Facial Skin Care - Natural Choices
Part 2 (Herbs for Health and Beauty)
Before starting your herbal treatments, it is always a good idea to do a patch test.
How: Dab a little of your preparation onto the pulse point of your wrist or in the bend of your elbow. Leave it unwashed for 12 hours and see if there is any reaction. Always be sure that you know what herbs you are adding to a preparation so that if you do have a reaction you can easily tell a doctor/ skin specialist what was in the product you were testing. Some people can be allergic so it is really advisable to test your mixtures on yourself and a couple of family/friends.
Caring for your Face: Glow, Brighten and Lighten.
You can keep your cosmetics simple and effective and following a list of natural facial cleansers which are fresh and delightful to use the cost is low cost and the results very pleasing.
Rain Water: The softest water available and perfect for washing face and hair. Catch some of this water in a big clean basin next time it rains. I find it softens and adds volume to the hair.
Buttermilk: Fresh buttermilk patted and massaged into the skin tightens the pores and tones the skin while cleansing thoroughly. Rinse cleans with clear water.
Herb Milk: Use a cup of chopped herbs, lavender, scented geranium, rosemary, comfrey, violets or sage. Mix into 500 mls ( 2 cups ) of fresh milk. Stand for 4 hours in the refrigerator especially in hot summer then strain and store. Use the milk to cleanse the skin using cosmetic pads or cotton wool. Even when it thickens it can still be used. Best to make small quantities frequently.
Cucumber: Save the skins of the cucumber when next making a salad. Use these to clean your face and discard after use. Alternatively mash 135 mls of cucumber pulp with 25 mls of milk. Use as quickly as possible but can be stored in the refrigerator for a few days.
Oatmeal: Soap some oatmeal in water overnight. Make a paste from this soaked oatmeal - it must be non-instant. Use a handful of this paste mixture as a scrub. Mixed with some comfrey leave infusion instead of water and left overnight is a great way to heal acne and excellent for getting rid of spots and pimples on your back and neck. This also works for sunburn – very soothing.
Use 250 ml chopped comfrey to 500 mls boiling water. Stand for 20 minutes and then pour off the tea. Add to 1 cup of oats. Cover and leave to stand overnight. Use to wash and scrub the face, neck and back each evening.
Rosewater: Distilled and bottled rosewater can be bought at All Kinds of Everything or you can make your own.
6 cups of fresh red rose petals to 1 litre of water – preferably rainwater.
Boil for 15 minutes. Cool strain and bottle. Keep refrigerated.
Lemon: Lemon juice is antiseptic and cleansing and also restores the acidity to the skin mantle. This is really excellent for the prevention of blackheads. Lemon juice can be used in combination with a variety of herbs. Try using the skins of the squeezed lemons to clean your nails and the skin on your elbows and knees.
Lemon and Tomato Oily skin cleanser: Tomatoes and lemon are astringent and nourishing for the skin. Chop up 1 medium tomato roughly add the juice and pulp of 1 lemon. Liquidise for 2 minutes. Spread a thin paste on the face working it into the skin gently using your fingers. Wash off with warm water. An excellent oily skin cleanser and can be applied 2/3 times a week. The excess can be stored in the refrigerator.
Soapwort: (Saponaria officinalis) A soothing and healing brew can be made from soap wort by boiling up a potful of roots, stems, flowers and leaves. Cover with water. Boil for 10 minutes, cool and strain. Use as a face wash, hair wash and hair conditioner and this can also be dabbed onto eczema.
Herbal Steam Cleansers: Particularly good for dry climates, herbal steam cuts down external grease and deep cleanses the pores. Please do not use this method of cleaning if you have thread veins on your face.
In a large bowl, place 1 or 2 of any of the following herbs : lavender leaves and flowers, rosemary leaves and flowers, yarrow leaves and flowers, elder flowers, chamomile leaves and flowers, peppermint sprigs, eucalyptus leaves. Pour over 500 mls of boiling water. Using a towel improvise to make a tent. Place your head over the steaming bowl and cover with the towel tent. Hold in the steam for 7 to 10 minutes. Pat dry and then splash on an astringent to close the pores. (see blow)
Cleaning Cream : If you are using heavy make up you will need a heavy cream to remove it. Make a simple pure and natural cream make remover. This is just as good as expensive creams on the market. Makes an excellent night cream.
