Raw & Organic Skin Care – If You Can’t Eat It, Don’t Use It
by Fran Kerr
Today I’m writing this article in the garden out the back of a beautiful raw food cafe in Sedona. I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to travel through the United States from Australia for a few weeks.
I originally came here to check out the raw food and health scene but after a few days in the city I couldn’t ignore a strong call from nature to get myself out of the concrete jungles and into the natural beauty that’s everywhere across the States. I guess ever since I transitioned into eating predominantly live foods, every element of my life has started to pull me towards mother Earth which has been an incredibly wonderful transition on all accounts.
One of these elements of course is my skin care. I’m actually surprised at how many people I meet on a live food diet who are using terrible skin care routines.
What you put onto your skin does matter because our skin is a big porous organ that soaks in a lot of what we slather onto it. When you take a shower for example, an average of 1.5 liters of water will soak into your body. That quite obviously demonstrates just how much our skin is capable of drawing in.
So, if you’re super careful about eating fresh and organic foods, you want to also be super careful about what you put on top of your skin.
The longer I work in the natural skin care industry the more I shift towards raw and organic ingredients from nature. The Earth has provided the best and most healing plants for our skin. And the good news is, a lot of them you can easily pick up from your health food store or even grow in your very own garden. Gone are the days when we had to buy a packaged skin care product from the store.
I’m going to challenge you to throw all of your products away and start working with what nature has provided! And that doesn’t mean you have to get into the kitchen and start making up your own formulas. Often just one ingredient can be enough. Lets take a look at a couple of options.
In my opinion honey is one of the best gifts nature has made available. Unfortunately vegans are going to have to skip this one, but for those of us who do still consume honey products, it’s the best ever ingredient you can use for your own skin care routine.
I cleanse my face every day with honey. Nothing else, just honey, and my skin has never looked or felt better.
Honey is highly anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-fungal so it’s perfect at keeping any nasties away from your skin. It’s also acid in nature so won’t destroy the natural acid mantle of your skin. The acid mantle is your skins natural protection barrier, you don’t want to be messing around with it!
Honey is also very hydrating so if your skin is dry then you’ll need less moisturizer. If your skin is oily then you may not even need any additional moisturizing.
How awesome is that to be able to simplify your skin care routine to honey only! It’s a huge saving in money and a lot less stuff to carry around.
As for the type of honey, I find raw, organic and local to be the best. Buy from your local farmers market or health food store. You can also play around with manuka honey, but from my experience, for simple cleansing, the raw and local stuff is just as good.
Cacao freaks have cacao ceremonies, I’d love to start having aloe vera ceremonies. You can call me aloe girl. I love, love, love aloe vera. It has so many wonderful uses both internally and externally.
For the skin, I love to make an aloe vera and manuka honey mask. Do this every day for two weeks and you’ll look ten years younger.
Aloe vera is best straight from the plant. You can actually fillet the gel out and throw some into your smoothies and use the rest on your skin. I have not found a packaged aloe vera gel product that’s anywhere close to being as powerfully healing as the real thing.
Aloe vera gel also contains a natural salicylic acid so it’s a deep pore cleanser when used on its own. Use the gel straight from the plant to apply all over your face and leave on overnight. It also has an immediate skin tightening effect so you may even find puffy eye bags going down, and any large pores or wrinkles diminishing in size. This is powerful stuff.
I recommend you start growing your own aloe vera plants in your garden or in pots if you live in an apartment. If you’re lucky enough you may also find large aloe leaves for sale at your local health food store. I’ve seen them at Erewhon in LA and I’m going to hassle my local health food stores back in Australia to try and get them in as regular items in the produce section.
Aloe vera is also a wonderful natural sunblock. I’m about to head off into the Arizonian desert for a retreat for a few days. I’m planning on taking a few big leaves of aloe vera with me to use as a natural sunblock. It’s not anywhere near as strong as an SPF 30 and I do get a bit gooey when it’s on, but it’s natural, not harmful to the environment and it works better than using nothing.
It’s also great applied on sunburn at reducing the redness and sting if you’ve accidentally stayed in the sun for too long. Keep some aloe vera leaves in the fridge or freeze a fresh leaf in the freezer for a little, then apply to the sunburn. The cool gel will feel amazing. I love this plant so much.
Lavender Essential Oil
I’m going to set a new years resolution in 2011 to change the global mindset of essential oils from “What my grandma uses to make her potpourri smell nice” to “Wow, the most healing oils on the planet.”
I used to be one of those people that thought essential oils where just used to make things smell nice, until my ex-lover showed me how one drop of lavender oil will take away the itch from a mosquito bite in less than 60 seconds. I was sold and dug a little deeper to find that essential oils do in fact hold quite magical healing powers.
I carry a small stash of essential oils around with me wherever I go. And you’ll always find lavender in there. Apart from the many things lavender essential oil is good for, on the skin:
- it will take away any itch,
- reduce redness and inflammation and
- help heal acne inflammations and acne scars.
One little drop is all it takes, but remember, one tiny drop of lavender essential oil is made up of many lavender flowers which is why it’s so powerful.
I’m super excited to be giving these tips to you because I know they work and I also know they’re better for your skin than just about any product on the market, natural or not.
Natural ingredients from nature are packed full of healing ingredients that nurture and nourish the skin while cleansing, moisturizing and healing. And the gentleness of them will help support your skins natural healing process instead of attempting to battle against it, which is what many packaged products work at doing.
Somewhere along the line we forgot that our skin does an awful good job at healing itself so we just need to give it a little bit of help and support by feeding it with natures top nutrients.
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