Lemon juice is truly a skincare miracle, and by far one of my favorite natural skincare products. I’ve adopted lemon juice as part of my nightly routine, and am amazed at what a difference it is making.
Lemons, of all citrus fruit, contain the highest amount of citric acid, between 5-6%, giving them their sour taste. Citric acid is in the family of alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs), which are in several skincare products and used for chemical peels in dermatologist’s offices and beauty spas. Other naturally-existing and gentle AHAs include glycolic acid (found in sugar cane), lactic acid (found in sour milk), tartaric acid (found in grape wine), and malic acid (found in apples). Alpha-hydroxy chemical peels have a high concentration of AHAs, which is why they must be done by a professional, since they can cause severe burns to the skin but AHAs in low concentration can be very safely used at home, which is why the skincare industry has hundreds, if not thousands of products for home use containing AHAs.
AHAs exfoliate dead skin cells by chemically breaking the bonds between the cells. As one ages, dead skin cells do not slough off as quickly as they used to, so skin loses its lively youthful appearance. Additionally, acne-prone skin is thought to be caused by an overabundance of dead skin cells that, mixed with oil, get stuck inside the hair follicle. When dead skin cells are removed, the newer skin cells create a youthful, glowing, clear-skinned appearance.
The AHA content in a lemon is only one of its many benefits. Lemon juice is also an astringent, which means it reduces oil and shrinks pores. Lemon juice also is a naturally lightening agent, so it works wonders to lighten age spots and acne scarring, not to mention its Vitamin C content.
To use lemon juice on your face: squeeze 1/4 of a lemon into a bowl, then using a cotton ball or pad, apply to cleansed face and neck. Leave on for 10 minutes and rinse off with cold water. Lemon juice can sting any open cuts (if you’ve ever accidentally gotten it in a cut on your finger, you know this!) so avoid application to broken skin. After you have rinsed it off, moisturize well.
Depending on your skin, you may want to use this only a couple times a week up to every night. Be sure to rinse it off, and always wear sunscreen, as your face can become more sensitive to sunlight using this lemon treatment.
Give this a shot and comment how it works for you!
Turmeric is typically found as a dried spice, but it can also be found as a fresh root. It has a tremendous amount of health benefits when taken internally, but also is used externally for improvement of the skin.
Some of the medical conditions for which turmeric has been used as an herbal remedy include:
Alzheimer’s disease (prevention)
Colds and flu
Excessive facial hair growth
Urinary tract infections
The recommended daily doses for adults would be 1-3 grams for both fresh root and dried powder. However, for arthritis, the recommended daily dose is 8-60 grams three times a day.
For the skin:
Using turmeric as an all-over body scrub/body mask has been a part of Indian pre-wedding preparation for brides to achieve glowing skin for centuries. Applying a turmeric facial mask, which can be made and done at home (recipe below), can be used for acne, lightening of scars, and to even out skin pigmentation. It can also help prevent stretch marks and maintain the skin’s elasticity. Regular use of turmeric on the face can also dramatically reduce facial hair growth. A paste made from turmeric can also be used on minor wounds as an antibiotic, to reduce swelling and to speed up the healing process.
Turmeric face mask:
½ cup gram (chickpea) flour
1 ½ Tbsp ground turmeric
5 drops of olive oil or grape seed oil
1-2 tsp filtered water
Mix all the ingredients until it forms into a paste. Apply with fingertips to skin, and leave on for 30 minutes. Rinse with warm water. Turmeric can stain, so be sure to rinse it off very well, using a washcloth and soap to remove any residual stains, if necessary. Also, be sure to wear an old t-shirt to avoid staining your clothes.
Aggarwal, Sahdeo Prasad and Bharat B. Tumeric, the Golden Spice. 2011. Web. 20 June 2013. <http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK92752/>.
BeWellBuzz.com. Benefits of Turmeric for Skin and More. 24 August 2011. Web. 20 June 2013. <http://www.bewellbuzz.com/general/benefits-of-turmeric-for-skin-and-more/>.
Center, University of Maryland Medical. Turmeric. 7 May 2013. Web. 20 June 2013. <http://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/herb/turmeric>.
