Beauty in the Age of Celiac Disease by Ardith McCann

The Rollercoaster

Welcome everyone to February, 2019 style. This month is like a box of weather chocolates, eh? You just never know what you are really going to get from year to year. This year is clearly no exception. From a Polar Vortex to lots of rain to a rollercoaster of daily temperatures, it’s a wild ride for sure.

For me, coming out of January is like reaching a calm section of that rollercoaster ride. After three weeks of excruciating, unidentified illness so intense I was convinced at least four times that I was dying, I am off that scary ride and now trying to embrace the teacup version I seem to be on now.

Since the local “health” clinic staff was either unable or unwilling to help me identify my physical distress, I took matters into my own capable hands. With the tiny bits of advice I did receive, my research lead me to most plausible root of my illness: celiac disease.

At the very least, I have learned that I am now acutely gluten and dairy intolerant. Making immediate changes to my diet has resulted in profound relief. I’ve a long way to go—as I experiment/navigate what my system will and won’t take—but there is now hope and a path to well being (within the constraints of any chronic disease).

Beauty from the Inside Out

This leads to the topic at hand, beauty in the age of celiac disease (or again, any chronic ailment). With any dramatic change in diet comes the inevitable concern about getting the proper nutrients, including how to build beauty from the inside out. I am working on my particular brand of the challenge as I write this post.

A gluten-free diet can compromise intake of vitamin B12, calcium, iron, and especially vitamin D2. For someone who has always struggled with being able to take supplements at all, this will be a test for sure. I’d love to hear from those of you who have direct and longer experience with how you manage it all.

As for the outside, caring for my very dry skin is even more of a kerfuffle. I’m sure there are those among you, sweet readers, who are/have been frustrated with the pursuit of moisturizers that actually perform as promised. I have tried so many moisturizers, across a range of price points, that fail epically at the one thing I want them to do—especially for my face.

Yesterday I broke down and bought the least expensive face cream I’ve ever tried: Ponds dry skin cream. It cost $4.99. I used it for the first time last night. Crikey, if it works this well under my makeup I will be overjoyed. I tried it only because I inherited my mom’s use of Ponds cold cream to remove my eye makeup and it has never let me down. Fingers majorly crossed!

That Tea Cup Ride

With any chronic illness, achieving and maintaining well being can feel like a dizzying tea cup ride. You can literally feel like you are spinning around, trying to gain some equilibrium while navigating around your disease and its mutating ways. Just about the time you think you’ve got it managed, some new symptom can crop up or what worked for you before suddenly doesn’t anymore.

This is not unlike your skincare and makeup regimes. Everything changes over time…your needs and wants, your budget, the products you use and their ingredients. We all make adjustments along the way to fulfilling our beauty objectives.

Embracing the Ride. Challenge Accepted.

As with any challenge set before me, I first try to embrace it as a puzzle I want to solve. While I seek a quick solution, I also realize I may have to be patient. The puzzle may require me to take time to observe, research, test, and repeat.

As women, we are generally already predisposed to embracing the skincare and makeup rollercoaster ride. So being thrown the new and unfortunate chronic illness curve should just make us that more determined to meet the latest beauty challenge head on. That’s my plan, anyway.

What about you? How do you meet and embrace your latest beauty challenge?

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