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You See A Tomato, I See An Opportunity To Pamper

I have almost two handfuls of doctors that I see for my illnesses and to try to get some control over my symptoms. Unfortunately a lot of the attempted treatments fail and the continual changes leaves my body in turmoil, which eventually begins to show on my skin. Since the doctors get paid little nowadays (believe me, before you think they all have mansions, I’m happy to chat with you about the overhead that goes into running a medical office – I ran billing, payables, and communication for one for years, and it’s not as pretty as you’d think), they have to push patients through like it’s a cattle drive. The worst part is when they have a patient with as complicated medical issues as mine, they just don’t have the time to deal with everything. It ends up boiling down to “is the treatment helpful enough to outweigh the negative parts?” That leaves it to me to figure out some holistic treatments for those bothersome side effects and new symptoms that crop up with every change.

For some time now I’ve had to deal with skin changes, such as dry and oily areas suddenly changing, and then switching back up on me once I get a handle on them. Then there are some sudden and really nasty side effects such as sores, patches of raw skin, and boils. Unfortunately most everyone with a chronic illness will deal with at least one of those symptoms, if not all. Thankfully I’ve found one humble produce that I often have on hand that has helped me a whole lot. You say tomato and I say, um, tomato. *grin* Betcha never eyed the leftover slices of tomato from your BLTs and thought they’d make a great new skin treatment. I tried it out of desperation and it worked so well that even some of my scars are improved. I talked to one of my doctors a few days ago about it and after she examined me she said that she couldn’t recommend anything else that would work any better than what I was doing. No medications, changes to hormones, or clinically approved topical ointments that would work any better! What do you think of them a–ahem, tomatoes?

Let’s get down to the nitty gritty. You can use the tomato in a ton of different preparations and you’re only really limited by how much you are willing to research (or experiment if you’re that adventurous and daring type *grin*). Doctors and scientists believe that tomatoes have a ton of vitamins that work even if they’re soaked in instead of digested, plus they’re full of antioxidants. While I’d grow bored if I wrote about all of the believed benefits that come from consuming tomatoes, I’m going to focus on the topical benefits. The big guns believe that they can help with sunburns, clear up oily skin, draw pus from pores, wick away pus from where the tomato meets the skin, treat acne, reduce/tighten pores, reduce irritation, soothe skin and inflammation, remove scent (we’ve all heard stories about bathing in tomato juice if you get scent kissed by a skunk), reduce itching, and soothe some topical pain (although logically that’s probably because it’s relieving the inflammation and whatnot). I’m sure there are a lot more benefits that are being noticed and researched, but these are the benefits I know of firsthand. Seriously. And doctor approved. (Although you should always talk to your doctor when considering holistic treatments and you may not experience all benefits as listed, yada yada, and definitely don’t try topical uses if you are allergic when ingesting them!) *settling back into my chair and taking off the imaginary legal hat*

If you want to try it out on a boil you can simply cut a slice off of your tomato (the bottom works perfectly, since you don’t have to worry about the juices and pulp on the bottom side then) and hold it to your skin. I’ve seen a variety of times recommended online, but I honestly left it on until I felt relief since my symptoms all have pain associated with them. The heat from your body will warm the tomato, which I warn you can feel really funky at first and make your nose wrinkle while your toes curl. As long as it doesn’t hurt, it’s well worth it, so keep going.

Now, if it’s a boil and you’ve never had one before, those things are painful and that pus can easily contaminate other vulnerable skin. The tomato works well because the heat and natural acid from the tomato will help the boil come to a head and burst. The pus will soak into the tomato instead of sitting on your skin or seeping into other pores. You may experience a reduce in swelling as soon as this happens (within about half an hour), but sometimes it may take more than one round. Make sure to be careful; be cautious about having anything touch the inflamed skin after the treatment, and be ultra hygienic. Always dispose of the tomato after use and never be tempted to reuse a section, even if you don’t think the head came up. A key tip – wash any clothing and skin that comes into contact with the area, even if it’s just a light swab or glancing touch. You can even try mashing the tomato into a paste and apply that to the boil. Rinse off after the desired time period and put all towels used right into the laundry. This will prevent accidental re exposure. Hopefully you’ll find relief very quickly. Remember, heat brings it to a head while coolness with reduce inflammation and let it finish healing.

