My Skincare Journey with Before and After Images along the Way
The Beginning of a Need
Acne, Rosacea, Sensitive Skin, Thyroid Swings ~ blech!
Don't get me wrong, I like makeup. But... I love to feel fresh and have a clear complexion without having to cover it up! Over the years, my skin has had great moments, as well as those that made we want to curl up and cry. Our core products focus on skincare, body, and hair products that we carry around on our bodies. We feel that skincare is not an option, and makeup is.
We know how dry skin, sensitive skin, and aging skin loves oils and our serums. It just makes sense. Well… teen skin, oily skin, adult acne, and even Rosacea love our enriched serums and oils as well.
Needing cleaner methods, effective ingredients, safer remedies, and ways to care for my skin that wouldn't upset my interior health was what I needed.
Surfing the Internet, and even before the Internet, reading ingredients, and spending literally thousands of dollars over the years to find my happy-skin-place was causing me to spiral.
It was these feelings, emotions, and needs that led me to the development and sharing of our plant-based remedies and treatments, and the variety of small batch, fresh, and safe Qēt Botanicals that we know today.
From the Dark Corners of my Cell Phone
It was time to come out of the skincare closet.
All of our handmade treatments contain very carefully curated plant oils that not only hydrate and moisturize, but they can also fight bacteria, help soothe troubled skin, and yes, they even fight acne.
Over the last few years, we've become very proud of our word-of-mouth growing circle of Qēt friends and family. We've also chatted with and met at events, in the Skin Studios, and via the website, many friends that have had concerns with their skin.
Almost on a daily basis, when I start chatting with people and they ask how/why Qēt was started, I tell them how sensitive I am and the struggles I've had. Then they mention that I have nice or beautiful skin. Hugs! This is a HUGE deal for me! Then come the conversations about troubled skin and maybe our products don't really address acne and bad skin.
A Very Unhappy Complexion
I remember the second I snapped these; not because of the physical changes happening to my skin, but how it made me feel. Awkward. Emotional. Unconfident.
What's going on here? It was literally painful. It's adult/hormonal acne, Rosacea, sensitive skin, inflammation, clogged pores. It's a gal that's not prone to taking selfies at all, but in utter frustration has pulled out the phone in hopes of seeing some healing. It was not only on my face, but also on and behind my ears, my scalp, and areas that don't even get facial pampering.
Mind you, I've been a clean eater for most of my life and have avoided harmful ingredients in my food and in my personal care routine for years. In 2011, I decided to take the plunge and remove every synthetic, harmful and questionable ingredient from my bathroom. ALL of them! My skin is reactive and had a mind of its own, and just didn't like my already 'natural' products I was using. Aargh.
After I snapped these photos, my cheeks continued to inflame and suffer from even more bumps. I was over the selfie mode and put the camera down. My happiness-level went down as well.
Acne? Rosacea? Why does this happen?
Let's have a quick breakdown on these breakouts.
Acne: according to Wikipedia, "Acne, also known as acne vulgaris, is a long-term skin disease that occurs when hair follicles are clogged with dead skin cells and oil from the skin. It is characterized by blackheads or whiteheads, pimples, oily skin, and possible scarring. It primarily affects areas of the skin with a relatively high number of oil glands, including the face, upper part of the chest, and back. The resulting appearance can lead to anxiety, reduced self-esteem and, in extreme cases, depression or thoughts of suicide."
Not a pretty picture, and I can tell you that it's not vain to want clear, healthy skin. It's when you don't have it you focus on how much it's wanted, which can shun even the most confident person.
Rosacea: according to Rosacea.org, it affects over 16 million people. Yikes! "Rosacea is a chronic and potentially life-disruptive disorder primarily of the facial skin, often characterized by flare-ups and remissions. Many have observed that it typically begins any time after age 30 as a redness on the cheeks, nose, chin or forehead that may come and go. Left untreated, bumps and pimples often develop, and in severe cases the nose may grow swollen and bumpy from excess tissue. There is currently no known cure for Rosacea, but there are ways to help combat it and keep it under control."
As you can see in the photos, my nose and chin became swollen and even mis-shaped. Craziness.
Just like with acne, there are triggers that internally can affect our skin. Dairy products, sugar, alcohol, gluten, and inflammatory foods all seem to trigger my Rosacea and skin outbreaks, and I do not have allergies to any known foods at this time. But... you should see my cheeks and nose when I have red wine. Rudolph has nothing on me!
My thyroid swings didn't help my complexion either... hormones are a big part of acne. Our thyroid releases and stores hormones. Happily my thyroid levels have evened out as well.
Interesting, isn't it?
Fun? Not so much.
At least I know that with any food triggers in moderation, and two minutes day and night, with a weekly mask or two, Qēt and I can keep things under control. A morning priobiotic, a morning green drink made with organic greens, and warm water with 1/4 of an organic lemon in it also has helped me internally, which shows externally.
I may have Rosacea and sensitive skin, but it doesn't have me, darn it! (alternative swear words left out intentionally). ;P
My Customized Skin Suite
Mix and Match the Skin Suite for your Current Skin Condition
When it comes to our skin, we're not all alike. It's OK to veer out of a Skin Suite and mix it up a little. All of our Skin Suites play well together. :)
Lately my skin has been happy, which makes me happy, and I've been mixing remedies from the Hydrating and Restoring Skin Suites. However, when my skin was angry and very reactive, these are the treatments I was using.
We do not have a "Rosacea" Skin Suite... rather we address the condition of the skin. The natural anti-inflammatory ingredients are beneficial for normal and so many skin conditions, so we get directed to the Skin Suite that best reflects what the skin is asking for.
