8.17.2013

Natural Health Hack #6: Natural Face Care for Radiant Skin


Face care products are some of the most heavily advertised health and beauty products on the market.  Chemical-laden and perfumed face wash, astringent, moisturizer, and masks are just a few of the things we are told to smear on our delicate faces each day.  But I'm here to tell you that you don't need all that crap.  Just treat your skin gently and with respect, and your radiant health will beam from your face.  

First thing's first: stop using soap on your face.  This may be hard to swallow, especially for the acne-sufferers among you, but soap dries the skin by stripping the natural oils from the surface, leaving it scaly and creased.  For those with more oily skin, washing with soap causes the skin to over-produce oil, leaving the face chronically greasy and slick.  Instead, clean your face by removing the dead skin and grime, but leave that natural moisture behind.  

Daily face care:
  • In the morning, wet a clean cotton washcloth with warm water.  Wring it out and exfoliate the face and neck in soft, circular strokes.  Get into all the nooks and crannies, and don't forget to scrub behind the ears.  You can do this in the shower or at your bathroom sink.  Skin will be left smooth, clean, and refreshed, with no need for further cleansing or moisturizer.
  • In the evening, to remove makeup and/or the daily grime, apply an organic, cold-pressed oil of your choice.  Massage into the face and neck, behind the ears, etc.  (I use sunflower oil mixed with tea tree and peppermint essential oils.  You can make your own blend.  Be creative.)  Next, wet a clean washcloth with warm water, wring it out, and wipe your face clean.  The oil will dissolve makeup and gather up anything else collected on the surface, leaving behind nothing but moisturized, radiant skin.
Weekly Masks:
  • For a deeper clean, apply a bentonite clay mask once per week.  This is sold as Aztec Secret Healing Clay in most health food stores (pictured right).  A large tub costs $10, and it will last you many months.  Pour a tablespoon or two into a ceramic or glass bowl and mix with water until a thick, spreadable consistency is achieved.  Apply to your face, avoiding the delicate eye area, and leave on for 10-15 minutes or until the mask is mostly but not completely dry.  You will feel your skin tighten as the clay pulls deep dirt and dead cells from the pores.  When you're ready, rinse with warm water and wipe clean with a cotton cloth.  Your skin may look flushed or blotchy when you first remove the mask, but this will subside in a matter of minutes.
  • For deep overnight moisture, apply a castor oil mask weekly or as needed.  Pour a dime-sized drop into your hand and rub between your palms to warm the oil.  Pat the castor oil onto dry areas and wrinkles, and lightly dab around your eyes.  Massage into the skin and allow the oil to absorb.  Apply the mask at least an hour before you lie down to give it a chance to soak in, or simply lay a towel over your pillow.  You will wake to a glowing, youthful, even-toned face in the morning.

As a final note, it is important to remember that your outer health is a reflection of your inner health.  Even the gentlest, most natural skin care routine won't do a lot of good if you are putting junk into your body.  Limit your caffeine and alcohol consumption.  Eat whole, healthy foods including lots of healthy fats, and drink at least 2 liters of fresh, filtered water per day.  (Shoot for 3+ liters if you do Ashtanga yoga or other rigorous activity.)  Perhaps most importantly, get plenty of uninterrupted sleep.  When you feel great, you look great, and it will show up on your face.

Links to purchase


Readers:  Do you have questions, concerns, or additional tips?  Let me know in the comments!

9 comments:

  1. Great post! I've pinned this for future reference :)

    Thanks,

    Rae
    Mindful Rambles

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  2. Hi Megan,
    the last part about outer health reflecting the inner health is so true. My skin never fails to tell me about my current eating habits. So I got a constant reminder to eat healthy which is not bad I think.
    I'm finding your natural health series extremely interesting. I will definitely try the bathing routine, organic coconut oil is already waiting in the bathroom.
    Thanks a lot for sharing all this stuff.
    Bettina

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  3. Really enjoying your natural health posts! I am off to Whole Foods this morning to see if I can find some of the items you've mentioned there.

    Brenda

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  4. Hi Bettina and Brenda. This is excellent! I am so delighted you're finding the natural health posts useful. Let me know what you think of the results!

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  5. your post really sounds great! As a skin freak I would love to try it out to make my skin healthy. :-)
    Thanks for sharing!

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  6. can you also say what other oils are good to use? and when you make your blends, where do you store them?

    thanks!


    Amanda v.

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    Replies
    1. Hi, Amanda. Different oils have different properties which are appropriate for different skin types and constitutions. It would be hard for me to say which oils would be the best for you. I use coconut and sunflower oils on my skin because they are appropriate for those of predominately pitta constitutions. I use tea tree for its antiseptic properties and peppermint for its cooling properties because, being pitta dosha, I have skin that becomes easily irritated and inflamed.

      Oregano oil is another potent antibacterial essential oil that may be used in very small quantities in a blend for your skin. Lavender and rosemary oils are very soothing, as well. Just remember to read the bottles when you purchase essential oils for information on the potency, and mix just a few drops per 4-8 oz of oil.

      I mix my oils in 4 oz bottles and keep my bathroom fairly cool, so I don't have to store them in my fridge. But the larger jugs of base oils are kept in the fridge to keep them from spoiling.

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