Let's be real here, after 8 months in treatment I am starting to resemble to world's most adorable petri dish. I feel like an oil tanker -15 pounds heavier, greasy, and filled with chemicals and toxins. It's not a good feeling. 

On top of that, I've learned the hard way that sometimes using a real "pharma" to treat a side effect can then cause a new, sometimes worse side effect. It's a vicious cycle. Chemicals on chemicals on chemicals. 

Now, don't get me wrong - I am not giving up my Kadcyla (or my antibiotics or my Retin A) anytime soon, but swapping out meditation and ice packs for tylenol, or these fab products listed below, just makes me feel cleaner. And at the end of the day, I want things that WORK. 

I am not messing around here - efficacy over natural all the way, lovers. I'm looking for powerful natural ingredients, that do what they're supposed to without hurting more than they are helping. The name of the game is balance. 

The trick is to look for a combination of the best scientific delivery method for natures wonderful bounty - not so much  natural remedies for beauty woes, but a focus on nature's most potent ingredients. Science magic + nature = awesome. Consider these ingredients (and products) tried and tested in the world's most adorable petri dish. 



Natural Wonders

Ingredient: Olive Polyphenols

Now, it is no secret that I am obsessed with Perricone MD. I go there to get their facials, and they cure everything from folliculitis/acne to chemo induced dryness/premature aging (how is that combo fair, right?) 

I have recently become even more obsessed with their Hypoallergenic Nourishing Moisturizer because not only does it help with the chemo dryness, but it has antiseptic/antibiotic properties that help with my skins tendency towards infections/acne/horribleness. Plus, it's both gentle enough for my sensitive skin and potent. Let's be honest, sometimes "sensitive skin" products are just plain wimpy. 

I'd also like to add that it may seem pricey, but it's I use the teeniest, tiny bit and so it seems to be lasting forevs. 

Ingredient: Moomiyo

"Moomiyo is a strong Adaptogenic herbal, mineral and organic acid complex from Russia with strong natural anabolic healing properties. It has been used by the Russian military, Olympic athletes, cosmonauts and sports establishment for over four decades for increasing strength, lean muscle mass and for its recuperative powers on mental and physical stresses. It's main purpose is to is to enhance physical performance and to help the body adapt and recover faster from both physical and emotional stresses." Wow, I say. Just wow. I mean if it's good for the cosmonauts, it must be good for me, right?

Well, it turns out it's also used as a folk remedy for skin lesions. Willing to do anything to be able to wear shorts again, I tried it on my leg pneumonia (yes, I have pneumonia in my leg skin - how terrible is that?) and I swear it has healed up faster than ever before. Now granted, I am also on some powerful antibiotics, but having been through this before, I have to say, these things typically don't heal up overnight - but all my white heads were gone after one topical application and the "scars" have vanished after just one day of applying. My mom went to a crazy russian store and got me this gel, which my (Russian) step-dad says is the best, but I can't find it online so I plan to test some other methods out as well. 

Ingredient: Sulfur

Not to be confused with Sulfates (bad bad bad)Sulfur is a potent natural antibacterial which gently dries out and heals skin infections without drying out the rest of your skin. When I had folliculitis on my scalp, I literally covered my entire head front and back with a sulfur mask in the shower. Not only does it treat, but it feels really good, and somehow magically reduces the pain and pressure that the deep, sebum filled, painful "cystic" acne can cause. 

Ingredient: Fruit Acids

Acids are natures slougher. And it may seem counter intuitive, but fruit acids tend to be more gentle on my sensitive skin than grainy scrubs with physical agents like sugar/almond etc. I have to say, I have become a huge fan of this SUPER potent 3-step facial from Ole Henrickson whose ingredient list reads like an organic breakfast bar menu, but which feels incredibly potent and which had a magical effect on my wannabe acne scars.

Is it breakfast? Is it a facial? You tell me.

Almond Polish:
-Almond Extract, Oat Kernel Flour, Bamboo Stem Powder, Honey, and Orange Peel: Exfoliate.

Lemon Strip:
-Lactic, Glycolic and Fruit Acids, and Licorice and Algae Extract: Peel and refine.

Chamomile Comfort:
-Chamomile, Evening Primrose Oil, and Jojoba Seed Oil: Soothe and calm.

And of course, it's free of Parabens, Sulfates, Synthetic Dyes, Petrochemicals, Phthalates, GMOs, and Triclosan (all potentially carcinogenic ingredients) but it's still super effective. Just one use left my skin clearer, smoother, cleaner feeling and softer. And, bonus, it comes with two.

I also found that each packet is really enough for 2 applications, so it's good to share it with a friend since it's better fresh. It's especially great for after a breakout, when it seems like those damn rascals might be trying to scar you for life, and of course, exfoliation is the key to fighting off wrinkles and banishing dryness.