One thing I know for sure is that cleansing at night is a must. I've done this as long as I can remember, no matter how tired or where I am. Sleeping with a fresh face and nutrients in the night serum applied lovingly makes for a fabulous night's sleep, and a ready-to-go-glow in the morning.
- Cleansing Oil with Thyme ~ thyme is like nature's benzoyl peroxide, only without drying the surface of the skin and healing with crusties. If you've tried benzoyl peroxide, you know what I mean. Oil removes excess oil without stripping the delicate acid mantle of our skin. This cleanser was the first to receive a national beauty award. :) Cleansing for normal or dry skin is not necessary morning and night, and I've learned that my skin prefers to be cleansed at both of these times, but it's not necessary depending on your condition.
- Balancing Clay Exfoliant with Tea & Thyme ~ the French Green Clay in this exfoliant works deeply to absorb impurities and clam skin. The blend breaks down acne-causing bacteria and helps promote natural healing. I've come to exfoliate every night. I believe my skin is clearer and healthier because of it, but I am very gentle about it. Mixed with water to make a paste and allowed to dry like a mask... lovely. All of our clay exfoliants are nice to use this way as well. :)
- Hydrating Toning Water with Lavender & Rose ~ our toning waters not only keep the skin's pH happy, they also remove any traces of leftover cleanser as well as aid the serums to be applied evenly. The lavender and rose in this toning water soothe irritation, gently hydrate, and relieve irritation. Divine.
- Hydrating Day Serum ~ because my skin can be combination but I didn't have an excess of oil production, even though I had adult and hormonal acne mixed in with the Rosacea bumps and flushing, my skin was happy with this day serum. The essential fatty acids in the argan and cranberry helped to keep it calm and happy during the day. Yay!
- Restoring Night Serum ~ I've been using this night serum since the very beginning, even when I dabbled with the different skin suites. The rosehip seed oil, helichrysum, and sea buckthorn berry are known to not only hydrate, but also provide essential vitamins and nourishment for dry, sensitive, or tired skin. Ahhhh.
- Spot Serum ~ oh, my dear Spot Serum... how I love thee. A well-shaken drop just where it's needed, morning and night after my serum, ensures that the inflammation, redness, and infection lying under the skin is going to be treated. Sulphur, thyme, turmeric, primrose, and other anti-inflammatory, skin healing elements are added into this remedy. Bam!
- Green Tea Mask with Raw Cacao ~ I don't have a favorite mask and love to use all four of our masks for different reasons, but this mask really helped to smooth, eliminate dark areas from leftover acne, and fuel my sensitive skin with antioxidants and cellular boosting elements. About two times a week I love to add a mask into my quick routine. Decadent!
These steps were my routine that I followed. You may find something different that works for your condition. We have kits that will help you find your perfect mix of remedies to treat acne, normal skin, Rosacea, aging skin, and sensitive skin. It's the perfect way to discover our treatments in trial sizes. We have them for most of our hair and body treatments. We love our kits!
Updated Selfie Moment
Just a couple of days ago, getting ready in the bathroom, hair in a bun and with a morning ready-fresh face before heading to the Skin Studio, I snapped a couple of photos to share with you. No filters, and no tweaking, just morning light brightening up the bathroom.
I don't have perfect skin and I have earned some smile lines in my over 50 years of smiling, but this I know for sure...
~ my skin is finally happy with me, and I am happy with it,
~ my skin looks best supple and dewy rather than dry and matte,
~ my skin has found its comfort zone,
~ my skin can change, and I'm ok with it,
~ my skin loves simple remedies rather than huge ingredient lists,
~ my skin prefers plant-based care and fresh formulas as opposed to mass-produced, stale, and synthetic or animal products.
(Jeepers, can't I make these images smaller? Guess not, and I never did master the 'wink.') ;P
Three Little Words Can Carry a Big Load
There was a natural space for something to be added above our sidewalk windows in our San Clemente Skin Studio. These three words have come to mind over and over again when we're chatting with friends about our passion and what we do.
Here are the words and what they mean to us ~
Beautiful ~ to be beautiful is simply to feel beautiful. Read it again ~ so powerful.
Natural ~ we are natural beings... natural means things can change; synthetic means it is always the same. We learn to roll with the punches and deal with issues as they come up.
Confident ~ nothing can hold a candle to a level of confidence that is genuine. Our confidence walks into the room even before we do, and our smile carries more weight than any minor or major health concern.
The body listens to what the mind says. Keep the smile and confidence brewing and your body will only hear your healing thoughts and well wishes.
Share your Photos with Us :)
The many faces of Qēt.
Children, grandparents, dads, moms, students, young professionals, seasoned workers, various heritages, various walks of life... we have such a wonderful variety of Qēt friends and customers! With all of the different complexions, skin types, ages, and degrees of this and that, we've learned that everyone finds their favorite Qēt blends when it comes to caring for their skin.
I've shared some photos with you... we'd love to see your photos! Before and afters - afters only - before and your current condition... anything! I know... it takes a little hutzspah to share photos that aren't perfectly positioned. But hey... we're all real, we're about real ingredients and real results, and we'd love to see anything you'd like to share with us.
Free Products ~ Because of your support, we're happy to include three samples of your choice when you place your order in January. Don't be shy! To get your samples, just send your image to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know what your favorite Qēt treat is and why. We would love to share it with our Qēt family as well. Merci!
Skincare is a sensitive subject... literally. It's personal, it's sometimes painful, and it can be a friend or foe. We know. We get it. And we're here for you if you need us.
Thank you for going on this skincare journey with me.