a skin update

January 19, 2012

A little over two weeks ago, I sent out a plea to you asking what you could recommend for my troublesome skin. As the responses kept pouring in, I could not believe the amount of people who gave me tips and advice on what skin care worked for them, what didn’t work for them, and what they thought I should do. I researched all of your advice for days — I was seriously overwhelmed with your advice! Which is why it took me about a week to actually make a decision.

Let me summarize what I told you a few weeks ago about the problems I had so you don’t have to switch back to that previous post.

  • my skin had been breaking out along my jaw line/chin and I have a lot of blackheads
  • i have very sensitive skin — fragrances really mess with it
  • My skin is oily in the summer, dry in the winter — it also “flakes” a lot!
  • $40-$50 for the entire routine
  • looking for products that would be more on the natural side and not too harsh on my skin

There were a lot of different opinions on what skin care lines would be best, and there were a few that really stood out as lines that were recommended a few times. Some of those included:

  • Clinique
  • Arbonne
  • Philosophy
  • Neutrogena
  • Cetaphil
  • Mary Kay
  • Clarasonics
  • Natural route: baking soda + water, apple cider vinegar, and coconut oil
  • Proactive
  • Dermalogica

Other than the products you all recommended to me, a lot of you gave some great advice as well, ranging from “only wash your face at night” to “make sure you use an SPF for anti-aging”. One of the comments also reminded me that the places where I tend to break out have a lot to do with hormones, which as we all know, mine are out of control. I apparently cannot change the fact that sometimes my skin acts like a 12 year olds’ because my hormones are whacko.

Taking everything that was said into account (and there’s much more where that came from too — I honestly read each and every single one of them), I used a great website many of you recommended to me as well — Beautypedia. It is a site that scientifically reviews a large amount of beauty products out on the market. I researched almost all of those products everyone told me about, and it took me forever to make a decision.

I’m still not sure if I’m going to stick to this exact regime, but for now I want to give it some time. So far, I’m liking it!

I’ve decided to do something different in both the morning and evening — mainly because my needs at each time of the day are different. In the morning, I have been doing two things — cleansing and moisturizing.

I decided to go with Neutrogena — it’s cheap, it always gets good reviews, and the naturals line is made with 90% natural ingredients. I’m down with that. I chose the purifying facial cleanser and an oil-free moisturizer with spf 15.

skin care 1

At night I am doing something completely different. I start out by using Neutrogena’s oil free makeup remover (which I have been using for a while now) and the purifying pore scrub.

January 16, 2011 008

Then I have been using apple cider vinegar as a toner and coconut oil as a nighttime moisturizer.

January 16, 2011 012 
I love the last two steps at night — I feel like the apple cider vinegar really cleans deep down into my pores (even though it smells) and the coconut oil really moisturizes well. My face is not oily during the day even though I am using this and all of my dry spots on my face are gone.

I’m probably going to tweak this a little bit, and I’m still having random breakouts, but at least I have found something that is kind of working. Only time will tell — as I said, I’ve only been using this routine for about a week or so, so it will take a little bit of time to see if this works for me!

{ 65 comments… read them below or add one }

kathleen @ the daily crumb January 19, 2012 at 5:05 pm

i’ve heard the same things about ACV and coconut oil… but just cannot (wo)man up and put it on my face! i do loooove all of my neutrogena products, though… especially the eye makeup remover.

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cleaneatingchelsey January 20, 2012 at 6:03 am

Do it! It feels so good!

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sophie strout January 19, 2012 at 5:08 pm

I use argan oil at night. It’s amazing! I just started using Dessert Essence face wash and really like it. I use Bragg’s at a toner too. My favourite moisturizer is Dr Murad, the vitamin C one.

Neutrogena tests on animals, unfortunately, so I don’t use them (I used to).

Good luck! Hope you can get the beautiful skin you deserve. Mine cleared up when I went vegan (I think it was the dairy) but having a good routine helped as well.

