Like most other women I’ve cycled through dozens of different face creams and washes in my short little life in search of the one that would give me that airbrushed, flawless finish. OK, well we know that’s not possible…even though I still secretly hope it is…but my skin improved dramatically after I cleaned up my diet and I figured out what foods and habits gave me issues. Dairy gives me pimples. Sugar gives me painful breakouts on my face and back. Alcohol dries me out. Lack of sleep turns me into an oil slick. Stress and adrenal fatigue just make me look like I got run over by a truck. I could go on.
Then I went through the discovery of alternative methods of cleansing and moisturizing. I’m a HUGE fan of Katie at Wellness Mama and her health and beauty concoctions using stuff you’ve most likely got sitting in the pantry. Turns out many commercial products not only irritate your skin but they can put some pretty knarly stuff into your system, too. I won’t get into it, but Katie discusses all of this at length. Anyhoo…it was there I learned all about the Oil Cleansing Method, which I used for a while before I just started using coconut oil for…everything. All I do to wash my face now is schmear coconut oil all over and rinse with hot water. Boom.
I’ve been using coconut oil alone for about 9 months now and couldn’t be happier. I rarely break out anymore and my skin is smooth and pretty even. But I got an email from one of my readers asking me to test a bottle of Nerium AD–at first I was like, “Ew…face cream?” But she insisted it was legit and I did a little digging. Nerium Oleander is the name of an herb that people have used for quite some time as a folk remedy for everything from ulcers to rabies to heart conditions. Obviously, we figured out it does some great things when applied topically and is also an herbal remedy for acne, age spots, cold sores, and age spots.
So herbal remedy. That’s cool. But what about everything else? Surprisingly, the ingredients list is clean. It’s got none of the toxic ingredients that most commercially sold beauty products do–like peroxides, DEA, PEG, Glycols, sunscreen chemicals, etc.–and when I got the bottle in the mail it came with an ingredient breakdown and explanation of what every single thing was and where it came from and why it was in there. Not too shabby, huh?
Really not being facetious at all. You can literally Google everything in here and see that it’s nothing synthetic or weird. It all just has weird names. Please trust me here…
I gave the stuff a month-long trial and I can honestly say I have been blown away. No, I don’t have bad acne and I’m not really old enough to have an issue with wrinkles or age spots, but I do have some uneven coloration (sun damage as a kid) and am prone to puffy eyes and flakiness when I’m under stress. Actually, stress is a HUGE problem for my skin but we all knew that…thankfully I was also testing this stuff during my first month of pre-med and during a move…so it had its work cut out for it.
So all I had to do was put the stuff on once a day after I took a shower. I washed my face like normal in the evening and just rinsed with water in the morning. After a couple of weeks…WEEKS…I could a big difference in the evenness of my skin tone and really noticed that even lack of sleep didn’t provoke puffiness and dryness like it should have…and this month my sleep has been absolute sh*t, OK? Even around the time of my period, which has ALWAYS been pimple city (especially on my chin and neck), I was clear. Yeah, f**king crazy. I could get used to this!
Any cons? Yeah, Nerium is a little pricey–I’ve just got a big tub of coconut oil now for all my skin needs that lasts for months. It runs around $90-$100 for an ounce, and that lasted about 6 weeks for me. Not the most expensive cream I’ve gotten in my life but it’s an investment. Also, the smell is a little funky…but then again I should note that this isn’t even close to the nastiness of some other stuff I’ve put on myself. All in all, it’s certainly worth a try and I’ve invested in a second bottle to finish out the summer.
If you feel like shaking up your routine a little bit, you can order some here (it’s even available on Amazon but the prices fluctuate a little more). Good luck!