Monday, August 9, 2010

Witchy Stuff Fail

Lest anyone get the impression that around here it's all natural sunshine and compostable rainbows, I'm here, today, to tell you about two colossal failures in the witchy stuff category. I'll get the most embarrassing out of the way first.
The story goes: I had a tiny blemish. In the past I have used tea tree oil or witch hazel to treat such blemishes - both are astringent and healing and slightly drying and regenerative and all sorts of good things. I figured both together would be doubly effective and certainly zap my zit. Instead it burned my face. A jumbo cotton ball sized burn that has taken two weeks to heal and incited countless 'What happened to your face???'s, every one totally deserved. I've heard it said, but now I believe more than ever that herbs are powerful. You have to know what you're doing. Now I know that tea tree oil and witch hazel should not be used, together, full strength, on bare skin. Don't do it! And if you think I have a photo to go along with the disaster you're crazy, I spent the week shunning everything with eyes, mechanical or human.

Next up, not quite so embarrassing but perhaps more costly. I saw this post about making one's own lotion, and since I've become a bit more concerned about what I rub into my skin lately (see Oil Cleanse Method) I thought it would be worth trying. It's basically just olive oil in a more manageable form. So I ordered the emulsifying wax and, admittedly jumping the gun, starting collecting a million little bottles that I could fill with wonderful herbal handmade lotion and give away as Christmas gifts (Yeah, you see the label right, almost every Friday night my boy brings home a pair of shots, and after enjoying my shot I rinse out the bottles and save them. Last year we filled them with flavored salts for all the fam. This year they've been saved for the handmade lotion).

On a rare afternoon that I was feeling caught up with life and ambitious I made up the lotion. It's as simple as the homemade deodorant, and takes about 5 minutes, and the cooling lotion looked so promising.

But I'm here, today, to tell you, that you might as well smear straight olive oil on your skin, that would be less gloppy and soak in better than this lotion. It was terrible, it coated my skin with an oil slick impenetrable layer on an already humid day, and I ended scraping it off because I couldn't stand it. I'm sure there are good lotion recipes out there. But this is not it. I'm going running back to my Trader Joe's Midsummer Night's cream, and I'm up for suggestions on what to do with my million whiskey bottles.

1 comment:

Billi London-Gray said...

This makes me smile. Not because I'm smiling at your failure as a naturowitch, but because it makes me think of times I have done similar experiments. And gotten similar (read: far worse) results.

The cotton puff burn? I'll one-up that right now. One time I got a staph infection in my face. (The first time of the two times, that is.) I picked it up in a pseudo hostel in Granada, the pseudo hostel where Daniel and I rented the bottom bunk of a set of twin-size bunk beds that had a thirtysomething pair of German students renting the top bunk. Sounds like a paradise for contagions, right? Well, when I had oozing things, formerly miniscule blemishes, on my face the day after we left the pseudo hostel, I figured it was a fungus from that place. Why a fungus instead of bacteria? Because the oozing didn't respond to antibacterial ointment. We were still traveling, so I tried alcohols and fungicides and vitamin E oil and tea tree oil, whatever I could remember my naturopathic doctor from home suggesting for skin care...nothing worked. We came back to Texas, I started my small town paper reporter job (no health insurance) and continued with my experimental treatments rather than seek a doctor and conventional treatment. In the end it was 14 MONTHS (!!!) before the infection finally cleared up.

So I think it's great that you gave these single trials and stamped them as failures rather than persisting for 14 months trying to make them work. :o)