Thursday 28 May 2009

Feed Your Skin, Feed Your Soul

The skin is our largest organ, and yet it is one that so
many of us forget to take care of as well as we should. We
douse it with fragrances, lotions, and other beauty
products that contain an amazing amount of chemicals, many
of which have been proven to cause cancer (like parabans
for example). The best way to nourish our skin is the same
way we nourish the rest of our body--from the inside out,
with fresh fruits and vegetables and plenty of good fats.
There are also several ways to feed your skin from the
outside too that are easy, cheap, and all natural:

Body Brushing: A wonderful way to detox your body, great
for your lymph system, nervous and circulatory systems, dry
body brushing is best done once a day to three times a
week, preferably before taking a bath or shower. Using a
loofah or natural bristle brush, and start at your feet.
Brush toward the heart in circular movements for five
minutes. After a few sessions you will notice a more
natural glow to your skin, increased vitality, and a sense
of invigoration, especially if done in the morning.

Masks: Our skin loves good food. Some wonderful masks that
help nourish the face:

For dry/ sensitive skin: 1/2 an avocado mashed and mixed
with ground oatmeal. The fat from the avocado nourishes the
skin while the oatmeal soothes it.

For oily skin: a mixture of french green clay and
pulverized strawberries or cranberries act to draw out
impurities while giving your skin the astringent benefits
it so needs.

For normal skin: A pina colada for the face! crushed
pineapple and banana work wonders--the acid in the
pineapple exfoliates the skin while the banana soothes and

Sea Salt Scrubs: These are yet another great exfolient for
all skin types. Adding a bit of almond oil to the salt
keeps it smooth and glowing. The salt helps relax muscles
and detoxes the skin. Adding herbs to the scrub is great
too--lavender to soothe, lemon or mint to invigorate, a
pinch of cayenne on a cold day to warm you up, rosemary or
calendula flowers to heal rashes or other skin problems.

Bug Spray: As the summer months approach, our thoughts turn
to mosquitoes and how to prevent their nasty little bites.
Most bug repellents are literally awful for you. Natural
prevention is the best recourse--taking 3 or 4 capsules of
garlic and 100mg of vitamin B1 create a smell that repels
mosquitoes while avoiding sugar and fruit juice, to which
mosquitoes are naturally attracted can cut down on your
victimization. Using certain essential oils---such as
eucalyptus, lemon balm, pennyroyal, citronella, tea tree,
and geranium also makes effective bug sprays. Simply add a
mixture of the above to a water/witch hazel (3 parts water
to 1 part witch hazel) solution and transfer to a spray
bottle. Several naturopaths say using these oils works as
well as commercial mosquito repellent.

Baths: Warm baths are highly underrated. They soften the
skin, relax the muscles and release stress from the body,
mind, and emotions. Plus you can add all sorts of wonderful
things to them-- milk to soften skin, sea salt to soothe
sore muscles, a tea of herbs such as lavender, mint, rose
petals, chamomile, lemongrass, orange rinds to leave you
smelling sweet and and all natural.

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