What are you feeding your skin?
Sep 10, 2014
Your skin is far more absorbent than your gut. And the myriad of chemicals in seemingly innocent skin care products can take their toll on your overall health.
Abiding by the principle "If you can't eat it, don't put it on your skin" will eventually bless you with glowing skin, as well as more money in your wallet. And if you are trying to reduce the toxic load on your children, and the whole family for that matter, the skin is as good a place as any to start.
- Milk cleanser: Use milk, yoghurt, buttermilk, kefir or cream. I usually head to the kitchen on the way to the shower, grab a handful of dairy product and warm it in my hands on the way back to the shower. I gently rub it in and leave it on as long as possible, rinsing it off at the end of my shower. These skin softening elixirs have a high fat content and restore the natural acid mantle on your skin. This promotes a finer complexion and soothes reddened, dry or irritated patches.
- Make up remover: If you want to be fancy mix 4 tablespoons sweet almond oil, 1 tablespoon apricot kernel oil, 1 teaspoon vitamin E oil and 3 drops of chamomile essential oil for a long lasting, sweetly scented, gentle make up remover perfect for the delicate skin around the eyes. If you want to be simple (and we often are in our bustling home) just use almond, apricot or coconut oil by itself.
- Very basic scrub: For an occasional deeper cleanse massage almond meal gently on face (with water). Be gentle!
- Scrub starter mix: ½ cup very fine oatmeal, ¼ cup organic collagen powder, 1 tablespoon white clay. To this you can add whatever you like: mashed berries & yoghurt, leftover juice pulp, mashed papaya, milk & lemon juice, apple juice & powdered kelp are a few ideas. You could also add essential oils to your scrub starter if you like (just add drop by drop and stir constantly to avoid clumps): 10 drops mandarin & 5 drops sandalwood is a heavenly combination.
- Skin polishing: Use 1 teaspoon of bicarb soda on your finger tips and very gently polish your skin before showering. This may cause some initial redness, but once that settles your skin will be fine and smooth.
- Apple cider vinegar toner: Buy a good organic brand. Dilute 5 tablespoons of water to 1 tablespoon vinegar. Or instead of using water make a floral infusion with 2 teaspoons dried herb (or 4 teaspoons fresh) and 1 cup of boiling water… steep 15 minutes covering pot to prevent nutrient loss, strain and cool. From our garden we use lavender, elderflower, or calendula. Put on after cleansing and leave on. The vinegar helps restore the skin’s pH and floral water will heal and balance the skin.
Detoxing and drawing out the nasties
The skin is a great tool for the body to shed toxins, and we can support our body's ability to draw out. Clay has remarkable drawing properties, and is really deserving of its own post. But to get you started here are some simple ideas for making masks:
- Clay mask: mix a few spoons of your choice of clay (white is gentle, suitable for everyone including children and sensitive skin; yellow for weary, dehydrated skin; red to soothe redness in skin; and green for deeper drawing properties - but not suitable for sensitive skin) with yoghurt and honey. Add a teeny amount of water VERY slowly to make a paste like thick cream. Put on and chill... as in relax, don't go putting your face in the fridge! This should leave your skin glowing for days and reduce open pores. You can vary this mask depending what you have around (e.g. fruit juice pulp, avocado, very fine oatmeal, kelp powder, or peeled and grated cucumber).
- Coconut Oil: I can't speak more highly of coconut oil as an all over body and facial moisturiser. We've used it to heal and prevent school sores, to help heal and protect from sunburn and we've even found it to be anti-inflammatory and healing in the case of dry and inflamed eyes. A friend of mine with Papua New Guinean heritage taught me a lovely ritual for my children - a daily coconut oil rub on their bodies and faces, taking a little moment to give them some healthy loving touch and connection. We also teach them to do it for themselves as they learn what it means to nurture their own bodies and faces. We've learnt this is a way to prevent school sores as well as nourish the skin. During very dry times we'll replace it with almond, apricot kernel or even olive oil.
- Basic Jojoba moisturiser: The jojoba desert plant retains moisture during the long hot summer. The waxy oil does the same when applied to our skin. Use alone or mix 2 ½ tab jojoba oil with 5-10 drops essential oil of your choice (chamomile, lavender, rose, ylang ylang, patchouli, sandalwood are a few lovelies).
When we feel pampered and cared for with simple daily rituals ourselves, it is easier to lovingly care for our children and family.
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