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Not just for cuts and bruises, try pure Aloe Vera gel on your face after some time in the sun! It'll repair your dry skin and help you look more tanned!

 

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Your lips can burn quite easily - always apply lip balm with a sunblock when you spend more than a few minutes in direct sunlight.

 

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Skin Care Articles, Tips and Information

Professional Skin Care Look

When you walk in a room, have people notice your Beauty not your make-up!

The place to start for skin care that looks professional is clear healthy skin, it's a must. Whereas many women simply wash their face, cleansing the skin is important to the final finish. To effectively cleanse the skin, NEVER, EVER use soap off the shelf of the drugstore or grocery mart. A professional cleansing product that is specifically developed for your skin type is mandatory.

Finally, lip color adds the striking appearance that makes a woman stand out and appear desirable.

World-class products, supplied by IH Distribution, include Cleansing Cream for dry skin, Cleansing Lotion for oily skin, hydrating wash with anti-aging properties for mature skin. More information about these products can be obtained from www.ihdistribution.com. Next, NEVER scrub your face with a washcloth, always use the fingertips. Rinse with lukewarm water and pat dry with a towel.

A critical step often missed is the use of a toner or freshener, which is also directly tailored to your skin type; this is important because it will remove any remaining oil, debris, or remnants the cleanser left behind. Then, using the proper moisturizer (again, tailored to your skin type) is paramount.

The foundation used is vitally important because where eye shadow, blush and lipstick may accent your facial features; the foundation sets the tone for a woman's visual appearance. Find a shade that disappears into your skin, which will be the correct shade for your complexion. IH Distribution has 15 different shades for which one perfectly matches everyone's skin. The About Face Line Defiance Makeup is SPF8, which smoothes the look of fine lines and wrinkles. The new line of liquid makeup is blended with vitamins A & E to protect against the invisible enemy - Time.

When using a blush to accent facial features, use a slightly darker shade to provide a contour to your face and provide cheekbones that "lift" from your face. Start at the earlobe down towards the cheek so a "glob" isn't left on the cheek. Use a blush that is lighter in color to bring out the highlights.

 

Top Fitness Mistakes

 

Eye makeup - use shadows to effectively reflect your moods! Take time to practice and you can apply eye shadow accurately and easily. Keep in mind that light colors highlight features and dark colors diminish. Use either 2 or 3 different shades, start with the lightest first on the entire eye lid, medium lower only and the darkest on the outer corner which provides a perception of depth.

Eyeliner should be applied with short strokes and remember to start at the center and work outside to the corners. To complete the look and the mood, quality mascara finishes your eye make-up --- with dark eyes use navy, black, or dark brown. Nail color - Use a polish that compliments the overall tones of your make-up. For example, if you were using natural shades on your lips and cheeks, stay with a natural color for nails.

A professional skin care tip is to try to use a lip pencil to outline the lips prior to lipstick application; it's a personal thing but very defining on some women. Also, try a small brush from tube lipstick to help define the contours of the mouth but, more importantly, really control the amount of color that's applied. Another professional skin care tip is to lightly apply powder over the lips before applying the lipstick which helps it stay on longer. For effective lipstick stain removal, apply a dab of glycerin and wash as usual.

Check IH Distribution's 10 About Face Lip Pencils and 28 About Face Lipsticks. Virtually a rainbow of colors, one is sure to fit and shade your lips with beautiful color, moistures, and antioxidant protection. Favorite colors are Mysterious, Smolder, Whisper, and Celebrity. The products are available online at www.ihdistribution.com.

 

Pure. Natural. Beautiful from IH Distribution. IH Distribution specializes in health areas such as acne skin care, anti-aging cream, anti-wrinkle cream, hormones and natural hormone replacement therapy, natural progesterone cream and skin care cream. We offer beauty care products such as natural cosmetics, facial products, skin care products, eye make up and dermatologist approved cleansing products.

