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Natural Skin Care and Cosmetics – Part 2

PART TWO

Before the days of synthetic chemicals people cared for their skin and hair with natural products. Herbs were the natural source of such products. Indeed, in many parts of the world people still use these traditional methods. Some people are forced to from economic necessity, while others find that natural methods are more effective, less damaging to the skin in the long term, and morally acceptable.

NATURALLY GOOD LOOKING EYES

Ancient Romans used to say that “the eyes are the mirror of your soul” and actually, it is true. Your eyes reflect the way you feel. When you are tired everyone can see it. When you are down you get rings around the eyes. Too much high living and not enough sleep and you start to get loose flesh under the eyes and the beginning of bags. Here there are some methods to avoid them or at least reduce their heaviness.

  • BORAGE
    Taken chopped in salad is an old treatment to strengthen the eyes.
  • CABBAGE WATER
    Kept from the day before, applied to the eyes first thing in the morning makes them feel refreshed.
  • CHAMOMILE INFUSION
    Cotton wool soaked with chamomile and laid over the eyes for half an hour soothes the eyes and helps enliven the skin around the eyes.
  • CUCUMBER
    Its function as such is still referred to in common parlance whenever we say ‘as cool as a cucumber’. A good wedge slice of cucumber laid over each eye is excellent for ‘rejuvenating’ tired and strained eyes.
  • EYEBRIGHT INFUSION
    Euphrasia herb used as eyewash is wonderful to clear the eyes and make the sclerae (whites) even whiter than usual.

NATURAL HAIR CARE

Having shining, soft, strong and healthy hair is the dream of every woman, and even of some men. Unfortunately sometimes it is not that easy and synthetic products, if not very expansive and specific, may destroy the natural beauty of our hair.

Female hormones do seem to have some effective reaction in helping hair growth and restoring natural brightness. These hormones, called “phyto-oestrogens”, are present in many natural products such as linseed oil, red clover and sage, which can be taken orally as capsules or used as a hair soak and rinse infusion. For taking care of your hair you can also use more tips below:

  • NETTLE TEA
    It does seem to help to clear dandruff and seborrhoeic dermatitis of the scalp. It should be used like soak and rinse infusion.
  • CHAMOMILLE TEA
    This makes a good light hair rinse.
  • RHUBARB ROOT TEA
    Used as a rinse will lighten light brown hair and make blonde hair shine.
  • SAGE AND ROSEMARY
    Infuse a handful of each and leave it to stand for three or four hours. It is said to be a wonderful hair tonic. It certainly does clear dandruff.
  • WILLOW AND MAIDENHAIR FERN
    Simmer a handful of each in 400mls of oil for one hour, then allow it to cool down before straining. Rub the oil into the scalp every night to stimulate hair growth.

Natural Skin Care and Cosmetics – Part 1

PART ONE

Before the days of synthetic chemicals people cared for their skin and hair with natural products. Herbs were the natural source of such products. Indeed, in many parts of the world people still use these traditional methods. Some people are forced to from economic necessity, while others find that natural methods are more effective, less damaging to the skin in the long term, and morally acceptable.

MOUTH AND TEETH CARE

In many poor parts of the world people do not brush their teeth, but living in industrialised countries we have the opportunity of buying toothpaste and mouthwashes. These are some herbs which can help you take care of your oral environment adding to those expansive productsa bit of nature:

  • SAGE
    The Bedouin chew sage leaves, which cleans the teeth very effectively. Sage infusion gargle is very good for freshening the mouth and easing pain from mouth problems and sore throats.
  • LIQUORICE ROOT
    This woody root macerates very well as one chews the yellow tissue. It cleans the teeth as you do so, permitting you to use the chewed root as a natural brush.
  • COMFREY MOUTHWASH
    This is superb for healing mouth ulcers and helping to soothe gum diseases.
  • TINCTURE OF MYRRH
    This is almost a specific for gum boils and other oral infections.

FOR SOFT LIPS

If you want to mantain your lips warm, soft and turgid also during the cold and windy winter, this oil lips recipe is for you! It has apparently been used in the East for many centuries. A handful of rose petals are placed in a jar. A small cup of Almond oil is poured over the petals, then the jar is sealed and put outside in the sun. Three days suffice in hot weather, but as long as two weeks in the winter of the British climate. At the end of that time the oil should be strained into a fresh jar. A smear of the oil should be used daily to maintain the turgor of the lips.

SKIN CARE

First advice: anti-perspirants are not natural at all. To block the skin pores to stop perspiration is the wrong thing to do, although it is understandable to try to avoid stincking in public! If you have need of alternating a natural de -odoriser to a synthetic one, then use lavender water in the armpits.

Even if it may sounds odd, bathing is the best way to take care of your skin, whatever is the condition which is affecting it. Try to avoid synthetic soaps, since these are quite caustic and remove the body’s natural oils. Instead use a loofah to gently remove the unwanted and desquamating outer layers of skin. A bath oil is worth adding to your bath, but do remember not to stay too long in a hot bath. This is not good for your skin, as is obvious from the wrinkling effect you get when you stay in too long.

If you want something specific to clean and look after your face’s skin, I can tell you some useful tips:

  • CHAMOMILLE FACIAL SAUNA
    This is an excellent natural way of getting rid of keratin plugs, those troublesome little blackheads. You make an infusion of chamomile flowers and pour into a bowl. Then as if taking an inhalation, put a towel over your head and allow the chamomile fumes to play over your face. Give yourself only a couple of minutes if it is uncomfortable.
  • ELDER BLOSSOM
    This makes a good old-fashioned lotion for bringing out the best in your complexion.
    Take a handful of elder flowers and heat very gently in buttermilk for half an hour. The flowers will go very soft. Leave to cool for three or four hours, then re-simmer and add a spoonful of honey. When this is cold apply to the face as a pack.
  • OATMEAL
    This is another excellent facial pack which works wonders with the complexion. Soak a handful of oatmeal in cream or a mixture of cream and water for six hours, together with a squeeze of lemon.