a l l  n a t u r a l  i n f o

Herbal Skin Care in a Modern World

 by Marilyn Courtwright

     Healthy skin needs care as well as a healthy diet, water, and proper rest.   Health and beauty do not come from a jar. 

Cleansing

     You do not need to cleanse your face everyday.  The skin produces a natural protective oil called sebum, which provides the skin with an antibacterial layer plus holds moisture in.  This is a decision you must make knowing your skin and its needs.

     Over-cleansing strips away the protection, causing stress to the skin and possible damage.  Cleansing simply means gently removing dirt, impurities and dead skin cells.  When most people think of cleansing, they think of soap and water, which is fine.  But there are other ways to achieve the same results that are less drying.  One way is to use just oil.  Olive oil and jojoba oil are good choices.  Apply a small amount, starting at your neck and working up and over your face, massaging gently.  Leave on for a few minutes then wipe off with a tissue or soft cloth.  If you prefer a cream instead purchase a natural cold cream and apply like the oil.  It can be wiped off or rinsed off with luke warm water.

     Natural cleansing grains are made from clay, ground herbs, corn meal and oatmeal, the type
you use when cooking.  They gently cleanse, provide exfoliation, and also nourish the skin by improving circulation.  Cleansing grains leave the skin smoother and less stripped of oils.  They are also a good alternative for people who prefer not to use soap.

Here's a helpful recipe that you can try at home:

Cleansing Grains
2 cups kaolin clay
1/2 cup oatmeal - ( not instant )
1/4 cup comfrey leaves
1/4 cup rose petals - (not chemical sprayed)
1/4 cup elder flowers
1/4 cup tapioca
1/4 cup corn meal

Directions: Grind items 2 - 4 separately, then combine with clay, tapioca, corn meal and elder flowers in bowl. Whisk thoroughly.  Mix 2 Tablespoons of mix with liquid, gently massage onto face using a circular motion. Leave on for a few minutes then rinse with luke warm water.  Pat face dry.  Stir dry mix thoroughly before using and stir in enough liquid for a thin consistency. 

Liquids that can be used with the grains :
distilled water - for all skin types
honey or jojoba oil - dry skin
witch hazel - oily skin

Facial Steaming

     Steaming the face with hot water infused with herbs, deep cleanses the face, opens pores and increases circulation.  I prefer using a hot compress applied to the face.  To me this is safer and achieves the same results. Using hot water or making a strong tea and soaking a face cloth in it, then applying to face, leave on for a few minutes.  Test your water to avoid being burned. 

Herbs that can be used:
chamomile flowers - irritated skin
sage leaves - oily skin
lavender buds - normal skin
calendula flower petals - dry skin


Astringents

     Astringents remove excess oil, tones the skin and prepares the skin for moisturizing. Helps tighten the skin.  Making your own astringent by infusing herbs into vinegar can take 3 to 4 weeks to make.  An easier and quicker way would be to purchase white wine vinegar, which is the mildest vinegar and mix with rose hydrosol.  Using a cotton ball, moisten and wipe face, especially around the T-area, nose and mouth.  You will need to experiment because astringents work best on oily skin.  Normal skin may only need this once or twice a week.

Moisturizers

     Moisturizing the face only requires a small amount of oil.  I suggest Rose Hip oil.  Rose Hip oil is rich in essential fatty oils, vitamins, and minerals.  It helps improve the elasticity of the skin, regenerates skin cells, and slows premature aging, which helps reduce wrinkles.  It also helps reduce the appearance of scars.  This oil costs a bit more but you use small amounts so it is worth the extra cost.  Jojoba oil is another good choice.

A Basic Skin Care Routine

     Begin by cleansing the skin.  Use a hot pack.  Continue by applying an astringent by wiping it on or misting on the face.  Then complete the process with a light application of oil.  This is
a basic routine.  Use a mask once or twice a month, cleansing grains can be used, just add less liquid to make it thicker. This can be used by applying it to the face, and leaving it on for about 15 minutes. Complete the process by rinsing it off with luke warm water and patting the face dry.

     Everyone has different skin, this is a just a guideline to follow.  You must experiment to see what works best for your skin type.  Remember that your skin is natural, so use natural ingredients or natural products on it.  Getting plenty of sleep, eating a balanced diet and drinking plenty of water are also a part of healthy skin care.


 

Make sure to read Marilyn Courtwright's companion article, 'Natural Hair Care in a Modern World'.  

 

 

 

 

All views expressed in the articles on the "All Natural Info" page are those of the various authors, they are presented here for your enjoyment and enlightenment.  These views do not necessarily represent the views of SharAmbrosia or the "all natural beauty" website. 

 

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