Skin Food

Skin FoodAdding skin food to your face and body is a wonderfully simple thing to incorporate into your everyday skincare regime.

Your skin absorbs chemicals and pollutants far quicker than your digestive system. Therefore it makes sense to think about what you are putting on your body not just what you are putting in your body. If you can eat it, you can put it on your skin!

You may well already have plenty of skin food already in your refrigerator, kitchen cupboards and your garden. Botanical ingredients have benefits and active healing properties including fruits, vegetables, herbs, oils, grains, nuts, seeds, pulses and dairy foods. Many are rich in vitamins, minerals, fruit acids, enzymes, amino acids, alpha-hydroxy acids (AHA), antioxidants and proteins.

Below is a list of many skin foods and their various uses and properties in each category.

Skin foods – fruits

  • Apple – contains malic and tartaric acids which gently exfoliate the skin. Grated apple is very soothing and smoothing to a dry skin.
  • Avocado – rich in natural oils. Mash the flesh and apply as a simple face mask. Avocado is soothing, softening and is an emollient to dry skin.
  • Banana – contains mucopolysaccarides which improves skin hydration. Mashed banana can be used in skin preparations for its soothing and softening properties.
  • Grapes – contains tartaric acid. Crushed grapes are very soothing, cooling and toning to the skin.
  • Lemon – contains citric acid and is anti-bacterial and an astringent. Lemon juice is useful for treating oily and blemished skin (please note, it is best to use diluted). Also good for hair and skin preparations to counteract the alkalinity of soaps and shampoos and will reduce any product build up and irritation that may result from their use.
  • Pawpaw/Papaya – contains the enzyme papain which has the ability to dissolve keratin and therefore dead surface skin cells. Mash the fruit and leave on your face for 10-15 minutes as a gentle exfoliant.
  • Pineapple – contains the enzyme bromelain which is a gentle exfoliant. Either the flesh or the juice can be added to skin preparations.
  • Strawberry – contains salicylic acid which removes dead skin cells, allowing it to absorb moisture more efficiently. The fruit can be mashed or juiced and added to skin preparations for its soothing, toning and mildly bleaching properties. Strawberry leaves can be infused and used as an infusion for oily skin.

Skin foods – vegetables

  • Cucumber – hydrating and mildly astringent to the skin. Grated cucumbers make a gentle and mild astringent mask. Useful for sunburn. Slices are great to pop onto your eyes during a face mask. Mixes well with aloe vera.
  • Lettuce – mash with a mortar and pestle to produce a very soothing preparation which promotes the healing of blemishes.
  • Potato – juiced or grated potato is soothing and an anti-inflammatory. It can reduce bruising and calm puffy eyes.
  • Tomato – has astringent properties making it useful for oily skin conditions.

Skin foods – nuts, seeds, grains, pulses

Ground nuts, seeds, grains and pulses are perfect for skin exfoliation for both the face and body. Use smaller grains for the face while the larger grains are best suited to the body. Suitable ingredients can be ground such as almonds, lentils, adzuki beans, rice, semolina, bran and lecithin.

Oats can also be used, specifically in the form of oat flour, oat bran and oatmeal which can all be used in skin preparations to sooth and heal the skin. Oats also relieves irritations, inflammations and itchiness.

Foot and body powders can be made from corn starch, potato starch, rice starch and chickpea flour. They can be combined with essential oils and herbs to make luxurious fragrant body powders or combined to make a dry hair shampoo.