 

 

We really do care about your health and happiness and are thrilled you are interested in our articles, but please always check with your doctor before trying something new!

 

The Maharishi Ayurveda Natural Medicine Approach to Beauty and Skin Care


The Three Pillars of Beauty
Maharishi Ayurveda (MAV), the modern, consciousness-based revival of the ancient Ayurvedic medicine tradition, considers true beauty to be supported by three pillars; Outer Beauty, Inner Beauty and Lasting Beauty. Only by enhancing all three can we attain the balanced state of radiant health that makes each of us the most fulfilled and beautiful person we can be.

General Recommendations for Outer Beauty
As we will discuss, the key to skin care is matching your diet and skin care routine to the specific skin type you have. Meanwhile, there are some valuable recommendations for lustrous skin, hair and nails that will be helpful to everyone, regardless of skin type.

1. Diet: Without adequate nourishment, your collagen layer thins and a kind of wasting takes place. Over time, your skin can shrivel up like a plant without water from lack of nourishment. To keep your skin plump and glowing:

A. Eat fresh, whole organic foods that are freshly prepared. Avoid packaged, canned, frozen, processed foods and leftovers. These foods have little nutritional value and also they are often poorly digested which creates impurities that localize in the skin. The resulting buildup of toxins causes irritation and blocks circulation depriving the skin of further nourishment and natural cleansing processes.

B. Favor skin nourishing foods.

1. Leafy green vegetables contain vitamins, minerals (especially iron and calcium) and are high in antioxidant properties. They nourish the skin and protect it from premature aging.

2. Sweet juicy fruits like grapes, melons, pears, plums and stewed apples at breakfast are excellent for the skin in almost everyone.

3. Eat a wide variety of grains over different meals and try mixed grain servings at breakfast and lunch. Add amaranth, quinoa, cous cous, millet and barley to the wheat and rice you already eat.

 

4. Favor light, easy to digest proteins like legume soups (especially yellow split mung dhal), whole milk, paneer (cheese made from boiling milk, adding lemon and straining solids) and lassi (diluted yogurt and spice drinks).

5. Oils like ghee (clarified butter) and organic, extra virgin olive oil should be included in the diet as they lubricate, nourish and create lustre in the skin.

6. Use spices like turmeric, cumin, coriander, and black pepper to improve digestion, nourish the skin and cleanse it of impurities.

7. Avoid microwaving and boiling your vegetables. They lose as much as 85% of their antioxidant content when cooked in this way. Steaming and sautéing are best.

Caring for outer beauty through knowledge of skin type
Besides these general recommendations the key to Outer Beauty is to understand the difference in skin types so you can gain the maximum benefit from your individualized skin care regimen. MAV identifies three different skin types based on which of the three main metabolic principles (doshas)- present in everyone, but to different degrees- is most dominant in your body.

Vata Skin

* Description: Vata is composed of the elements of air and space. If you have a vata skin type, your skin will be dry, thin, fine pored, delicate and cool to the touch. When balanced, it glows with a delicate lightness and refinement that is elegant and attractive. When vata skin is imbalanced, it will be prone to excessive dryness and may even be rough and flaky.

* Potential problems: The greatest beauty challenge for vata skin is its predisposition to symptoms of early aging. Your skin may tend to develop wrinkles earlier than most due to its tendency to dryness and thinness. If your digestion is not in balance, your skin can begin to look dull and grayish, even in your 20's and 30's. In addition, your skin may have a tendency for disorders such as dry eczema and skin fungus. Mental stress, such as worry, fear and lack of sleep, has a powerful debilitating effect on vata skin leaving it looking tired and lifeless.

