For years I've been plagued with those pesky little bumps on the back of my thighs and arms. I've been told it was acne, dry skin and allergy reaction. It turns out there is a condition called Keratosis Pilaris; which is an inflammation of the clogged hair follicle. Normally we just call it a hair bump. The key is to unclog the follicle and reduce the inflammation. Want to read more about this condition?
Check out Natural Living Ideas article: www.naturallivingideas.com/get-rid-of-keratosis-pilaris/.
I've found that the use of salt scrubs cuts down on this significantly. You can either make your own or purchase ours Body Polishes & Scrubs. Apply scrub to wet skin in circular motion, rinse and pat dry. To detoxify the follicle the application of a mask especially formulated for this purpose to affected area 1x a week. Activated Charcoal, French Green Clay, Kaolin Clay and Bentonite Clay are some of the best natural detoxifying agents that would be beneficial.
Lastly, to soothe inflammation, the application a non-pore clogging moisturizer with anti-inflammatory properties reduce and close the problem pores. Below is a great DIY recipe that works great for many skin conditions.
DIY Soothing Skin Oil
1/2 cup Sunflower/Safflower or Almond Oil (Any light oil will work)
2 capsules Vitamin E oil
20 drops Tea Tree Essential Oil
10 drops Lavender Essential Oil
Blend ingredients together and place in an airtight dark glass bottle. Keep bottle away from light and heat. Apply a few drops of mixture 2x per day to affected area as needed.
As I continue on this road to "maturity" and learning to deal with the trials and tribulations of a changing body I'm finding that going back to tried and true ways of our ancestors still work pretty darn good. So battling this adult acne has resulted in taming and reducing the actual acne, but being left dark spot where the acne had been. My own scarlet letter of shame - only kidding, but it left me with a definite uneven complexion. I got to thinking of natural ways to lighten and even my complexion with out going to my old standby skin lightening cream that 1. burned my skin and 2. gave me acne (yes the irony is not lost on me here!). I've opted to go with the remedies of the past before everything was a cosmetic or a drug and filled with synthetic ingredients.
Milk products are full of Lactic Acid; which is a gentle Alpha Hydroxy Acid. Alpha hydroxy acid acts as an exfoliant by contributing to the shedding of skin cells. This leads to cell renewal which in turn removes dullness from your skin giving you a brightening effect. As a skin lightening agent, lactic acid helps bleach the hyperpigmented skin by suppressing the production of melanin.
Citrus Juice is astringent and has natural bleaching effects (particularly lemon). Its astringent property will tighten your pores reducing the sebum secretion and its natural acidic composition will bleach your skin to whiten it. As lemon juice is also rich in vitamin C, it leads to production of new skin cells so that you get rid of all dullness and have bright skin. Side note I remember listening to the older women always talking about having used lemon juice on dark elbows and knees to lighten them, but never understood why it worked as a kid.
Here are a couple of natural recipes right out of your kitchen that I have been playing with to get rid of those pesky scars naturally...
Citrus and Yogurt Lightening Mask (Oily Skin)
1 tsp of Plain Yogurt
1/2 tsp of Lemon Juice
Mix Yogurt and Lemon Juice together well and apply to clean face. Leave on for 15-20 minutes. Rinse well. Dry face and moisturize. Repeat daily until desired effect is met.
CAUTION: DO NOT APPLY MIXTURE BEFORE GOING OUT IN THE SUN. LEMON JUICE CAUSES PHOTOSENSITIVITY AND COULD RESULT IN SUNBURN AND/OR FURTHER DARKENING OF THE SKIN. DO NOT APPLY LEMON JUICE TO BROKEN SKIN. KEEP OUT OF EYES.
Citrus, Honey and Olive Oil Lightening Mask (Dry Skin)
1 tsp Honey
1 tsp Lemon Juice
1 tsp Olive Oil
Mix all ingredients and gently apply to clean face. Massage face with ingredients and let sit for 10-15 minutes. Rinse well, pat dry and apply moisturizer. Repeat daily until desired effect is met.
CAUTION: DO NOT APPLY MIXTURE BEFORE GOING OUT IN THE SUN. LEMON JUICE CAUSES PHOTOSENSITIVITY AND COULD RESULT IN SUNBURN AND FURTHER DARKENING OF THE SKIN.
So far so good, for me on evening out my skintone and I haven't touched the commercial lightener. Share with me how these recipes are working for you.
