In Review: Shea Moisture’s Purification Masque

This morning I posted a video on my Youtube channel showing my first impression after using the Purification Masque by Shea Moisture.  The product claims to relieve itching from dry scalp caused by conditions like dandruff, eczema and psoriasis.  I suffer from scalp psoriasis which thankfully is a lot better after taking my vitamin supplements and eating healthy.  I still have a little bit of an itchy scalp so I thought I would try this product to see if it would help.  Check out the video to see what I thought!

MY REVIEW ON SHEA MOISTURE’S PURIFICATION MASQUE

Also, be sure to take a look at my recent posts on how I deal with my psoriasis.  It is an autoimmune disease that tends to flare up during the fall and winter.  I talk about how I cleanse my scalp without causing too much stress on my hair and also how diet and supplements help me to get my skin back
to normal.  

How I Clear Up My Psoriasis with Diet and Supplements

www.curlyincolorado.com combat psoriasis diet supplements

Psoriasis is a dry skin condition that can result in flaking skin on the body and scalp.  I have suffered from the auto immune disease for nearly 10 years now.   In my last post I described my current routine for cleansing my hair and scalp.  In my case, the psoriasis also shows up on my skin in little flaky patches that can leave unsightly scars.  Each year, I do my best to keep the dry patches to a minimum by changing my diet and taking supplements.  I am finally discussing it here on the blog in hopes that my experience may help others.


Initially I sought treatment from a dermatologist who prescribed steroid creams for my skin and scalp.  They only made my condition worse.  After prolonged use, the flaky dry skin, known as psoriasis plaques, spread out over about eighty percent of my body.  It was very embarrassing and disheartening.  I also got headaches every time I used the prescription scalp ointment.  This made me question the drug based treatments and I decided to search for a more natural approach.  I picked up a book at my local library called, The Psoriasis Cure, by Lisa LeVan.  In it, I found information on my condition as well as a long list of vitamins and supplements.  It also suggested that I follow a healthy diet and a regular exercise & sleep routine.  I had gone the medical route for long enough and thought it was worth a try.  I followed the routine outlined in the book and was surprised to see signs of my psoriasis clearing up after only three weeks.  I still follow this method somewhat but have made some changes over the years.  Here are some things that work for me.
Healthy Digestion
Since Psoriasis is an auto immune disease I find that a healthy digestive system is the key to my success.  The digestive tract makes up around 70% of the immune system.  When this area of the body is working properly it shows through our hair, skin and nails.  I use probiotics, increased hydration and foods rich in fiber to help in this area.  My current choice for a probiotic boost is a fruit juice called, Good Belly.  Otherwise, yogurt or probiotic capsules work as well.  For fiber I reach for fresh fruits and vegetables.
Whole Body Cleanse
This step is prescribed in the book so initially I purchased a cleanse kit that wound up being too harsh for my system.  Since then, I have used healthy green juices to detox my body.  Drinking juice from green vegetables helps to cleanse the body of toxins while also delivering much needed vitamins.  Green juices work best when consumed on an empty stomach because then the body can quickly absorb all of that green goodness.
Vitamin Supplementation
It turns out I was not getting enough vitamin D and Omega 3’s. Vitamin D deficiency can lead to bouts with psoriasis.  Vitamin D is something that the body produces through sun exposure which can be harder to come by during the fall and winter months.  That is why my psoriasis shows up around this time of year because my body is not making enough vitamin D on its own.  Also, people with darker skin or who use sunscreen are potentially not getting enough of this important vitamin.  I take around 4000 IU with food each day and have noticed much improvement in my skin and scalp.  Omega 3 vitamins promote healthy hair, skin and nails.  I take fish oil capsules to supplement for this.  I also take a vegetable based multi-vitamin for women for all of the other vitamins I need.  
Lower Sugar Intake
Psoriasis is inflammation of the skin.  Through my own research I found that sugar is highly inflammatory.   In my case, cutting back on sugar made a difference in my skin.  I’m not just talking sweets though.  Other foods that convert quickly into sugar like wheat based products (i.e. bread, pasta etc.) are also culprits.  Once I went wheat free for six weeks and noticed my skin was much clearer.  That’s a hard one for me though so I try to at least limit my sugar intake by making healthy substitutions (wheat bread instead of white or no bread at all) and eating more clean foods like fruits and vegetables.  
Sleep and Exercise
I can’t forget this important part.  Some of what my body is going through is just that I sometimes don’t get enough sleep and exercise.  The more you exercise, the more restful sleep so the two work together. This can also help with stress relief.