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cleaneatingchelsey January 19, 2012 at 6:40 pm

craaap! I did not know that! Now I’m rethinking my decision.

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Gina @ Running to the Kitchen January 19, 2012 at 5:10 pm

I started using that Neutrogena pore scrub recently as well and I’m loving it so far too. The vinegar and coconut oil thing is interesting, I might have to look into that because I’m not happy with my moisturizing routine and it’s costing me and arm and a leg!

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Stephanie January 19, 2012 at 5:11 pm

How much ACV and coconut oil do you use at once?

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cleaneatingchelsey January 19, 2012 at 6:40 pm

I just pour a little ACV on a cotton ball and I use maybe 1/2 tsp. coconut oil?

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Sassy Stephanie January 19, 2012 at 5:16 pm

Chelsey my love! You are so healthy and have great eating habits. I hate to see you using chemicals!! Try sweet almond oil on a cotton swab to remove your eye make up. Natural, cheap and you won’t need an additional eye cream! One bottle has lasted me about 7 months so far!

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cleaneatingchelsey January 19, 2012 at 6:40 pm

Thanks for the tip!

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Lauren @ What Lauren Likes January 19, 2012 at 5:17 pm

I like the apple cider idea! Cool :)

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Michelle @ A Healthy Mrs January 19, 2012 at 5:20 pm

Chelsea, I’m soooo with you on the skin problems. I hope your new routine works for you — I know just how frustrating it can be!

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kaity January 19, 2012 at 5:27 pm

yess love that moisturizer, and the acv thing i love doing, my fam cant stand the smell of me tho once i put it on, another one thats amazing n worked well for me with my scars is tea tree oil, its also go a strong smell but feels so good once its on! good luck hopefully the treatment your on works well!

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cleaneatingchelsey January 19, 2012 at 6:41 pm

ha! That’s why I put coconut oil over it – it masks the smell until the next morning!

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Carrie January 19, 2012 at 5:29 pm

coconut oil and vinegar!? wow never thought those two would help the skin! I use coconut oil in my hair though and its amazing, so that stuff is way versatile!

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cleaneatingchelsey January 19, 2012 at 6:41 pm

I use coconut oil in my hair too – I just did it the other day when my scalp was so so dry!

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Melissa Imbrogno January 19, 2012 at 5:29 pm

I was using only Neutrogena before Philosophy! Good choice.

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Katie @ Peace Love & Oats January 19, 2012 at 5:42 pm

I use that exact same morning moisturizer! I love it! And okay, this is a stupid question (I know NOTHING about beauty products/routines…) what is toner and do you just dab the apple cider vinegar on your face and leave it?

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cleaneatingchelsey January 19, 2012 at 6:42 pm

toner is more or less used to remove excess oil and to shrink pores – I pour some onto a cotton swab and swipe that over my face.

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Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga January 19, 2012 at 6:13 pm

Ive never tried ACV and coconut oil but have known TONS of women who have; most of them love it and for some, they don’t. I always think oh coconut oil would be so..oily…but when I use it on my hands or legs as a moisturizer, it’s never really that oily/greasy. I should try it on my face. With ACV.

And do you love love the Netrogena purifying facial cleanser? I am looking for something cheap, in a pump, and that works…sounds like you like it…do you love it? Or just like it? Tried anything else you love more for cleansers?

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cleaneatingchelsey January 19, 2012 at 6:43 pm

I like it. I’m not sure if I absolutely LOVE it. I’m still trying to find something that I can’t live without.

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Christine January 19, 2012 at 6:40 pm

So glad to hear your giving coconut oil a try! So far I’ve been loving it, can’t wait to hear how it works for you!

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Lindsay @ Lindsay's List January 19, 2012 at 7:02 pm

I’m SO interested to see how you feel in a month from now!! Am going to use you as my guinea pig. ;)

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Simply Life January 19, 2012 at 7:17 pm

I have that same huge jar of coconut oil and would never think to use it as a beauty product- great to know!

