This was the response my hubster gave me when I asked him how my skin looked after using my weekly activated charcoal mask! In his defense, he thought this was the appropriate response... he didn't realize the goal was to actually MINIMIZE one’s pores. Poor guy… good thing he is cute.
I'm a wee bit embarrassed to say, that I didn't really have a skin care routine until AFTER the Gillies, our twins were born. And we are coming up on their 6th Birthday!!!! SIXTH!!! That’s a different panic attack for another day. Back to the story, before the Gillies were born, my beauty routine was simply water and the body wash we were using at that time. YIKES!!!
It wasn't until the twins were born that my hormones went a wee bit whacko and I had to truly focus on a skin regime. #twinmomlife But this was such a blessing... because while on the hunt for products to reduce my apparently ginormous pores, I realized that a slew of the products on the shelves were loaded with toxins and chemicals which could be absorbed into my skin and be detrimental to my health over time. YIKES, again!
This is when I stumbled upon “charcoal”… Now. One thing I should tell you is I do love Beautycounter, so much so that I am an affiliate; however, there are other options out there which you can use. I will just share with you what I am using + why! You do your own research for what’s right for YOU + your body, love. And only YOU know that answer.
As an emergency veterinarian, I have used activated charcoal plenty of times to treat certain toxins in patients, but over the past year or so, charcoal has made it’s way into my beauty routine.
First, as a cleanser in my facial soap bar and weekly face mask which I love! Then, I started to use charcoal in my tooth paste… and now in my deodorant! I’ll share these products down below as well as a few links if you’d like to dive deeper into understanding charcoal! And why wouldn’t you? For me, I love discovering new ways to reduce chemicals + toxins in our daily routine because there always seems to be a connection in everything, right? Especially in the products you use and your brain + gut health.
Minimizes the benefits of pores: someone should have informed the hubster of this or maybe I need to use this mask a wee bit more!
Gives skin a smooth, refined appearance: hello, yes please!
Draws away excess oil, dirt and bacteria from the skin: provides a thorough cleansing and is great for those with oily skin or those prone to blackheads!
May aid in brightening your skin
Aids in exfoliation: ridding the skin of dead cells
If you want to snag your own charcoal mask like the one I’m using, I’ve got you covered! Just remember, do your research - find companies that speak to YOU and listen to how your body responds!
Here are a few links to discover the amazing benefits of charcoal as well as how YOU can start implementing them into your own beauty routine!
Okay. Now, let’s chat a wee bit about my daily beauty routine and OTHER products I am loving that include charcoal, shall we?
1. Activated Charcoal Whitening Toothpaste with a Bamboo toothbrush.
In the beginning of my wellness journey, I was actually making my own activated charcoal toothpowder which I absolutely loved doing because it channeled my inner hippie self; however, a few things did not jive with me!
I would get tooth powder EVERY. WHERE. Seriously, for a person with my limited coordination in the early mornings, having black powder sprinkled on a toothbrush was not ideal!
It was a hassle for me to remember to make it. If there was a better system involved for me to make all the products myself, like one day a week blocked out to make certain products, maybe this would be more ideal for me. But, I tend to RUN out without truly realizing and having to use the Gillies, bubblegum flavored option. UGH!
IF you are eager to make your own tooth powder, this is the recipe I tried and absolutely loved!
Another question you may have is… WHY a bamboo toothbrush? Well. I recently read this astonishing statistic that…
Plus, some plastic toothbrushes don’t even break down… and those that do break down can take between 20-1000 years! And when it’s stated that plastic toothbrushes break down, it means break up into smaller bits! You can read more about plastic toothbrushes HERE!
Those numbers scared me to purchase a bamboo toothbrush right away even though, our Gillies still use plastic ones! We are a work-in-progress family. My goal is by the end of 2019 the whole household is using bamboo toothbrushes.
Anywho. Let’s move onto number 2 in the charcoal products which is deodorant.
