Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Exfoliation Is Good For You - Part 2

     When you exfoliate your skin, you more effectively get rid of the dead skin cells than you can with a sponge or washcloth. Brushing away the dead skin cells leaves your skin softer, smoother and less clogged, leading to fewer wrinkles, moister skin and a healthier appearance over time. However, you should be able to notice a glow even after the first time you've exfoliated. Just be aware that some skin types are more sensitive to the process than others, and you shouldn't need to perform the process daily. One to two times per week is ideal.
     Tools You'll Need
     * In order to exfoliate your skin, you'll need the following:
     * A loofah, exfoliating gloves or a body brush for body; exfoliating gloves or a facial brush for face
     * A pumice stone
     * An exfoliating cleanser for body and another for the face
     * A moisture-rich lotion or cream, particularly one with hydroxy acids, for the body and another for the face
     1. Brush the Skin
Exfoliation is easiest during or right after a shower or bath. However, before you get your skin wet, you should prep your skin for exfoliation by rubbing the loofah, exfoliating gloves or body brush across the dry skin on your body, beginning with your feet and moving upwards. Likewise, run the facial brush or exfoliating gloves across the dry skin on your face. This will remove the dry, dead skin cells that are already loose.
      2. Wet the Skin
The next step for exfoliation is getting the skin wet and washing away makeup, sunscreen, perfumes, creams and lotions. You should exfoliate your body skin in the shower (to make it easier to rinse once you're done), but you may perform facial skin exfoliation after washing your face at a sink.
Pumice the Bottom of Your Feet
Use the pumice stone on the soles of your feet to soften tough patches of skin and calluses. Gently work the stone in circular motions. Do not press too hard.
     3. Exfoliating the Skin
When exfoliating, avoid skin with wounds, irritations or sunburn. Apply the exfoliating cleanser to your loofah, gloves or brush and rub the skin in circular motions, beginning with your feet and working up. Be gentle around sensitive areas of your skin, such as the bikini line.
Do not use the loofah or brush made for the body on your face, which requires a gentler brush or scrub. Likewise, choose a different exfoliating cleanser for your face, which should be more gently formulated so as not to cause skin irritations on the face. Be careful to avoid the area around the eyes and lips when exfoliating the face. After you've finished exfoliating, your skin may be tender. This is normal. However, you should not be bleeding or overly red. If you are, be careful not to repeat the amount of pressure you gave your skin in the future and treat the areas with antibiotic ointment.
     4. Proper Rinsing
Rinse your skin of the cleanser with warm water, followed by cold water. The cold water should be fairly cold, but not so cold as to make you feel overly uncomfortable. This will help close your pores. Keep a towel on hand so you can quickly warm up.
    5. Apply Lotion or Cream
Your skin will be tender and dry after you exfoliate, so it's important that you replenish lost moisture by applying moisturizer liberally. The moisturizer you use on your face should be differently formulated for your individual skin type.

Article Source:
by Sequoia, 2010

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Exfoliation Is Good For You - Part 1

     Some wonder if exfoliation is good for you, especially for sensitive or acne skin. The answer is yes, but only if it's done right. However, if you're seeing a doctor for a skin condition, you should follow the guidelines they prescribe. Exfoliation is beneficial if it is not overly done or done too harshly.
     The benefits for skin exfoliation are:
     1. It Unclogs Pores.
The main benefit of exfoliation is that it unclogs the pores by clearing old dead skin cells from the skin's outer layer surface which can clog pores and cause acne. Exfoliation also removes dirt, oil and debris that collect in deeper skin cell layers even though skin is cleansed daily.
     2. It Improves skin texture and Tone.
Exfoliation improves the skin's overall tone and texture by ultimately providing skin hydration. Removing dead skin cells makes skin able to absorb moisture more readily, making skin looking and feeling smoother, softer, and renewed and revitalized. 
     3. It Controls Oil.
The skin naturally, lubricates itself and exfoliating unclogs pores, removes dirt, debris and oil, which controls excess production of oil.
     There are many choices of exfoliation products in the market today and what works best for you will be determined by your skin's needs and the level of severity of your oily, acne problem. A new growing trend is combination cleansing, toning and exfoliating products that are milder and can be used as part of your daily acne skin care routine. These products are very popular for people who need an effective yet easy and simple skin care routine to fit into their busy lifestyle.

Article Source: 
by Laura Halik, 2008


Monday, April 28, 2014

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Spring Snowdrops

It's been quite a spring here in Utah. Cold, snow, warm, rain, hail, wind and then the weather pattern all over again. I am happy that I had the time to turn off my heater, but it's back on again this morning! Oh, well. Wait a couple of hours and I will be turning the heater off and turning on the fan.

