JRA.... Journal of a Radical Arthritis Chick

Here I give advice, speak of my experiences and give information to those who want to better understand Rheumatoid Arthritis. I am NOT a medical professional, and you should always seek advice from a doctor.

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Location: MA, United States

Hello everyone! I am 28 years old and was diagnosed with JRA (Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis) when I was just 3 years old. I've had my battles with this disease over the years, and have decided to create a blog. I want to share my stories and adivce with other RA chicks, or anyone interested, to raise awareness and get insight from others. Feel free to comment/question me about anything. Thanks, and I hope you enjoy!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Secret to beautiful skin?

Winter is approaching, faster than I'd like to admit.  Here in New England, we had a snowstorm already! Many were without power for days, luckily I live close to the water so I barely got any snow.

The reason I bring up winter, is the icky dry skin!  The cold weather doesn't dry the skin out, it's the dry heat that does.  When I was younger, I had really great skin.  I never really suffered from acne, and could use any lotion and body wash out there.  A few years ago, my body decided to change all that and give me a hard time.  I was diagnosed with severe eczema, and started getting some acne on my T-zone.  I had to stop using all lotions, body washes, perfumes and laundry detergents, and had to use all "fragrance free"  materials instead.  Ever since, I still have trouble getting my skin right.  I still have smooth skin, but every once in a while I get breakouts of my eczema.  My skin becomes unbearably itchy and dry. I'm on a prescription, that is as thick as Vaseline and since it's a steroid, I can't use it that often.  I started to do research into more natural things I could to do to help me lessen the eczema flares.

A few things kept popping up over and over again, mostly the number one answer to beautiful smooth skin, was drink more water.  Okay, I already drink my 8+ glasses a day, I'm constantly running to the bathroom to pee, so I know I don't need anymore.  Then I kept seeing something else pop up... something for a while I just ignored thinking it sounded ridiculous, because it stated that could help clear dry skin and acne.  Until I had one of the worst eczema flares recently.

It was a Friday night, I was sitting at home and my scalp (which is one of the spots my eczema seems to affect me the worse), started itching like crazy.  I couldn't stop itching, it was getting to the point where I was making myself bleed.  I started freaking out, of course I checked my scalp for any signs of lice, just in case, but nothing.  So I went online and found that same thing that kept popping up and figured it probably wouldn't hurt to try. 

Olive Oil.

Yup.  Where it definitely seems it would help dry skin, but acne also?  I figured I'd try it.  First I warmed it up a little in the microwave, so when I put it on it would help open my pores and seem in.  I smothered it throughout my scalp then wrapped it in a towel.  I then dabbed a very thin layer on my face, and set a timer for 30 minutes.  After the time was up, I washed my hair in the shower, and rinsed my face.  The scalp was instantly cured of any itching, and my face felt smooth.  Normally throughout the day, my T-zone on my face gets oily... but after using the olive oil, my face felt smooth and oil-free all day.  I even woke up the next day to my skin still feeling not oily! I was amazed, especially because I didn't seem to get any reaction to it. I decided to try it out for a week and see what happens.

Before I get to how it has worked for me, let me explain why olive oil is so good for our skin, especially those who have sensitive skin!   Apparently using extra virgin olive oil for skin and hair care dates back to ancient Greece.  The reason why using this oil alone works so well is the antioxidants and vitamins it carries.  Olive oil contains Vitamins A and E, which "help repair and renew skin that has been damaged from overexposure to sun, air pollution, and other modern-day environmental hazards – like cigarette smoke and fast food." (Source: oliveoilsource.com)  These vitamins have the ability to naturally stimulate our bodies cells, resulting in firmer, smoother and healthier skin.

What's great is research has shown that all natural extra virgin olive oil works better than some of the most expensive skin care products out on the market.  In fact, some products use olive oil in them but charge outrageous amounts of money for it!  A 25 oz bottle of extra virgin olive oil cost me only $6 at Walmart.  Don't worry about brand name either, olive oil is olive oil so I bought the Great Value Walmart brand and still got amazing results.