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cleaneatingchelsey January 20, 2012 at 6:04 am

I use it for everything! I put some on my cuticles when they start to get dry in the winter – I melt some and rub it into my scalp for a deep conditioning treatment, and I eat it! :)

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Jenn's Adventures January 19, 2012 at 7:46 pm

Thayer’s Rose Witch Hazel is also a phenomenal toner choice — if you need a break from the Apple Cider Vinegar:)

ALSO… I’m on a big Aloe Vera Gel kick — endless health benefits — get some!

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Erica @ For the Sake of Cake January 19, 2012 at 7:54 pm

Thanks for sharing what you decided to go with! I’m always looking for new ideas & my skin sounds similar to yours. I use Neutrogena moisturizer too & I love it!

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Pure2raw Twins January 19, 2012 at 8:26 pm

glad you are finding what works, we just did a whole series of our skin and breakout problems lately and what we are doing about it! we use natural products on our face and along with a few supplementation and changed diet around and have seen a HUGE improvement! we use ACV on face too and jojoba oil and love it!
if you ever need any help with anything let us know.
HUGS
L&M

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cleaneatingchelsey January 20, 2012 at 6:05 am

I started using ACV because of you two! :)

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Lindsay @ Fuel My Family January 19, 2012 at 8:33 pm

I need to get a skin care routine. Mine is just washing my face with my bar soap (zest or whatevers on sale) when I shower. My skin will not be thanking me later in life!

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Emily @ The Swallow Flies January 19, 2012 at 8:59 pm

That was mine up until about three months ago – minus the soap and water. Now I swear by Norwex wash cloths and Clinique moisturizers. :)

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cleaneatingchelsey January 20, 2012 at 6:05 am

I hate to say it but yes! You do need to get one! I know some women who are my mothers age and they just wash with a bar of soap and compared to others who have a skin care routine, their skin does not look as good.

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Amanda January 19, 2012 at 8:36 pm

Hi, I stumbled upon your blog looking at other healthy living blogs. Anyway, I had another idea, if you are already on an oral (hormonal) birth control pill there are a few that are FDA approved for acne (Yaz and Yasmin). That said, they have a type of progesterone that is also a diuretic so people often feel thirsty and there are side effects as all of the OCPs have. Just a thought!

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cleaneatingchelsey January 20, 2012 at 6:06 am

I actually used to be on birth control, but I stopped two years ago – if you’re interested in why I stopped, here’s the link where I explained it! http://cleaneatingchelsey.com/2011/02/09/birth-control-disaster/

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Lauren January 19, 2012 at 8:36 pm

Have you ever tried Origins? They have wonderful skin care products. It can be pricey, but it is well worth it. The Dr. Wiel line is phenomenal because it takes care of inflammation and sensitive skin. I break out, have both oil and dry skin that turns red and irritated (sometimes…but after changing your diet definitely helps now), and origins is great stuff. The cleanser that I recommend is called Checks and Balances, awesome stuff. If you ever decide to try another line, give Origins a shot! And you can go to their website and read all of the reviews to their products which is very helpful! :-)

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cleaneatingchelsey January 20, 2012 at 6:07 am

I actually wrote the last post because I didn’t like Checks and Balances :( – It totally dried out my face and gave me a rash!

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Grace January 19, 2012 at 9:30 pm

I’ve been having similar problems with my skin. I think the acne breakouts I have are totally hormonal so I’m about to run out of some of my expensive products that haven’t been working and I’m interested to see how you like the Nuetrogena naturals products in the long run…

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Kerry @ Totes My Oats January 19, 2012 at 9:44 pm

I’ve been wanting to moisturize with coconut oil! Maybe I will give that a go tonight…

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cleaneatingchelsey January 20, 2012 at 6:07 am

I double dare you!

