Raid the pantry and the fruit bowl for ingredients that nourish and beautify your skin.
Lavender is much more than just a pretty fragrance – it has many skin-friendly benefits. It contains linalool, which heals skin, stimulates cell growth, and prevents scarring. It also has a balancing effect, soothing dryness and inflammation, as well as regulating oil production and healing infection. It is very helpful in products for acne, psoriasis, and eczema; use the essential oil on cuts and minor burns.
Try: L’Occitane’s Foot Cream, www.loccitane.com.au
Its creamy flesh is packed with nutrients which stimulate new skin cell growth and improve micro-circulation. Avocado also makes a fabulous hair treatment: blend flesh of 1 ripe avocado with 2 tablespoons plain yoghurt, 1 egg, ½ teaspoon rosemary oil, and 1 tablespoon jojoba oil; work into hair, leave for 20 minutes, rinse and shampoo. Try: Wildcrafted Avocado Crème (www.wildcrafted.com.au) and Burt’s Bees Avocado Hair Treatment, www.burtsbees.com.au
Mineral-rich natural sea salt has amazing antibacterial, antiseptic, and antibacterial properties, and is a terrific exfoliant, removing dead cells and stimulating circulation; salt-based products help acne, eczema, and psoriasis, and salt baths ease itchy skin and sore muscles. Try: Youngblood Foundation with Deep Sea Complex (www.youngbloodcosmetics.com.au) and Premium Spa Salt Scrub, www.premiumspa.com.au
Aloe vera heals skin faster than some antibiotic creams, and hospitals use it for burns patients. A desert plant, its name comes from the Arabic alloeh (‘bitter’), and it grows with hardly any attention. D-I-Y: Slit a leaf and apply gel to cuts, scrapes, burns, or sunburn. Try: Apivita Body Milk (www.apivita.com.au); Jasmin Certified Organic Hydrating Gel, www.jasminskincare.com
Oats are fabulous for skin. Their high silica content helps restore the skin’s normal moisture levels; they also reduce inflammation, soothe dermatitis and eczema, and have been clinically proven to soften and heal dry, itchy skin, especially chicken pox, rashes and mosquito bites.
Try: Aveda All-Sensitive Moisturiser (www.aveda.com.au) and Jurlique Daily Exfoliating Cream, www.jurlique.com.au
This liquid plant wax closely resembles the skin’s sebum. It is excellent for flaky, sensitive skin and is highly compatible with the delicate eye area. It contains natural vitamins A, D, and E, and is so gentle it can be used on newborns. Sharon McGlinchy, founder of MV Skincare, says, “Jojoba has unique balancing properties so oil glands regulate naturally. It’s suitable for both dry and oily skin, making it unique in the beauty world.” It’s my new bathroom cabinet ‘must-have’!
Try: MV Skincare’s Pure Jojoba, www.mvskincare.com.au
As if there isn’t already enough good news about the health benefits of eating chocolate, it also helps skin when it’s applied topically, thanks to antioxidant flavonols which have a firming and smoothing effect, and prevent the free radical damage to collagen and elastin that causes premature ageing and wrinkles. Plus, the fragrance is sure to have you licking your lips.
Try: Raw Gaia Chocolate Face Pack, made with raw chocolate, red clay, organic turmeric and amla fruit powder to gently cleanse and draw out toxins. Available from http://www.rawgaia.comfor around $AU20.00.
Grapefruit essential oil and extract are rich in antioxidants, especially vitamin C, to fight free radicals and premature ageing. Grapefruit also has natural disinfectant and antiviral properties, making it useful for oily and blemished skin, and boosts lymphatic drainage, combats cellulite, and improves skin tone.
Try: Trinity All Natural Body Lotion combines grapefruit, lime and tangerine oils, leaving skin feeling smooth and smelling fabulous, www.trinityskincare.com.au