Weird Cosmetic Routines: A Lesson in Adaptation

This will be a fun one. Fibro seems to attack parts of the nervous system, inviting symptoms such as:

  • skin sensitivity
  • dry and rough skin
  • skin flushing
  • dark circles under eyes
  • sweating
  • being more prone to allergies
    • while not directly the nervous system, the immune system and nervous system communicate with each other

Those are just some of the physically noticeable symptoms that affect us with special regard to today’s topic: cosmetic routines.

Sufferers like myself come up with all sorts of unusual remedies to cope with our symptoms. I’ve mentioned in previous posts that once we’ve accepted our diseases, we must learn to cope and just try to move on towards whatever happiness we can find.

Two days ago, my scalp was so sensitive I couldn’t get a brush anywhere near it. And I have looooong mermaid hair down my back. It looks like this:

long hair flannel.jpg

It’s naturally very wavy and it’s extremely thick. I love my hair! But for work I often just throw it up in a bun and after several days of doing that, my hair gets extremely tangled. And I’m one of those people who can’t and shouldn’t necessarily brush their hair constantly, it would damage it and it gets super frizzy. I sometimes reach this point of no return where I HAVE to brush it though, when I have big mats on the back of my head from tossing and turning and bun throwing.

So I had an unusual remedy. Coconut oil.

For those of you who don’t know, coconut oil is awesome and can be used for a shit ton of things. I use it as my makeup remover, I use it as lipbalm in dry Coloradan winter, I cook with it, I used to use it as lotion for my legs (but the residue of coconut oil actually leaves a rancid smell on your sheets and clothes after it sits for a while so I stopped), and the list goes on, really. I used it in this application to untangle and rehydrate my poor dry, messy hair.

I was pretty upset that my scalp hurt at this point so I covered my whole head with the stuff. Realistically, you don’t need this much, but when you’re a “wounded bear” you’re not always thinking rationally or willing to take your time finding a solution. I could have put in less and slowly worked at my hair for an hour.

Nope. I just doused my entire head with the stuff and jumped in the shower to work out all the knots. It worked wonderfully. It was really goopy and concerning, though.

Fast forward two days to now and my hair is the healthiest I have ever seen it. I let my hair down last night and my curls were still there, but when I put a brush through them, they just turned to butter. My hair has been restored. The only thing is, it takes a few days to get all of the oil out without refrying your hair with product, so it will look slightly greasy in some places for another day or so. A small price for a great fix.

So yeah, us Fibrotards can be so lame that we can’t bear to put a brush through our hair but we adapt. This also applies to our faces and hands and feet.

My skin is super dry. Like drier than desert dry. I have to put shea butter on my feet every day, sometimes twice a day, to keep them from cracking and looking/feeling awful. My skin has been this way for as long as I can remember. My hands are similar too, I make jokes about being a “Lizard Queen”. How I imagine myself:

lizard queen.jpg

In addition to my hands and feet being dry and rough, the rest of my skin is pretty weathered too. I try to put lotion on my legs every night and I have special “in-shower” lotion made by Nivea specifically for Lizard Queens like me. When I first started holding hands with people I liked in middle school, I would be teased for having very rough hands. “Man Hands” was a common name for me. I’ve been self-conscious about it from a very young age but now I just accept it because these are my mits and I’ve got ’em for life. I could probably light a match on my palm.

I’ve also posted about my skin flushing and shown pictures/gifs of it happening. This is pretty common with people like me and women have told me they use “red corrector” foundation for their skin. It has a slightly green tint to it so it neutralizes the redness. I just use regular foundation (but 24 hour lasting stuff) and I do notice that it still leaves me slightly pink. But I have a bottle in my car, in every purse, in my bathroom, and my backpack. I don’t go anywhere without it because if I start to flush in public, people think I’m sick or about to pass out. Or I’ll be on a date and I’ll have one beer but the bar is warm so I start to flush and my date thinks I’m drunk. Not a good look.

Do my readers have any weird but helpful beauty routines? I’d love to know what you guys do.

And for now, I’m enjoying the brisk but sunny Saturday morning with a hot cup of matcha and I’m about to start some morning yoga before walking along the river. Puppy is playing with her toys next to me and it’s time to sign off for now.

Thanks for reading!

-Elle

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