Friday Round Up 8.18.17

(On Sunday, because, you know)

Welcome to Friday Roundup, where I share relevant things that came across my Internet during the past week, with you, my deserving and glorious readers. This series is inspired by Autostraddle's "Saw This, Thought of You" segment that is very worth reading too.

Commentary: 

Politics + the Environment:

Femme-shit:

  • When I was in Puerto Rico during the full moon, my friends and I did a cleansing ceremony in the ocean. One of the things I let go of during this witchy-time was neglecting my hair. Since then I have:
  • -Religiously been washing my hair only twice a week, Sunday and Wednesday
  • -Using new products including Maui Moisture Curl Quench ShampooNot Your Mother's Beach Babe Conditioner, and Carol's Daughter Hair Milk. I have mostly good feelings about all three. I could do a full review if you like. 
  • My next step is to start doing protein treatments to restore my natural curls which have taken a beating from bleaching and improper care. I'm starting with #2 on this list because I have the avocado and egg on hand, but I need more hair protein treatment suggestions! 

Help Me Out:
a new end segment on this series where I tell you what I'm clueless about and seek even more advice than usual

  • I need advice on deciding if I really truly want to go to law school. Is there a magical quiz somewhere? 
  • I've now been denied for a car lease and an auto loan from my credit union because I don't have a cosigner--but I really need a car for work. I have no savings so I can't just buy one. What do I do? 

Things I Do to Do Things

...even in the midst of a severe depressive episode

1.       Accept that I’m not leaving my bed. Once I stop fighting myself to the impossible task of getting up, I stop wasting a ton of energy and can redirect.

2.       To done lists. Instead of writing what I need to get done, I write what I have done in the last day or so. When I’m severely depressed, this often looks like, “woke up, drank water, fed Andrea (my rabbit).” Which isn’t much by any standard, but I get points for what I do. Full stop.

3.       Bribes. Sometimes I’ll bribe myself with a television show or a dollar to get tasks done. My mom was really against bribing her children, but hey, I need the external discipline.

4.       Watching YouTubers who hustle really hard. This is one that I can only do sometimes—at times it can be really inspiring and joyous, but at other times I just get really jealous and sad. So be careful with this one.

5.       Being honest about my limits. I don’t push myself when I’m not functioning because even though that might mean I get less done, it means that I will overall be making myself better. I stop when I feel like stopping. A lot of people have told me I’m lazy for this, but I know myself and I know my body. When I push past what I was actually able to do, I’m only digging the whole deeper for myself down the road.

6.       Eating chocolate and drinking tea.

7.       Cuddling my rabbit.

8.       Forcing myself to not be a perfectionist, to not critique what it is that I’m managing by with, to go with the flow and stop needing things to be what they are not going to be in whatever moment this is.

9.       Try to stretch. I’ll sit up in bed for a few minutes and roll my shoulders, reach down to my toes, turn my head. Nothing fancy, but everything counts and it gets to go on the to-done list.

10.   Being proud of myself for what does happen and not (or trying not to) beating myself up for everything stacking up and falling through the cracks.

11.   Because I experience intense escapist fantasies, brainstorming in my journals and planners feels really good and productive. Even if I never do the things I doodle, I feel accomplished for being able to dream them.

12.   Looking back on past journal dreamings and seeing if there’s little tiny tasks I can do—from my bed!—towards those goals. Like sending an email, catching up on the texts I’ve been ignoring, or writing a blog post.

13.   Remembering that I am whole and valuable just for existing. Not for what I do, what I produce, or what I offer others. Just for breathing and being. I am worthy.

Summer Skin

Hello there dear reader, welcome back to my corner of the Internet! As we get nearer to the dog days of summer and the temperatures rise, I thought now would be a good time to check in about skincare. For a long time I was a ‘soap and go’ kind of gal, but a couple years ago I began using the oil cleansing method (OCM). When I’m being consistent I do that, and in interspersed periods I go back to whatever soap happens to be in the shower. It has only been recently that I have discovered reddit’s Skincare Addiction and gotten invested—financially, emotionally, and spiritually—in my day-to-day skincare routine. I even discovered the now infamous skin gritting method, which I tried and is now the focus point of this blog.

First, let me clarify where my skin is at: I typically have oily combination skin where my T-zone is everslick but my undereyes and top of cheeks look patchy dry under concealer. Also, because of my genetics, my pores are extremely large and my sebaceous filaments are mighty. I have pretty strong red undertones and, because I have anxiety-related sleep disorders, I also have semi-permanent purple-grey undereyes. None of these are bad things, just facts of my face.