Skin foods – herbs

  • Aloe vera – the cooling gel is obtained from the plant’s succulent leaves. It is an effective healing agent for burns, injuries and acne. It is soothing, cooling and hydrating and stimulates the growth of new cells.
  • Calendula – infusions can be made from the flowers and are antiseptic, healing, soothing and anit-inflammatory. Can also be used to highlight fair hair in a rinse.
  • Chamomile – makes a soothing infusion that can help with wound healing. Used as a compress to soothe the skin and eyes and reduce inflammation and irritation.
  • Comfrey – contains allantoin and mucilage which gives comfrey its excellent healing and soothing properties.
  • Elder flowers – infusions are used for their mildly astringent and soothing properties. Makes a great skin toner and eye compress.
  • Ginseng – can be helpful in increasing skin elasticity and in revitalising epidermal cell production.
  • Lemon balm – antiseptic, astringent, soothing and healing. Useful for sensitive and blemished skins. The infusion is good to use as a facial toner.
  • Lemongrass – good for oily skins to help normalize excessive sebaceous secretions.
  • Peppermint – relieves inflammation, skin irritation and itchiness. The infusion has a refreshing and cooling effect on the skin and useful in hair preparations to combat dandruff.
  • Rosemary – antiseptic, astringent, deodorant, stimulating and healing properties. Improves blood circulation and can help devitalised skin. Also useful in hair preparations to relieve dandruff, encourage hair growth and improve scalp conditions.
  • Thyme – has antiseptic, astringent and healing properties. Used as an infusion, herbal vinegar or herbal oil in deodorants, shampoos, hair rinses, and aftershaves.

Skin foods – dairy

  • Cream – rich in butterfat and contains lecithin. Cream is a good addition to facial masks to soften and soothe dry skins.
  • Eggs – egg yolks are a major source of lecithin which is a natural emollient and preservative. Egg whites are very astringent and drying. Both are great to use on the skin and also in hair preparations to give body and shine.
  • Yoghurt – rich in protein, calcium and vitamins. Yoghurt can be used as a face mask on its own or with other ingredients and is suitable for all skin types.

Stay tuned for our upcoming skin food recipes using these wonderful fresh ingredients from your kitchen or garden.

Natural deodorant

Natural deodorantMany commercial deodorants on the market contain ingredients that can cause allergic reactions when applied to the sensitive underarm skin. Not only that, many of these ingredients can be harmful when used regularly which deodorant usually is.

A common ingredient in commercial deodorants and antiperspirants is aluminum chlorohydrate and this is believed to cause Alzheimer’s disease. The aluminium compounds may disrupt the normal activity of acetylcholine which is deficient in the brains of Alzheimer’s sufferers.

For these reasons, it makes much more sense to avoid these commercial products and either buy natural deodorants or make your own. Below is a simple recipe to make a lovely natural deodorant spray choosing your favorite essential oils.

The ingredients are natural antiseptics and astringents that will help to combat the bacteria that is formed when the by-products of perspiration break down and are exposed to the air.

Natural deodorant recipe

Ingredients

  • 2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons witch hazel
  • 8 drops of essential oils

Method

Mix all the ingredients together and store in a jar with a spray lid. Shake well before each use.

Deodorizing essential oils

Bergamot, Clary Sage, Cypress, Grapefruit, Eucalyptus, Juniper, Lemon, Lavender, Patchouli, Pine, Rosemary, Tangerine, Tea Tree, Thyme.

Body Moisturizer

Body MoisturizerThis all over body moisturizer is perfect for dry skin especially that which has been exposed to the effects of air conditioning or over-exposure of the sun.

Keep a jar handy in the bathroom to massage into your skin after each shower or bath and just before bed. This will keep your skin feeling wonderfully soft and supple.

You can find the recipe for Body Moisturizer here.

Want to make your own natural eye cream?

Reduce wrinkles eye creamIf you’re looking for a natural eye cream recipe you can make yourself here it is! This wonderfully nourishing eye cream is easy to make and very effective in helping to deal with those fine lines that often appear around the eye area.

This eye cream will not only reduce the signs of aging it will protect this delicate eye area and help your eyes to look refreshed.

Check out the recipe for Reduce wrinkles eye cream here.

5 best essential oils for your skin type

Coconut body scrub

Using essential oils for natural skin care is a great way to enhance your beauty regime. The tiny molecules in essential oils can penetrate the layers of your skin, acting quickly to improve circulation, eliminate signs of aging and improve the overall condition of your skin.

