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     Volume 5 Issue 108 | August 18, 2006 |

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Natural Skin Care
Just Open Your Kitchen Cabinet

John Edwards

Safer, less expensive, and easy-to-use natural skin care can be as easy as opening your kitchen cabinet, coupled with a few minutes of preparation.

Healthy, radiant, glowing skin is something every person wants. Yet, few of us even think to use what's really the best for our skin: natural skin care products.

Each year, millions of dollars are spent chasing after perfectly healthy, ageless skin. The environment, stress, and less than healthy eating habits, all play a major role in the quality of your skin.

The answers to achieving radiant, glowing complexion are within arm's reach. Many of the items in your kitchen right now can provide natural skin care that's even better thank those expensive, chemical filled products that cost an arm and a leg.

Skin Care Throughout Life
From the day we are born, our skin requires much care to remain smooth and healthy. It begins with soap to keep us clean. Then, there are creams, powders, and ointments to keep diaper rash from our bottoms. During the first few years of our lives, our skin will do well with soap for cleaning and the occasional lotion or cream for moisture. Then come the teen years. Our raging hormones bring out the oily skin, the pimples, and a host of other conditions.

It's important to understand that everything that comes in contact with our body affects our health and the condition of our skin. That's why choosing natural skin care products and ingredients is important. The liver filters the toxins and poisons from the food we eat, but whatever we place on our skin is directly absorbed. This includes deodorant, lotions, gels, cleansers, toners, make-up, perfumes, and more.

As we age, our skin becomes more sensitive, and we need to be even more careful with the beauty treatments we use.

Simple Solutions for Better Skin
Here are a just a few natural skin care solutions for you to try. You'll be very pleased with the results:

- Once a week, rub your skin with baking soda while in the shower, for a smooth, silky feeling. You can also do this on your face to remove black heads.

- Fresh tomatoes are great for the oily areas of your face. (Please make sure to try the tomato juice on your arm first, as your skin may be sensitive to it). Rinse thoroughly immediately after using the tomato juice.

- For a great moisturiser try olive oil: this healthy fat is good for you, and is great for your skin. You can also use it to soothe sunburned skin.

- Vinegar can work wonders for smelly feet and armpits. Mix water and vinegar 50/50, and use in place of deodorant: it will keep the unpleasant sweat smell away, without any irritation. As for your feet, if you suffer with athlete's foot, a week of vinegar foot bath will help a lot, sometimes completely getting rid of your condition.

- Egg yolk mixed with honey makes for a really great mask: put on your skin, leave it on for 20 minutes, and rinse off. Excellent for sensitive skin. Honey gives a tingling/ticklish sensation, so if you are sensitive to that, use the egg yolk alone.

- Another use for egg yolk: for those with eczema, use it instead of soap. It doesn't smell great, but it will heal your damaged skin.

- A great treatment for dry skin is avocados: mash it, smooth it onto your face, and rinse off after 20 minutes.
Lastly, make sure you drink 8 glasses of water every day to keep your skin cared from the inside out.

The Care and Feeding of Summer Skin

Laura Flynn McCarthy

To minimise skin damage from the sun, follow these guidelines, based on the recommendations of the American Cancer Society and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

1. Long-term exposure to the sun's ultraviolet (UV) rays can damage your skin. To protect it, stay out of the sun between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., when the rays are at their strongest. And remember that clouds don't block UV rays.

2. Seek shade when you're outdoors.

3. Wear a hat, preferably with a 4-inch brim all around, to effectively cover your face, neck and ears.

4. Wear long sleeves and long pants, making sure they're made of tightly woven fabrics.

5. Use sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15 every day to help protect against incidental sun exposure; reapply it after swimming or sweating.

6. Keep in mind that a typical T-shirt has a lower SPF than the American Cancer Society recommends, so you'll still need to apply sunscreen to areas the T-shirt covers.

7. Be aware that ultraviolet rays generally reflect off water, sand, snow and any light-coloured surface, such as concrete; be diligent in applying sunscreen when you're around these surfaces.

8. Remember that some ultraviolet radiation will penetrate water and windows, so you always need protection.

9. Avoid indoor sunlamps and tanning beds, since they can be more harmful to your skin than the sun.

Examine your body regularly to become familiar with the size, shape and colour of your moles, blemishes and birthmarks. This can help you be alert to changes that might indicate melanoma growths. Ask your doctor if you should have regular examinations by a dermatologist, especially if you spend a lot of time in the sun or have fair skin or a family history of skin cancer. The doctor can make a body map of your moles, blemishes and birthmarks, thereby tracking any unusual growth or changes.

Sunscreen is not recommended for children under six months old. Instead, cover them and keep them in the shade.

Frequent sun burning or life-long sun exposure can increase your risk of getting skin cancer and speed up your skin's aging process. Protect your skin diligently.

A simple approach to skin care makes sense in the summer, but there are also special challenges. You surely already know that you should wear sun protection daily to avoid premature aging and skin cancer, but you might not recognise the more immediate problems caused by heat and humidity. If your skin is dry, it may look and feel better in the warmer months. But if it's oily, the heat and humidity of summer can make it feel more so.

Small adjustments in the products you use can mean the difference between good skin and problem skin. For example, if your skin tends to be oily, start with a soap-free cleanser and finish with a few swipes of an alcohol-free toner, suggests Jeanine Downie, M.D., director of Image Dermatology in Montclair, New Jersey. "You'll remove makeup and dirt, but you won't strip the skin of all oils or cause irritation," she says.

Exfoliation, important in warmer weather when you're revealing more skin, can easily be overdone, so proceed with caution. "Exfoliating scrubs, sea sponges and loofahs are great for elbows, knees and heels, but keep them away from the face," says Downie. Using scrubs on the face can produce microtears in the skin that can lead to uneven pigmentation if you're exposed to the sun. A much better approach is to use a cleanser and/or moisturiser with an alpha-hydroxy acid, such as glycolic acid or lactic acid. These exfoliate, improving the skin's tone and texture.

If you normally use moisturiser every day, you may find that your skin will benefit from a lighter, oil-free formulation in the summer. Most oil-free moisturisers contain silicone or glycerine-based ingredients that provide moisture without feeling heavy or clogging pores. To lighten up, consider using a dual-purpose product like an SPF moisturiser. If you don't need a moisturiser, you could use a foundation with an SPF. If you like wearing foundation but would prefer lighter coverage, consider a tinted moisturiser.


Source: Pioneerthinking.com, Oprah.com, ehow.com


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