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I’m Sabrina, a 20 year-old college student who believes that love and kindness - to yourself, your body, and others - can lead to magical things.

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My Skin Journey (7 Healthy Habits That Radically Improved My Skin)


Photo: Unsplash/Blake Lisk

 Hi, beautiful people! For a long time I've had problematic skin. I had acne throughout middle school and early high school. Once that cleared up, I still dealt with really rough, bumpy, dull skin that had acne marks, white heads and black heads. That doesn't include the flakes I'd get during the dry winter months. All in all, my skin was in dire need of help.

Since my sophomore year of college ended, I've had time to sit and try out different things, from eating less processed and fried foods, to drinking more water. Since doing all of that, my skin feels transformed. It feels hydrated and softened, with whiteheads and blackheads basically disappearing. Like, I don't know what sorcery these habits are, but my skin has not looked or felt this good since I was a baby.

Drinking 6+ Bottles of Water a Day

I struggled with staying hydrated. There was one time when I stuffed 4 bottles of water in my bag for school just to try to help myself out. Since drinking 6 or more bottles of water a day (the 16.9 fluid ounce ones), my skin has softened up insanely. I feel so much more hydrated, and I feel so much better too. Its hard to remember sometimes to drink all of it, but what helps is placing the water bottles out every morning, so I can see exactly how much I'll need to drink before I go to bed. And if I'm going out, I grab at least two bottles so I can make sure that I stay hydrated while I'm out (without paying the crazy prices for water bottles at stores or vending machines).

Your body needs water to survive. Your cells use it to flush out toxins and to transport nutrients. Without proper hydration, your cells and some organs would not work at maximum efficiency. Water is also super important for aiding digestion, for replenishing water you lose through sweat and other bodily functions, and it helps you excrete waste and toxins from the body. Water is essential to your wellbeing. This article explains the reasons why water is so important in greater detail, and also gives you a way to check if you're getting the proper amount of water.

Using Organic, Natural Products

Since using the Nourish Organic Cream Cleanser, my skin has honestly never felt better. It feels cleaner, softer, and a lot more moisturized, but doesn't feel like it's stripped like my other cleansers would feel. I don't tend to use moisturizers on my face simply because it can feel too thick and makes me feel weird, and can cause me to break out. I'm experimenting with some things, though, so I'll update you guys as I find something that helps! 

For my body, though, I have such dry skin that it needs some extra love. I've been using raw, organic shea butter as my moisturizer, and my skin has never been so in love. It leaves my skin feeling so soft and smooth. 



It's not the best for every area, like my legs and arms, because those areas are so rough and bumpy they need a water-based product to moisturize effectively (I have keratosis pilaris, so fat or oil based products don't really penetrate my skin too well). This is completely my experience though, and I would totally recommend you try the shea butter for your whole body. It has a light nutty, earthy scent which can be weird for some people (based on the reviews I've read), but goes away quickly.

I feel like my skin is responding to the things that it recognizes, and is extra happy since I've found an alternative to the chemical laden products I'm used to using. 

Exfoliating

Exfoliating helps to remove the dead skin cells that can pile up on your skin. Doing this at least twice a week has helped my skin to be softer and feel cleaner. I only say twice a week because the way that I used to do it was so harsh to my skin (scrubbing with a little towel), that I wouldn't want to damage it further by doing it more. Of course, there are safer ways like using the little brushes or chemical exfoliators, but once again, I'm not the biggest fan of how harsh or abrasive those can be on my skin.

Something I've been trying out lately has been a honey mask with a bit of sugar in it as an exfoliator. Its sticky and messy, but I seriously love it. I use one tablespoon of raw, organic honey; 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon, 1 tablespoon of avocado or avocado oil, and 1 tablespoon of sugar. I mix it all up then apply it on my face, moving it around in small, circular motions. I leave it on for five minutes, then remove it with a warm towel. My skin feels so soft and it really glows after this. I just love it!

Clean Eating

Eating food that is minimally processed and free of things that would upset my body has really helped me to feel better both inside and out. I cook my own meals from scratch, mostly, using foods that are processed as little as possible. I've also been avoiding foods that I have an intolerance of, mostly dairy. I also try to eat fruits and veggies at every meal, and I make my own snacks, like brownies, cakes, cookies, or chips. Making these myself enables me to customize them to suit my needs and tastes, and also gives me the ability to make them as healthy as possible. 

These beans came straight from the garden in my backyard. Aren't they beautiful?









What has helped with my clean eating mission is that I made it my mission this summer to spend my money on things that were life-giving, rather than things that weren't nourishing. This has helped me to stop spending money on junk food, and helped me to be more conscious of the foods I put in my cart, and in my body. 

Color of the Rainbow

I think I have a problem in that I toss leafy green vegetables into almost everything. I toss it in rice, in pasta, in eggs, in brownies. If I can add greens in, I do. I've been loving spinach and kale lately, even though kale can be super duper bitter eaten raw. Green, leafy vegetables, like spinach and kale, have a multitude of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that help the skin bounce back and rejuvenate (like vitamin C, which helps produce collagen and fights free radicals). 

Eliminating Stress

Not only can stress wreak havoc on your brain and body, but apparently, stress can do some damage to your skin, either directly or indirectly. Some people bite their nails or pick at pimples when they're stressed, sometimes causing further harm to the sensitive skin around the nail or causing dark marks to appear where the pimple once was. In other ways, stress can impact your cells and organs and how they function.

Throughout this past year of school, I've been so stressed and tense that I could barely have time to think. Since school ended and summer started, I've had so much more time to just relax, to unwind and to melt away the stress. It's honestly been so good to be able to breathe and enjoy my days, rather than watch time fly by under mountains of stress.

What I've done to help with my stress reduction are journaling more, logging off of all social media a few hours before bed (I like to say sianara to the negative influences of social media so I can focus on infusing my night routine with calm and tranquility), having some quiet time to just think, and choosing to invest my time wisely into the things that are meaningful and purposeful, and avoiding things that drain me.

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There are a few more things I'd like to try to help my skin further, from trying face oils and oil cleansing, but aside from that these are what I've been doing, and I've noticed a solid difference in my skin. Of course I get a few pesky little bumps every now and again, but this has helped my skin to soften up and even out tremendously. I used to have the most annoying and persistent black and white heads in the world. No matter what I did, they'd stay put on my face, making me look beyond weird. I haven't seen those silly billies in a while, which I think is probably a result of all of the stuff above.

I'm not a dermatologist nor am I really qualified to be giving you advice in this area, but these are the things that I've done with a side result being better skin. None of this is meant to treat or cure anything, and is only being told from my experiences (just erring on the side of caution).

So yea. I hope this helped you lovely people in some way!

With love,












P.S. Did any of you watch the season finale of The Handmaid's Tale? If so let me know in the comments below what your thoughts were! (Nick, as always, absolutely stole my heart. And those girls are truly inspiring rebels. Strength is just written all over their faces).






Sabrina
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