* Recommendations for care With a little knowledge, you can preserve and protect the delicate beauty of your vata type skin. Since your skin does not contain much moisture, preventing it from drying is the major consideration. Eat a warm, unctuous diet (ghee and olive oil are best) and favor sour, salty and sweet tastes (naturally sweet like fruits, not refined sugar) as they balance vata. Avoid drying foods like crackers. Drink 6-8 glasses of warm (not cold for vata types!) water throughout the day and eat plenty of sweet, juicy fruits. Going to bed early (before 10 PM) is very soothing to vata and will have a tremendously positive influence on your skin. Avoid cleansing products that dry the skin (like alcohol-based cleansers) and perform Ayurvedic oil massage to your whole body (abhyanga) in the morning before you shower. Pitta Skin.

 

* Description: Pitta dosha is composed of the elements of fire and water. If you have a pitta skin type your skin is fair, soft, warm and of medium thickness. When balanced, your skin has a beautiful, slightly rosy or golden glow, as if illuminated from within. Your hair typically is fine and straight, and is usually red, sandy or blonde in color. Your complexion tends toward the pink or reddish, and there is often a copious amount of freckles or moles.

* Potential problems: Among the many beauty challenges of pitta skin types is your tendency to develop rashes, rosacea, acne, liver spots or pigment disorders. Because of the large proportion of the fire element in your constitution, your skin does not tolerate heat or sun very well. Of all the three skin types, pitta skin has the least tolerance for the sun, is photosensitive, and most likely to accumulate sun damage over the years. Pitta skin is aggravated by emotional stress, especially suppressed anger, frustration, or resentment.

* Recommendations for care Avoid excessive sunlight, tanning treatments and highly heating therapies like facial or whole body steams. Avoid hot, spicy foods and favor astringent, bitter and sweet foods which balance pitta. (Again, naturally sweet, not chocolate and refined sugar!) Sweet juicy fruits (especially melons and pears), cooked greens and rose petal preserves are especially good. Drinking plenty of water helps wash impurities from sensitive pitta skin. Reduce external or internal contact with synthetic chemicals, to which your skin is especially prone to react, even in a delayed fashion after years of seemingly uneventful use. Avoid skin products that are abrasive, heating or contain artificial colors or preservatives. Most commercial make-up brands should be avoided in favor of strictly 100% natural ingredient cosmetics. And be sure to get your emotional stress under control through plenty of outdoor exercise, yoga and meditation.

Kapha Skin.

* Description: Kapha dosha is composed of the elements of earth and water. If you have a kapha skin type your skin is thick, oily, soft and cool to the touch. Your complexion is a glowing porcelain whitish color, like the moon, and hair characteristically thick, wavy, oily and dark. Kapha skin types, with their more generous collagen and connective tissue, are fortunate to develop wrinkles much later in life than vata or pitta types.

*Potential problems If your skin becomes imbalanced, it can show up as enlarged pores, excessively oily skin, moist types of eczema, blackheads, acne or pimples, and water retention. Kapha skin is also more prone to fungal infections.

* Recommendations for care Kapha skin is more prone to clogging and needs more cleansing than other skin types. Be careful to avoid greasy, clogging creams. Likewise, avoid heavy, hard to digest foods like fried foods, fatty meats, cheeses and rich desserts. Eat more light, easy to digest, astringent, bitter and pungent (well-spiced) foods as they balance kapha. Olive oil is the best cooking oil and a little ginger and lime juice can be taken before meals to increase your characteristically sluggish digestive fire. Take warm baths often and use gentle cleansers to open the skin pores. Avoid getting constipated and try to get some exercise every day to increase circulation and help purify the skin through the sweating process.

Inner Beauty: Gunam.
Happy, positive, loving, caring individuals have a special beauty that is far more than skin deep. Conversely we all experience the quick and deleterious effect on our skin from fatigue and stress. Inner beauty is authentic beauty, not the kind that shows on a made-up face, but the kind that shines through from your soul, your consciousness or inner state of being. Inner beauty comes from a mind and heart that are in harmony, not at odds with each other, causing emotional confusion, loss of confidence, stress and worry. Inner peace is the foundation of outer beauty.

