it is gentle enough to be used on sensitive skin without causing your skin to overdo it.

- HIGHEST QUALITY OILS IN THE USA - We pride ourselves on providing consumers with the highest quality products on the market. Each product goes through a strict screening process to ensure only superior quality. 

I like to add some moisturizer to my face after washing it because soap just always dries my skin out so much. According to the directions, this oil can be used as a cleanser by applying a few drops and then rinsing it off with warm water, then adding a few more drops to be used as a moisturizer. It can also be used as a makeup remover and as a hair conditioner. I haven't used it in either of these ways yet, but I've been very happy with this oil as a moisturizer. It's left my skin feeling very soft, but best of all it has helped my chronically chapped lips heal. I've tried just about everything I can think of to treat my chapped lips, and this is the first thing which has seemed to really help. It's even worked better than coconut oil, which is supposed to be a go to oil for chapped lips. I've also used this oil a few times as a carrier oil, which worked well. 

At four fluid ounces, the bottle is a nice size, and I am happy this oil comes with an eye dropper. Further, I like that this is 100% organic, chemical free, comes from the USA and is not tested like animals.

Deluxe Botanicals Jojoba Oil can be purchased on for $12.97 for a 4 fluid ounce bottle. 

My evening routine looks quite similar with a few key differences:
1. spa home facial steamer
2. rinse with cold water
3. use My Konjac sponge
4. dry face, apply Jojoba oil

Spa Home Facial Steamer with essential oil

The Spa Home Facial Steamer is our latest addition blending science and technology of skincare rejuvenation while removing dirt and grime from your pores. Using powerful steam generated from our steamer, in just 1 minute you will feel a warm wisp of steam coming from the included funnel to hydrate your face to open up the pores.
Includes a bottle of Frankincense and Myrhh essential oil the 2 most sought out for their anti-aging and antibacterial properties. Frankincense is used in skincare for aging and dry skin, also improves fade stretch marks and scars.
Myrhh oil is made from Monoterpenese a material known for relieving pain and stiffness, also mild antiseptics. The oil is anti-infammatory, an expectorant & antispasmodic making it useful for breaking up mucus, coughs, bronchitis and colds. Along with the facial steamer when absorbed through the skin it helps disinfect bacteria and improve the growth of acne.
The facial steamer has 2 levels of power, low and high to adjust to your needs.

First of all, let me take about packaging. This facial steamer arrived in the manufacturers box, wrapped in very light brown paper. That translates to a very banged up box which you can see from my picture.

 I was excited to try this because it comes with frankincense and myrrh. However, I didn't realize it was one bottle of the oils combined together, not that it really matters much but I was expecting two bottles. I was very disappointed because the bottle I received was just over half full! I find that completely ridiculous and I would have been quite upset if I had paid for this product. The bottle claims to be 20 mL so you don't get very much, but it does seem to be fairly good quality oil and it did work well.

Edit: I was offered a replacement bottle by the company.

Moving on, I had never used a facial steamer before so I spent about half an hour trying to figure out what the spare piece was. The directions which came with this were absolutely no help whatsoever, but after watching a few YouTube reviews I learned it is apparently a nose piece which I guess you just place inside the steamer and rest your nose in to focus the steam there. This product was made in China, so let's just say the directions are not the best.

To be honest, I found the concept of placing my face over a thing of boiling water mixed with oil to be scary at first. You hear so many things about product accidents and whatnot, but after a few times of using this I got used to it. This steamer has two heat settings, low and high. I found the low setting to almost be too hot. Hopefully once I use it more, I'll get used to the temperature a bit. This does work very well on clearing out the sinuses. I found after I used this, my eyes and nose were runny and I had to grab a tissue. Also, after the first use I did have an outbreak of acne but after that first use my skin seemed to begin to clear up.

I'm grateful to have this on hand at the moment since I do have a sinus infection and whatever other funk is going on with my body. This definitely helps. So despite the few problems I had with this product, I am very satisfied with it.

The Spa Home Facial Steamer is available on Amazon for $36.22 and shipping is free.

As one short last worthy mention, I want to briefly talk about Health Shield essential oil from Healing Solutions.

I've been using this oil to treat my sinus infection and whatnot, and I did use it in the steamer as well. The scent is very strong, so much that yes my cat hates it and runs away from me when I have it on me. This oil contains cinnamon, clove, eucalyptus, lemon and rosemary. It is supposed to be comparable to Thieves oil by Young Living, which I just happen to own. The base oils do appear to be the same, just in different portions I would assume. My Thieves oil is a few years old, so I can't really compare the two but the Health Shield is definitely a stronger scent but that's probably because my Thieves oil is so much older. This oil works well, so I'm happy with it.

Health Shield is available on for $9.99 and is available for free shipping on orders of $35 or more, and it is also available as part of a subscription service at a lower price.

Whew that was a long post and if you read it all, thank you very much! I think you deserve a virtual cookie :) I'll be back later this week with more product reviews, I'm sure. As always, thanks for reading!

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