Reader Q&A

Hello, coming to you live from a fragrant geranium oil and sea salt bath. I’m having a beautiful cup of lavender and rose tea from Rebecca’s Apothecary in Boulder, CO. I think my bath salt is from there as well. I highly recommend all of these things – baths, geranium oil, and especially Rebecca’s. My day (maybe month?) is made whenever I get the chance to go there and get my fill of bulk herbs, tinctures, and henna (post coming!).

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So, remember in my last post when I mentioned that we have a reader question? Well, the same question came up in conversation with a friend again. It seems plugged nose pores are a very important topic that I need to address. Here’s the question:

“My face is really smooth and soft, especially on the apples of my cheeks, but my nose still feels rough and gross despite getting the same treatment. What can I do?”

Well, dear reader and friend, your nose is rough because sebum/oil has hardened into the pores. This seems to be a problem for everyone, from what I’ve seen, even those with good skin (except for my esthetician, who is 50 and you could never tell because her skin is amazing and impeccable). Honestly, if your skin is generally good and reflects your inner health and wellness, as it will (or won’t depending), you may just leave those bad boys alone and forget about it.

If you can’t and you really hate them, or skin is your hobby, like for me, do not fear. There is an answer. The answer to the oil is more oil. Truly. It’s not counterintuitive though it might seem so to some. Oil is commonly used as a solvent in industry, though I like to think of painting. To clean your brushes after oil painting, you use an oil to dissolve the oily paint residue on your brushes.

So how to do this with the face? We oil cleanse. I wrote a post about this previously, and apparently didn’t write about all the wonderful benefits? Oil will dissolve the gunk in your pores, hydrate and soften your skin and plump your pores so they release all the gunk, nourish – basically, it will make your skin really, really happy. Here is the video that I linked to before with more information. Castor is the most intensely cleansing of plant oils, but most of the time it’s best to dilute it (unless you have very congested, oily skin). Castor oil is too intense for my dry skin, but I’ve had great luck with avocado oil and almond oil. The key with oil cleansing is the hot washcloth to steam your skin for a bit and then gently wipe everything away.

If you haven’t had much of a cleansing routine in place and want to do a deep cleanse, replace the hot cloth with a pot of boiled water to steam your face. You can add in some herbs, once you’ve taken the pot off the heat, as demonstrated below. (I used Rebecca’s decongesting blend with rosemary and peppermint.)

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If you steam your face like this, make sure to keep a lid over the pot and pull it away gradually so you don’t burn your skin. Keep a blanket over your head to keep the steam in. After 15 or 20 minutes, follow up with a clay mask. This is the deep cleanse action that draws everything out. I love this at-home facial video as a guide – great thing to do once a month or even once a week.

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