Maintain your self-confidence and a warm, loving personality by paying attention to your lifestyle and daily routine and effective management of stress (I highly recommend the TM technique for its scientifically-verified benefits on mental and physical health and reduced aging.) You will also be healthier and feel better through the day if you eat your main meal at midday and make a habit of going to bed early (by 10 PM is ideal.)

Remember, kindness, friendliness and sincerity naturally attract people to you. On the other hand, being uptight or tense makes people want to walk the other way, regardless of your facial structure, body weight, or other outer signs we associate with attractiveness.

Lasting Beauty: Yayastyag

In order to slow the aging process and gain lasting beauty there are two additional key considerations beyond those already discussed,

1. Eliminate toxins and free radicals in the body: The main deteriorating effects of aging come as toxins and impurities (called ama in Ayurveda) accumulate throughout the body. These toxins may begin as free radicals in the body, or over time may become oxidized into free radicals, all of which contribute to premature aging in the body. For lasting health and beauty it is essential to avoid and neutralize free radicals, to prevent impurities of all kinds from accumulating and to remove those that have already become lodged in the body.

The most powerful cleansing therapy in Maharishi Ayurveda is "panchakarma" therapy, a series of natural treatments ideally performed twice yearly, that involves 5-7 days in a row of massage, heat treatments and mild herbal enemas. Ayurveda emphasizes the importance of undergoing this cleansing program once or twice a year to prevent impurities from accumulating, localizing and hardening in the tissues. Just as we change the oil in our cars regularly for optimal performance and lifespan, Ayurveda recommends that we cleanse the "sludge" from our tissues on a regular basis through panchakarma treatments.

Best of all, panchakarma treatments are luxurious, blissful, and make you feel (and look) completely rejuvenated in just a few days time. I have had many a patient who told me that friends asked them afterwards if they had gotten a facelift, they looked so fresh and youthful!

Other free radical busters include: reducing mental stress, eating antioxidant foods like leafy green vegetables, sweet, juicy fruits and cooking on a daily basis with antioxidant, detoxifying spices like turmeric and coriander.

2. Add rejuvenative techniques to daily living:
The daily activities of life in the modern world systematically wear us down and speed up the aging process. Ayurveda maintains it is crucial to practice daily rejuvenative regimens to counteract the stressful wear and tear of everyday life. According to Ayurveda the most important rejuvenative routines for your life are:

a) Going to bed by 10:00 PM. This simple habit is one of the most powerful techniques for health and longevity, according to MAV.

b) Meditate daily. Any meditation that does not involve concentration (which has been shown to increase anxiety) can be very helpful. I highly recommend the twice-daily deep rest and enlivenment of the Transcendental Meditation (TM) technique, whose benefits have been verified by over 700 published research studies.

c) Eat organic, whole fresh food that is freshly prepared. There is an Ayurvedic saying: "Without proper diet. medicine is of no use. With proper diet, medicine is of no need." Be sure to avoid those leftovers, processed and microwaved foods for better nutrition and vitality.

 

d) Perform Ayurvedic oil massage in the morning (abhyanga). Morning oil massage purifies the entire body, reduces anxiety and stress, helps prevent and heal injuries and supports circulation. It is especially helpful in creating a radiant complexion and keeping your skin youthful. Research shows it may also help prevent skin cancers.

e) Practice yoga asanas. Maintaining flexibility and circulation is key to health. f) Practice pranayama (yoga breathing) techniques. Pranayama enlivens the mind and body. Ideally practice the following sequence twice a day. Asanas, pranayama and meditation.

Summary
Everyone's unique beauty shines forth when they have radiant health and personal happiness. Beauty is a side effect of a balanced, fulfilled life. Supreme personal beauty is accessible to everyone who is willing to take more control of their health in their day-to-day life through time-tested principles of natural living.

For most of us, beauty is not a gift but a choice. Every woman can be radiantly beautiful simply by beginning to lead a healthier life. You will be rewarded by the glowing effects you will see in your mirror each day and the powerful, bliss-producing effect your special beauty has on everyone in your life.

