Archive for July 2016

Enjoy the Harvest Facial Mask

One way to enjoy the abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables at this time of year is to use overripe produce in a facial mask. Just about any type of fruit or vegetable can be used and they are all packed with goodness for the skin including antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents.

Here are three fruits/vegetables easily found at farmers market this time of year that you can try:

watermelon

Watermelon contains vitamin C, vitamin A and pantothenic acid among other nutrients. Eating watermelon is a great way to get those skin benefits, but you can also make a face mask and apply the watermelon directly to the skin.

Peaches are rich sources of alpha hydroxy acids for exfoliation, vitamin A related compounds that include beta carotene, zeaxanthin, lycopene and lutein to support skin cell regeneration and vitamin C to support collagen in the skin giving it more structure and reduce wrinkles as well as to help fade sun spots.  Peaches also contain vitamin K to help fade dark circles under the eyes and vitamin B to help skin maintain moisture and decrease redness.

Even that zucchini that you can’t seem to get rid of is high in vitamin C, vitamin B-6, vitamin K, vitamin A, copper and magnesium – all good nutrients for skin.  Zucchini also contains anti-inflammatory polysaccharides like homogalacturonan to sooth skin.

When choosing produce for a facial you can use overripe and bruised produce, save the very best for snacking.

To make a facial from your produce, cut a piece about 1/2 the size of your palm. How much you need is really dependent upon how juicy the fruit is. Place this in a small blender and add about a teaspoon of facial clay. Mix well. Check to see if the consistency is good for spreading. If not ajust accordingly. If it is good, apply to the face in smooth strokes. Sit back for 10 minutes or so and enjoy a fruit snack! Rinse off with warm water and enjoy how smooth your skin feels.

You can get your herbal clay mask base here.

Herbal Clay Mask

For more information about using farmers market produce on your skin see these posts

Peach Facial

Kale Facial Mask

Radish Vinegar Hair Rinse or Foot Soak

 

How to do a Facial Massage for Lymph Drainage

A guest post by

Karen Kress, LE

Do you ever feel unusually puffy in the face? Maybe your head feels stuffed up? Excess lymph fluid clogged in your sinus could be the culprit.  If you have ever had a professional facial you may have noticed how light and clear your head is afterwards.  Part of the reason is the lymph draining massage techniques that your aesthetician uses.  In my practice, I have seen the most remarkable change in a person’s look and comfort level after proper lymph drainage. There is nothing better for clearing clogged sinuses due to allergies or a cold!

 

sinuses

Sinuses (credit CFCF – CC BY-SA 3.0)

Since most of us prefer a clear head and sinus, I have laid out the steps for doing a manual lymph drainage massage so you can experiment at home.  A hot shower is the best place to try this technique, as drainage starts and ends with your shoulders and they need to be exposed. It can work just as well wrapped in a towel while applying serums and lotions too.

  1. Assuming you are in the shower – Start with a good quality facial cleanser, cross your arms and massage, in a circular motion, around your shoulder joints with firm pressure. Spend at least one minute massaging each area in a circular motion then firmly stroke down to your arms from each higher starting point.
  2. Next, move to your shoulders, still using a circular motion while you travel toward your neck and then firm strokes towards and down your arms, then circle back up adding the neck and stroke back down to the arms.
  3. Maintain the “circle up, stroke down” pattern while working your jaw bone from chin to ears and your cheeks from ears to nose. Then stroke down to your arms.
  4. Start with small circles around your eyes to loosen and use large strokes around the whole eye area, working from the temples to the nose and all the way down to your arms.
  5. Circle back up to your forehead, ending with your scalp (a good time to shampoo) and stroking and moving the lymph through each area, all the way back down to your arms.

**Note** While we loosen in a circular massage from the bottom up, we drain in stroking motions, reworking each area from the top down.  This is extremely important because you can push loose lymph toward a clog and exacerbate the problem.  The idea is to loosen and move the lymph down away from your head into your arms. Pushing it down the arms is also important so the lymph passes your shoulders, from where it can travel to the heart.

I hope you enjoy your clear, light head!