Sunday, August 19, 2018

Why I Quit Using Soap And What I Use Instead!

I struggle with dry skin. Hitting my late 40's has not helped! I don't think my problem is an uncommon one, so I thought you might like to hear my story.

( And, if you are in a hurry just scroll to the bottom for my 7 point advice on how to help your dry skin. )

As most of you know I was in the hospital for two weeks after my spinal fusion. During this time I was not able to shower or bathe. Yes, that's right...yuck.

For those of you never lucky enough to have to go through something like this, let me explain... it's called a sponge bath. Nowadays, they have antimicrobial wipes, and yes, they resemble diaper wipes. Scrub down with a wipe and use dry shampoo, stick on a little deodorant and Viola, you're ready to go! So to speak. LOL.

What I didn't know that while a was staying as clean as I could, I wasn't exfoliating my skin with the normal routine of showering and living an active life. Also, I have very dry skin.  I'm a lotion freak! In a normal day, I apply lotion to my arms and legs after every shower and I obsess with hand lotion. But, in the hospital, lotion took a back seat to, well, everything else.

By the time I came home and could take a shower, my skin was a hot mess! Dead skin looked like scales on my legs.  Especially around my ankles. ( I know this is disgusting, sorry for those of you with a delicate constitution, but sometimes life is indelicate!)

I started by showering with my usual liquid soap and bath poof followed by, of course, my favorite body lotion. After a few days, I didn't see much improvement and I switched the poof for a exfoliating glove. Still no real improvement. I could tell I needed some crazy exfoliation intervention!

I decided that some sort of body scrub would be my next plan of action! I mean, my skin would actually hurt it was so dry. That's one less frustration that I could live without.  After pricing several luxury lines who made body scrubs, I left even more frustrated with the prices. I mean, I didn't even know if it would work! Then I decided to try swinging by Tuesday Morning and seeing what they had. This way I could do a little experimenting at a better price!

Sure enough, I found exactly what I was looking for! After looking through dozens, I decided to go with one that caught my eye with a small statement. "NO BAD STUFF"

The brand was Urban Hydration and they had several salt or sugar scrubs. Each one of them with a different plant with medicinal properties, coconut oil and Vit A, and Vit E. Since your skin is actually the largest organ in your body I tend to go for simple and natural if at all possible. I always wonder what toxins we are absorbing through our skin through lotions and cosmetics, but that's a subject for another day.

I started with a lime salt scrub. Nothing else. No soap! I just used a little plastic spoon to put a scoop in my hand and I just scrubbed. No puff, just my hand. The results were amazing. I finally found something that did the trick. After a couple of days, I could see that the results. Less dead flaky skin. After my shower I would pat dry and apple my favorite lotion,  Gold Bond CoQ10.

About soap....

So what do I mean by soap? Soap, basically is fat and salt. Most of us used to use a bar of soap and now we frequently think of liquid body wash.

The Technical Side...
Let's skip the technical jargon and just throw out this interesting fact..."the cleansing action of soap come from its unique ability to surround oil particles, causing them to be dispersed in water and easily rinsed away. (History Of Soap.)  In other words, every time you was with soap you are striping all of your natural oils in your skin. And then we throw artificial oils and chemicals on our skin to put the oil back. Hummmmm.

And, in case you are one of those people who think more is more when it comes to lather and suds, you might be wrong. Gasp! After reading many technical articles so you don't have to;-) it's unanimous that suds do not equal cleaning power! The suds come from the surfactants and they strip your body of its natural oils.  If you have dry skin avoid chemicals ammonium lauryl sulfate and sodium dodecyl sulfate (sodium laureth sulfate.) This is what makes the suds!

Instead look for a low suds cleanser. (In a broader scope this can apply to dishes and laundry.) Some of us recognize these in our facial cleanser, think Cetaphil. Or our HE washing machines-low sud detergent. 

Summery in a nut shell...