 

Nancy Lonsdorf M.D. received her M.D. from Johns Hopkins and did her postgraduate training at Stanford. She is currently the Medical Director of The Raj Ayurveda Health Center in Vedic City Iowa
http://www.ayurveda-ayurvedic.com

 

Summer Skin Care

Just as winter weather makes us pay special attention to our skin, summer with its sun and heat has its requirements too. SPF. SPF and more SPF. I know you heard a lot about it - but talking about summer skin care, I just have to remind you again. However, SPF is only a small part of what you can do for your smooth complexion and healthy glow.

 

Outer Beauty: Roopam
The outer signs of beauty - your skin, hair and nails - are more than just superficial measures of beauty. They are direct reflections of your overall health. These outer tissues are created by the inner physiological processes involved in digestion, metabolism and proper tissue development. Outer beauty depends more on the strength of your digestion and metabolism, the quality of your diet, and the purity of your blood, than on external cleansers and conditioners you may apply.


People with dry sensitive skin may notice that sun causes more dryness and irritation. In this case try to use herbal infusions instead of tap water when cleansing your skin. The best herbs are chamomile and sage - alone or in combination with linden blossoms. They will calm and soothe your skin. Having antibacterial properties, they will also prevent infections. If you spend a lot of time outside and feel that your skin is dry, soak cheesecloth in herbal infusion and leave it on clean face for a few minutes.

To make an herbal infusion you will need:
3 parts of linden blossoms 2 parts of chamomile 1 part rose petals 1/2 part peppermint leaves
Take 2 tablespoons of the herbal mixture and cover with 1 cup of boiling water. In hot days when your face is sweating, do not rush to wash it with water. First wipe it with a cotton ball soaked in sour milk or sour cream. After 10-15 minutes rinse with sage infusion or green tea. Then apply your favorite moisturizer.

Some women think there is no need to use creams during summer since the skin sweats and already looks shiny. This is a big mistake. Oil and sweat are two different things. Oil depletion makes skin vulnerable to wind, sun, temperature contrast and other environmental factors. In hot summer days sweat evaporates from the skin surface making it even dryer and prone to injury or infection (read: acne).

Wrong day cream can also cause sweatiness. Too much moisturizer or night cream used during the day will make your skin feel hot and look too shiny. Try to choose a light cream that makes your skin feel comfortable without leaving an oily residue and apply it to clean skin to ensure the best absorption.

Cold water is an excellent skin toner for summer. In the morning apply fresh squeezed fruit or berry juice all over your face and neck. If your skin is dry or irritated, follow with sour cream or oil (olive, sunflower, almond). Now wash your face with cold water. Ice cubes will feel great on normal and oily skin, however if you have visible capillaries, ice can make them worse.

Fruit masks is another easy summer treat. If you do not have allergies, they can be used everyday. Active ingredients in fruits will freshen and clean your skin. For the best result use fresh fruits and berries and make just enough juice or mixture for one application. There are some general guidelines to follow:

1. Clean the skin first. 2. If your skin type is dry, apply a thin layer of light cream while the skin is still wet. 3. Soak a piece of cheese cloth in mashed fruit or juice and leave it on your face for 10-15 minutes (cut out holes for eyes in the cheesecloth to avoid eye irritation caused by fruit acids).

The mask can also be made with egg yolks, powdered oatmeal, or sour cream. For oily skin mix fruits with egg whites. If your mask has a thick consistency, you may not need a cheesecloth.

Fruits you can use:

- For dry skin - apricots, grapes, melon, plums, bananas. You may add carrot juice to your mask, it is great for dry skin. The orangy color will disappear pretty fast. - For irritated skin or if you have visible capillaries - parsley is the answer to your problems. - For oily skin and enlarged pores - cabbage, cranberry, red currant. - Tomato, cucumber, watermelon and orange juices will do good for any skin type.