UndergroundHealth.com. Health Benefits of Turmeric. 12 May 2013. Web. 20 June 2013. <http://www.undergroundhealth.com/health-benefits-of-turmeric/>.
Taking care of one’s skin can be a costly and frustrating undertaking. Not having the kind of money beautiful skin seems to require can be frustrating and leave those of us who are skin-challenged wondering what can be done? It turns that all you have to do is get creative and look in your kitchen for a ridiculously affordable way to bless your skin by creating your own natural face masks.
In my experiences with acne and other skin-related ailments, I found that, by putting food on my face, I can save money while nourishing and healing my skin with truly surprising results.
Here is one of my favorite combinations. In addition to acne, I have somewhat sensitive skin, and these ingredients have not only helped my acne, but are gentle enough to not irritate my skin in the process. I am absolutely amazed at the results I am getting!
Strawberries are a potent source of antioxidants and vitamin C (a half-cup of strawberries contain nearly 50 mg of vitamin C). They also lighten any pigmentation problems (such as scarring).
Raw honey has antibiotic and antimicrobial properties. It also helps calm irritated skin.
Lemon is also full of vitamin C, and citric acid. Like strawberries, it will lighten pigmentation, and will help reduce oily skin without over-drying it.
Mustard powder is a natural source of salicylic acid, one of the most common ingredients in treatments.
Apple cider vinegar helps clean out pores from oil and bacteria. It is also a natural detoxifier for the skin when applied topically, and helps to reduce swelling and dry the skin from excess oils.
Cinnamon can help rid your skin of acne by both drying out the skin and bringing blood and oxygen to the skin surface, which also helps plump skin like a mini collagen treatment.
Grape seed oil is great for sensitive skin, and actually helps reduce the oiliness of skin. The antioxidants in grape seed extract have also been said to safeguard the elastin and collagen in your skin.
Lavender oil calms irritated skin. It also kills bacteria and reduces inflammation.
Strawberry Spice Mask (for acne and smaller pores)
3 strawberries (green part can stay on)
1 tablespoon raw honey
¼ lemon – squeezed
1 teaspoon mustard powder
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon grape seed oil (can use evoo if you don’t have grape seed)
4 drops lavender oil
I prefer to juice my strawberries in a juicer then mix the rest of the ingredients with the strawberry juice. However, if you do not own a juicer, you can use a blender instead. If you use a juicer, the mask will be less chunky and easier to apply.
If you use a blender, add all the ingredients (with exception of the lavender oil) and blend until it is pureed and smooth. Stir in the lavender oil.
Spread onto your face, not getting it too close to your eyes, and leave on for 25-30 minutes. This mask will tingle and may slightly burn. Do not be alarmed! The burning will go away after a few minutes and will actually start to feel soothing.
Rinse off with warm water after 25-30 minutes and discard any unused product. Moisturize afterwards (you can even use a small amount of grape seed oil with a drop or two of lavender oil as a moisturizing, soothing serum).
Please comment and let me know how this worked out for you!
Melissa Farris attended the California School of Herbal Studies in Sonoma County, California over a decade ago, and has never looked back with her medicine making ever since! She now owns www.VeriditasBotanicals.com which is an entirely organic line of therapeutic blends of essential oils. They smell amazing! Plus they actually work.
Essential oils are very precious remedies for our bodies and spirits. The sense of smell is evocative, supportive, and cleansing for the emotions as well. Synthetic scents, although initially pleasurable, are generally neurotoxic. Her natural combos are wisely constructed to work on common health challenges like eczema, sinus congestion, and menstrual cramps. The Mayo Clinic is currently doing case studies on three of the Veriditas Wellness Formulas.
Out of a concern for the earth all herbs used to make the oils are grown without pesticides, and the oils are free of adulterants. This is important as well because what we put on our skin gets absorbed into our bodies. Melissa says, “We believe that when we support small organic farms we are taking a revolutionary stand to promote healing of our bodies, the earth, and local economies.”
The oils are reasonably priced, considering the quality and effectiveness, and available online or at select
health food stores!