There are many different skin types and for each one there are specific essential oils recommended. Below is a list of the most common skin types with a selection of five of the best essential oils for each one.

Aging skin: Carrot seed, Fennel, Neroli, Rose, Yarrow

Combination skin: Chamomile, Geranium, Rosemary, Sandalwood, Ylang Ylang

Dry skin: Carrot seed, German chamomile, Myrrh, Palmarosa, Rosewood

Oily skin: Bergamot, Cypress, Juniper, Lemon, Tea Tree

Sensitive skin: Jasmine, Lavender, Neroli, Rose, Yarrow

Acne: Clary Sage, Eucalyptus, Grapefruit, Thyme, Tea Tree

Now you know the best essential oils for your skin type, check out some of these natural skin care recipes and experiment by mixing and matching the essential oils for your skin type with your favorite skin care recipe. Remember, just as important as choosing the best essentials oils for your skin type is to choose the essential oils that you love the smell of too!

Coconut body scrub

Coconut body scrub
This coconut body scrub recipe combines the healing, soothing properties of Epsom salts along with coconut oil which is conditioning and wonderfully moisturizing to the skin. The aroma of coconut oil is somewhat reminiscent of seaside holidays and the addition of Ylang Ylang and Lime essential oils give it an exotic finish.

You can find the recipe for Coconut body scrub here.

Anti-aging Facial Clay Mask

Anti-aging Facial Clay MaskThe secret ingredient in this anti-aging facial clay mask is Slippery Elm powder.

Slippery Elm (Ulmus fulva) has wonderful healing and hydrating properties. When added to a facial clay mask, it is the perfect ingredient for aging or dehydrated skins that needs that extra nourishment.

In powder form, Slippery Elm is an extremely soothing herb with a high content of mucilage. Once it is mixed with water, it will swell and form a thick, gel-like paste, making it easy to spread over your face.

Red clay is also added to this facial mask as it is excellent for dry, sensitive and mature skin.

The essential oils of Immortelle, Chamomile and Bergamot complete this clay mask recipe to further enhance its healing, soothing and rejuvenating actions.

Click here to view the recipe for Anti-aging Facial Clay Mask

Shelf-life of Natural Skin Care Recipes

Shelf-life of Natural Skin Care Recipes

I often receive emails from readers asking for more information on the shelf-life of the natural skin care recipes on this website.

This is an important consideration as none of these recipes contain preservatives, unlike many commercial products on the market.

Each recipe is different, depending on the individual ingredients used. To start with however, you should follow a few simple guidelines around hygiene:

  • Always wash your hands thoroughly before making any of the recipes.
  • Ensure all of the equipment and utensils you are using is clean as well as the bench space you intend to prepare the recipes on.
  • Avoid dipping your fingers into containers as this can introduce foreign germs.
  • Use a small spatula, cotton bud or other clean implements for the purposes of measuring out raw ingredients and mixing.
  • If you intend on making aromatherapy recipes often, consider having a separate set of utensils specifically for this purpose, such as measuring spoons, measuring cups, jugs, spatulas, bowls, and mixers.
  • Choose non-aluminium saucepans such as enamel, Pyrex or stainless steel. Some ingredients such as lemon juice can react with aluminium.
  • Use scrupulously clean jars and containers to store your products in with tight-fitting lids.

Assuming you are vigilant with your hygiene as outlined above, below is an indication of the shelf-life for the different types of natural skin care recipes:

  • Recipes containing raw ingredients such as eggs, fresh herbs, yoghurt, fruits and vegetables are recommended to be made in small batches and used the day you prepare them or no longer than 3 days if stored in the fridge.
  • Moisturizers, creams and lotions can be kept for up to 1 month or 2-3 months if stored in the fridge.
  • Facial clay masks should be used within 2 weeks and stored in the fridge. If they dry out, freshen with distilled or filtered water.
  • Shower gels can be kept for up to 3 months.
  • Facial oils will keep for up to 6 months. It is recommended to refrigerate them unless they contain Jojoba which will solidify if stored in the fridge.

