Use these tips for beautiful skin!
Purchasing skin care products at big merchant stores can be expensive, not to mention the harsh chemicals used in their products. Here I'm going to share with you seven of the best home remedies, I have personally used, that can be made with just a few items from your kitchen.
So here we go, first, I'll mention coconut water! This is nature's sports drink and besides the hydration factor that it provides, it is loaded with potassium! Potassium is a vital electrolyte for the functioning of all your cells. It helps control the amount of water you retain and keeps your blood at a healthy pH level. It is known as a super mineral that can enhance the moisture and feel of your skin. I pick up five cartons and try to drink one liter a day through the week.
Next, is coconut water's cousin- coconut oil. We have all heard the wonderful benefits of coconut oil by now. One of my favorite ways to use it is to glide some on my face, and into my eye lashes, before going to bed at night. Coconut oil has been linked to some great benefits for the skin! These include reducing inflammation, keeping skin moisturized and helping heal wounds rather quickly. The medium-chain fatty acids found in coconut oil also possess antimicrobial properties that can help treat acne and protect the skin from harmful bacteria. In fact, whenever I have had a random acne spot, a night or two of coconut oil will clear it up for me. You would think that oil would be bad for acne, but alas here is another magical trait of our beloved coconut oil. It works wonders! As for the eyelashes, because I know you're wondering, when it's applied directly to the lashes, it penetrates the hair shaft, providing nutrition and hydration. When it is applied to the roots of the lashes, it penetrates the follicles and encourages growth. So coconut oil conditions and helps grow eyelashes. I have seen this work on myself. This is a great natural alternative to eye lash treatments that use harmful chemicals. Another bonus is coconut oil will help heal up and keep away eye infections (pink eye) with its antibacterial and anti-fungal properties.
This next one may seem like common sense, because it is, but drinking plenty of water every day. And by that I mean a half a gallon to a gallon of water every day! Drinking this much will flush your system of toxins, add major hydration, moisturize your skin and will help maintain the health and integrity of every cell in the body. A couple of weeks of drinking plenty of water and you will see the change in your face! It's amazing what enough water can do for the body! Remember, when drinking more water to flush out toxins, you want to also be eating well. Don't sabotage your efforts by drinking a gallon of water one day, only to wake up the next and eat a box of ding dongs. You will confuse your body. Make healthy eating choices.
Now, since we are drinking more water, something we can add to it that is wonderful for skin health is lemon! Lemon's are loaded with vitamin C. Vitamin C regulates the synthesis of the structural protein collagen and has antioxidant properties. Studies have shown that vitamin C helps prevent and treat ultraviolet-induced photo damage. Vitamin C could potentially be an essential vitamin for skin health. One of the benefits of drinking lemon water is an internal cleanse, which increases health and vitality. What a great way to help build collagen and balance your guts pH at the same time!
And we have my once-a-week skin booster, the Manuka honey mask. You take a tablespoon of Manuka honey and add a little bit of warm water to it. Rub the mixture on your face and allow your skin to absorb it. You can either do this at any time and leave it on for 30 minutes, or you can apply it before bed and allow it to absorb into your skin over night while you sleep. (this is what I do) Manuka honey isn't just antibacterial and anti-fungal, it is LOADED with minerals that nurture your skin. It has four-times the mineral content than your average honey! These minerals include zinc, copper, iron, potassium and selenium. It's packed with healing goodness and you will see it work it's magic on your skin almost immediately!
This may be something you only do a couple times a week, but my next remedy is using epsom salt as a gentle face scrub. You can add salts to your usual face wash or make your own. I typically add salts to the honey/warm water mixture and use that as my scrub. The epsom salts not only exfoliate your skin, allowing new skin growth, but the magnesium content is absorbed by the skin.
Lastly, this is the only actual "product" that I buy for my skin. It is made of organic coconut oil, jojoba oil, cayenne, comfrey root and natural progesterone from wild yam root with sweet orange and rosemary essential oils. It's called Beeyoutiful Balance. I came across this while looking for a natural progesterone alternative to taking a pill. We know how great coconut oil is for your skin, but jojoba oil has its own magic wand. Jojoba oil regulates the production of sebum, which is the oily substance that is secreted by the sebaceous glands that help keep the skin and hair moisturized. Jojoba oil is also anti-inflammatory and antibacterial, while providing vitamins A and E to the skin. Cayenne is rich in vitamin C and E which help diminish wrinkles, dark spots, and acne scars. Comfrey root has properties which boosts the growth of new skin cells and progesterone is the hormone released in the body during pregnancy that gives women that beautiful "pregnancy" glow.
All of these home remedies will help give your skin a boost and combined together, that's when the real magic happens!
The aloe vera plant, Aloe barbadensis miller, has more healing properties than most other plants. The gel found on the inner leaf contains vitamins A, C, E, folic acid, choline, B1, B2, niacin, B6 and B12. There are several minerals found in the aloe plant as well. Calcium, zinc, chromium, selenium, magnesium, sodium, iron, potassium, copper and manganese. All of these contribute to a healthy metabolism, activated cellular communication and help produce enzymes. They also contribute to strong teeth, bones and joints. A really simple and fabulous homemade toothpaste would be taking the gel from the leaf and mixing it with a drop of pure peppermint or spearmint essential oil. These two simple ingredients make a powerful, non-abrasive toothpaste that fights bacteria and strengthens the enamel.
The aloe vera plant is also anti-fungal, anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory. When taken orally (I advise drinking aloe vera juice, I just feel it works better than taking pill-form), it can help with digestion, strengthen the immune system, help with nutrient absorption, reduce inflammation, provides essential amino acids, help treat diabetes, heal stomach ulcers, relieve constipation, detox the body of toxins, parasites and candida and then some. This plant is powerful and a gem of the Earth!
You can find aloe vera juice sold in stores and it's best to find pure, whole leaf organic aloe vera juice. That can get expensive though. An easy way to go about this is to buy an organic aloe vera plant to sit in your house, in some sunlight and water it everyday. You can then take a leaf and make your own aloe vera juice. Slice open a leaf and with a spoon, dig out the inner gel. Put the gel in a blender with a little bit of filtered or spring water and blend together. You can add fresh juice (lemon, orange) for added vitamin zing!
Besides taking aloe orally, it can be used topically too. Because aloe has a neutral taste, smell and touch, it can be used in several different ways. In our house, we have healed pink eye three different times, in less than 24 hours. We have also healed ring worm. In fact, any time our boys have ever had a "skin issue" or irritation, we grab aloe, rub it on the skin and it's gone the next day. The important thing to remember when using a natural remedy like this to heal an infection or irritation, is to do it several times throughout the day. I cut open a leaf and open it up, then literally rub the inner gel right on top of the skin until ALL of the inner gel has been absorbed into the skin! You do this every few hours! This method has worked for us over and over for healing viral and fungal infections. Living in Texas and having a fair-skinned, redhead, I have also seen the aloe plant work it's wonders on sunburns. A part of the wonder is how quickly it heals!
You can get an aloe vera plant at just about any store that sells plants or has a nursery. I picked up a handful of aloe plants at Home Depot and have them sitting around the house. I have two boys so there are a lot of scrapes, cuts, sunburns and a few of other childhood viral/fungal infections that have come through our house. Our favorite plant is the Aloe Vera plant, because it has helped us heal every single time!
Kelly is a registered nutritionist, fitness trainer, author, blogger and mother.