The redness remained. I've always felt that our face shows "who we are", so I was always self conscious of it. I googled the problem (not a wise move... cue panic stations!) and the closest I got to an answer was something called "perioral dermatitis". The recommendation was to use absolutely no products on the skin, so the redness could heal.
My first thought was, I can do that! If you've been following me for a while, you'll know that I'm all about natural products for home cleaning, skin care and food. There are so many harsh chemicals added to our beauty and home products, many of which have been shown to disrupt our hormone balance (especially damaging to fertility), so over the years I've reduced the number of chemicals I expose our family to.
I've tried many beauty "alternatives"... e.g. only using baking soda & apple cider vinegar as shampoo/conditioner, exfoliating my face with baking soda (I went through a big baking soda phase!), and using coconut oil as a face and body moisturiser, hair mask, and shaving cream. Let's just say that some of these methods worked better than others. The coconut oil hair mask, for example, took about a week to wash out. The baking soda "shampoo" made my hair as dry as sandpaper and I got dandruff as a result. All in the name of being healthy!
So I decided not to use any product on my face, as per googles infinite wisdom, and only wash with water. At first I thought it was working, but then my face started breaking out in acne because I wasn't washing it properly. So I had a red muzzle and acne to boot!
I realised it was time to consult an expert, instead of spending too many hours on google. I booked a skin appointment and the therapist informed me I have what is called "product damage": the acid mantle (top layer of the skin) had been harmed by whatever I had been doing to my face. I explained that I wasn't currently using any skincare, but in the past I had used baking soda as a face scrub and coconut oil to moisturise.
The therapists face paled. She explained that while those products may be fine for some skin types, it can damage already sensitive skin.
I learnt a very valuable lesson, which I hope by writing to you today, you won't make as well. Some natural products are great (here's a fantastic multi-purpose cleaner recipe that works well and doesn't contain harsh chemicals), but think twice before putting them on your face. If you want a natural option, talk to an expert who can analyse your skin and make recommendations accordingly. (Google can't do that... yet!)
Over to you... have you ever made a beauty mistake that seemed like a great idea at the time, but you regretted later? I'd love to hear about it in the comments below!
PS: Wealthy Healthy Wise's 21-day BodyLove Project starts in June! It's free, and will help you feel GREAT in your skin. More info here!