A few days ago I posted a series of videos on my Instagram story @wholly.chloe detailing my morning self-care routine, and it broke my tiny corner of the internet!
Within minutes I had dozens of direct messages and comments asking follow-up questions, and when the story expired 24 hours later, there was an overwhelming number of requests to repeat the information. (I was especially excited that so many women wanted more information about their intimate feminine care! That's important!) I was able to save and compile the original video series, which I've included below along with a list of the products mentioned, some resources, and some Q & A. Enjoy!
Here is the original video
Products and concepts mentioned in the video:
The Wim Hof Method (yogic breathing and cold exposure)
Natural wax-free dental floss
*I am not an affiliate or a paid sponsor of ANY of these products!*
Here are some excellent educational interviews with skin care expert and entrepreneur, Nadine Artemis of LivingLibations.com
Lastly, here are some of the most frequently asked questions I received:
1. "How do you keep your hair clean between washes, especially after working out?"
I like to do an apple cider vinegar rinse to get that slippery just-conditioned feeling without using too much product. There's a good description of that here: Apple Cider Vinegar Rinse.
2. "I switched to non-toxic products but now my skin is really dry. What do I do?"
Going non-toxic is just the first step in giving your self-care the turn-over. Just because something ISN'T dangerous doesn't mean it's the optimal product for your body. Most chemical-laden products have ingredients that give skin that temporarily-plump and luscious texture. When you switch to non-toxic the soapy residue can often be a little sticky, and if the products contain glycerin and other temporarily-plumping but eventually-drying ingredients things can go downhill fast. Glycerin is a totally "safe" ingredient, but it's not optimal for maintaining your skin's acid mantle and pH. The next step after purging the toxic chemicals is to find a product that works in harmony with your skin. For starters, tallow-based products, jojoba oil, sesame oil, and olive oil are all relatively close to your skin's pH. Personally, my skin LOVES seabuckthorn oil. It may take some experimentation to find an oil that makes your skin happy, but it will definitely be an OIL and not a SOAP that does the trick. (P.S. if you're breaking out or not having luck with coconut oil, don't be surprised! You may have an allergy or sensitivity, and it may not be jiving well with your skin's pH. You're not broken, coconut oil just isn't the most magical substance for all skin!)
3. "How do you keep your "downstairs" clean without specific vaginal care products?"
This isn't a bad question at all, but it does reveal a LOT about our culture that women are specifically targeted for vaginal care products and perfumes, but I've never once seen an ad or a commercial for the male equivalent--can you imagine?! You might even argue that theirs needs even more freshening up, but it's really only women that are targeted for shame-based products. The female reproductive organs are intelligent powerhouses that can care for themselves, but we have to help facilitate its natural function by maintaining the proper pH and keeping them safe from chemicals and sugar-based products. You can check out THIS AWESOME TALK by Nadine Artemis about vaginal care. (And since it came up in questions, even though I won't be menstruating for a while during my breastfeeding stage, I have had a great experience with the Diva Cup reusable menstrual cup, because we also need to keep our downstairs clear of bleached and chemical-laden feminine hygiene products).
4. "How do you wash your face and get makeup off at the end of the day?"
I use the Feather Eagle Sky cleansing beauty oil AS my facial cleanser. It's called "oil cleansing," and it works by using oils to separate dirt and bacteria from the surface of your skin which is then rinsed off, but without stripping or disrupting the fatty acid mantle on the top of your skin, which is what keeps all that bacteria out in the first place. It seems counter-intuitive, but you'll notice more hydrated and plump skin and fewer breakouts. The oils and good bacteria on your face are YOUR BEST FRIENDS against breakouts, you just have to treat them well and give them a nice cozy place to live. Oil cleansing cuts straight through makeup and mascara, so I don't need several products--just one--to remove make up, cleanse, and moisturize. When I'm traveling or camping, this is all I need!
5. "OMG, HOW OLD ARE YOU?!"
I'm a baby-faced 29-year-old. Not that it matters much to me, but I will certainly enjoy looking youthful and healthy well into my later years by taking care of my skin NOW. In addition to the products I use that also means lots of quality fats in the diet, healthy staple foods like bone broth which is rich in collagen, healthy sun exposure without the use of chemical sunscreens, avoiding xenoestrogens and endocrine disruptors, and lots of smiling and laughing.
6. "Do you still dry brush when you're sweaty, like after a workout?"
Yes. Dry brushing won't scrub all that stuff back into your skin--your skin is a very intelligent organ with a good one-way street for sweat. You just want to help maintain that fatty acid mantle and do your best to keep your dry brush clean. To do this, use about two drops of essential oil in the palm of your hand (a few that I enjoy that are safe for the skin without a carrier oil are lavender and frankincense) then drag your dry brush through it on both sides before brushing your skin. The oils will feel and smell amazing on your skin, but they'll also prevent bacteria from thriving on the surface of your brush. Living Libations also sells lympathic oils specifically for dry brushing, and you can order a sweet copper-bristled dry brush from there, too (copper is naturally anti-microbial).
7. What kinds of oils do you use for the rest of your body?
I do use the entire line of products from Feather Eagle Sky, but I also have some other things on hand that I enjoy using that are friendlier on the budget. The first is the Primally Pure body butter (which is tallow-based), and the second is an organic body oil from Badger which you can find at most health food stores. I like this one because it has great-for-your-skin oils like seabuckthorn, olive oil, jojoba, etc. but it's a little more diluted with the less-expensive oils so you don't have to feel stingy about putting it on all over.
8. "What products does your daughter use?"
My daughter uses pretty much all of the same stuff I use! Sometimes we use bubble bath from Babyganics, toothpaste from Weleda, and detangler from Honest Company, but these all contain glycerin and other natural-but-not-optimal ingredients so I don't give them my highest recommendation. I like products from Wash With Water though! Check them out!
9. "How long do you go between hair washes?"
Depends on the season and what I'm up to, but it's usually in the 7-10 day range, and I worked up to that over a couple years.
10. "My only concern is that people would take [this advice] as their only skin advice, and miss out on some other important points." (i.e. anti-aging and preventing sun spots)
Valid concern. Don't do that. This is what I put on my face and I like it. I also like my face and I don't care about aging, so you won't find that advice here. "You should always consult a licensed skin care specialist before changing your routine" (I guess I'm kind of required to say that...)
Thanks for reading!