In 2013, during my last year of college in London, I had started decreasing the amounts of chemicals/cosmetics I used. I was studying Environmental Engineering and I knew how toxic these products were, not only for the planet but for our bodies too. I had started by replacing deodorant and toothpaste with their more natural counterparts, but I still didn’t feel comfortable using manufactured products. I wanted to make my own! So when I moved back to Egypt I started making my own very simple recipes. For example, I’d use baking soda instead of shampoo and miswak powder as toothpaste. I’d also make my own blend of essential oils for deodorant.

But after some time I realized I could easily live without some of these or even simplify them further – and now basically the only ‘products’ that have touched my face since June 2013 are clay, coconut oil, lemon, aloe vera and tea tree oil! I’ve experimented with other things like cinnamon but I like the minimalist approach. I haven’t touched soap or lotions or any other chemical since. We really don’t need all the things that are advertised out there!

Later on in the same year I also quit animal products, and became a strict vegan (now I’m a bit more flexible with diet and will allow eggs and shellfish). The following year, I stopped drinking alcohol and I think I’ve run out of things to quit. Oh, sugar! That one too

I used to get blackheads on my nose when I was a teenager but when I discovered that lemon closes pores, I applied it daily for a week and they almost disappeared! All you need to do is apply fresh lemon juice to your skin. It might burn a little, but it’s always a good sign that it’s working!

Regarding acne, only certain *foods* give me pimples. It’s simple: don’t eat it, don’t get a reaction. I’ve mapped my face and I know exactly which foods cause a spot in which location (ex: soy lecithin on right cheek, fried foods forehead). It took about a year for me to know which foods cause my face to react. But if you want a shortcut, look up the mucus-less diet.

My family always thought that I was having bad skin problems because I was ‘growing up’ and just needed to use the right soap. But that’s not true because I can easily look like my 14 year old self by eating tons of fried foods and overly sweetened carbs (it will only take 24 hours to show, and then require 3 days of detox).

I used to cover my face with foundation up until I was 19 or so. I was so ashamed of having pimple-prone skin and would always get comments by people telling me to stop eating chocolate. Now I always make sure the chocolates I eat don’t contain soy lecithin and I stopped using make up since 2013. Even “natural” foundation clogs up the pores – throw it away! It’s far from natural, Skin wants to breathe fresh air.

Your skin is your largest organ and it reflects everything that is happening INSIDE! Be thankful for that! If your skin didn’t serve as an indicator, you’d keep doing all these bad things for your insides. For instance, your skin will react to a build-up of omega-6 fats – it’s just a sign you need to eat less of these foods (oily, fatty stuff in general) and consume more omega-3. That’s just one example! but there are many.

Also, your skin serves as a mirror to how you feel inside. If you’re not comfortable in your skin, it will show. Work on self-love and self-discipline with proper nutrition, and definitely skip the chemical junk!