My amber perfume, "Snowdrop" is featured in this lovely Etsy Treasury.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

10 Things To Do With Oatmeal Other Than Breakfast!

     Oatmeal. Such a humble grain, tasty, hearty and healthy for breakfast. I like morning bowl of oatmeal, old fashioned steel cut with a handful of walnuts, cinnamon, a drizzle of honey and vanilla soy milk. Yum! That's a heart-healthy breakfast with fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, thiamine, iron, beta-glucan (which may help regulate blood sugar) and the antioxidants. Oatmeal is also believed to help reduce harmful cholesterol levels and it may boost the immune system.
     Although I do mess it up a bit with a couple slices of turkey bacon (love), very tasty, less sodium and fat than other bacon, but still, no real nutritional value. But here I go remiss and miss the point of this post.
     Oatmeal is not just breakfast, I use it in soaps and my soap-free facial cleansing grains and lotions. I also use it my mud mask for it's skin soothing abilities and clay-free "mud" masks, making up the bulk of the mask, more for moisture masks. Some other, little known uses for oatmeal are:
  • Treat Acne: make a slurry of oatmeal and water and gently scrub your face. This is great cleansing sensitive skin when you have breakouts. Too much grit action can irritate skin further.
  • Neutralize Odors: use like you would baking soda for the refrigerator!
  • Soothe Dry Skin: same concept as above in treating acne, but place the oatmeal slurry on your itchy body parts then rinse thoroughly. Oatmeal is said to heal and open pores.
  • Soothe Pet's Skin: place oats in sock and soak it a tub full of lukewarm water and bathe your itchy pet with it, using the oatmeal sock as washcloth.
  • Oatmeal Bath: 1 cup of milk, 2 cups of uncooked oatmeal and a couple tablespoons of honey in lukewarm bath water and soak for 20 minutes. Some do use colloidal oatmeal for less mess, but I prefer old fashioned rolled oats in a sock (don't add the milk and honey into the sock, add it separately to running bath water).
  • Face Scrub/Mask: 1 tablespoon of rolled oats with 1 tablespoon of baking soda and enough water to make a medium thick paste. Gently exfoliate your face with this paste and leave on for 10 minutes, rinse thoroughly.
  • Boost Your Workouts: instead of sugar packed drinks or bars, try a small bowl of oatmeal 3 hours before a workout for endurance. Oatmeal is a complex carbohydrate, pure energy for your body.
  • Go Beyond Your Morning Cereal: use oat flour for bread making, baking muffins and pancakes.
  • Make A Hair Mask: itchy scalp? Oatmeal is good for that too. Same idea with the oatmeal slurry but for your head instead. Really work into your hair so reaches your scalp and massage it in. Leave the hair mask on for 10-20 minutes and rinse thoroughly.
  • Foot Soak: tired and sore feet? Make a mini oatmeal bath, placing oats in a sock in a foot bath or dish washing tub with warm water. Add a cupful of Epsom salts and soak for 30 minutes.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Honey, Lemon Tea & Me!

     A few nights ago I had a sore throat and woke up with a little chest congestion. I thought it was just my seasonal allergies, but this morning I woke up with an annoying cough. I don't need this cold business slowing me down! I have things to do. The Mister comes home after months of sea time (he's a merchant marine). Utah is very dusty and I have a couple furry old cats that make dust bunnies like crazy no matter how much I clean, wooden floors make it worse since you can see it. I now know what carpet and drapes are for; they're giant dust filters!
     But yes, this is definitely a cold, I need something soothing with a bit of a kick, which green tea with lemon and honey seems to fit. Green tea does have caffeine in it, approaximately 20-24 mg of caffeine per 8-oz cup while a cup of coffee is 95-100 mg. I like green tea and it contains a little cold fighting antioxidants and an antiviral if its organic green tea.
    I also like to add some fresh squeezed lemon juice and it does boost your immunities, reduces phlegm, especially if it is served hot as I do in tea. Then add honey for sore throat soothing. Additionally, if have local honey, it's the best if you are prone to seasonal allergies due to the bees collecting nectar from flowering trees and yes, weeds too will help you build a tolerance to these trees and weeds if the honey is consumed in small daily quantities.
     As for simple recipe for green tea with lemon and honey:
     In a tea cup add
     2 teaspoons of quality loose green tea or 1 tea bag
     1 tablespoon of fresh squeezed lemon juice
     1 tablespoon of local organic honey (or more)
      Then pour 8-oz boiling water and steep for 3 minutes. 
I like to float a lemon slice my cup of tea, for the extra lemon juice and oils that release with the heat of the hot water, but you can forgo this. Though it does look pretty. I drink a two or three cups of this tea a day when I have a cold.