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Molly January 19, 2012 at 10:05 pm

the absolute BEST skin care products are Obagi. It will CHANGE your skin & prevent wrinkles, etc. It is the most amazing stuff I’ve ever seen. My mom and aunt also use it and their results have been unreal. (the products are quite expensive but if you buy them online instead of through a dermatologist you will save a bunch of money!)

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Katie January 19, 2012 at 10:48 pm

I hope this works for you!! I know how annoying it is to have skin like a 15 year old…grrr. You are really dedicated!

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cleaneatingchelsey January 20, 2012 at 6:08 am

No, just annoyed! ;)

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Michelle (Better with Berries) January 20, 2012 at 5:20 am

On your post asking for recommendations, I ended up not posting mine (which is neutrogena!) because I was afraid it was too “plain” or something… haha! I use the moisturizer pictured above and the makeup remover. Ever since my beloved Dove facial moisturizer was discontinued, I’ve been using neutrogena and love it!

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cleaneatingchelsey January 20, 2012 at 6:08 am

what I’ve learned is “plain” is BETTER when it comes to skin care – too many products will just interact and irritate!

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Maria @ Beautiful Busy Bee January 20, 2012 at 6:08 am

So glad you found good products! I use a mishmash of stuff- clean&clear, neutrogena, clinique, cetaphil. :) Good luck with your new regimen!

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Anna January 20, 2012 at 6:30 am

Oh glad to know what suggestions you’ve tried and what you like. After reading the comments last time (I’m struggling with my skin too) I think I am going to try using coconut oil as a moisturizer!

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Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin January 20, 2012 at 6:34 am

I’m obsessed with that Neutrogena moisturizer! I’ve been using it since high school and I could never switch to another brand now.

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Leila January 20, 2012 at 8:22 am

I love that you went with Neutrogena!! I’ve been using it for YEARS and have had no problems (and I also have VERY sensitive skin and go through the oily/dry skin like you do). I’d also recommend some of their makeup line too. I’m obsessed with their concealer (the kind that comes in the lipstick tube thingy). Great coverage and looks SO natural.

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Lara January 20, 2012 at 11:29 am

If Neutrogena doesnt work for you – try Trader Joe’s Spa Face Wash with Tea Tree Oil . I just bought it two weeks ago and I am in love.. i have similar skin to you.. dry in winter yet gets oily/ breaks out .. and I am really like this TJ’s cleanser and its sooo cheap! (there is another TJ cleanser – forget name something with antioxidant — do not get that one.. it was too drying for me) Good luck!

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Kellie January 20, 2012 at 11:18 pm

I use this too and love it!

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Mel January 23, 2012 at 2:26 pm

I third this!! I’ve been using it for over year and I love it!! I too get breakouts and black heads and this facial cleanser is gentle yet effective. I also use the tea tree wipes after I work out and the TJ’s face lotion with spf 15 every am and evening. They are all vegan. Try them!

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Amber K January 20, 2012 at 1:05 pm

I keep thinking about moisturizing with coconut oil, but just haven’t done it yet. I”m going to have to try the ACV trick too!

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jenna January 20, 2012 at 5:51 pm

Coconut oil is one of the worst things you could do if you are acne prone. it has a 4/5 comedogenic rating. I would really really not use that on your face unless you know for sure that it doesn’t break you out. It is highly comedogenic. I’ve tried it and it ended in horrible breakouts.

http://www.zerozits.com/Articles/acnedetect.htm

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cleaneatingchelsey January 20, 2012 at 6:30 pm

Hi Jenna,

Thanks for the link and for your experience! I’ve actually read differently – I really think it depends on the person, and right now it’s working for me! http://www.highonhealth.org/coconut-oil-is-an-awesome-natural-acne-treatment/

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cleaneatingchelsey January 26, 2012 at 5:50 pm

aaaand here’s when you can say “i told you so” – my face started breaking out this week like crazy and wouldn’t stop. I stopped using the coconut oil. So sad!!!

