How the use of natural skincare products changed my life

This article is a continuation of the story of my skincare journey so far (started 2015). You can read the initial blog leading up to this if you are interested in the complete story.

A good going amount of time has been spent researching on the safe and effective way to take care of the skin of your face specifically since the face is usually the problem area for most people and particularly for people with acne-prone skin.
Before now, I would usually deep cleans twice daily.  Using the Mint Julep facial scrub in the mornings and the Fair&White exfoliating Bar Soap at nights (total disaster!). Would usually notice that the soap would leave face extremely dry  but then I thought that may actually help stop the clogging of pores (wrong). As a matter of fact, any product that dries out your skin would cause a sort of a boomerang effect.
Dry skin indicates lack of moisture in the outer horny cell layer and the absence of moisture in this part of the skin exposes the skin to  a long list of skin conditions including  acne, skin infections, contact allergy etc. In a different section of my blog, you will find more details about the effects of dry skin and how to prevent it.
The F&W Exfoliating bar soap was too aggressive on my skin and in my opinion, should not be used on any skin. No skincare product should leave your skin that dry! Stay away from those!
A decision was made to make changes in my cleansing regimen. To be cleansing only once daily with the Mint julep facial scrub, from personal experience. It is clear that over-cleansing does cause breakouts (though I've been doing this for quite some time now). I really wanted to give the Otentika skin Care Products a chance. Instinct still tells me the product is right for me, mainly because of the listed natural active ingredients. If after changing my regimen and no improvement, then conclusion could be drawn that this product definitely isn't good for me. I tried!

Monday, 2nd of March 2015. Let's just say that am out to do all it takes to acquire/regain a flawless skin so I have gone on a whole different level with my skincare regimen.  Before now, my skincare has been more or less a basic one, just showering with any soap I could get my hands on (does not involve facial wash) and moisturising with any product within my reach. Now unlike before, very good attention is paid to what goes on my skin. I read and research all ingredients in the soap or cream with tendency to lean towards the more natural ingredients.

To my usual regimen , I have added facial masking ( a whole new world), for this I opted for the all-natural DIY mask with lemon and honey. This was repeated 3 times a week.  So the plan was cleansing mask on Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays while Mint Julep facial scrub on Tuesdays,  Wednesdays and Fridays, Sundays are the facial breathing day, when I would only rinse and moisturise. (This, I got to realise,  is incredibly tedious). 

DIY facial masks
For the first time, I made the lemon and honey mask. Left it on for about 30min, just time enough for it to be absorbed.  Btw, I would be very gentle on my skin from now on, not overdoing anything because that also is wrong as much as not caring for the skin at all.  After rinsing out the mask with lukewarm water, my face did feel fresh but still a little dry, nevertheless.
Healthier Lifestyle
Worth mentioning that, apart from the topical skincare improvements,  I also have developed a sort of healthier lifestyle. Exercising out regularly and doing a lot of walking, drinking sufficient amount of water, balanced diet   etc.  As a matter of fact after my last pregnancy,  I lost almost 10kg. Presently weighing about 50kg with a height of 158cm (5feet 2 inches). Am quite petite with a BMI of 20.

Beside all the above changes, I have become very much conscious of my facial  hygiene. One of the habits I am trying to change now is sleeping prone (on my stomach) which meant sleeping on my face.  I realised that one thing that could lead to an unhealthy-looking face is sleeping on your face . If you use hair or skin products, they always leave residues on your pillow and unless you are in the habit of changing your pillowcases every day, you will end up getting all those products on your face every night which will cause you to break out. I try to sleep more on my back or side which hasn't been that easy as I am a natural prone-sleeper. To help me achieve this goal, I got myself a beauty pillow.

I have drastically cut down on my aggressive facial cleansing habit and have started to kind of pamper my skin, I avoid touching it as often as I used to. I have not noticed any new Zits sprouting and though I still got this scary monster Zit on my cheek,  my face does feel cleaner and smoother. More reason to continue using the Otentika skin Care Products, I thought.

