Friday, February 4, 2011

Home Skin care Part II

home oasis
In our previous home skin care post we explored the basics of skin care, three steps that should be done at least twice daily.  If you are looking to augment your regimen here are some additional steps that can be incorporated periodically to really pamper your hardworking skin and make you feel great!

These steps are:
  • Exfoliate: 1-2 x weekly
  • Steam: 1-2 x times weekly
  • Mask: 1-2  x weekly
What is Exfoliation?

Dry, dead skin cells block your pores, leading to blackheads, whiteheads, acne, ingrown hairs and more. When that dead skin is removed, the new healthy skin is revealed and skin care products can better penetrate and keep this new skin healthy and radiant. Exfoliation can sometimes help remove sun damaged and discolored skin, too.
Regular exfoliation can result in:
sea salt exfoliation
  • Reduction in the appearance of wrinkles
  • Fewer ingrown hairs, especially for men
  • An even, more uniform tone
  • Fewer blotches and discoloration
  • Less noticeable scars
  • Brighter, more youthful appearance
  • More even make-up application and coverage (think no flaky or dry looking spots
The face isn't the only area of the body that deserves exfoliation. You should exfoliate your entire body including your hardworking hands and feet.

Types of exfoliation:
There are two main types of exfoliation methods.  Abrasive and chemical.  Home exfoliation is generally abrasive and if you are in a pinch and need to exfoliate STAT you can find ingredients right in your kitchen to help you out.  Sugar, salt and oatmeal are three examples of exfoliants found in the home.  While you are trying to remove dead skin cells make sure the exfoliant you choose is abrasive but NOT SHARP so as to avoid irritation and skin damage such as micro tears in your delicate skin.

Home exfoliant recipes:
Gentle Sugar Facial Exfoliant
2 tsp brown sugar
1 tsp grape seed oil (can also use almond oil)
5-10 drops essential oil if you would like.  (we really like lavender here)

pamper tip: you can gently warm this up prior to use

Directions:
Mix well
Apply to damp face and gently rub in circular motion (this will also feel great on your lips!)
Rinse off, pat face dry (do not rub too hard), tone and get ready to steam (or moisturize as normal and you are done!)

Body Sea Salt Scrub
1/2 C Sea Salt (can use dead sea salts, or just sea salt.)
1/2 C grape seed oil or oil of choice
10-15 drops skin safe fragrance or essential oil if desired (please note, fragrances used to make candles are NOT skin safe)

Directions
Combine ingredients in a NON BREAKABLE container.  Hop into the shower and exfoliate away, please be careful as the shower floor will be slippery from the oil.

To make your home exfoliants more "dry" feeling simply add less oil until you have a consistency that you are happy with.

About the oils.  Both grape seed and almond oils are great to make scrubs with because they are very light and soak into the skin fast not leaving a heave slidy feel on your skin.

Home Steam
refreshing and natural
Most everyone enjoys a good steam when they have a spa day, but what about those times in between?  Well you can treat yourself to a nice little steam at home too without too much effort.

To prepare:
Send children and pets to another room to play, remember you are dealing with something that is hot and don't want anyone to get hurt.
Tie your hair back and gather the following items:
large bowl
tea kettle (with water)
clean hand towel
dried herbs (you can cheat and use a couple of tea bags such as chamomile)
10-15 drops of essential oils if you would like (eucalyptus is great if you are feeling a little congested)

Directions:
Cleanse your face and pat dry.
Boil the water in the kettle and pour into your large glass bowl with your herbs and essential oils
Place the towel over your head and lean over the bowl to allow the steam treatment to begin
Relax and enjoy yourself for 10-15 minutes*
Pat your face dry, tone and move onto your facial mask (or moisturize and you are complete)
* note, if you have sensitive skin or broken capillaries, you might want to start with a shorter time and work up to what you feel is appropriate for your skin type

so many masks, so little time
Masks
There are SO MANY different kinds of masks on the market what one is right for you?!?  So what goal are you trying to achieve with your mask?  Depending on their ingredients they can do the following:
tighten and tone
draw out impurities
clear up blemishes
hydrate
nourish
calm and soothe
rejuvenate
brighten the complexion

Some other factors to consider are that there are non-setting masks which are more cream or gel based and setting masks which are clay based.  A fun kind of mask that can be made at home are biological masks which are  - you guessed it made from ingredients you can find in your kitchen.

Let's talk about biological ingredients and their benefits:
avocado - rich in vitamins and oil; beneficial for dry and sensitive skin
cucumber - soothing and healing; can be used as a mask or simply as eye pads
egg - egg whites can tone and tighten the skin and egg yolk has a nourishing and softening effect (good for mature and dry skin)
herbs - many herbs and teas such as chamomile are used for masks and compresses
honey - hydrating, toning and tightening
papaya - exfoliating with enzymatic properties
potatoes - used for oily skin or to reduce puffiness in the eye area
yogurt - cleansing and mildly astringent

Other items which are great include
pineapple - citric acid (helps to dissolve oils)
banana - nourishing
oatmeal - hydrating
milk - lactic acid (good for complexion, think - Cleopatra)
apples - malic acid (gentle exfoliant)
grapes - tartaric acid (gentle exfoliant)
mushrooms - kojic acid (skin brightening, good for hyperpigmentation)
sugar cane - glycolic acid (aids in exfoliation)

soothing, nourishing banana mask
Here is a quick and easy recipe for Normal type skin:
1 ripe banana
1 tbsp honey (slightly warm)
1 egg, beaten

Mix all ingredients together until smooth.  Apply to face and neck and leave on 10-15 minutes.  Rinse off, tone and moisturize as normal. Your skin should feel soft and moisturized after this mask.

Be adventurous and play around with biological ingredients until you find a combination that your skin absolutely loves, remember it's your personal time to pamper yourself so don't stress, just enjoy!

Bubble on my glowing friends,

~Your Soapsmith

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