Essential Oils Definition: any of a class of volatile oils that give plants their characteristic odors and are used especially in perfumes and flavorings, and for aromatherapy.
Essential oils have been around for centuries upon centuries, but in the last couple months the essential oil craze has been picking up steam again. More than a perfume/fragrance, essential oils are concentrated aromatherapy liquids than have been taken from plants, flowers, trees and nuts. Essential oils are not necessarily cheap, but a lot of preparation that goes into the process of making. However, learning how to properly use essential oils can be beneficial to your mind and body.
Here are a few of my favorite essential oils:
- Lavender– Can be used for calming, soothing, for boosting the immune system, or as an antiviral.
- Lemon – Can be used for detoxifying, dry skin prevention and uplifting ones spirit. A little secret, put a couple of drops in your daily water intake for a hint of health and flavor.
- Peppermint– Can be used as an anti-fungal or an anti-inflammatory. Can also aid in digestion and increased energy levels.
- Orange– Can be used to decrease stress and increase focus.
- Grapefruit – Can be used to decrease stress and suppress one appetite.
- Lime – Can help reduce acne and aid in those who have respiratory issues.
** Keep in mind that some essential oils are not safe in certain amounts or can be unsafe used certain ways (i.e. ingested or topical). Carefully read labels and do your research. Also, essential oils that are to be used for health related problems should ONLY be handled by a trained aromatherapist. **
We have all heard that daily exercise is good for the heart, lungs and your overall stress levels. And although the overall cardiovascular benefits of exercise are important, we often forget about how exercise affects your skin tone. You might find that exercise can be the most thrifty skin care regimen in your arsenal.
- Exercising increases your blood flow, which allows the blood to carry oxygen and beneficial nutrients to cells in your body, including your skin. Blood flow also helps in carrying away free radicals from these working blood cells. In laymen’s terms, think of it like detoxifying your skin from the inside out, as well as fighting off premature aging.
- Stress levels have been known to decrease when exercising regularly, but on top of that reducing stress has been shown to improve acne and eczema.
- Hydration can flush out any additional toxins and oils from your skin during exercise.
- Sweat also purges your body of toxins and oils during exercise.
- Exercise tones your muscles. The stronger those muscles are underneath your skin the more toned and healthier your skin will appear.
- Exercising regularly produces natural oils that will make your skin have a healthy glow, while also keeping your skin moisturized. However, it is important to shower after working out to prevent breakouts.
*** If you plan on exercising outside, be sure to protect your skin with sunscreen. ***
I have always been amazed at the beauty products you can find in your pantry and fridge. Some might consider honey one of natures best kept secrets, yet it is always sitting on my pantry shelf directly between the sugar and cinnamon. Loaded with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, honey is a natural antibiotic. Its antibiotic properties can assist in healing and killing bacteria associated with acne and wounds. How exactly does honey help heal/reduce acne and wounds? If you place honey on acne/wounds it will absorb the water in the wound. The honey will then kill all bacteria because bacteria needs water to survive as well. The water the honey absorbed will then trigger a chemical reaction, which causes the honey to release hydrogen peroxide. Hydrogen peroxide is also a wonderful antibiotic and will help to kill additional bacteria associated with the acne/wound. Also, honey is another natural product that can remedy inflammation. Because honey is acidic, it helps reduce the redness associated with acne. Try applying honey directly to the face in mask form to alleviate redness. Also, taking a spoonful of honey daily as a supplement can improve general skin-tone. If you are planning on using honey as a daily supplement, buy it in its raw, unprocessed form. Some people even use honey as their daily face-wash because there are no chemicals and it does not strip your skin of its natural oils. Although this is not going to completely remove your makeup, so it is best to use this face-washing method after your morning shower.
Women spend their entire lives chasing the fountain of youth. Most of us find ourselves chasing it at the cosmetic counters. We are never going to be able to stop the aging process, but wouldn’t it be nice to slow down those fine lines and wrinkles? Try opening your fridge. Many foods contain antioxidants and hydrating components that can help your skin look radiant at any age.
Tomatoes – Tomatoes are loaded with Vitamin C, which helps aid in producing collagen. They also hold lycopene, a critical component in protecting your skin from UV damage. Eating a daily dose of tomatoes can increase circulation, thus producing a natural glow.
Water – I am not really sure if you can consider water a “food,” however proper hydration is necessary for your skin. Without proper hydration skin will produce wrinkles and fine lines.
Berries – Raspberries and blueberries are packed with antioxidants, vitamins and probiotics. Often called a “super food,” berries have also been known to promote skin regeneration.
Yogurt – Another food containing large amounts of probiotics, which are a skin friendly bacteria. Yogurt will help to prevent/improve redness and irritation, often found in acne, rosacea and dermatitis.
Nuts – Omega-3 rich nuts are great for the skin when eaten in moderation. Nuts are another food that can help improve irritation and inflammation. Inflammatory compounds in the skin aid in the aging process, so eating a handful of nuts can lead to beautiful, healthy skin.
Honey – Honey is loading with antioxidants and anti-viral compounds. Sugar can cause inflammation of the skin. Even though honey is technically a sugar it does not cause additional inflammation.
What exactly is a beauty balm? First developed in Germany in the 1960’s under the name Blemish Balm, BB Creams were designed to streamline your beauty routine. This little product promises to do what six other tubes/bottles can do. Tinted moisturizer, sunscreen, primer, concealer, foundation and skin serum. BB Creams began picking up steam in South Korea and soon became a sensation across Asia. However, Beauty Balms did not work their way to the United States until about 2011. Now you find every cosmetic brand has their version of a beauty balm. The idea of a beauty balm is a great idea, and for the most part does a great job of evening your skin and moisturizing. However, if you are planning to use a beauty balm as your daily sunscreen, I recommend using an additional facial sunscreen to protect your skin. And don’t forget to put your sunscreen on last, which is a common made. Also, some women who are prone to oily skin or acne might find a beauty balm is not for them. Just like any new beauty product, if you are expecting a “miracle” you might find yourself feeling a little disillusioned. However, women who apply moisturizer, sunscreen, primer and foundation every morning might find a BB Cream to be a warm welcome to their makeup regimen. Just keep in mind that not all BB Creams are created equal, so you may have to search to find the BB Cream that is right for you.