The OCM

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Have you ever heard of the oil cleansing method? I hadn’t until recently, but when I did, it intrigued me. I researched it for a few  weeks, and then I thought I’d give it try. (Side note: In my research, I came across an interview with Zooey Deschanel talking about how she uses the OCM, and loves it. Just thought I’d throw that out there.) There are all kinds of oils you can use depending on your skin type, but I had sunflower seed oil at home so I thought I’d try it first. I went to our local natural/organic foods store to pick up castor oil. Before I get too far ahead of myself, let me give you a list of oils and a step-by-step method for cleansing your face with them.

PLEASE NOTE: I did not come up with this list. I found it on Alex Raye’s blog, almostexactlyblog.wordpress.com, which I encourage you all to check out! She lists more on her blog, I’m only listing oils that I’m more familiar with. 🙂

  • Balanced skin: sunflower, canola, sweet almond, olive, safflower, avocado, extra virgin olive oil
  • Sensitive skin: grapeseed, apricot kernal, jojoba, safflower, sunflower, sweet almond, watermelon
  • Oily skin: grapeseed, jojoba, watermelon, hazelnut, safflower, peach kernel
  • Dry skin: extra virgin olive oil, macadamia, avocado, sesame, sunflower, sweet almond
  • Acne-prone skin: grapeseed, jojoba, watermelon, apricot seed, hazelnut, peach kernel, sweet almond, sunflower, safflower, walnut
  • Mature skin: rosehip seed, carrot, sweet almond, olive, avocado, extra virgin olive oil

Whichever oil you choose is mixed with castor oil, depending on your skin type.

  • Oily: 30% castor to 70% other oil
  • Balanced: 20% castor to 80% other oil
  • Dry: 10% castor to 90% other oil

Method (same for if you are wearing make-up or not):

  1. Wipe your face with warm water and a wash cloth.
  2. Mix a dime sized amount of oil in your hand and rub onto your face for two minutes.
  3. Put the same wash cloth under HOT water, wring it out, and place it over your face until it cools. I stand there with my face up toward the ceiling (so it doesn’t fall off) and my eyes closed for usually about 45 seconds to a minute.
  4. Massage your face gently with the wash cloth to wipe off the oil.
  5. Repeat steps 3 and 4.
  6. Let your face air dry.

That’s it! I’ve been doing this for about two weeks now and I’ve seen AMAZING results already! My skin is softer and clearer than it’s ever been! I use the OCM (oil cleansing method) at night before bed and after a run, but I don’t wash my face in the morning (on days that I don’t work out). If you think about it, why would we wash our faces in the morning after washing them at night? If you are changing your sheets and pillow cases out like you should be, all you are doing is sleeping. Even before I started the OCM, I never washed my face first thing in the morning.

Another perk to the OCM is that it moisturizes my face. In the past two weeks, I’ve only used moisturizer once. I used it last night because the weather was cooler. I think in the winter I may need a tiny bit of moisturizer, but in the warmer seasons, the OCM should do the trick on its own.

Something that may have crossed your mind is the expense of the oils. I thought about it too before starting. But now that I have started, I’m seeing that using a dime-sized amount once a day (sometimes twice), my oils are going to last forever! (Way longer than my face wash ever did!) I bought my castor oil for about $8, but I haven’t even put a dent in it. I’m certain it will last at least 6 months, probably way longer than that even. And my sunflower oil was pretty inexpensive being from Trader Joe’s. (I don’t remember exactly how much I paid for it.) I just bought organic EVOO (extra virgin olive oil) on my last grocery run, a big bottle for $4.99. So, really, I think if you started recording how fast you go through your face wash and how much you spend on it, you’d see that this is a better choice for your wallet as well as the health of your skin. (And you are saving money from not having to use as much of the moisturizer you used to use daily, too.)

Using the OCM, if I see a little acne spot on my face while washing it at night, the next morning it is gone! Seriously! It used to take days for acne spots to disappear. The OCM is magical! 🙂 Also, I used to never dare to leave the house without make-up on, but over the last few weeks I’ve done that several times. I’m truly confident in my own skin now, and don’t think I will ever go back to using traditional face wash.

Here’s my face right after rolling out of bed yesterday morning. No make-up and no filter. My skin is loving the oil cleansing method! 🙂 A few weeks ago you could not have paid me to post a picture of myself without make-up. (You can click on the picture to enlarge the image…I’m telling you, it totally works!)

