For as long as I can remember my skin has been a topic of conversation. As a child I had eczema so I was always being moisturized and more severe or infected areas were being treated with topical steroids and carefully crafted bandages. In the summer I was slathered in sunscreen and when it failed (it always did) I was usually very sunburned and peeling. The teenage years brought acne into the already dry and eczema mix and which was frustrating as all the treatments for acne seemed to exacerbate the eczema situation. Into my twenties the acne and eczema combination worsened and after my first big eczema flare in 2014 I simplified my skincare down to virtually ZERO products. I did UVB therapy 1-3x a week for almost two years so I have substantial “sun” damage on my face and all over. In the past four years I have simplified my beauty and skincare routine to the bare minimum and found that in the absence of products my skin and hair really seem to flourish on their own when left to their own devices… and when provided with fruits and vegetables. That element is clutch. Dairy and gluten lead to acne breakouts on my chin almost immediately. As if the eczema and gut health wasn’t a motivator enough to eat clean (it’s not, sometimes I really want cheese.), I get the bonus motivator of a zit-free chin.
The most fascinating thing about my eczema journey is really the way my soul morphed through it all. I was an average lady when it came to appearances. I didn’t wear a TON of make up, but I wore a lot to achieve a “natural” look. Which kind of makes me laugh, looking back. I was not okay going out without something on my face, even though my light mineral make up usually wore off pretty quickly. I’d always cover blemishes and those dark circles under my eyes (which didn’t exist because I slept SO much in my twenties), and leaving home without wearing mascara was not an option. When my eczema started worsening in 2014 I upped my make up game, covering as much as possible which definitely made it worse. After weeks of literally causing myself stinging, burning pain just to keep up appearances I really questioned myself WHY I continued to wear make up when literally it was just for other people to feel better about the way I looked. No one gave me sad looks or made comments if I covered up the sores. Is that a metaphor or what?
One of the core values of our church’s code is we do more by doing less and it has permeated every part of my life just about. Skincare included. By using less on my skin, less in my hair, less on my body I am overwhelmed with more. More confidence in who I am and not what I look like. More time to sleep in the mornings. More money in our budget to spend elsewhere. More life, less showering. Literally, MORE natural oils in my hair and on my skin which is an indicator of health. More fun, less worry about the long term effects of
Over the next few weeks I’ll be sharing my simplest of simple beauty and skincare routine and favorite products. Face toner, shampoo, make up remover… all kinds of stuff! Some are super crunchy (looking at you, Apple Cider Vinegar) and some you can buy at Target (hello, Eucerin baby eczema cream). Some are from Beautycounter (you can shop here: www.beautycounter.com/kelliechaney— I recommend checking out their Countermatch line) and some are from the grocery store. Less really is more! Let’s go!