Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Is Your Skin Ready for Summer?

Spring is on it's way and many of us have finished or at least started our spring cleaning chores around the house. But what about your skin? Is it ready for summer? After winter months of reduced exposure to fresh air and sun, with increased exposure to dry indoor heat and lighting our skin needs a spring cleaning all its own.

It is very tempting to get in the bathroom on a weekend and spend a couple hours exfoliating and scrubbing trying to remove all the dead skin cells that have built up. DON'T DO IT! Too much exfoliation or being too harsh will only damage your skin. Overdoing it will leave your skin inflamed, irritated and dull looking.

For a very gentle body and face scrub that you can make on your own, in your kitchen try my recipe:

Brown sugar scrub:

2 cups brown sugar (lightly packed)

1/4 cup olive oil

1/4 cup Almond Oil

1/4 cup honey

Just mix the ingredients together until all of the brown sugar is moist and store in a closeable container. I don’t refrigerate this recipe because I use it up before it could possibly go bad, but if you aren't going to use that much of it you can either cut all the ingredients in half or store it in the fridge between uses.  You may have to stir the scrub before you use it each time.

To use this scrub wet your skin and using your fingertips in a circular motion gently and evenly massage the scrub over your skin, then leave on for about five minutes and rinse off. I use this scrub about twice a week in the spring and can usually taper off to once a week in summer; but all skin was not created equal so you may need to use it more or less than I do. This scrub is great for all over body use, especially if you have dry skin!

You do not have to use the Olive Oil or the Almond Oil, you can use a 1/2 cup of just one of the oils. You can also substitute either of the oils for whatever oil you'd like, I use and recommend Olive and Almond because they are great for the skin and leave skin very soft and supple. You may also leave out the honey, I use it because of it's benefit to the skin and it's antibacterial properties.

You may not like the sugar scrub if have really oily skin. A Sea Salt scrub may be more up your alley because even though it still contains oil the sea salt scrub will not leave your skin feeling greasy. I use a few of the recipes from here: Homemade Salt Scrub.  My skin is combination skin so about once a month I use the salt rather than the sugar. Sea Salt scrubs tend to dry my skin out too much, but I like the detoxifying effects. The link to the Homemade Salt Scrub article has several recipes and tips for using salt scrubs.

I find that my skin is irritated sometimes for whatever reason and at those times I use an Oatmeal Facemask. This article has three different recipes; one for oily skin, one for acne prone skin, and one for dry skin that can be used as a scrub also. I have used all three of these recipes at various times and love them!

Remember with all scrubs do not rub too hard and take off layers of healthy skin!  Use your fingers and not a wash cloth to gently slough off the dry dead skin cells that are keeping your skin from being radiant.  Regardless of which recipe you need for your skin you should have your skin in shape for those flip-flops and shorts in no time!

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