1.5 measures cream base (available from All Kinds of Everything)
2 measures sweet almond oil
1 measure rosewater
In a double boiler slowly melt the cream base. Add the sweet almond oil and rosewater. Remove from the heat. Add a few drops of EO once cool just to add a lovely aroma. But optional. Pour into a pretty jar
PROBLEM SKIN - PIMPLES SPOTS AND ACNE:
Let us not forget that the most important aspect of skin care is in fact diet. Drink lots of water, eat fresh fruit and vegetables ( preferably home grown or organic) and avoid fatty fried foods, chocolate ( unless really dark chocolate) and refined sugars, flour, carbonated drinks, coffee peanuts and iodised salt. Try to eat fresh salads daily. Lots of greens.
There are herbs that can be used for cleansing the system and purifying the blood. This helps clear the skin. Borage and Watercress are 2 such herbs. Lemons and oranges are two fruit options.
Then there are 4 weeds that perform cleansing options - plantain, chickweed, thistle and dandelion. The young leaves of these weeds can be finely chopped and added to salads.
Another purifying detox option is using infusions either as a tea for sipping or a wash.
Lavender, Calendula petals, Sage Leaves, Borage leaves and flowers can all be used effectively 60 mls of herbs to 250 mls of boiling water. Steep for 10 minutes and use.
Apple Cider Vinegar:
A wonderful wash for problem skin as it helps to combat oiliness.
Dilute 60 ml of vinegar into 750 mls of warm water and use as a wash. This can also be taken orally - ½ tsp in a glass of warm water.
This mist can be used as a wonderful revitaliser – make it into a spritz. Just add the tea infusion to a spray bottle. Store in the fridge and use as needed. Also good for use after vigorous exercise to re balance the skin after sweating.
Black Head Remover:
Herbal steam cleansers (refer above) soften and penetrate the skin facilitating the removal of blackheads. Make the hot herbal infusion using yarrow, comfrey or nettle and a little dash of apple cider vinegar. Pat sweet almond oil onto the blackhead. Soak a towel in the infusion, wring it out well and apply several times . Then gently push out the blackhead. Use clean hands and nails, when touching the spots. You do not want to add an infection.
Fresh cucumber juice or slices are an excellent blemish controller. Pat onto the affected area and leave overnight. Wash off the next morning with clean clear water.
Another option is to crush elder flowers and mix these with lemon juice. Smear onto the affected area and leave for 15 to 20 minutes. Wash of with a gentle astringent. ( see below)
Liver spots or age spots are often attributed to lack of vitamin B, E and C. An old folk remedy is to gently massage caster oil into the brown spots. But do not neglect these and consult a doctor if concerned.
Include the following vitamin rich foods in your diet.
Vitamin B. wheatgerm, green peas, sunflower seeds, brown rice, eggs, lentils, soybeans, bananas, raisins, yogurt and cream cheese.
Vitamin C : oranges, lemons, grapefruit, guavas, pineapple, green peppers, tomato and cabbage.
Vitamin E. Nuts, dairy products, leafy greens.
Astringents are pore closer which have a toning effect on the skin. They contract the skin, tightening and drying it. Use after deep cleaning and steaming.
Cucumber: A natural astringent and these also contain anti-wrinkle hormones.
Egg White: Stiffly whisked egg whites make a wonderful astringent. Pat on after cleaning and leave for 15 minutes. Wash off with clear warm water.
Strawberries: Reduce oiliness and a great toner for the skin. Mash and apply to the face for a wonderful home facial.
Oily skin - yarrow, chamomile
Combo skin - sage nettle.
Boil 1 cup of leaves and flowers in 1 litre of water. Simmer for 5 mins. Remove, cover and cool.
Strain off and bottle. Keep refrigerated.
Part 3 of Herbs for Health and Beauty - Body Beautiful.
Hands and Feet, Nails Care, Warts, Oral Care, Eye Care, Herbal Douches, Sunburn ........