Mother Nature has blessed us with a treasure trove of botanicals that can be utilized to soothe, pamper and regenerate the skin. Many traditional and trusted healing effects of plants and herbs have also been validated by science. So if you’re in the mood to go all natural for your skincare needs, here are some easy recipes you can try using easily available ingredients from the chemist.
In 2009, researchers at Thames Valley University in Britain reported that the relaxing scent of lavender essential oil may help protect skin from infections. Another in vitro study discovered that a regular footbath with several drops of pure lavender oil could also stop or even reverse the growth of fungal infections. Writer Ashley Turner calls it “the most versatile of all essential oils [and] if you only use one, this is it!” She also recommends carrying a bottle of lavender as a first aid kit since it can be used to cleanse cuts and bruises. For a quick rejuvenating ‘facial’, mix a few drops with water in a bottle and spray on your face – with eyes closed, of course!
Although long used in nourishing skin and treating wounds, it is only in recent years that researchers have discovered the science behind the healing powers of honey. Raw honey is best as pasteurization denatures some of its enzymes and reduces its effectiveness. If you have dry skin and acne, try this: wash your face with warm water to open the pores, then apply a layer of honey to the skin, and wash off after 20 minutes. An antiseptic, honey releases low levels of hydrogen peroxide that disinfects your skin and prevents bacteria growth in your pores. It also possesses hydrating and antioxidant properties to nourish, repair and protect the skin against free radical damage.
Curative Coconut Oil
“Inarguably the best moisturizer out there and the only one you’d ever need” raves one nature website about this common kitchen staple. When applied, coconut oil melts on the skin almost immediately, seeps into the skin pores and moisturizes deeply without leaving residues. Its triglycerides content attracts protein molecules that help repair the collagen layer required to keep the skin elastic and smooth. With SPF4, coconut oil offers some protection against sun damage as it has a soothing effect on burnt skin by reducing skin inflammation and pain.
The pumpkin has the highest concentration of vitamin A in any vegetable – the only compound that is capable of reprogramming cells. It’s also rich in enzymes, nutrients and alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) – chemical exfoliants to loosen and remove the dead surface skin cells. To make your own pumpkin mask: mix ¼ cup of pumpkin puree with a teaspoon of olive oil, honey and a whole egg until smooth. Apply to the face for 20 minutes, rinse and pat dry. It can be your low-cost beauty secret to revive and preserve radiant, smoother and younger-looking skin!