By Arvette Hammar
I thought my days of acne were over at 18. Wasn't 5 years of teenage acne the price to pay for entry into adulthood? Well it appears that acne after 40 is a common occurrence. Acne may come in the whopper smack dab in the middle of your forehead or a scattering of constellations on your cheeks. In whatever form your adult acne comes in, finding ways to reduce incidents and quickly handle outbreaks when they occur.
Fortunately or unfortunately depending on how you look at it - adult skin does not have the same issues as teenage acne; which is usually caused by fluctuations in hormones. Find out more about the causes of Adult Acne from the American Academy of Dermatology here.
Acne is often the result of bacteria clogging pores and unregulated sebum (oil) production. The key is detoxing the body and skin and eliminated pore clogging products. Try these tips:
Try this Natural DIY Acne Healing Mask
Adult Acne Healing Mask
Acne is often caused by bacteria and clogged oil pores. Often times as adults, we forget how irritating and uncomfortable acne was as a youth as well as not being quite sure how to deal with it. Try this soothing acne mask at night.
1/4 cup of Oatmeal - Anti-Inflammatory
1/4 cup of Water
2 tbsp Raw Honey - Anti-bacterial/Natural skin healer
3 drops of Tea Tree Essential Oil - Anti-bacterial/Anti-Inflammatory
Soak the Oatmeal in the water overnight in the refrigerator. Puree the Oat and Water mixture in the blender until well mixed. Strain the oat mixture in cheese cloth to reserve the "Oat Milk". You should have a liquid the consistency of buttermilk. Discard the strained Oats (in the compost is a wonderful place). Set aside.
Warm the honey slightly until semi-fluid, but do not get it hot as this will destroy its healing properties. Add the oat milk and honey to the blender and blend well. Pour mixture into a sealable container. Add Tea Tree Oil, replace top and shake vigorously. This mixture will keep in the refrigerator up to 2 weeks.
Cleanse face gently with a natural facial cleanser (Buy our African Black Facial Soap for Problem Skin Here). Pat face dry. Apply a thin layer of Acne Mask to face and let sit for 10 minutes (avoid getting in eyes as the Tea Tree can irritate). Rinse thoroughly. Pat dry and apply a light natural facial moisturizer.
In our final part in our 4 part series on ingredients in your natural bath and body products - we're talking about oils.
It has been ingrained DEEP in us that oil and fat is BAD for you. But in most cases and specifically in skin care - this simply isn't true. As a Soap Maker, there are many many oils, butters and fats at my disposal to formulate products. Some oils make massive bubbles in soap and even work in salt water like coconut oil, while others add a protectant layer to skin in moisturizers like cocoa butter. Some oils are healing and reduce the appearance of wrinkles by improving elasticity and plumping the skin like Almond oil. Oil choice has always been a very individual preference like a baker’s choice in flour; we all have our personal favorites. For me, its coconut oil for soap and avocado oil for moisturizers, but being an equal opportunity artist - I select oils based on the benefit I am trying to achieve for each product. For instance if I am trying to create a vegan product, I refrain from using any type of animal fat such as lard or tallow (you’ll notice that a lot of commercial bars will list sodium tallowate as a main ingredient). If I want to create a product for acne prone skin, I will use oils that are anti-bacterial and sebum regulating like safflower and argan. There are numerous skin and hair loving oils out there and it’s all a matter of preference and purpose.
Many people assume that oils and butters clog pores and should be avoided, but this is a true myth in most cases (I love this myth busting article by Alternative Medicine Magazine - Beauty Myth Busters). Some oils are very close to the chemical make-up of the skin’s sebaceous glands while others literally regulate the production of these oils. It is not unheard of to cleanse your face with certain oils opposed to drying soaps or cleansers. I have successfully cleansed with olive and coconut oil for years.
As a firm believer of “What goes on your body, goes in your body”, the purity of oils is of the upmost importance. As a general rule, we source our oils from vendors where oil sources are traceable and use organic sustainable oils whenever possible. By ensuring the quality of the oils going into products are pure, we can limit impurities going into the body and ensure the natural benefits and nutrients are available for the body.
Here's our list of some of our favorite oils and their properties:
About Our Blog
Join me in my quest for natural alternatives in beauty and healthy living. I am passionate about my craft and strive to continuously educate myself and others on natural ways to care for ourselves and our families. I am thankful for the ability to educate others and formulate bath and body products to enhance one's overall well being.