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Paleo Chocolate Avocado Smoothie Recipe

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I love avocados. It’s not unusual for me to buy 4 or 5 every time I do my weekly grocery shopping. But last week I had a few in the fridge and I did not want to eat them! I guess I burned myself out on them. I kept trying to muster up enough of an appetite for one before they went bad, but they just weren’t appealing to me. So after putting a few in my hair for No-Poo deep conditioning treatments, 😉 I started looking at Paleo recipes where I could use them up but maybe not have a strong avocado taste. I found a recipe for Paleo chocolate avocado mousse and it was disgusting…basically if you sprinkled unsweetened cocoa powder on a plain avocado and ate it, that’s what it tasted like. Yuck! 

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Next I tried this one, and it was soooo good! I didn’t have all the ingredients for it, so I ended up doing my own thing. Here’s what I came up with:

  • 8 oz. almond milk
  • 1 banana
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 2 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 Tbsp almond butter (I technically used organic PB, which isn’t Paleo but I’m waiting for almond butter to go on sale…it’s double the price of organic PB! Not cool.) 
  • a small handful of dark chocolate cocoa nibs

Blend all of your ingredients in a blender until smooth and you get…

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…this amazingness! I promise you can’t taste the avocado at all! It’s so rich and creamy and filling that I had half for breakfast, couldn’t finish it, and had the other half for lunch. (And now of course I’m craving one and don’t have any more avocados.) 🙂

Enjoy!

 

I got the idea for this recipe at againstallgrain.com.

“Low-‘Poo” and Pictures from my “No-‘Poo” Journey

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Ok ladies, today marks 6 weeks since I started my ‘No-Poo’ journey, and I am going to be switching to ‘Low-Poo’ (for now, at least). I was hesitant to tell you this, since many of you have either started ‘No-Poo’ or are seriously considering it. Let me explain what ‘Low-Poo’ is. Basically I am just going to be switching to an all-natural or organic brand of shampoo and conditioner.

I am training for a 5K that I’m running in November, and I’ve been noticing that I haven’t been running as much on ‘No-Poo’ as I should be to get ready for this thing. I like my hair on the days in between washes, so I’ve been skipping runs in order to avoid having to wash it. I wrote Alex Raye (writer of Almost Exactly blog) a few days ago and told her my concerns. For sweaty days on ‘No-Poo’ I’ve been using a lemon juice mixture to sop up the oils from my hair, which totally works, but I’ve been concerned that I have been doing too much to my hair.

Alex agreed with me that if I’m going to be running almost on a daily basis, the baking soda and lemon juice washes would be too drying for my hair. With this said however, I don’t want to discourage any of you that have started ‘No-Poo’ or are wanting to try it. I think every girl should give it a try! I’m soooo glad that I did, and I’m not saying that I will never do it again. I’ve had some of the best hair days in my life during these last 6 weeks! Haha. 🙂

If you are exercising 3 days a week, or if your schedule/circumstances don’t allow you to exercise as much, ‘No-Poo’ would definitely work for you! If your normal routine is anything like last week was for me, I highly recommend ‘No-Poo’ for you! Here’s how my week went, followed by pictures. My mom was in town, so I didn’t run for the week so that I’d have more time to spend with her. (We had a blast by the way! I’m so glad she came!) Anyway, Monday night I used the baking soda and vinegar method. Tuesday morning I curled my hair and I didn’t do anything else until a deep conditioning treatment on Saturday night. Best hair week ever, seriously! Look at the pictures:

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Top picture (with my beautiful momma) was taken on day 35 (Tuesday). Middle picture was day 37 (3 days after washing it and sleeping on my curls every night). Bottom picture was day 38 (4 days after washing it and sleeping on my curls). 🙂

Can you see why I love it so much? I basically had to come to  the point though, where I needed to give up running if I was going to stick with ‘No-Poo’. And I think my transitioning period on ‘No-Poo’ (where I watched my hair go from greasy mess on non-wash days to the point where my scalp was used to the routine and my hair days were amazing) will allow me to have no problem with a natural shampoo. I tried a natural shampoo for awhile before, and it left my hair really oily. But now that I know what I know about silicones, waxes, sulfates, etc. in conventional shampoos that coat your hair with chemicals and strip it so much of natural oils that are necessary for healthy hair, it totally makes sense to me that I needed to go through a transition with that, too.

I hope you understand the reason behind why I’m choosing to go the ‘Low-Poo’ route for now, and I really hope this doesn’t discourage any of you from trying ‘No-Poo’! If your daily routine allows you to go that route, I think that would be awesome. And if you’ve been thinking all along that you’d love to try ‘No-Poo’ but weren’t sure if you could or not, go ‘Low-Poo’! Let’s have healthy, chemical-free hair! 🙂

P.S.-PLEASE visit Alex Raye’s blog almostexactlyblog.com if you still wanna go the ‘No-Poo’ route! She has lots of info about ‘Low-Poo’, too, and all kinds of other all-natural beauty routines!