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Polish your look with natural exfoliators

Spring is officially here, and subsequently more skin is being exposed as hemlines and sleeves get shorter. There’s just one small problem. The skin that’s about to be revealed probably hasn’t seen the sun for some time, and is more than likely dull and pasty looking, and altogether just totally unappealing. 

PIC1 1The body naturally flakes off dead skin cells on a daily basis, but during the winter when the skin is bundled up, exposed to dry indoor heating, temperature fluctuations, and possibly too hot water for showers and baths, these flakes have a tendency to build up and leave the the skin looking dull, wrinkled, blotchy, or maybe even feeling itchy. Exfoliating can remedy this dry, dull-looking skin and reveal the beautiful glowing skin beneath, leaving it looking and feeling visibly smoother and softer. 

PIC2 1There are many exfoliators on the market but before you rush out to purchase and apply one of these to the skin, check out the ingredients first. It most likely contains glycolic acid, lactic acid, malic acid or citric acid. Both glycolic acid and lactic acid are known to cause common side effects such as dry skin or skin irritation such as peeling, itching, redness, rash and a burning sensation. Malic acid can cause the same symptoms, although these skin reactions are less common. Meanwhile citric acid can cause a stinging sensation and hives, and incidentally should never be used in conjunction with glycolic acid or lactic acid. Do you really want to expose your skin to these harsh chemicals, particularly when they will probably make the skin more reactive to the sun and other environmental factors? Citric acid will definitely make the skin photo-sensitive, although of course extra care must always be taken before exposing freshly exfoliated skin to the sun.
Nowadays there are a number of 100% natural exfoliators available, which can nourish and benefit the skin as they remove the dull lifeless flakes:

Almond Scrub
PIC3 1Made from the pomace obtained in the process of cold pressing almonds, it is particularly recommended for mature, dry and sensitive skin. Retaining most of the composition of almond oil, but without the fat, it contains a high content of vitamins and minerals, and is jam-packed with vitamin E. It effectively softens, exfoliates and removes dead skin cells, eliminates dullness, improves microcirculation of blood in skin cells, nourishes, and has a lifting effect.

Black Seed Scrub
Highly recommended for problem and oily skin, black seed scrub is made from pomace obtained as a result of the cold pressing of black seeds. Retaining the high content of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants found in black seed oil, but without the fats, it has healing, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and regenerative properties to benefit the skin. Black seed scrub effectively exfoliates and removes dead skin cells, improves blood microcirculation in skin cells, helps eliminate blackheads, and soothes irritated and inflamed skin.

Coconut Scrub
PIC4 1Suitable for all skin types, coconut scrub is made from the pomace obtained as a result of the cold pressing of coconut flakes. Similar to the composition of coconut oil but without the fats, it has a high content of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants including vitamins E and K, plus iron, and benefits the skin with antibacterial and antioxidant properties. Coconut scrub effectively and gently exfoliates and cleanses the skin, removes dead skin cells, increases blood circulation and nourishes the skin.

Fenugreek (Helba) Scrub
Made from pomace obtained as a result of the cold pressing of fenugreek seeds, it is suitable for all skin types. High in in vitamins, proteins, antioxidants, but free of fats, it retains the benefits of fenugreek oil for the skin and offers soothing, healing, and anti-inflammatory properties. It cleanses the skin, effectively exfoliates and removes dead skin cells, improves blood microcirculation in skin cells, helps to reduce increased pigmentation and has a tightening effect.

Lupine Scrub
PIC5 1Suitable for all skin types, it retains the high content of vitamins and minerals found in lupine oil including proteins, iron, peptides, and vitamins A, PP, E. It is a powerful antioxidant which can deter the development of malignant tumours, in particular melanoma. Lupine relieves skin inflammation, reduces hyperpigmentation, age spots and freckles, has a lightening effect, and helps to even the skin tone. This scrub effectively exfoliates and removes dead skin cells, improves blood microcirculation in skin cells, has a tightening effect, and nourishes and brightens the skin to eliminate dull skin.

Rucola Scrub
Made from the pomace obtained as a result of the cold pressing of rucola seeds, it is similar to the composition of rucola seed oil but without the fats, and is packed with vitamins, minerals and natural compounds including carotenoids, ascorbic acid, vitamins B, E, K, PP, iron, fatty acids and antioxidants. Suitable for all skin types, it effectively softens, exfoliates and removes dead skin cells, improves microcirculation in skin cells, tightens and improves the skin’s elasticity, and nourishes the skin.

Alternatively you can make your own sugar scrub with 1/2 cup coconut oil (the kind that’s solid at room temperature), 1 cup sugar and 15 drops of essential oil suited to your skin type. To make simply melt the coconut oil in a double boiler or in the microwave and allow it to cool but not to solidify. Stir in the essential oil and mix well, add the sugar, and then check the consistency. It should be grainy and crumbly. If its too wet, add some more sugar. Store in a glass jar.

How to use

PIC6 1Prep the skin by soaking in/washing with warm water to open the pores. Do not use hot water as this can over-sensitise the skin. Apply some scrub to wet skin, and gently massage over the skin in circular motions, applying only gentle pressure. Rinse off with warm, not hot, water. Alternatively you can add some of the scrub with a little shower gel.
For an extra conditioning mix for the face, décolleté, or other sensitive area, pour a small amount of scrub into a bowl, add some milk, yoghurt or honey, and mix well until it’s the consistency of sour cream. Apply to the specified area, and leave intact as a mask for 5 minutes, before adding a little warm water to soften the mix and gently massage it over the skin in circular motions. Rinse clean with warm water.
Exfoliation should be done approximately twice a week (once a week for sensitive skin), although at the start you may find that your skin is crying out for an extra treatment. Once you’ve fully established exfoliation into your beauty routine, and removed the back-up from winter, you should be able to tell when your skin needs it. 

Moisturising after exfoliation is a must. Double the effect of the scrub by using the same oil contained within the scrub, or try jojoba oil or grapeseed oil for deep, nourishing natural moisturisation.

PIC7 1Exfoliation is a great way to prep the skin before shaving to remove any dirt and debris which may cause skin reaction, and will help to prevent razor bumps. Alternatively, exfoliating after shaving can remedy any stubborn ingrown hairs.
Don’t forget to give extra attention to problem areas such as knees, elbows and heels which have thicker skin and typically suffer more with dry, patchy skin. Removing this skin also ensures that the moisturiser is more easily absorbed.
Let’s not also forget that smooth exfoliated skin is the perfect canvas for a more even and longer lasting tan.

This spring, rid your skin of the rigours of winter, and add a healthy glow to your look. 

 

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