Disclaimer:  I am not a physician and do not have a medical background.  The aim of this post is to share my experience.  Please seek advice from your physician before taking any supplements or making changes to your physical health routine and/or diet.

Tea Tree Oil for My Scalp and Skin

www.curlyincolorado.com tea tree oil scalp skinI love to play in my hair but lately my focus has turned to my skin and scalp.  My psoriasis is slowly trying to make a comeback, but hopefully my green juices and vitamin D will help me out there. Until it clears up, my scalp is sometimes an itchy mess.  Just oiling my scalp does not cut it because it results in more flakes and itchies, making my condition even worse.  I found this out when I mixed a few drops of the tea tree oil with my grapeseed oil and applied the mixture to my scalp after washing and conditioning.  A few days later my scalp was going crazy again!  So, this weekend, I decided to switch to a mixture of Aloe Vera gel and tea tree oil.  This way, I wasn’t adding any oil to the area.  It’s been a couple of days and I can tell that it’s working.  I just tested a small area but will apply it to my whole head the next time I co-wash.

I also decided to add tea tree oil to my skincare regimen.  I have adult acne and it pretty much has me at my wits end at this point.  Tea tree oil has been known to have some of the same effectiveness as benzoyl peroxide in regards to acne.  I’ve been using witch hazel as a toner but it didn’t seem to clear my skin on its’ own.  This weekend, I purchased a new bottle of witch hazel and added 20 drops tea tree oil to it.  Then, I just applied it with a cotton pad like normal.  Thankfully, the tea tree smell didn’t linger.  I have noticed that my skin is having fewer breakouts so I think it may be working.

www.curlyincolorado.com tea tree oil scalp skin
I added tea tree to my toner to
help with my adult acne

Tea tree essential oil has antiseptic properties, so when it is applied to the scalp or skin, it can help to get rid of any bacteria that may be present.  I’ve also read that it can help with dandruff and other scalp issues so that was my reason for trying it.  It comes in a tiny bottle but a little goes a long way.  I only use a few drops at a time so one bottle lasts a while.

The only thing is, essential oils like this should not be applied directly to the skin.  Tea tree oil should always be added to a carrier oil like olive, grapeseed, castor oils or, in my case, the aloe vera gel.  In some cases it has been known to cause irritation so discontinue use if this happens.  Also, the oil is toxic if taken orally, so topical use only!  It can usually be found at health food stores in the bath and body section.  I get mine locally at Sprouts or Vitamin Cottage but have also seen it at Whole Foods.

Healthy Hair and Skin from the Inside

Recent twist and curl style

I am pretty happy with my hair recently and am feeling like things are getting back to normal.  By that I mean I was having some issues with dry, flaky scalp followed up by a month or two with heavy shedding.  Both issues are finally getting under control so I have been uploading to my YouTube channel more often with hair tutorials.  Before now though it was so frustrating to do anything with my hair because I almost felt like there was no point.  The flakes made it look so bad that I didn’t even want to go out some days.

One of the things that I think helped was that I started working on my immune system to help get my skin under control.  I have psoriasis and I have known for a while now that the inflammation in my skin is because of something not quite right with my immune system.  When the psoriasis flared up I started introducing probiotics into my system by eating a serving of Activia yogurt each day.  This helped with digestion and made it possible for my body to absorb my supplements better.  After doing that for 2-3 weeks I decided to go back to a more effective multi-vitamin formulated for women.  It costs more but has proved to be much better for my body than the usual store brands.