Other considerations:

  • Sterilize your jars and containers for products you intend to store for longer periods.
  • Always label your products with the name and date you made them.
  • Store your products in a cool, dark and dry area.
  • To prolong the shelf-life of creams and moisturizers, consider using a spatula or cotton bud each time you apply them rather than using your fingers.
  • Any products stored in the fridge should be kept separate from food, for example in a salad crisper or in a large plastic box.
  • If a recipe contains water you should always use filtered or distilled water and never tap water.
  • If a product smells bad or off, discard it immediately. Bacteria and mould can be harmful and once a product has spoiled there is no way to recover it.

Did I miss any aromatherapy recipes you’re unsure of the shelf-life of? Leave a comment below or on the Facebook page.

Make Your Own Aromatherapy Gifts Like An Expert

Holiday season is fast approaching, and if you haven’t already started, it will soon be time to get busy shopping for gifts to give your loved ones. But have you ever considered the idea of making your own gifts instead of shopping for them?

There are plenty of aromatherapy recipes on this website to get you started. You can choose from Bath and Body recipes, Natural Skin Care recipes, Aromatherapy Diffusers, even Aromatherapy Holiday recipes.

If you want to try your hand at making your own aromatherapy perfume recipes, you can find detailed instructions as well as over 20 perfume recipe suggestions at the Aromatherapy Perfume recipes section.

You can try blending your own essential oil blends both for perfume recipes and diffuser blends as well as many of the bath and body recipes and other recipes throughout the website. As long as you have an understanding of aromatherapy blends, all you need is your creativity and imagination.

Make Your Own Aromatherapy Gifts Like An ExpertFor an even wider choice of aromatherapy gifts you can make this holiday season, you can check out the Aromatherapy Gifts ebook which has something for everyone. From perfumed bags to scented candles, geranium soap balls, potpourris, aromatic bath salts and much, much more. There is even a section on wrapping paper, cards and gift decorations. You’ll never be short of ideas with this ebook, not just for this holiday season but for years to come.

So why not try making your own aromatherapy gifts this holiday season? You can start off by trying out many of the free recipes already on this website and if you want to take it a step further, consider purchasing the specialized ebook on the subject, Aromatherapy Gifts.

Natural Skin Care

Healthy looking skin is often a reflection of your inner health. Many factors come into play here including diet, exercise, environment and lifestyle. If you lead a balanced, healthy life taking all of these factors into account you’re well on your way to a healthy and radiant complexion.

To further enhance your skin, the use of natural skin care products can make a huge difference to your appearance. Incorporating as many natural ingredients as you can into your skincare regime is not only sensible but satisfying as you know you’re doing your bit for the environment.

Natural Skin CareAromatherapy essential oils are are among the most effective ingredients you can treat your skin to. They should never be used neat on your skin however, but are best included in a specially devised preparation along with other natural ingredients. These could include carrier oils such as almond, apricot, avocado, rosehip, jojoba, wheatgerm, and grapeseed. Ensure you only use high quality vegetable oils such as these and never consider using mineral oils like baby oil which can clog pores and do more harm than good to your skin.

Other ingredients worth noting that are suitable for adding to natural skin care products include beeswax, cocoa butter, floral waters, facial clays, Fuller’s earth and even some ingredients commonly found in your kitchen such as yoghurt, honey, cinnamon, lemon, cider vinegar, cucumber and fresh herbs.

Many of these ingredients have natural healing abilities and you’ll find that using fresh ingredients from your kitchen or garden can be extremely rewarding. The importance of feeding your body fresh, organic foods is well documented so why not treat your skin with the same respect!

Learning how to prepare and blend various natural skin care recipes can be lots of fun and is not as difficult as you may think. You’ll find many aromatherapy essential oil recipes for natural skin care throughout this website. For those of you who would prefer to have an easy-to-follow companion guide all in one place, I have compiled the most popular recipes into a beautiful ebook for a very reasonable price. You can find more information about this new Aromatherapy Natural Skin Recipes ebook here.