Saturday, July 25, 2009

Show your skin some love

Your skin: How often do you give more than a casual glance to the organ that surrounds you and holds you together? Many times we fail to even recognize the fact that our skin serves as more than the bonding agent of our physical being. Our skin is the primary defense of our delicate inner organs. Our skin can detect large degrees of temperature change that our brains can interpret as safe or dangerous. Many times what we tend to do is completely ignore these signals as they sometimes tend to interfere in our activities. We ignore these signals at our own risk. If your skin starts to approach a level of exposure that is dangerous, it will let you know by sending out a signal that says "Hey! Feel that! I'm burning here! Fix it or get me out of here!"

There are several steps that you can take to help your skin be as effective as possible at doing its job. One of the best ways to help your skin is to stay moisturized. This will allow your skin to keep its elasticity and keep it from cracking, which could allow infection causing pathogens into the skin.

Here are some key ways to avoid drying out your skin.
  • Water: Drink lots of it. Two 250ml glasses in the morning, 1 at lunch, 2 at supper and 1 at night before bed. I know that seems like you might float away but if you replace drinking soda, coffee or tea and other liquids with water, you may not notice at all.
  • Bathing: Try to limit long, very hot baths or showers, and soaking for more than 15 minutes in the sauna or hot tub. I know, I'm a spoil sport.
  • Sunblock: Pretend you're corn on the cob and sunscreen is butter. Slather it on people. The higher the SPF (Sun Protection Factor), the better.
  • Moisturizer: Make use of a high quality moisturizer or facial serum before bed.
  • Soap: Use a good quality handmade soap that is rich in natural oils instead of commercial detergent bars, which are not soap at all and can just dry out and irritate your skin. Visit our website for a selection of natural or nearly natural soaps.
As a treat to all you wonderful readers, I am including a recipe that you can make at home. This cream should keep in the refrigerator for a couple of weeks.

Aloe & Cucumber Cream
Aloe has long been noted for the soothing effects of its juice and Cucumber has been recognized as a natural skin refresher and toner. The oils are used to moisturize and the honey and beeswax will provide softening and heavy smoothing. This is an awesome hand and body cream.

You will need:
30 ml (2 tbsp) aloe vera gel
1 medium peeled and seeded cucumber
30 ml (2 tbsp) apricot kernel oil (available at SudsMuffin)
15 ml (1 tbsp) coconut oil (available at SudsMuffin)
59 ml (4 tbsp) beeswax melted (available at SudsMuffin)
5 ml (1 tsp) honey

After cutting the cucumber into several pieces, use your blender or food processor to puree it. Strain the liquid and add the aloe vera gel to the cucumber juice and mix very well. In a double boiler on the stove, melt the beeswax and honey. After the wax has melted, slowly add both oils while stirring, then gently stir in the cucumber aloe mix a little at a time. Remove from heat and cover, stir slowly every 4 to 5 minutes until cool. Once cool store in the refrigerator.