So happy my scalp is finally clearing up

I also added some supplements to my daily routine like garlic, super B-Complex and vitamin E.  The garlic helped with the shedding and didn’t start working right away but I can tell that I am shedding fewer hairs per wash session now.  I would say it took about a 3-4 weeks before it started to make a difference.  The B-Complex contains biotin and I can see that it is helping my nails so hopefully it’s doing something for my hair as well.  The Vitamin E is a given because it’s known for being good for the skin.  I usually try to take my multi-vitamin on its own  and then the other supplements together at another time during the day.  Both times are with a meal.  I also started drinking Green Tea for the antioxidants and increased my daily water intake.

With the Colorado climate being especially dry right now,  I hope that this regimen will get me through the winter without having anymore problems.  For now,  I’m using shea butter to moisturize my skin and staying away from heavy oils on my scalp to avoid build-up.  I’ve also started doing more finger detangling instead of using a tool to get rid of shed hairs.  

NOTE:  As with anything health related be sure and speak with a physician when considering adding vitamins and supplements to your daily routine  

Review: Clear Scalp & Hair Therapy-Ultra Shea Shampoo

At the beginning of the summer I was sent some products for review.  When I agreed to give my feedback,  I was not aware of which products I would be receiving in the mail.  I was very happy to see that they were from the new Clear Scalp & Hair Therapy line.  I saw this line in stores and was wondering if the products would work for my scalp.

I have scalp psoriasis which tends to show up during the drier months (usually wintertime).  For some reason though, I started seeing a lot of flaking and irritation in the spring when I was on the tail end of my Curly Girl Method trial.  When the products arrived in the mail I was primed and ready for something to relieve me of my scalp woes.  I’ll do the review in two parts for the shampoo and conditioner.  The other products were not used for long enough to make a difference in my scalps’ condition therefore I do not have an opinion on them.

Ultra Shea Cleanse & Nourish Shampoo

Ingredients

Water (Aqua), Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Dimethiconol, Glycol Distearate, Sodium Chloride, Fragrance, Carbomer, Dimethicone, Sodium Lauroyl Isethionate, Zinc Pyrithione, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, DMDM Hydantoin, Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride, Stearic Acid, Citric Acid, Tallow Acid or Palmitic Acid, Zinc Sulfate, TEA Dodecylbenzenesulfonate, Sodium Isethionate, Poloxamer 407, Laureth 23, Laureth 4, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Triticum Vulgare (Wheat) Germ Oil, Tocopheryl Acetate, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, PEG 9M, Hydrogenated Coconut Oil, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil, Elaeis Guineenis (Palm) Oil, Argania Spinosa Kernel Oil, Xanthan Gum, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Methylisothiazolinone, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Mica (CI 77019), Bismuth Oxychloride (CI 77163), Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Iron Oxides (CI 77491)  

Claims

  • Proven to lock in moisture and provide long lasting nourishment for extra dry scalps
  • Gently cleanses to remove product build-up and allow scalp to breathe
  • Formulated with Nutrium 10™ Moisture Lock system, a rich blend of shea butter and natural oils, including vitamin E, sunflower, coconut, almond, soybean, argan, and palm


Upon first use I felt that the shampoo was heavenly.  The sulfate gave it a very rich, velvety lather.  My hair did not feel stripped like with other sulfate shampoos.  The sweet almond and vanilla scent reminded me of the Suave Professionals Almond and Shea products.  It did not linger on the hair although it was very fragrant while shampooing.  My initial reaction was that I would definitely think to use this product again whenever I needed to cleanse my hair and scalp.  After several washes, all weeks apart, I realized that the product was not doing anything to help with my itchy, flaky scalp.  My husband also has dry scalp but not to the same degree as my psoriasis.  He stated that he did notice some improvement while using the shampoo.  This led me to believe that the product may work for those who have mild scalp irritations.  Something like scalp psoriasis may require something stronger and more effective in treating scalp conditions.  

Overall, I do consider this a shampoo that works well with thicker textured hair like mine.  However, I did not notice any improvement with my dry scalp.   I am currently using milder shampoos that also provide cleansing without stripping.  I do not feel as if I will be purchasing this product in the future only because of the sulfate and silicones present in the ingredients list.