After removing a fruit mask, it is not necessary to wash your face with water - wipe it with a cotton ball soaked in tea, herbal infusion or cucumber juice. When using masks, don't forget about your neck - it needs just the same attention as your face.

 

Natalie Katsman is a co-founder of http://www.natural-aid.com, where you can find fine quality aloe vera products for beauty and well-being and subscribe to HealthySkin Newsletter filled with beauty tips, recipes and information on herbal healing, skin care and cosmetic chemistry.

Natural Skin Care - Ways to Pamper Your Complexion

Our skin is the largest organ of our body. It endures constant exposure to toxins, free radicals and oxidation. Since skin secretes oils and toxins during the night, cleansing in the morning is necessary to prepare skin for moisturizer and makeup. It is also very important to cleanse your face every night, especially if you wear makeup. When you sleep, your pores open and your skin breathes, so anything on your face will be absorbed into your skin. In other words, everything that is on your face - cosmetics and environmental pollutants - will be absorbed into the deeper levels of your skin.

Using the proper cleansers and cleansing tools will keep your skin fresh and youthful looking. It has been scientifically confirmed that topical vitamin C and E help to protect skin against free radicals which breakdown skin tissue and cause premature signs of aging. It is important to know that the benefit to your skin in performance and protection depends upon the percentage and form of vitamin C and E in the skin care formulas.

In Prevention Magazine's April 2002 issue, Amy Newburger, M.D., associate physician in clinical dermatology at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons states, in reference to vitamin E, "You can find this antioxidant in just about any beauty product. Unfortunately it usually isn't present in high enough concentrations (5% or more according to a recent study) to really do your skin any good."

Vitamin C, another vital antioxidant, also helps protect the skin against free radical damage (oxidation). However, as Dr. Newburger confirms, vitamin C is very unstable, breaks down quickly, and must be stored correctly to remain potent. Her recommendation, "Look for products in opaque airtight containers. A pump dispenser is great for sealing out oxygen and extending product life."

Be aware, just because vitamin C is included in an ingredient list doesn't necessarily mean that it is in the proper form or percentage ratio to achieve its' claims. The use of vitamins (especially vitamin C) requires knowledge of the proper percentages, pH, and the delivery system.

 

Using a toner reduces pore size, so that fewer pollutants are absorbed into the skin. Look for toners that contain aloe vera. Aloe vera is one of the best skin nutrients available and you can use pure aloe vera juice (found in most health food stores), poured onto a cotton cosmetic round. Keep it in the refrigerator for an invigorating experience! Aloe vera has an exceptional ability to penetrate the skin. It is absorbed into the skin four times faster than water and has a pH level nearly identical to that of the skin.

Choosing a cleanser is almost as important as the act of cleansing. A product that is too harsh can strip skin of natural oils, and leave it dry and irritated. Look for cleansers that rejuvenate the skin at the same time they cleanse it. A gentle goat milk soap and herbal glycerin can help remove excess oil as long as they don't dry your skin. For most skin, soaps are alkaline and can be irritating. It is best to use a cleanser that's close to the skin's normal pH level, which is usually around 4.5. Nourishing shea butter is useful for dry, wrinkled, or irritated skin.

Also consider your skin type when choosing a cleanser. If your skin is oily, avoid products that strip away all the oil as well as those with added moisturizers. Look for ingredients that have antiseptic properties like witch hazel and herbs and essential oils like eucalyptus, tea tree oil, and peppermint.

For dry skin, a nonabrasive cleanser that contains nourishing properties such as vegetable glycerin and olive and coconut oil, can help keep the skin soft and dehydrated. Aloe vera and balancing essential oils of chamomile, lavender, and rose are useful for all skin types.

Washcloths and loofahs can damage delicate facial skin and are known to harbor bacteria. It is recommended that you use a soft cloth designed specifically for the face.

After your skin is clean, the next step is to use a toner. Using a cleanser on your face will raise your pH level, even if you use a cleanser that is pH balanced. It is important to use a toner formulated to return the acid mantle (a natural layer that covers the skin) to its normal level and help rebalance the skin after washing.

