If I skip a day of co-washing, I get an itchy and red scalp.
If I use shampoo a bit (once a week on Sunday), I get an itchy and red scalp.
If I use no-poo “shampoo” and “conditioner” (i.e. baking soda and vinegar), I get an itchy and red scalp.
If I use normal shampoo regularly, I get an itchy and red scalp.
If I use fancy organic shampoo, I get an itchy and red scalp.
If I just shaved my head bald, I could slather it with bodywash and lotion. I’m sure that’d be easier than finding a balance that works for my scalp!
Oh, and then there’s my face.
If I use acne medicine, I break out.
If I use soap (even the one for sensitive skin) daily, I break out.
If I only rinse my face and avoid washing it, I break out.
Oil cleansing works a bit; it helps to not cause more acne, but it doesn’t really help heal what’s there. It also feels gross, especially on workout days.
I’m BEYOND frustrated with this skin. It seems like the older I get, the more my skin rejects anything I wouldn’t eat. Cleansers, lotions, shampoos, topical medicines. Every few months I find some new change in what I can and can’t use (the last change being my skin’s negative reaction to Neosporin).
My next experiment in my search for a solution is based on some basic science. Oatmeal legitimately soothes skin; there are chemicals, and blah blah blah. I just spent a couple hours pouring over the science of oatmeal bathes and skin treatments. That said, oatmeal contains saponins, which happen to act as a gentle (natural) cleansing agent.
The plan is two-fold:
Face – I’m going to mix powdered oatmeal with powdered milk. To wash my face, I add a bit of water (or oil, or whatever liquid I please) to a tablespoon of the mix. It’s supposed to mildly wash and exfoliate your face, and it is listed as a daily-use recipe.
Scalp/Hair – I’m going to go all-in and make some oatmeal milk (soaking oatmeal in water, then straining out the solids). It should cleanse my hair, and it will definitely work as a conditioner (I speak from experience on that front). If it doesn’t cleanse, it should still soothe my scalp; I’ll just have dirty hair and be forced to switch to an oatmeal rinse after regular shampooing. We’ll see.
At minimum, I expect my inflammation, itching, and dryness to be healed away. At maximum, I hope for my hair to look clean and healthy, and my skin/scalp to be clear and smooth.
Keep your fingers crossed for me!