For facial acne, tightening pores, and generally clearing your skin, it’s mind boggling how many things you can try. Have fun with this since it’s a great chance to pamper yourself a bit and take some me time! You can have a little spa fun and put sliced cucumber over your eyes while laying slices of tomato over your face. Sure, you’ll look weird, but those gals spending a ton of money to get bird poop smeared on their face for a premium skin treatment don’t look any prettier during their treatment, so don’t worry about it. *grin* You can mash the tomato up and mix it with your favorite plain yogurt that you like to use on your skin. (For me it honestly depends on what I have on hand. I personally don’t swear by one over another, but a lot of people have preferences. Reminds me of a phrase my grandma used to say about people and opinions, but that’s best left unwritten. *smirk*) If you like sugar scrubs you can even cut a chunk of tomato, dredge it in some sugar (raw or granulated – you can research and decide your preference, I prefer granulated white or brown), and rub gently over your skin (although I’d recommend that more for body and not face, since I’m not a big believer of sugar being great for the face). You can even use just the juice from the tomato and mix it with your preferred milk. (Yeah, I’m so not going to argue with anyone over coconut milk, buttermilk, goat’s milk, or whole milk being better than the next. That’s like telling a Coke drinker that all colas are the same – they’ll still wrinkle their nose when they sip the Pepsi and tell you how wrong you are. Nope, not worth it. Lol.) If you feel really awesome and empowered add a bit of honey to your mix for maximum healing and pampering. Apply to your face and allow to sit on the skin like a mask, then rinse and pat dry (read “pat dry”! Quit rubbing when you towel dry whenever possible. *grin* Believe me, your skin will glow in appreciation for your extra effort.).

Hopefully you are inspired to experiment a bit with tomato and see if it works for you. I sincerely hope it helps you as much as it has helped me. If you decide to experiment, please don’t hesitate to leave some comments about it. I’d love to hear about your concoctions. Happy pampering! ūüôā

Acne Facial Soap – testing

So I started testing the new acne facial soap.¬† Often when I’m going to be the one testing, then I’ll use an overpour¬†or some other not-suitable-for-sale version, so I’m not really losing much.¬† If an official tester is getting the item to test, then they get the full item usually.¬† Anyway, I had an overpour¬†that I have been using for testing.¬† It wasn’t the smoothest soap, I admit.¬† *grin* There was a dollop of oats that fell at the very end, which didn’t get absorbed like it usually would have, since they had started to set by the time I was pouring the last of it (it made more than expected, but not enough for a full soap, which is an overpour).¬† I was excited to test it and while in the shower (since I had several test items to do, I figured I’d give it all a go at once) I grab up the new round of soap.¬† Stupid, stupid girl…I picked it up and dragged it across my skin, forgetting the little issue from the pour, and scraped the rough oats straight across my forehead.¬† *rolling eyes with a dramatic sigh*¬† Yeah, like I said, stupid, stupid girl.¬† *grin*¬† However, the scratch went away quickly, and the soap is actually pretty neat.¬† I’m still tracking the results to see if it’s coincidental or if it seems like the soap has made the difference.¬† Since it has a combination of oil and lemon powder, it cleans and moisturizes, but leaves a waterproof feel¬†to the skin.¬† Oddest feeling, but really cool!¬† To describe…it’s like running your finger over the surface of a plastic waterproof tarp – that smooth feeling that lets you know that the water will bead up.¬† What happens is that this reaction keeps the ingredients on the skin and penetrating, but since it is oil, water rolls off.¬† Sounds counter-intuitive, but really moisturizes.¬† I just couldn’t believe I did that. lol¬† So far I’m breaking out, but that is normal if the soap is doing the job.¬† (This is where selling Avon and doing other product parties has come¬†in handy…I learned a lot before I started making my own stuff!)¬† You see, when you use an item that really starts to work against your acne, it’ll bring the acne that is in the lower layers of your skin up to the surface.¬† When you exfoliate, you remove the dead cells that are at the surface (don’t exfoliate¬†too hard, because then you remove the healthy skin, which is why your face hurts and is pink as can be), revealing the¬†radiant skin that doesn’t have the dull blah of the surface stuff.¬† I have to keep this in mind while testing the soap, because if it’s just random acne (thanks hormones…), then I’m just out of luck.¬† If it’s because the soap is working, then I’ll stop breaking out.¬† Only time will tell.¬† I love the relaxing spa scent, the oats (except for the lovely dollop on mine) is super soft and exfoliates, but isn’t abrasive, and it leaves that awesome clean feeling.¬† My husband felt my cheek yesterday, raised his eyebrow, and said it felt super clean.¬† At least part of the soap works! lol¬† By the way, the oats are a mixture.¬† I chopped up part of them, so they’re nice and fine.¬† There are some roughly chopped oats that give some real umph to the soaps and add a great texture while using it.¬† It admittedly feels a little odd when there’s something rolling on your skin until you realize that one of the oats has come loose and is all soggy *grin*, but hey, that is so unique!¬†