Here are some ways to use olive oil in your everyday skin and hair regime.  These methods use plain extra virgin olive oil (EVOO). Some other research online has different "recipes" using lemon juice, Castor oil, almond oil, etc with it.  I've only used it alone, and seem to get great results.

Use as a Skin Moisturizer:
When used a a moisturizer, olive oil penetrates deep in the skin to provide smooth skin.  It is suggested to use as a night cream, putting it on before bed, since it does take longer than normal cream to absorb.  This is what I do, I rub some all over my face about an hour or so before bed, and then in the morning rinse off my face with warm water in the shower. Others suggest also using it when you're fresh out of the shower, just dabbing your skin dry so it's a little damp and the pores are open to best penetrate.  You only need a thin layer, since it does get greasy.  Also, make sure the oil has time to dry since it can damage some clothing materials.  This is another reason why it is suggested to be used at night. This has worked wonders for my eczema.  I usually put some on after getting out of the shower as stated, just dab it on areas where my skin gets dry, my skin is so smooth!  You can also add a few tablespoons to your bath to get an all over body moisturizer! I do this once a week and my skin is remarkably smooth! Just be careful because the tub may get slippery, especially when getting out.  I use a bit of Dawn dish soap when I'm done, and wash down the tub.

Used as a Facial Wash
Warm a little olive oil in the microwave for about 30 seconds (you don't want it hot!).  Dab a thin layer over your face and let it sit for 30 minutes or so (you can do less if you don't have time).  Sometimes I'll turn the shower on and shut the door to get the steam in the bathroom to open my pores.  I'll hop in the shower and wash my body, avoiding my face to let the oil penetrate before I rinse it off.  Or, you can wash your face with warm water (no soap), pat dry. My acne has cleared up, and haven't seen anything new.  My T-zone is no longer oily or shiny.  My skin feels soft, smooth and healthy!

Used as Hair Conditioner:
I suffer from dandruff and extremely dry scalp, so again this has worked for me! There are two different ways to use olive oil for the hair, as a dandruff control and for deep conditioning.  Once a week I dab some olive oil throughout my scalp, wrap my hair in a towel and let it sit for 30 minutes, then hop in the shower and wash normally. For deep conditioning, massage a mixture of equal amounts of olive oil and water into your hair. Leave on for 5 minutes, then shampoo and rinse. Your scalp will benefit from healthy conditioning; your hair will respond with more shine and strength.

Pros and Cons of using olive oil?
Pros: smooth skin, cleared acne, soft beautiful hair, no itchy skin or scalp
Cons: tough to rinse out of hair if you use too much, is a little greasy, takes a little while to dry.

You definitely need time to be able to use this method, so using it as a night regime seems to work best for people with busy lives since you can dabble it on your skin before bed, and wash off in the morning.  Some people use soap when washing it off, but when I tried this it dried my skin too much.  Every one's body is different, so try different experiments.  Some people claimed adding a little lemon juice to the facial wash helps clear up stubborn acne a lot.  If you do research, all different recipes of olive oil treatments pop up based on your individual needs.  I wish I could write about them all, but felt it would be best to write what I have experimented with and you can go from there.  I am very satisfied with using this, even after just two weeks.  It is said that the results are slow, it make take up to a month before you fully notice a difference.  I've noticed my acne has cleared, and my face feels smoother and not oily anymore.  Other than that the look of my skin is the same.  Hopefully after using it everyday for a month, my pores will be tighter and my skin will look better.  I was going to post a photo of my face, but it is still too soon to tell.  If after a month my skin looks different, I will post a photo! If you'd like to know my further progress, feel free to ask.  :) 

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Blogger Deb aka AbcsOfra said...

I love olive oil! I use to do this regime years ago but forgot about it until I read your post. Back to the basics again :-) And it is chemical free also.

November 19, 2011 at 6:01 AM  
Blogger Yonka said...

Beautiful skin or to get soft skin = never use chemical induced lotions + avoid direct sun beam+ regularly use of natural product like ellovera and always stay cool and bindas...............Yonka

November 19, 2011 at 9:29 AM  

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