What a CRAZY Beauty Challenge Can Teach You * Clean Beauty Rut #9

…and has taught me! Readers asked about the outcome of my Craziest Beauty Challenge Ever, and I’m happy to report & share the Life-Changing insights.

I’m trying to be super short, and so you’ll find a lot of challenge-related links that contain more info to just keep this post as short as possible. For the tl;dr crowd, you guys scroll right down and check out the super-short and link-free part called Short & Sweet. Sweet!clean-skin-challenge-results

The (Hi)Story or: A Thesis, A Surprise, and… Eureka!

So, in June 2013, tired by a steady and tedious and vicious and ugly and tiring circle of “yet another new skin care for the face > great skin > two weeks in > breaking out again” Yours Truly has decided to do the only one thing logical:
Skip moisturisers altogether and go for a tonic and pure oil routine instead.

(The more detailed steps of and reasons that lead to this challenge are to be found, in chronological order, here, here and here.)

However, in quite the same time I had started to cut wheat-based foods out of my diet, following advice from this book – even if I was not agreeing with the ‘Wheat Belly’ author 100%, the book held valuable insights for me.

I had noticed that things went better for me and my skin as I went on with the diet and beauty routine change. I had weird breakouts on the back of my neck under the hair that I could not explain (hold on, the answer is coming up!)…
The BIGGEST SURPRISE lurked at my allergologist’s – she diagnosed a quite pronounced wheat allergy that I was not aware of before. Sure, pollen, springtime, yadda-yadda, I knew that. But wheat? And what did it mean? Was I allergic to all things wheat?.. Even though this gets too medical a topic to discuss on the Internet, the good thing is: it got me thinking, and these thoughts I can share here gladly: What if my skin, too, was reacting to wheat-based ingredients in my beauty products? Yes! Old moisturiser, new shampoo – all contained a well-known ingredient called:
Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein.
Dum dum dummmmm!

Clearing the Moisturisers’ Name: It’s in the INCIs

So, yes, aflame with the thought “I’m up to freaking something here!”, having checked the INCI listings on my products and on the shampoo (clean & organic BTW) that I was using at that time resulted in the November 2013 post Alchemy Lab: Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein and in me having one more ingredient to check, in addition to my TOTALLY NOT WANTED blacklist. It also resulted in a completely gluten-free diet.

However, the moisturisers’ kin was completely out of question as a culprit, and I happily chose a very conditioning, soothing and natural moisturiser last winter. My shampoo and shower gel are now wheat extract free as well.

Short & Sweet: On the way to sublime skin

Know yourself.
This is not a hermetic mantra from the scrolls of the Golden Dawn, this is a simple and often neglected truth. Know your health condition, know your allergy/inflammations/chronic deseases/… profile really, really well. Only knowledge will help you be in control.

If you have real issues, never follow generalistic advice. Following advice and checklists and product tips from experts, magazines, blogs, beauticians who shared their knowledge with the world is like running uncontrolled tests on yourself as a guinea pig. It’s vital to know yourself.

And then read. Read labels, read books, read research, read anything related to your condition and beyond, read decent blogs – and to not miss my musings, rants, info posts and product and book reviews, you can simply subscribe to the spam-free post updates using the simple form below or follow me if you have a WordPress handle or even add me to your Bloglovin’ reader – I seriously do my part job to get that sweet bits of knowledge delivered to you!

And what’s my beauty routine right now?
Well, it’s my Alkaitis “Beautician in a jar” mask once a month (BTW it’s still last year’s jar, talking about a sweet investment!); make-up removal with Pai Camellia & Rose or Balm Balm Frankincense cleanser balm; moisturising with Pai Chamomille & Rosehip Cream or with my amazing “hacked” Green Love jojoba oil serums; Dr. Hauschka clarifying lotion and cleansing mask in between; the super-soft Konjac sponges for cleansing and for make-up application; and a little “apothecary” of precious oils to pick from for specific needs. I don’t need blotting papers, because my skin is now what a classic beautician would call “normal”. (And you can check out this summer’s tips on skincare for oily skin here and my suggestions for great, gentle, men-friendly mattifying products here.)
My skin is still in what I call recovery mode, but it hasn’t felt so soft or looked so great since my early teenage years.skincare-routine-summer-2014

Questions? Remarks? Doubts? Shoot me a line in the comments below. 

23 Comments on “What a CRAZY Beauty Challenge Can Teach You * Clean Beauty Rut #9

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  2. Excellent! Never crossed my mind but our family are largely gluten-free (mum’s best friend is a nutritionist who recovered from CFS using diet alone and she reckons everyone has some level of allergy to gluten – https://www.facebook.com/nutritioncoachbristol.co.uk)

    I’ll be scanning all my products for that nasty little ingredient! I’m just praying it’s not in my lovely Liz Earle!

    • Even if it should be so: you can write to the company and nicely point out this problem – a quite well-known problem with beauty companies actually.
      Chances are, you are helping them as well. Good luck!

    • Hey 🙂
      Sorry I wasn’t visiting as often as I should. Super busy week and a short travel ahead. Can’t put a sad smiley though, because looking forward 🙂

  3. When we were researching our shampoo idea – Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein came up a lot. I was given the advice that this is absolutely in allergen these days. hmmm.

    • Halleluja that the industry starts paying attention. Actually, it’s close to impossible to find a clean + vegan + HWP free shampoo these days. Baby shampoo comes closest.

      ❤ on ya!

      P.S. When am I testing your beauty range already?

      • oh love, we are still working on recipes. everytime we think we get close, we do a little test with villa and realise that our price : product ratio is so wacked. our recipes are SO expensive that it is unaffordable at the moment still. so, back to the drawing boards… leave it on the shelf for a while and see what we learn over the next year. i am sure this will fly one day, just learning, testing, trailing and seeing how things go. xo

        • And if you turn the recipe around? Go away from a classic shampoo recipe and go for more a hair mask that you leave in and wash out that nourishes AND washes.

          • yeah, that has been the pre-shampoo formula that we worked on in india…. still in process.

            • that’s lovely. have you explored the local beauty secrets of the ecuadorean rainforest?

              • Yes love. That’s how we came up with the cacao in hair and face concept. We needed some ayerverdic help to manage herbs dazu

                • Cacao in ze face can get comedogenic though… #foodforthought

                  I was actually aiming at something like herbs, healing plants, exotic berries, or maybe clay. I think I’ve read about Yuca starch too. Such ingredients. Again, ayurvedic seems far away from Ecuador. It’s your party, I’m just thinking aloud… An unsolicited brainstorm.

                • Yuca… very cool. Our peruvian friends are all about the healing root veg in skin care too. I must follow up on that. The list of following up is killing me. As always, love the unsolicited brainstorm and am up for it more with a bottle of WINE between us. see you in sept xoxo

                • Yay! 🙂 Maybe it would help if you made your follow up list a follow up mind map. You could spot similarities easier, and sometimes do one think to resolve multiple issues 🙂

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