I used to take minocycline (a commonly prescribed antibiotic) for acne. It worked for a little while, then gradually became ineffective. Also, I definitely noticed the effects of antibiotics on my body long term. My digestion was off, I felt tired. The fact is, antibiotics are not meant to be used for long-term treatment; they are very aggressive.
Years ago, I spoke with a naturopath (herbalist) who suggested two herbal supplements in place of the minocycline: omega-3 fish oil, and a liver support supplement. It worked wonders for me. I could see the results right away, and it was more effective then the minocycline had ever been. In conjunction with a couple of topical acne products (benzoyl peroxide was in the morning, salicylic acne pads at night), it kept my skin totally clear. That was about 6 years ago, and I still use that same combination. On the rare occasion that I get a breakout, I just double the dosage for a day or so, and it clears right up.
The brand of supplement makes a difference. They are not all the same, both in terms of quality, and in terms of formula. The two specific brands that I use are Nordic Naturals Ultimate Omega, and Solaray Liver Blend SP-13. The Ultimate Omega is effective because it is a very potent, comprehensive formula. As far as the liver support supplement goes, I’ve tried many different brands, and I’ve found the most important ingredients when it comes to the skin are milk thistle, dandelion, and burdock. The Solaray supplement has all of these. It also has kelp and peppermint, which can be very helpful in keeping your body cool. I would recommend Omega-3: 1, 2x daily—Liver Support: 2, 2x daily. So, in the morning and at night. If you already have a breakout, start with 2 Omega-3 caps, and 4 Liver Support caps. Once it clears up, go back down to the initial dosage.
Start investigating more natural avenues to treat your physical ailments.
Your body will thank you.
Jessica Alba has started an online company for green childcare products. For $85- $100 you can have a month’s green diapers and wipes delivered to your door. Depending on where you live and what age your baby is, the average price of buying disposable diapers from the store for a month is about $80, cloth diapers washed by a service every month costs approximately $80, and cloth diapers washed at home for a month is around $20.
So Jessica’s company is economically comparable, the products are innovative and high-quality, and the philosophy logical. A free trial is offered to experience the products and service. The company is called www.honest.com and it also offers other convenient green baby products like baby shampoo, body balm, laundry detergent etc. A portion of proceeds from sales is donated to www.baby2baby.org which provides childcare basics to those in need in the LA area. Jessica’s product is in the higher price range, but wipes are included, the environmental and health impacts are positive, and the product is delivered directly to the customer’s door every month.
Josh Rosebrooks all-natural, organic beauty line is not only a healthy approach to anti-aging, but also amongst the growing number of authentic products making an impact on a market rife with body-disruptive chemicals.
How did your beauty journey begin?
I was fascinated with taking care of my skin since I was about 18. I loved the fact that if I did a few things every day, over time, I would always look younger. I began reading the ingredients on the skin care products, researching and testing them on myself. I was always finding ingredients and products that I thought were working and researching to understand why. I have always been fascinated with plants and herbs. It is so amazing to me that these botanical extracts and essential oils contain such mind blowing properties for health and anti aging. All the bases are covered in nature and it is absolutely complete with the highest forms of all vitamins, minerals, amino acids, fatty acids, enzymes, proteins and nutrients…
I cannot rave enough about my experience at Fred Segal Salon with the owner Matthew Preece and the Formula LA shampoo and conditioner I was gifted! I had my hair cut and colored on February 23rd, yes February 23rd, and it still looks amazing 14 weeks later – incredible!
Parents now have an alternative to the toxic plastic bottles, which research has shown leaches the chemical bisphenol-A (BPA) into food and drink.
Jen Moore, founder of Pura Stainless, has developed an electro-polished stainless steel bottle thats BPA free, hygienic, lightweight and durable. Best of all, it wont leach chemicals into the drink inside.
What Rachel Avalons seminar taught me about the beauty industry…
Whether its dipping into latest Sephora finds or scanning through celebrity looks, my heart has always fluttered just that much more when it comes to beauty. And with being an eco writer, I figured I pretty much knew all there was to about eco beauty.