By: Marlene Affeld ~
When you catch an unexpected glance of yourself in the mirror, do you think you look older than your age? Has winter drained away your summer luster and skin is left looking tired and robbed of its youthful glow? Natural home remedies can freshen, relax and restore moisture to leave skin soft and lustrous.
Dry, Irritated Skin
If winter dry skin, fine lines, wrinkles and sagging skin are taking their toll on your appearance, there are numerous natural ways to obtain younger looking skin, reduce wrinkles, and tighten sagging skin.
During winter, dry skin requires extra care. Adequate hydration, both internally and topically, is imperative to prevent flaky, chapped, rough and irritated skin.
You have heard it before, but it’s worth emphasizing: drink plenty of water. Water plays an integral role in the maintenance of health and fitness. In fact, up to 80 percent of our body weight is made up of water.
- Medical experts recommend 8 eight ounces glasses per day as a minimum. In winter, it helps to increase total fluid consumption to 10 to 12 large glasses of water per day. This can be either in its natural form or in the form of any other fluids or beverages. Remember, the fluid content of coffee and cocktails does not count.
- A daily skin routine for dry skin includes cutting down on your bath time. Excessive bathing with hot water dries and strips the skin of essential oils. If possible, stick to short, tepid rather than hot, showers. After bathing, gently pat skin dry and then apply a thin layer of healing almond oil, massaged into the skin. Pay special attention to elbows, heels, knees, cuticles or any especially dry skin areas.
- Flaky, dry skin is a product of the skin surface sloughing off dead cells. Honey combined with egg whites, rich in skin-building collagen, can help get rid of dead skin cells, revealing fresh, soft, supple and youthful looking skin. Separate the yolk from the white of three eggs. Beat egg whites until frothy, blend in 3 tablespoons of organic honey. Apply the mixture on the face and neck and allow to dry for 15 to 20 minutes. Rinse with warm water and pat dry. Follow with a sheer application of vitamin E oil. Egg whites tighten skin while honey helps nourishes and moisturizes it. The dual action of both these natural healing ingredients will reduce wrinkles and fine lines and leave your complexion soothed and smooth.
Fine Lines and Wrinkles
- Bananas, rich in minerals and antioxidants, can help reduce wrinkles to reveal fresh, younger looking skin. Bananas make the skin appear soft, supple and glowing, leaving it looking fresh and dewy. Potassium is a key nutrient found in bananas that help reduce wrinkles and fine lines and tightens sagging skin. Mash a ripe banana with ¼ cup plain yogurt and 2 tablespoons of uncooked oatmeal. Blend well. Apply to the face and allow to dry for 15 to 20 minutes. Rinse with warm water. Pat dry.
Dull, Tired-Looking Skin
- Get some sleep. A hectic schedule, emotional distress, illness or anything that can rob you of a good night’s sleep drains the skin of its look of youthful vigor.
- Watch your diet. A healthy, anti-inflammatory diet can help firm the skin and decrease inflammation. The diet should contain foods high in Omega-3s, antioxidants and other healthy fats that can improve your health from inside out. Nuts and salmon are excellent sources of Omega-3s. Processed food products high in sugar, carbohydrates, caffeine and should be avoided as they provoke wrinkle formation.
- Herbal face wraps can help you attain a natural facelift at home. Herbal wraps detoxify the skin, improve circulation, flush clogged pores and increase elasticity in a short period of time. Warm towels infused with herbal essential oils are applied to the face and body for skin tone and firming benefits. Eliminating toxins helps purify tired skin by promoting perspiration. Rosemary, thyme, clary sage, and juniper essential oils are known for their anti-inflammatory, astringent, antioxidant and purifying properties. Warm moist towels in the microwave. Sprinkle with a few drops essential oil and apply to the face and body. Allow moisture to penetrate the skin and towels to cool for in place for 15 minutes. Pat dry.
Acne and Blackheads
If a poor diet, oily skin, an inherited genetic predisposition to skin imperfections, or a sudden acne flare have you looking less than your best, again natural home remedies can offer symptom relief and soothe irritated skin.
- A drawing paste of ground cumin seeds and witch hazel can help rid nose, chin and forehead (areas prone to oil) of blackheads and clogged pores. After washing the face with a gentle organic cleaner, mix enough witch hazel with 4 tablespoons of ground cumin seed to form a thick paste. Apply paste to trouble areas and allow to dry for a minimum of 20 minutes. Rinse with warm water and pat dry.
- For centuries, citrus fruits have been considered integral ingredients in natural facelift treatments. These fruits contain ingredients that naturally clean and tighten the skin. For a rejuvenating face mask combine ½ cup organic honey, ¼ cup fresh orange juice, ¼ cup grape juice and the juice of one lemon. Blend well. Apply the mixture to the skin. Refrigerate remaining mixture. Allow the mixture to dry on the face and neck for 20 to 30 minutes. Rinse with cool water. Pat dry.
- Blend a handful of fresh strawberries, 1 ripe pear, 1 apple and 1 cup of orange juice in a high-speed blender until smooth and creamy. Apply the fruit paste evenly over the face and allow to dry for 30 to 45 minutes. Rinse with warm water. Finish with a rinse of 2 tablespoons of apple cider and a bit of warm water. Vinegar balances the pH of the skin. Pat dry.
- Dehydration, environmental pollutants, heated indoor air and sun exposure all contribute to the formation of age spots. Excessive smoking and consumption of alcohol beverage accelerates the process. In fact, the skin of smokers age twice as fast as the skin of non-smokers. Age spots most commonly occur on the face, neck and the back of the hands, but can appear on other areas of the body. Exfoliation can help with the removal and fading of age spots. Dry brush the skin daily with a soft skin brush prior to cleaning. Cleanse skin with a gentle organic cream cleanser then rub a slice of fresh lemon over age spots to lighten their appearance. Lemon’s lightening benefits are cumulative, so daily use is suggested.