The saying goes, “Beauty is pain” and quite frankly (depending on your perception of how beauty can be attained) this is true. Previous studies have found that various beauty products contain chemicals that have detrimental health effects associated with them. For example, researchers have found that phthalates, a key component in plastics, have also been found in several cosmetic and personal-care products, and has been associated with various reproductive defects and complications, etcetera. (1) Acquiring beauty nowadays can be somewhat toxic, depending on the types of products you use, but thankfully, there are natural alternatives that work VERY well, without the danger. In this blog, we would like to offer you a quick and easy, 3-step blitz on how to get squeaky clean skin.
Turmeric is a wonderful rhizome root that belongs to the same family as the ginger root. Turmeric has been known to help alleviate inflammation in the body and has been known to help relieve pain for those suffering with arthritis. Another common use for turmeric is for treating acne. Due to it’s anti-inflammatory properties, turmeric helps to reduce the inflammation of acne, thereby curbing acne significantly. Combined with lemon juice and raw honey, that both have natural astringent properties, it makes an excellent natural facial cleanser, especially for those who have oily skin. The turmeric also helps to lighten dark spots received from post-acne. (It’s a personal favorite of mine.) For this mask you will need:
- 1 tablespoon turmeric powder (or the turmeric root, pounded)
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon raw honey (regular honey works well too)
Mix ingredients together into a paste-like consistency. Apply evenly to your face, avoiding the eye area and any broken/exposed skin. Allow to dry completely and wash off thoroughly with warm water. This may require a little soap to remove the strong yellow colour of the turmeric.
Clay minerals are hydrophilic, meaning that they are ‘attracted’ to water/fluids and can readily absorb these fluids. Similarly, clays have been found to make very effective facial masks because when combined with water and applied to the face, it absorbs the excess oils and dirt in the skin. It also helps to reduce large pore spaces and leaves the face feeling and looking soft and smooth. Here is what you need for this cleansing clay mask:
- 1 teaspoon bentonite clay (green or white clay can work also)
- enough water to make a paste
Add a little water to the clay until a pasty consistency. Apply to the face avoiding the eye area and leave on until dry. Wash the face off thoroughly with warm water.
The concept behind any exfoliating product is to provide an abrasive effect on the skin, which will help slough off any old skin. However, some commercialized exfoliants are a little too abrasive. I’ve opted out of using those for something less harsh on my skin and my pocket. I use cornmeal and honey. Cornmeal creates a subtle exfoliating effect, while the honey softens and smooths the skin in the process. Here is what you will need:
- 1 teaspoon cornmeal
- 1/2 tablespoon honey (raw or normal)
Apply to the face and gently rub in a circular motion, avoiding contact with the eye area. Can be used to exfoliate the hands, feet, armpits, etc. Rinse with warm water. Towel blot dry.
Raw Unpasteurized Honey
Raw, unpastuerized honey serves as an excellent exfoliant for the skin. This type of honey is thicker and creamier in its consistency and may sometimes have a somewhat gritty texture. This is ideal for any exfoliant. Honey also contains wonderful anti-inflammatory properties, so it helps to soothe any inflamed areas of the skin. You can get this type of honey in your local health food store or grocery.
The concept of the toner is to further remove any excess oils and to help shrink the pores, thereby creating a more smooth and even appearance to the skin. The issue with majority of the toners that we find on the shoppers’ shelf, is that they are mainly alcohol based. Used on the skin, these toners not only remove excess oils, but used on a daily basis, they tend to strip away at the epidermis of the skin, which in turn leaves the skin will an old and dried appearance. This is because it strips away the natural oils that are produced by the skin. But there is hope. Here are a couple natural toners that you may use to help remove excess oils and tone your skin.
Witch’s Hazel (Hamamelis virginiana) is an American shrub that has mild astringent properties. Much milder than the artificial toners out there, witch’s hazel can be used to tone and tighten pores. Just add a little to a cotton pad/ball and wipe the face gently in an upward and outward motion.
Rose Water can be used as a natural toner to reduce inflammation of the skin and a gentle cleanser, which is why it is a common make-up removal agent.Simply add a little of either to a cotton pad/ball and wipe the face gently in an upward and outward motion
And in case I forgot to mention, these remedies are completely natural and you should not experience any side-effects or complications. HOWEVER, if you do have extremely sensitive skin, please advise with your dermatologist prior to trying any of these natural remedies. So there you have it! A few quick and easy remedies that you can try to cleanse, exfoliate and tone your skin, free of the complex chemicals and crazy costs.