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Natural Hair and Skin Care Tutorial 2009-12-29 04:00:36

The Natural, Week 1: I Smell Bad

The headline sorta says it all there. After a week of substituting various old-fashioned, edible beauty recipes for my normal routine, Mr. Bella has both told me that I "smell like a salty carny" and said that he "feels bad for my face" because my skin has now broken out terribly and I can't wear makeup to cover it up. He also just called me his "little rennet" (yes, as in the cheese ingredient). The worst part is, he's just making the best of a smelly, acnefied situation. I need to adjust the recipes I'm using—big time. I've got too much to say about what's gone wrong to put it all up here, so to find out how disaster struck, just read more.

OK, so it all started with my hair. I had planned to use odor-eating baking soda to wash just once a week, so to keep my hair clean the other days I've been using apple cider vinegar. Bad idea (for me, at least). Vinegar smells like, well, vinegar, and no matter how much I rinse, the smell will not come out of my hair. I spent 20 minutes in the shower the other night rinsing, and when I got out, Mr. B went "Phew, you been eating fish and chips with malt vinegar in here?" And using milk as a daily conditioner only ups the smell factor (although my hair does feel nice). I'm going to start rinsing with a dilution of baking soda every night. If you've had good results with anything else, please let me know—I'm open to anything at this point.

Then, there was my skin. Thanks to a combination of clindamycin topical and tretinoin, my face had been relatively breakout free of late. Not anymore, obviously. My skin reacted very, very badly to the lemon in the lemon and apple cider vinegar wash, so I suggest a patch test before you try it. The rice powder and argan oil have been lifesavers and work wonderfully, but I'm definitely pretty pathetic-looking, and I can't tell you how much I miss my concealer. I've been putting tea tree oil on my (numerous) big, new zits, but I'm not seeing a lot of progress just yet. Hopefully this is all just a rocky beginning for a face and body used to a boatload of chemicals. I'll report back in a few days with any new developments or findings.

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