Combine this with the heat and resulting sweat of summer and my skincare needs change during this season. I don’t like wearing a ton of makeup in the summer months because I find I just sweat it off. And if I’m going to be naked bareface each day, I want that look to be best as possible. Usually that means multiple daily applications of pure witch hazel, which I highly recommend. But after reading Skincare Addiction’s, I decided to try the aforementioned skin gritting method.

If you haven’t heard, skin gritting is supposed to be a three-step process to remove dirt, clogged pores, and blackheads from your skin. Dermatologists generally say it’s safe as long as you don’t have sensitive skin, but they also think it’s debatable if the method does what it’s supposed to. In theory, by skin gritting, you should be able to easily remove the contents of your pores—those filled yellow-green/brown/orange sebaceous filaments and all the dirt that goes along with them—by having them just slide out of your pores when rubbing with oil. It’s not permanent, obviously your pores will re-gunkify over time, but it does provide a cleansed fresh face in the meantime.

So I tried the grit cleansing technique! I will say that my pores did not pop out their contents so that was a bit of a let-down, but honestly I hadn’t totally fallen for the hype in the first place. I do think it reduced the size of my pores and my face felt incredible afterwards, so all in all worth it.

 

Read on for Skin Gritting steps and photographs documenting my first-try!

The Before photo. You can see my eyebags, enlarged pores that have taken on a green/grey color, and my unkempt brows. 

The Before photo. You can see my eyebags, enlarged pores that have taken on a green/grey color, and my unkempt brows. 

Step 1: Cleanse your skin with a BHA. I used a Spearment Tea Oily Skin Cleanser with a 2% salicylic acid content. See the end of this post for my entire product list and costs.

Me with spearmint cleansing mask on! Instructions had me leave it for ten minutes. It felt tingly cool with no pinching. 

Me with spearmint cleansing mask on! Instructions had me leave it for ten minutes. It felt tingly cool with no pinching. 

Step 2: Do a clay mask. I used my all-time favorite Indian Healing Springs clay mask mixed with apple cider vinegar. I do think this company’s name is appropriative, so while I buy the product because it is what I can afford, I also write the company asking if they have a tribal connection, and if not, that they pay a reparation and change their name.

This mask gets TIGHT which is part of why I love it. The more time it's on my face, the more I can feel it really pulling out my pores' contents. 

This mask gets TIGHT which is part of why I love it. The more time it's on my face, the more I can feel it really pulling out my pores' contents. 

Step 3: Use the oil cleansing method and be aggressive. For my oils I use 2/3 castor oil and 1/3 grapeseed oil. No picture for this part because oil all over face doesn't look anything special but oil all over my phone trying to take a selfie would have been a disaster. Plus, my fingers were busy furiously rubbing.

And once the oil was rinsed off…

The AFTER shot! You can see my pores are noticeably smaller and my skin looks smoother, fresher, and brighter. 

The AFTER shot! You can see my pores are noticeably smaller and my skin looks smoother, fresher, and brighter. 

So nothing popped out of my face and onto my hands with a pure-joy inducing ASMR sensation. But even though I didn’t get the results I wanted, I did get good results. And it felt really nice to do something kind for myself, specifically to my body, after essentially not leaving my bed all week or doing anything for my well-being. Physical pick-me-ups can go the length in helping our whole selves feel better. As I said in my 2017 post, I moisturize everything to soften all wounds. Knowing that my skin is clean helps my whole self feel rested and taken care of.

So, just to recap (or tl;dr if you just scrolled) the Skin Gritting Method was a so-so success and it involved the following product list and steps:

Product list:

  • Skin By Ann Webb’s Spearment Tea Oily Skin Cleanser, $15.99
  • Indian Healing Clay, $6.69
  • Bragg’s Unrefined Organic Apple Cider Vinegar, 16 oz, $3.43
  • Home Health Castor Oil, 16 oz, $7.48
  • Now Foods Grapeseed Oil, 4 ox, $4.99
allproducts (2).JPG

Steps:

·         Cleanse face with a BHA (containing 2% salicylic acid)

·         Use a clay mask

·         Apply oil using oil cleansing method

·         Rub aggressively with fingers

 

And if you end up trying it, or tweaking it to make it work for you, please let me know your routine and results! Are there other ways my fellow oily-skinned femmes are taking care during the hottest months? Products you’re absolutely loving? As always, let me know in the comments.