Friday, 21 March 2014

Natural Solutions for Dry Skin and Rough Elbows


Check out this list for some antioxidant-packed recipes that moisturize and refresh your skin. 
Keep in mind that everyone is different, and so is their skin. A heavy scrub may be too much for some of us, while an oat-based one may not be enough for others. 
Since facial skin is thinner and more sensitive, it’s best to try out the scrubs and masks on less sensitive areas on the body like the arm.

Body Scrubs
Exfoliants remove old, dry, dead skin cells and allow new cells to surface, leaving skin feeling silky smooth, and looking refreshed. Don’t scrub too much, though; if skin is exfoliated more than once or twice a week, it’s hard for the body to create new skin cells the way it naturally does. 
Homemade scrubs typically contain two parts “grit” (usually salt or sugar) and one part oil (like coconut or olive).
Start with one part oil and two parts sugar or salt (depending on how much you’d like to use, and where you’re scrubbing, a good amount to shoot for is ¼ cup of oil and ½ cup of grit).
Brown sugar or sea salt tend to work best because they’re on the coarser side, but for a more gentle scrub, it’s O.K. to use table salt or good old white sugar (especially for more sensitive skin, like on the face).
Body Scrub Recipes
Banilla Scrub (Oil Free)
For an oil-free option, use a fork to blend ½ cup of brown sugar and 1 mashed banana. Add a drop of vanilla extract. (Try not to eat it.)
The benefits: bananas can moisturize if you’ve got no oil on hand.
Lemon Refresher Scrub
Start with ¼ cup of oil and ½ cup of sugar or salt. Add the zest and juice of one lemon. 
The benefits: not only does it smell divine, but lemon has astringent qualities and can help banish shine and tighten the skin.
Calming Milk and Oats Scrub (Oil Free)
For less intense exfoliation, start with ½ cup of oats and ¼ cup of whole milk (the fat content will help moisturize). 
The benefits: oats have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties to slough off dead skin in a much gentler way than harsher scrubs. For centuries, oatmeal has been used to soothe itchy, irritated skin because of its polyphenols (a type of antioxidant).

Face Masks
Masks are a great way to deeply moisturize the skin. The acids in fruits like papaya, pineapple and lemon also work as gentle exfoliants without all the scrubbing.
Rub the ingredients on your face and let them sit for 15 to 30 minutes, carefully avoiding the eyes and mouth when layering it all on.
Face Mask Recipes
Avocado and Honey Mask
Mash together half an avocado and 1 tablespoon of honey. 
The benefits: honey has antioxidants like phenolic acids and flavonoids and may also help with acne because it is an antimicrobial agent, while avocado oil can help moisturize.
Yogurt and Watermelon Mask
Puree ½ cup of watermelon chunks and mix with a 3 tablespoons of plain yogurt. 
The benefits: yogurt helps soothe and moisturize irritated skin (and sunburns!), as well as brighten skin. The lactic acid, a natural alpha hydroxy acid (an acid that works as an exfoliating agent), helps smooth skin and may even reverse signs of aging. Watermelon is a good source of vitamin C, which helps produce new collagen and helps skin stay supple.
Tropical Fruit Mask
Mash a small amount (3 tablespoons will do) of raw papaya, and add 2 tablespoons of pineapple juice. 
The benefits: the two fruits contain enzymes that dissolve oil and dry skin cells.
Pumpkin Pie Mask
Mix up 3 tablespoons of pumpkin puree with 1 teaspoon of honey, 1 teaspoon of milk and a dash of cinnamon. 

The benefits: pumpkin has a natural form of salicylic acid, which helps clear and prevent blemished skin. Cinnamon can also help reverse the clock because of its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

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