My skin has been breaking out in swathes of pimples and streaks of rashes, thanks to my ongoing Mirena cleansing process. With buckets of toxins and bad hormones oozing from every pore, hair and skin has taken the worst beating. Coarse and wild, my hair resembles a horse’s uncombed tail. But my face! Oh, the horror. I used to look in the mirror and say “Hey, not bad. I can leave the house without makeup”. Now I resemble someone slapped across the cheeks with a hot waffle iron and then squirted with olive oil for good measure. Yuck. I pamper my skin, but lately every well intended product just scatters more red welts across my cheeks. Even the most gentle of moisturizers has left my face dry, itchy, and pitted, with pores large enough for someone to dive into. Gross. I couldn’t wear makeup, much less wash my face, without inducing yet another flare-up. My skin has never been so sensitive or so irritated! What to do?!
Fortunately, I remembered a special purchase during my recent trip to South Dakota. I visited Prairie Edge, one of my favorite shops, in Downtown Rapid City. Tourist attraction, souvenir/gift shop, Sioux trading post, history center and art museum rolled into one gorgeous historical landmark, Prairie Edge is nestled on the corner of Main Street and 6th. The best is the Sioux trading post. While my rowdy children fingered sumptuous fox tails and exclaimed loudly over the price of bison sinews and leather pieces (and I pretended they weren’t my offspring) I stared at the herbs and prairie plants. One whole corner was dedicated to medicinal plants and herbs used by the Lakota. Sage, the predominant healing herb, took up much space, but many other fascinating products caught my eye. One was a small tub of salve labeled Ha Pejuta, or Skin Medicine in Lakota. The ingredients are natural — wild bergamot, arnica, calendula, lavender, garlic, tea tree oil, olive oil, grape seed oil, and locally sourced beeswax — no chemicals. The label states “This salve stimulates circulation and heals”. I purchased it and a bottle of sweetgrass hydrosol, a distilled liquid smelling of the delicious water grass.
On the first night using the salve, my skin was so sensitive I could hardly cleanse without crying! Gently dabbing the sweetgrass hydrosol over my face with a large cotton ball cooled the irritation. Next came a few drops of tea tree oil on my T-Zone, then I rubbed a little Ha Pejuta over my face. My skin was still very sensitive and at first the salve stung, but within a few minutes my face felt warm — the salve was living up to its claim! The next morning my face looked clearer. Cleansing still proved uncomfortable, but I followed the same pattern; soap for sensitive skin (the only part of the routine that included any chemicals), sweetgrass toner, tea tree oil, and Ha Pejuta salve. I then added a dab of moisturizer with sunblock. The salve created a barrier over my skin so I could add sunblock or moisturizers without causing further irritation.
For one week I followed the same regimen and tried not to wear makeup if possible. The dryness and oiliness has resolved and my pores have shrunk. The raised red areas smoothed out and disappeared. My skin has even started to glow again! I also made my own facial mask: a cherry tomato plucked from the garden, a dash of lemon juice, and a sprinkle of rolled oats, all pulverized in the blender with a bit of water. I spread the mixture on my face and let it set up for 5 minutes, just enough for my skin to feel tight. I will continue to use my Ha Pejuta salve to protect and heal my skin, and keep my fingers crossed for better facial health this summer!
Update: After going back to my former skincare routine, my face started to look kind of blah again. My chin broke out and I noticed dryness as well as oiliness on my nose and forehead. So I believe the Ha Pejuta salve made an improvement. Not wearing makeup for several days also didn’t hurt. If you need a facial overhaul, you don’t have to buy Ha Pejuta, but try tea tree oil and a salve based on natural ingredients and try to avoid products with chemicals. See if it helps.