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Jenna January 26, 2012 at 8:28 pm

I tried to warn you! I know it’s all natural and it works for some but it is majorly pore clogging for most people. If you want to use a natural oil to moisturize you can try safflower or sunflower oil…those are much more face friendly. If you do ever try them make sure they are high linoleic (higher in poly unsaturated fats than in mono). Rice bran and grape seed can be ok too.

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celesul September 23, 2012 at 12:18 am

You might want to try jojoba oil instead. Coconut oil is moderately pore clogging (it’s much, much more friendly to the face than shea butter though, which is supremely moisturizing but better kept to non acne prone bits).

Jojoba oil is know for it’s similarity to the oil your skin produces. I’ve started using it, and my acne cleared up, the dry parts of my skin became soft and smooth, while the oily bits stopped being so shiny. It’s magic! But, if you decide to use it, get it from Trader Joe’s. It’s like a fourth of the price of what I’ve seen elsewhere.

Also, diluting the vinegar with water will make it less drying, while still acting as a good toner (it helps bring the skin back to it’s normal ph after using a cleanser, because most cleansers have a more basic ph than skin does, which can cause skin trouble). Diluting it will also make it not hurt so badly. Regardless, vinegar is amazing at fighting acne.

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Allie@LiveLaughEat January 20, 2012 at 7:52 pm

I sometimes use coconut oil on dry patches. It helps so much. I haven’t tried apple cider vinegar as a toner though. I gotta!

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LM January 21, 2012 at 11:46 am

Neutrogena also makes a spot treatment I think works really well on blemishes; gets rid of them super fast without overdrying. It’s my Hail Mary of skincare. I had a facial recently and my esthetician told me witch hazel is another great, natural, cheap toner. I just started using it, so I can’t personally attest to the results. I think you’re pretty brave using the ACV; I’m not sure I could stand the smell!

I hate trying to find a new skincare regime. It’s so frustrating when you know what you’re doing is not working but you don’t know how alternatives will affect you. The worst is shelling out a lot of money on products you realize are not helping – or even making it worst – and then having to start over. I wish you lots of luck!

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Gail January 21, 2012 at 1:08 pm

Have you tried taking evening primrose supplements? Also, I use a combination of tea tree, rosemary and aloe vera oils which work wonders! I have tried every product under the sun and find my skin is at its best when I stick to the natural stuff. Witch hazel mixed with cold green tea is an awesome toner too!

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Emily @ Perfection Isn't Happy January 23, 2012 at 1:37 pm

I might have to try those last two things! My hormones are out of control, as well (even my dermatologist told me so), so trying to find something that works is difficult. I use Aveeno face wash and Proactiv toner and lotion, but using something natural might be better for my sensitive skin. We shall see!

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Celia January 23, 2012 at 3:54 pm

Try Rosehip Seed Oil as a moisturizer. It absorbs into skin and is not greasy. Almond oil is great for eye makeup removal.

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Mallory @ Have Your Cake January 23, 2012 at 8:58 pm

i had been having the worst breakouts ever (around my jawline/chin and the sides of my face) and i tend to have oily skin. i have found that the only thing that has worked miracles is clearasil vanishing cream after neutrogena salicylic acid cleanser. the cream is seriously like MAGIC and i have the worst skin ever! it literally dries any blemish out immediately.

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Veronica January 26, 2012 at 2:30 pm

Hi Chelsey!
I am in a similar situation with my skin. I was wondering how you are liking these products. Have they helped your dry skin?
Thank you!

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cleaneatingchelsey January 26, 2012 at 5:50 pm

The coconut oil helped with the dry patches, but in the end made my skin break out like CRAZY!!! I stopped using it this week. I look like a 12 yr old boy!

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Erika February 2, 2012 at 5:30 pm

I also use acv in my hair- it makes it so soft without leave in conditioner and extra products. I pour like a tablespoon (I just estimate) in a cup, fill it with shower water, and pour it over my hair. I highly recommend it!

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