I love natural beauty products. I especially love making them for the reason that whatever ingredients I am putting on my face, I can also eat AND the majority of the products I can find right in my kitchen! Get ready to turn your home into a Zen like atmosphere. Light some candles, play some soft music, put on your favorite robe and enhance the fabulousness and beauty that is you!
Whether you choose to make a full transition to naturally treating your skin or just as an alternative to your everyday routine, here are a few things to remember:
- ·Make sure that you know and understand your skin type
- ·Don’t forget that if you choose to make the transition from medicinal treatments to a more natural route of treating your skin, that: The medicinal treatments may still being in your system/skin and that natural methods take time to show their results. Patience and persistence is a must.( Always consult a medical professional should your condition be one that cannot be controlled with OTC medication)
As the weather continues to change this season, you may notice your skin may be dry or patchy in some areas. Apart from this environmental change, on a personal level are you:
- · Drinking enough water
- ·Increasing your fruit and vegetable intake
- ·Getting enough rest
- ·Washing and moisturizing your face properly
- ·Introducing omega fats into your diet
Here are a few easy to follow tips and remedies to consider in your natural regimen. Remember that it is always a good idea to use fresh organic ingredients whenever possible:
- ·Exfoliating This technique aids in the removal of build-up, dead skin cells and promotes circulation. It also provides the best results when done once or twice a week. Common food items found around the house like honey, sugar, ground almonds (or simply ground whole almonds); fine oatmeal or ground bran can be made into a paste (combined with sugar or a little bit of water) and used as a homemade exfoliate! Isn’t crazy, neat and cheap to know that you can treat yourself to a facial right out of your own kitchen!?
- Avocado nourishes and hydrates skin and is safe for all skin types. It is high in vitamins and minerals and is easily absorbed by the skin. Mash half an avocado with a teaspoon lemon juice for oily skin and use as a mask
- Yogurt helps draw out bacteria and oil from skin, making it ideal for oily and spotty skin. Use as a mask and thicken with ground almonds or oatmeal if you like.
- Honey is highly antibacterial, and hydrates and moisturizes the skin. It is beneficial for all skin types. Mix two tablespoons aloe Vera gel with one teaspoon honey to make an excellent mask for sensitive skin, skin infections or acne
- Baking SodaOften times a version of baking soda is used in cosmetic microdermabrasion treatments. You can give yourself a mini microdermabrasion treatment by mixing one teaspoon of baking soda with the two teaspoons of filtered water. Then gently rub the mixture on your acne scar for sixty seconds then rinse it off. Follow with a natural moisturizer that will help strengthen the skin’s elasticity and suppleness (like olive oil or a natural lotion containing olive oil) as skin loses both these over time from acne scarring.
The following oils are good for oily, problem and combination skins. Look for them as ingredients in natural products:
- Oily- Cedarwood, cypress, lemon, orange, patchouli, vetiver
- Combination- Bergamot, geranium, lavender, ylang-ylang
- Problem-Bergamot, grapefruit, juniper, lavender, palmarosa, tea tree
After a good facial wash and exfoliate, don’t forget to follow up with a toner. Not only does it help seal your pores, it also removes any traces of build-up that may have been missed. Check out the list of ingredients below that can be used as natural toners:
- Cow’s Milk (2%) or Goats Milk are not just for drinking, but also good to use as a toner. Both have cleansing properties, but should not replace actual facial soap. Both contain Vitamins A and E (E is an antioxidant!) which are very good for maintaining skin health. Goat’s milk has a higher concentration form of Vitamin A, which is even better for the skin. Use over face with a cotton pad, until there are slight traces of remaining dirt from the skin (you won’t be able to remove it all but try to get rid of as much as you can). Rinse face with warm water.
- Rosewater has cooling, soothing and anti-inflammatory properties. It can be used on all skin types; particularly dry or mature skin and it can also restore the skin’s pH and relieve eczema.
- Orange flower water is more astringent than rosewater and is an excellent toner for oily skin.
- Lavender water is a wonderful remedy for all skin types.
- Witch hazel has mild astringent and soothing properties for irritated skin. It has excellent cleansing action.
- Parsley water Soak fresh parsley (organic if possible) in mineral water overnight. Remove parsley and use water as a toner. This toner is particularly good for cleansing the skin of blackheads.
- Natural Black Soap traditionally made in Ghana, West Africa. I’ve listed it here because other than being a facial wash, it also works as a skin toner as well, as it evens out dark spots. It also heals problem and sensitive skin, treats eczema, razor bumps and eliminates skin blemishes. The soap can also be used on your body or hair or for oily skin, dry skin, skin rashes, scalp irritations and body odours. Because the soap has the highest Shea butter content of any soap, it also offers UV protection. There are different types, some are crumbly and some are solid like regular commercial soap.
Black soap is nothing new to me. For as long as I can remember, my mother and aunts have been using black soap. It was always one of many beauty products they’d bring home after visiting family in Ghana. I used to have problems with acne and skin blemishing in my late teens, with none of the prescribed topical treatments ever helping slow down the acne or reduce the blemishing. Since I started using black soap again, I’ve noticed a dramatic improvement in my skin and the blemishes are fading out…Black Star power baby!
During this time of the year, our faces tend to be a lot drier. Oils such as jojoba, avocado oil, coconut oil, wheat germ or rose hip seed oil can be used as skin moisturizers. To make an excellent moisturizer for all skin types:
- Combine two parts Aloe Vera gel with one part jojoba oil and whisk or blend until creamy. This can be used as a face and body moisturizer, or as a cleanser. (It’s a good idea to make a big batch and keep a small tub in your bathroom with the rest in the fridge until ready to use).
- Natural Unrefined Shea Butter is good moisturizer for all skin types. It is filled with tons of properties that are excellent for healing the skin. Shea butter has been used to help heal burns, sores, scars, dermatitis, psoriasis, dandruff, stretch marks and protect the skin from harmful UV rays. It may also help diminish wrinkles by moisturizing the skin, promoting cell renewal, and increasing circulation.
I love Shea butter! It makes my skin glow and leaves it feeling soft and supple. When not using the natural Shea butter, I love using the all natural and organic product line Kiss My Face (which can be found at Shoppers Drug Marts, The Big Carrot and natural health food stores). I love their products and swear by the Lavender Shea and Vitamin A&E ultra moisturizers! LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the way they make my face look and feel. Check out their website www.kissmyface.com
No matter what method you choose to treat your skin, make sure it is one that you can easily adapt to will always allow you to look and feel your best. Switching up your routine once in awhile never hurts as it breaks the redundancy of routine. Also, by treating your skin naturally, you may notice that you’ll be saving a lot more money, and that the fresh edible groceries can be used for an at-home spa day