The Power of Mediation – even if you are not someone who practices mediation regularly try to sit quietly in nature or in a safe place and breathe, steady your mind and listen to what is around you. Even this small practice will help you to be more aware of your surroundings, your own self and others.
The long hot days of summer are coming to an end and so this is a great time to give your skin a bit of extra attention after all the heat, sun and water exposure!
Each of the following masks are designed to hydrate and exfoliate, helping to repair your skin after summer. Of course they are all natural and most can be made with only two or three ingredients which should be fairly easy to get from your local health food shop or pharmacy, if you don't have them on hand already. These natural masks and scrubs should be made for immediate use and are not designed to be stored. Only make as much as you need. Use left overs on your arms, elbows, legs etc. It is generally not recommended to do more than one scrub on your face per week.
End of summer scrub/mask
Clay with Rose Hydrosol and Red Raspberry oil - for normal to oily skin
All clays contain beneficial minerals for the skin and generally draw out impurities however, each clay has different minerals and different properties. Originally used on open wounds to help draw out any bacteria and possible infection, these days it is more famous for its ability to help absorb the oil on oily skin, but the wide variety of clays available means we have a wide range of uses to chose from. Here are just a few:
White Kaolin clay is generally good for dry sensitive skin drawing out impurities without drying the skin and also provides a light exfoliation;
French Green clay is most often used by people with oily skin and those seeking a stronger exfoliation;
Rhassoul clay is one of the best for drawing out impurities and clearing blackheads (for example), but is also gentile and won't leave your skin feeling dry.
In this recipe I am using Rose Hydrosol as it is a lovely hydrating water and works well at the end of summer to skin a boost.
I have added in 3ml of Red Raspberry Seed oil to really pimp up the hydrating and antixoidant properties of this mask. For skin prone to blemishes or scaring use Rosehip Seed oil instead. Rosehip seed oil still has great antioxidant properties but is moe astringent and can help with breakouts and scaring.
Do not use metal to scoop, mix or apply your clay mask as you will decharge the minerals in the clay.
Do not let your clay mask dry completely as this will just pull the moisture out of the skin, (not what we are trying to do here). When is it touch dry and slightly lighter in colour it is time to take it off.
Start with about 20 mls of the hydrosol in a small bowl (not metal) and slowly add in one scoop of clay, sprinkling it on the top of the water and allow the clay to absorb the hydrosol. Add more clay or hydrosol to obtain the consistency you want. Use only plastic or wooden utensils.
Next add in the 3ml of Red Raspberry Seed oil and mix in with a glass or wooden stirrer (e.g. wooden chop stick) until the consistency is slightly on the oily side. You may need to add a bit more oil.
When mixed, spread across your face and neck etc. with your fingers (make sure your face is clean and toned before applying any mask), avoid the eye area. Relax and leave the mask on for around 5-10 mins but as mentioned, do not let it dry completely.
Remove with a damp cloth lightly rubbing the clay in to the skin to give a light exfoliation.
This is a great all natural two in one cleansing and nourishing mask with a natural, gentile scrub. With this mask/scrub the minerals in the clay will draw out impurities in the skin while the oil will help to repair, protect and hydrate.
If you have done these masks before you can apply your favourite facial oil or night serum on your clean face before applying the mask.
Yoghurt ‘scrub’ - for normal to dry skin
This is a really gentle ‘scrub’ using the naturally occurring lactic acid in the yoghurt as a light exfoliant sloughing off any dead skin cells without rubing. Yoghurt can also help reduce the melanin in your skin which may leave it brighter and less tired looking. Follow your yoghurt scrub with the honey face mask listed below. For an added touch of luxe prepare two pieces of cucumber, or cool used organic tea bags, for your eyes whilst you relax letting your yogurt scrub do it's work.
Use 3-4 tablespoons of natural plain bio yoghurt with one tablespoon of bio-organic olive oil (or Red Raspberry Seed oil or another lovely skin oil if you have it, but olive oil is also great and you probably have some in the cupboard).
Mix well and spread across your face while you relax for 5-10 mins. Avoid the eye area. Wipe off with a damp face cloth (warm or cool, never hot).
Optional extra: Add a small amount of honey to the yoghurt if you are prone to acne or have any insect bites as the honey will provide a slight antibacterial effect. It also helps to stop your skin drying out due to its humectant properties, see below.
Honey and oil face mask
Combine a honey of your choice (use a local and bio/organic one) see my earlier post on the different benefits available in different honey’s for an idea of the types you might like here. I usually use about a half to one tablespoon of honey.
Honey is a humectant (i.e. it will help reduce the loss of moisture and retain moisture in your skin) so when it is combined with a lovely natural oil it will help to keep it hydrated.
Add in a lovely natural and organic skin oil of your choice. Use about one to two tablespoons of the oil. The following are a few great oil choices for the end of summer:
Calendula oil – this is usually a macerated oil in another oil like olive or sunflower. Calendula oil is a very healing oil, great if you have any scars, scratches, insect bites or bruises after a summer outdoors. (A non-macerated Calendula oil has recently become available on the market but it is still very rare and expensive, most will be macerated which are still pretty great oils to use).
Red Raspberry Seed oil – this is a lovely oil (it does not smell like raspberries sorry) but has a LOT of antioxidants. Antioxidants are the ones that can undo the damage caused by exposure to the elements making this oil a fantastic choice for an end of summer face mask.
Avocado oil – a nut oil, so not for those with a nut allergy, but a lovely hydrating oil used for mature skins. Can help to hydrate and nourish the skin with a Vitamin E boost and is high in antioxidants. It may have wound healing properties* and can help with inflammation. When used as part of a mask it does not leave a fatty residue, as it is wiped off, but will leave your skin feeling well hydrated.