Cleanses, juicing, the Paleo diet, super foods, chia seeds, it’s enough to make your head spin. How can anyone keep up with all the ebbs and flows of what is new and healthy? It seems like every week there is a new article or celebrity telling us about a new food we should be eating to stay healthy, or a different way to consume it. But how often do we think of the affects of what we put on our bodies? Just like how the foods we eat can impact how our skin looks, the same goes for what we put on our skin.
Just like with what we eat, it only makes sense to indulge. Trying to give up the foods we love is often a waste of time, because we’ll end up caving eventually. Once in a while, why not have a delicious gin and tonic, or pizza. But when I indulge, I try to do it with ingredients I know come from a good source, local distilled gin from Victoria Spirits, or lovely organic tomatoes in my pizza sauce, and the same applies to how we should treat our skin.
The funny thing about what we use in our soaps, creams and lip balms, is they are used in a lot of food products, and have beneficial qualities for our skin.
At this point everyone has olive oil on their counter top and uses it for everything from sautéing vegetables to salad dressings, and marinades, but it is also a popular ingredient in products like soaps and creams because of it’s moisturizing qualities, and replenishes and protects the skins moisture barrier.
For people with sensitive skin, what is in their soap and creams is important to consider. Like with olive oil, there are other natural products you can find in your kitchen cupboards even plain, old oatmeal. Now I’m not saying to plunge head first into your morning bowl of oatmeal, but products that use it provide a gentle exfoliant, and is a multi-purpose skin care aid to relieve dryness.
Even though we all look for soaps and creams that have positive affects on our skin, we also pick them for their fragrances. But we can pick products that are made with essential oils that give them a great smell, and have benefits.
Sweet orange smells down right delicious, but it is also a great addition to bath products because of its acid content which helps gently dissolve grease and dirt build-up. It can also be beneficial for soothing dry irritated skin.
If you’re not into those citrusy smells, there are benefits in other essential oils that have more of a rich, woody, earthy scent, like Sandalwood, and some people think it has some aphrodisiac qualities. Sandalwood has long been used for dry skin irritations, itching and sensitivity.
The unknowns we find on the labels of what’s in our bathroom cabinets has led many people to look for some of the ingredients I’ve mentioned because of their tried and tested benefits, and because many of the ingredients we cook with are good for our skin, there are tons of recipes for face masks, scrubs and even DIY lip balms.
If you feel adventurous, try this recipe from Whole Living for DIY Oatmeal-Lavender Face Scrub:
1 cup ground oatmeal
½ cup dry lavender flowers
½ cup powdered milk (either whole or nonfat)
2 tsp cornmeal
Mix all dry ingredients in a bowl, massage into damp skin, rinse with warm water. (Scrub will keep for six months.)