Okay so what I take away from this is soap strips oils from the body i.e. dryer skin. Maybe if you work as a mechanic or something of the equivalent you might need soap, but for most of us reading this article, we are just not that dirty.

  1.  Low sud body wash and face wash are the way to go. 
  2. Suds do not equal cleaning power. 
  3. Stay away from surfactants.
  4. Unless your really dirty, take it easy on your skin
  5. Never use real hot water to shower, warm is best
  6. Pat yourself dry do not scrub
  7. Invest in a healing lotion
So I hope some of this information was helpful! It's sounds silly but it has made my skin so much softer and smother. I don't have to rely on lotion as much and I feel better about my skin. Please let me know if you have any products that are your favorites! I would love to hear about them.

Happy Decorating!

Saturday, August 11, 2018

My Life and Blogging

Hi friends! It's been awhile...

Today I just wanted to share my thoughts on blogging and what has been going on in my life.
Blogging is more difficult than I thought!  I've taken time off from blogging and social media to reflect and research.  I think that was a terrible mistake. In researching other successful blogs, I found myself almost paralyzed to move forward. I think in the beginning I was so naive a to the world of blogging that it was  a good thing I didn't know what I was getting into!!!

Once you realize what you're really getting into you start having second thoughts. The best analogy that I can think of is having kids. LOL! If you only knew what you were getting into! But you can't think about the hundreds of poopie diapers, or the hours of sleep you will loose, or all the grey hair you will get, you just have to jump in and do it! One step at a time. And just like with kids, sometimes you have to just fumble your way through it.

And like kids, even though you didn't do everything perfectly, they usually turn out okay in the end and they are totally worth it.

In addition to hitting a wall with my blog I've also had several health problems that have limited my ability to get things done. I've had a spinal fusion that makes bending and even walking a challenge. Well, thank goodness, it seems that I'm over the hump with my back. The last two weeks I've had virtually no back pain! I've struggled with back pain my whole life due to being diagnosed with scoliosis at age 15. My spine was fused from L1-L4 when I was 15. Well, after so many years of an active life, (trying not to give away my age;-)  I needed to fuse L-4 thru S-1. I don't want to jinks myself but I'm actually wondering if I should have had the surgery years.ago!  I guess only time with tell. Keep your fingers crossed!

So, this is where I am now, I think I just need to just blog! It's not going to be perfect and it might take a while to find out what people want to hear most. In the blogging world they say to blog on one subject and get it perfect. Interior design is my passion so I've tried to run with it.  But who in this world is perfect? And what in this world is perfect?

Perfection is a real struggle for me. I feel everything needs to be perfect most of the time.  From decorating my house or struggling with weight gain from surgery to obsessing over my photos for Instagram! In the real world of blogging, behind the scenes, there is a BIG mess. The only thing that is perfect is what is in that very small photo. And, as soon as the photo shoot is done, you have another project to work on and it's back to chaos. Most bloggers struggle with this and I take comfort in that. I mean after all we all love those beautiful photos of , well anything, homes, fashion flower arrangements. But, I found, when I was reading thru hundreds of perfect blogs that I really enjoyed when they would let their hair down and share there real struggles and the mess behind those perfect photo shoots!!!

 I've found that I want to share a lot of different things with my friends. So please be patient with me while I work through this maze. I've found that I want to share about many things from my favorite new blue jeans to my makeup tips. From now on I'm just going to share, share, share. Some might be short and sweet, because let's face it, you have more to do than just read this blog! And then others might be long and instructional. You tell me what you like and what you want to hear! Feedback is the only way I'm going to learn!

So what's my next project???
Well right now, I'm hosting a baby shower! So much fun!!! A close girlfriend of mine is having a  baby boy! Baby animals are the theme and we are going with a blue, green and brown color scheme. I can't wait to share my photos, tips and tricks with you for the best baby shower!

Talk to you soon! And thank you for following me on this blogging journey.

Happy Decorating!