Sunday, October 19, 2014

Clear Skin & Non-Oily Hair

During high school, my skin (especially on my cheeks) would break out pretty bad.   I heaped on the makeup to try to hide it, which I'm sure only exacerbated the situation.  My skin was never "perfect", but later, when I got on the birth control pill, my skin cleared right up.  I also noticed that it kept my hair from getting oily.  I got off the pill awhile ago and ever since, I've noticed my hair getting greasy and my skin not looking as clear.  My forehead and the area around my jawline was full of little bumps under the skin. After about two months, I ended up going to my dermatologist and he prescribed Acanya, which is a combination of Benzoyl Peroxide (2.5%) and Cindamycin Phosphate (1%), and also told me to use Witch Hazel as a toner after washing with Cetaphil cleanser (which I've been using since high school).

So far, so good.  My skin is looking much clearer.  I wish I had visited my dermatologist when I was pregnant with my son- my back/shoulders broke out terribly in big, ugly blistery pimples.  We don't have to suffer!  Benzoyl Peroxide is available over the counter without a prescription, but I would recommend finding a good dermatologist in your area.  It's amazing how bad skin can affect your self-esteem.  Even though my break-outs weren't terrible recently, I was still self-conscious about it.

For my hair, my dermatologist gave me samples of this DHS Clear Shampoo, but he was out of the conditioner.  The shampoo has no scent, but lathers well and seems to be working.  I couldn't find this brand at my drug store, so I just ordered the shampoo and conditioner on Amazon (it's available on Prime).  I was also advised to let my hair get oily so that my hormones can balance out my oil production.  Oh man, is this hard to do?!  But, I found a cornstarch/baby powder combination at my grocery store that I love to use between washings if my hair is oily.  It's better than straight-up baby powder because it's not as strong-smelling.  It actually feels really cool and nice on your scalp when you put it in and just a little goes a long way!

But, before I headed to the doctor, I started researching online what I could do at home to help the acne situation.  I came across the Alkaline diet, which is supposed to help balance your hormones my keeping your body's blood pH level slightly alkaline at 7.35-7.45.  Below 7 is said to be acidic and above 7 is alkaline.  I'm new to this info, but here are two charts that explain which foods are on the acid-forming side, and which are more alkaline.


NO SUGAR.  That's what I'm working on eliminating.  

HEALTHY FATS- I'm adding back in healthy fats like a few crushed almonds and slices of avocado on my salad, cooking my protein pancake in a teaspoon of coconut oil instead of cooking spray.  

FRUITS/VEGETABLES- eat to your heart's content.  I realize I hardly eat any food- instead always serving them to my son.  I need to partake in this goodness! 

WATER- Spring, river, or tap water is completely neutral.  I'm doing good on my water intake.  Keeping my insulated water bottle nearby helps. 

The biggest no-no's on the Alkaline diet are coffee, alcohol, processed foods, sugar, salt, and red meat.  Coffee is the hardest for me to give up, I drink two cups most days.  

How do you keep your skin clear?  Have you noticed whether your diet affects your skin?  

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Cardio Kickboxing

I'm so excited to tell you about the new group exercise class I tried last Monday, "cardio kickboxing".  My husband said he was going to do it with me, but when we got there, it was only women lined up, so he politely declined. (don't blame him!) I'm so glad I tried this class- it was my absolute favorite of all the group classes I tried!  

It was a new experience for sure, I've never worn boxing gloves before or punched a heavy bag.  The bags were all stored in one corner of the class and you had to move it to the room to use.  They are so heavy, you have to squat down with your back against the bag to even move it into position for class- that's a workout in itself.  Most people were two to a bag, but I had my own. 

The class was an hour long, but went by fast.  The instructor played awesome music and was great at explaining what combinations to do.  I watched the two women in front of me (they seemed experienced and knew what to do) so I just followed them.  I have to say it feels GREAT to let go and take all your stress, aggression, and anger out on that bag.  I put a beating on it for sure.  Even though I was wearing gloves, my knuckles were all red at the end.  I was thinking I'll buy my own gloves for the next class and maybe tape my knuckles. 

But, the problem is, I hurt my right shoulder in the process.  I woke up on Tuesday morning and it was kind of sore.  By Wednesday, it hurt to move it.  I still have a range of motion, but I can tell I strained it because it hurts to lift it shoulder height.  Passing anything to my son in the backseat of the car is a killer.  I'm so bummed because I want to go back to kickboxing, but I know I need to lay off it for awhile so it can heal.  

I didn't do any other exercise for the rest of the week, but I think I can run or do the stair master this week.  Or maybe one of the other classes and just not use the weights.  That would be more fun!

Have you tried kickboxing?  What did you think?  Any injuries or pointers to avoid injury?  I'm going to talk to the instructor about my shoulder and see what he says.  

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