Using a toner reduces pore size, so that fewer pollutants are absorbed into the skin. Look for toners that contain aloe vera. Aloe vera is one of the best skin nutrients available and you can use pure aloe vera juice (found in most health food stores), poured onto a cotton cosmetic round. Keep it in the refrigerator for an invigorating experience! Aloe vera has an exceptional ability to penetrate the skin. It is absorbed into the skin four times faster than water and has a pH level nearly identical to that of the skin.

If your skin is especially oily, an astringent (similar to a toner, but with a high alcohol content) can help absorb excess oil and kill bacteria. Extracts and essential oils including camphor, menthol, tea tree, and citrus also help control oil. EC Mode offers salon quality, vitamin based botanicals for the hair, scalp and skin. I have been using their product line for nearly three years with excellent results. My cleansing routine is simple - Facial Cleanser, Vitamin C Serum, Eye Toner, Hydro-Driver Moisturizer.

Their Vitamin C Serum is formulated with 12% fresh-dried, naturally-derived L-ascorbic acid (vitamin C) that becomes active only when you are ready to use it. Other vitamin C skin care products are in liquid form, often derivatives of vitamin C, and require additional ingredients (and preservatives) to attempt to stabilize the liquid. These ingredients can dilute the potency of the vitamin C plus, given that it is already premixed the vitamin begins breaking down from the time it is formulated to the time you purchase the product and use it.

EC Mode Hydro-Driver Moisturizer is formulated with 5% vitamin E to scavenge free radicals and prevent premature signs of aging, stimulate natural hydration of skin, increase skin's smoothness and help reduce the look of fine lines and wrinkles. It can also reduce and prevent scar tissue, fade age spots and control symptoms associated with skin conditions (rosacea, eczema, dermatitis).

It is best to use botanical based and all-natural cleansers, toners, moisturizers and cosmetics. Your complexion will love you for it and your skin will be radiant.

http://bluemoondesigns.wellnesssalon.com ~ EC Mode Wellness Collection includes vitamin-based botanicals for your hair, scalp and skin. Available through a licensed professional or online wellness salon store only.

 

Kathy Browning is an Autoimmune Disease Nutrition Consultant and co-founder of HealthyDivas.com. She is the author of "The Diva Diet" and co-author of "Autoimmunity: It's Time for Truth; It's Time to Heal." Ms. Browning is the editor of "Conquering Autoimmunity", a monthly ezine for individuals with autoimmune disease. To learn more about autoimmune disease or subscribe to newsletter, visit http://www.HealthyDivas.com.

Natural Skin Care - Healthy Ways to Pamper Your Complexion

Our skin is the largest organ of our body. It endures constant exposure to toxins, free radicals and oxidation. Since skin secretes oils and toxins during the night, cleansing in the morning is necessary to prepare skin for moisturizer and makeup. It is also very important to cleanse your face every night, especially if you wear makeup. When you sleep, your pores open and your skin breathes, so anything on your face will be absorbed into your skin. In other words, everything that is on your face - cosmetics and environmental pollutants - will be absorbed into the deeper levels of your skin.

Using the proper cleansers and cleansing tools will keep your skin fresh and youthful looking. It has been scientifically confirmed that topical vitamin C and E help to protect skin against free radicals which breakdown skin tissue and cause premature signs of aging. It is important to know that the benefit to your skin in performance and protection depends upon the percentage and form of vitamin C and E in the skin care formulas.

In Prevention Magazine's April 2002 issue, Amy Newburger, M.D., associate physician in clinical dermatology at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons states, in reference to vitamin E, "You can find this antioxidant in just about any beauty product. Unfortunately it usually isn't present in high enough concentrations (5% or more according to a recent study) to really do your skin any good."