2. NudyBooty Deodorant was my absolute favorite and the FIRST deodorant I tried which included charcoal as one of the ingredients. I was introduced to this product from our little man’s physical therapist when we lived down South and purchased in large quantities! However, I was quite sad to learn the shop is currently taking a break and my favorite deodorant is not online at this time.
So, I've been experimenting with a few other brands of natural deodorants which use charcoal as one of the ingredients. Currently it’s Schmidt’s deodorant! I also tried their lavender + sage… which smells so good!
But, why deodorant you may be wondering… well, during my 100 DAY HEALTH HACK JOURNEY last year. I shared how deodrant was one of those products which I typically didn’t THINK about… it was just a habit! And with it's application, you get a wee bit of peace of mind that you won't stink up the place and/or there won't be unpleasant sweat stains under your pits during this afternoon's office meeting. Right?
Well. In our journey towards a healthier lifestyle... while our main focus is optimal brain + gut health... I realized nutrition isn't the ONLY thing that contributes to optimal brain + gut health, but also your internal dialogue... your daily habits... and even the products you place ON your body.
So. I started with deodorant... and soon discovered that there were at least THREE common ingredients found in conventional deodorants that scare me, but let's briefly touch base on one today.
Aluminum is the primary ingredient included in antiperspirant deodorants which is a metal used to “block” the sweat glands. There have been concerns with if this is related to serious medical conditions like Alzheimer’s Disease and breast cancer.
Now. I won't get into the science-y part of things... if you'd like to check out some article to dive a wee bit deeper, I'll source some below. But my thought is this... why chance it? If a natural product works JUST as good as a product containing ingredients which scare me + may pose a health concern in the future.... why not opt for the natural product, right?
Anywho. Here's the details: read your ingredients on the products YOU are using - research products and companies and find the ones you love + trust then let me know! Because the more you know, the more you can grow!
IF you would like to learn more about our 100 Day Health Hack Journey, just click on the button below and read on!
Now. You know why I use charcoal in my toothpaste and in my deodorant! But here’s the thing, I absolutely love using charcoal in my weekly face mask. It’s one of my favorite ways to splurge and give myself a wee bit of love! It’s a joke within our community, NO BRAINERS, that I love to get my GAME FACE on for the week ahead with my Sunday night face mask.
If you need some laughing material, here’s a slideshow of me trying to catch the right angle while using the face mask… no filters. Just real raw images because, well, that’s life. ENJOY!
I am realizing now that when I do these weekly Sunday face masks, a good headband to make sure all the fly-aways are out of the way would be a phenomenal investment! IF you have a good headband that you love… bonus points if made by a fellow boss-mom… then love, please fill me in! I could use ALL the help!
A few other things, I am loving this week during our wellness transformation include:
This is extremely challenging for me to stop + allow myself to “actively recover”. Blame it on my personality type or the fact my mind continues to race a mile a minute while I’m struggling to focus on my deep breathing. HOWEVER, there’s beauty into slowing down, focusing on your breathe and giving your body space to work on flexibility. Each Sunday, while the Gillies are playing (somewhat) quietly together, I slip away to our gym where all I hear is my breathe… and the dogs snoring. It’s amazing how long it took for me to realize the benefits of flexibility… If you are wanting to join me along my wellness journey, well, I’ll be opening up spots later this month. You can join the waitlist to hear more details - HERE!
Just make sure to consult with your primary care physician before starting any new fitness program!
This nitrate-rich vegetable is extremely versatile… you can blend it, roast it, toss it on a salad or even juice it! There’s no question as to why we chose BEETS to be our “Foodie of the Month” in February’s NO BRAINERS. Well, in case you need a reason… let me fill you in on ONE good thing about beets. According to the Better Brain Solution book, eating more beets will slow cellular aging (including brain cells) and are excellent for improving blood pressure and blood flow!
You can catch glimpses of how I’m using beets on my social media feed, follow me and check out my stories — HERE!
love + gumption.
Brain + Gut Health Explorer