I wonder what actually is my motivation on this journey.  I think having some free time does create a good opportunity to be creative,  it depends on what one gets creative on. I am almost rounding up my one year maternity leave which is about the longest free time I have had in all my adult life.  I had the time to read more, I spent a lot of time reading both academic journals and basically everything, I started reading just about anything that catches my interest. Besides I needed to invest those extra time on my family. I found myself forgetting my mobile for hours to spend quality time with my children, this is something I wasn't able to do earlier. 
I researched a lot about healthy living. I discovered how important it is to pay attention to one's skin being the largest organ in the body. I got rid of all my relaxed hair ( I did this some months back though, will be writing on my natural hair journey soon) , started growing out my natural hair, presently I wear them in protective styles most of the times to aid growth. 
Knowing how careless I have been with my skin and hair all these while, these are huge changes for me but am excited about it. It's not just about looking good, it's more about being healthy and looking good while staying healthy (those 2 could be simultaneous). So many women spend money on products that will only make them look good temporarily but on the long run , these products will ruin your health.  The health of the largest organ in your body. You shouldn't wait till the damages happen before making the changes. as the old English goes "Prevention is better than cure". This is the case with using chemical relaxers on your hair or using aggressive body lightening products on the body.  When we get old, we don't want to look all weak and wrinkled. Personally , I want to age beautifully and I guess it's only obvious most people do wish the same.  Therefore,  even though I started this journey relatively late ( which is the case with most people), am happy I started it and am giving it my best shot cos it's about me after all.      

Skin Care Routine
As mentioned earlier, I have developed a totally new skincare regimen. I use facial masks which I never did before. I researched about healthy DIY masks with natural ingredients. 

This was my face before the natural skincare routine.

Before going to bed everyday , I would wash my face very briefly with the Mint julep  facial scrub,  without leaving it on for a second , I would proceed to wash out the surface dirt just to have a clean face to start with. After that I would apply the turmeric/chickpea flour/milk and honey mask on face and neck. 
Equal amount of turmeric and chickpea flour with just enough honey to make it a firm paste. The milk makes it a little more creamy than slimy.  I would leave the mask on till it dries out which takes about 45min. If you are dark-skinned,  it could be left longer because we have thicker skin layers. After it dries I would step into the shower and wash it off with lukewarm water making sure to wash out all residues on the basin as turmeric could stain. I would step out of the shower and first gently pat my face dry with a clean towel and then the rest of the  body. 
I would use a cotton pad and soak a little amount of  fresh lemon juice which I squeezed into an airtight container. I would clean my face using the lemon juice.  This will thoroughly clean up all the yellow residual colour of the turmeric.  It stings a bit but just for a while. Lemon juice contains citric acid which could serve as a great toner and reduces the appearance of the facial pores thereby reducing the chances of the pores getting clogged. 
My face usually feels very smooth and soft after this. I would leave on the lemon to dry about 1-2 minutes. I would apply a small amount of Whipped Shea butter. My skin feels firm and bright in the end. 

In the mornings, I would first rinse my face with warm water to open the pores and then I would dab a little amount of baking soda (bicarbonate of sodium) which could be used as a slightly alkaline toner and fine scrub , to scrub my face for about two minutes and then rinse off with cold water to further tighten the pores. I would go ahead and apply Whipped Shea butter.
The introduction of natural skincare products made a drastic improvement to the health of my skin.  Since I started this regimen,  I haven't had any new blackheads or Zits sprouting and the enormous scares caused by my previous breakouts are fading so fast. It is quite unbelievable that the simple edible things we have in our kitchen would work wonders more than all these chemical sweet-smelling products we buy on high street stores.  
My face looks amazing. The texture, the feel, the colour,  absolutely amazing! It is barely 3 weeks I started this new all-natural DIY regimen and I am already seeing unbelievable results. I ordered the raw organic apple cider vinegar last night which I will be adding to my regimen.  Presently,  I am on an intensive care phase since the breakout.  After my skin recovers and the scars and spots disappear,  I hope to be doing the mask only once weekly or fortnightly,  depending on the need of my skin. My goal is to achieve a flawless or at least close to flawless and healthier skin using mainly natural ingredients. This also applies to my hair.

To see how far we have come, go to

  • Remember, patience is the key. These are natural products and no synthetic chemicals, they need time to work.

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