Vitamin C, another vital antioxidant, also helps protect the skin against free radical damage (oxidation). However, as Dr. Newburger confirms, vitamin C is very unstable, breaks down quickly, and must be stored correctly to remain potent. Her recommendation, "Look for products in opaque airtight containers. A pump dispenser is great for sealing out oxygen and extending product life."

Be aware, just because vitamin C is included in an ingredient list doesn't necessarily mean that it is in the proper form or percentage ratio to achieve its' claims. The use of vitamins (especially vitamin C) requires knowledge of the proper percentages, pH, and the delivery system.

Choosing a cleanser is almost as important as the act of cleansing. A product that is too harsh can strip skin of natural oils, and leave it dry and irritated. Look for cleansers that rejuvenate the skin at the same time they cleanse it. A gentle goat milk soap and herbal glycerin can help remove excess oil as long as they don't dry your skin. For most skin, soaps are alkaline and can be irritating. It is best to use a cleanser that's close to the skin's normal pH level, which is usually around 4.5. Nourishing shea butter is useful for dry, wrinkled, or irritated skin.

Also consider your skin type when choosing a cleanser. If your skin is oily, avoid products that strip away all the oil as well as those with added moisturizers. Look for ingredients that have antiseptic properties like witch hazel and herbs and essential oils like eucalyptus, tea tree oil, and peppermint.

For dry skin, a nonabrasive cleanser that contains nourishing properties such as vegetable glycerin and olive and coconut oil, can help keep the skin soft and dehydrated. Aloe vera and balancing essential oils of chamomile, lavender, and rose are useful for all skin types.

Washcloths and loofahs can damage delicate facial skin and are known to harbor bacteria. It is recommended that you use a soft cloth designed specifically for the face.

After your skin is clean, the next step is to use a toner. Using a cleanser on your face will raise your pH level, even if you use a cleanser that is pH balanced. It is important to use a toner formulated to return the acid mantle (a natural layer that covers the skin) to its normal level and help rebalance the skin after washing.

If your skin is especially oily, an astringent (similar to a toner, but with a high alcohol content) can help absorb excess oil and kill bacteria. Extracts and essential oils including camphor, menthol, tea tree, and citrus also help control oil.

EC Mode offers salon quality, vitamin based botanicals for the hair, scalp and skin. I have been using their product line for nearly three years with excellent results. My cleansing routine is simple - Facial Cleanser, Vitamin C Serum, Eye Toner, Hydro-Driver Moisturizer.

Their Vitamin C Serum is formulated with 12% fresh-dried, naturally-derived L-ascorbic acid (vitamin C) that becomes active only when you are ready to use it. Other vitamin C skin care products are in liquid form, often derivatives of vitamin C, and require additional ingredients (and preservatives) to attempt to stabilize the liquid. These ingredients can dilute the potency of the vitamin C plus, given that it is already premixed the vitamin begins breaking down from the time it is formulated to the time you purchase the product and use it.

EC Mode Hydro-Driver Moisturizer is formulated with 5% vitamin E to scavenge free radicals and prevent premature signs of aging, stimulate natural hydration of skin, increase skin's smoothness and help reduce the look of fine lines and wrinkles. It can also reduce and prevent scar tissue, fade age spots and control symptoms associated with skin conditions (rosacea, eczema, dermatitis).

It is best to use botanical based and all-natural cleansers, toners, moisturizers and cosmetics. Your complexion will love you for it and your skin will be radiant.

http://bluemoondesigns.wellnesssalon.com ~ EC Mode Wellness Collection includes vitamin-based botanicals for your hair, scalp and skin. Available through a licensed professional or online wellness salon store only.

 

Kathy Browning is an Autoimmune Disease Nutrition Consultant and co-founder of HealthyDivas.com. She is the author of "The Diva Diet" and co-author of "Autoimmunity: It's Time for Truth; It's Time to Heal." Ms. Browning is the editor of "Conquering Autoimmunity", a monthly ezine for individuals with autoimmune disease. To learn more about autoimmune disease or subscribe to newsletter, visit http://www.HealthyDivas.com.

 

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