There’s the fun kind of bumps. Like the one protruding out of my midsection. And then the not-so-fun kind. Like the ones on my face.
With my last pregnancy, my normally smooth skin went haywire. Confusing and frustrating me well after birth and through breastfeeding. Becoming a constant struggle to maintain a clear face after the skin had sustained so much damage. And nothing I did seemed to help. Though to be fair, being so unfamiliar with dealing with acne left me doing all the wrong things.
Too many products, applied too often. A harsh approach that left me inflamed and prime for picking. Which I could not help but do in a desperate attempt to make it better. Despite knowing that it was only making things worse.
This time around, I’m handling it a little differently.
Trying to change the way I usually approach my skin care regime in times of trouble.
And so far, it seems to be working.
First of all, I bought a Konjac Sponge. All natural. Biodegradable. pH balanced. Made purely from plant materials and infused with French Green Clay.
Whatever that means.
But it hit all those hippie buzzwords I love.
It works by absorbing dirt and bacteria, while gently scrubbing the pores without any additional cleanser.
Just add water.
With a slightly rough texture it softly exfoliates my already sensitive skin. Along with bar soap purchased at my local natural food store, I switch between the two when I wake up and before bedtime. Slathering on a healthy dose of coconut oil after every wash.
Yes, you heard me.
At first, when I heard of this practice, I thought. Crazy. But decided to give it a shot. I was sick of shelling out tons of money for expensive moisturizers full of ingredients I couldn’t pronounce. High in lauric acid, coconut oil helps kill the bacteria that causes acne, while also boosting collagen production. Ultra thick and hydrating, it keeps me soft even during Ecuador’s dry season. And while lauded as comedogenic depending on the user, so far I’ve had no issues with breaking out.
To flesh out my arsenal when I’m flared up, I apply a spoonful of honey to the affected area. Super gentle and easy enough to do everyday. Antibacterial and chock full of antioxidants. Let it sit until you can’t handle the itch and rinse off with warm water. If you’re feeling fancy, there are plenty of things around the house you can mix it up with to get an extra boost of nutrients whether it be oatmeal, avocado, yogurt, vinegar or lemon.
Which brings me to my next tool in the kit, and the wonders of bentonite clay. Added to a dash of apple cider vinegar this powerful agent can be a little drying, but is great for drawing out impurities. Prepare yourself for a some tightness as the mask dries, along with a bit of redness. Meaning I only use this once a week. Applied before bedtime so that my skin has time to rest before facing the day, paired with a heavy dose of moisturizer that ensures I wake up to noticeably smaller blemishes without any flakiness.
When all else fails. Or seems like it’s failing. I make a paste out of baking soda and water. Spot treat. Let dry and rinse with a little gentle scrubbing action. I reserve this for the big, puffy, painful ones that I would otherwise be too tempted to pop. It can sting a bit, but just enough so that it feels like it’s working.
Now, I’m not a doctor. And with everything, there’s always a lot of conflicting and supporting information available. So do your research first and test everything out in a reasonable manner because skin can be complicated. But so far, this is what has worked for me. I’ve managed to scale down my beauty routine to multi-purpose household items that are inexpensive and natural during a most hormonal time in life. And at 24 weeks, I’m still holding up strong. A few flare ups here and there, but nothing that my current regime hasn’t been able to effectively combat.