I’ll be testing this for a while.¬† I will end up using another tester to find out if the lemon powder included in it is working, since it doesn’t for me, but like medicine, it may work on one person’s skin, and not another.¬† For my oily skin, I might be making a lemon soap.¬† I’ll keep you posted.¬† Have a great night!

Acne facial soap

One of my brothers has a teen daughter who is struggling with acne, as we all do (welcome to hormones).¬† He asked if I had anything that could help and wildly enough I had just been reading about natural items that help with acne and greasy skin, so I asked that he give me a bit of time and I would see what I could come up with.¬† That night I found a recipe on my wholesaler’s site to start with, ordered the remaining items that I needed, and got them in the most recent delivery.¬† I’ve kept researching in the meantime and finally got in to make my first attempt at acne facial soaps.

My kitchen smells fantastic right now!¬† I used the Spa FO (Almond & Honey), which is one of the most relaxing scents I have ever smelled, along with oats (for mild exfoliation), lemon powder (which is a natural astringent, antiseptic, and kills bacteria, while clearing grease and oil), shea butter base (protects skin and super moisturizing), bentonite¬†clay (removes toxins and absorbs oil, among other benefits), and even a little bit of refined sweet almond oil (moisturizing, yet doesn’t clog pores).¬† I did¬†a mixture of chopped oats and finely ground, too, which gives the soap a little more umph.¬† I poured the thick brew (I created a quarter recipe, so I only used 4 oz of soap base, instead of the full pound) into a few rounds in my silicone mold for easy removal once they set.¬† I figure that the oats and clay will make them very tough to remove, so I had to go with silicone.¬† I learned with my Mechanic’s Soap, which has a lot of pumice, that thickening items make soaps very hard to remove from traditional plastic molds.¬† *rolling eyes*¬† That was a very frustrating lesson, let me tell you.¬†

Anyway, they are sitting on the counter under a blanket of wax paper setting up.¬† It’ll take a few days since it’s so warm (in the winter they can set in just a couple of hours sometimes), but I look forward to testing the tiny partial overfill soap.¬† I really hope this works!¬† I’d love to help my niece and I’d seriously love to get further into the teen market.¬†

On a side note, some of the cancer ribbon soaps that I poured the other day were a total fail.¬† *disappointed sigh*¬† The super thin molds make it almost impossible to unmold the soaps without breaking the “legs” of the ribbons off.¬† What made it through will be the ones that I donate to the survivors, since they actually smell really nice.¬† The rest go into my “melting bowl”, which are scraps that become mysteriously scented soaps later when I melt the wild mixture down.¬† That’s how I ended up with the ¬†“At the Fair” soaps.¬† I’m sticking to my old mold from now on! *grin*

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