Friday, May 28, 2010

How to Reduce Rings Around the Neck

I have one and I'd love to get rid of it.  If you have dark rings around your neck, armpits and groin area it might be a sign of disease, so, See a doctor!  Otherwise, the ring(s) might be the result of skin stretching.  If you were recently pregnant, or lost or gained large amounts of weight that might explain it.  Bad posture and constant looking down are also said to cause these rings.  There isn't much consensus about the causes or remedies.  What you can do is try to lighten the dark lines by exfoliating and bleaching.  The skin on the neck area is very delicate, though, so be gentle and remember to apply moisturizer.

The following are some natural skin bleachers:
Lemon -you can also mix it with yogurt and apply it, but it is photosensitive so stay out of the sun if you use it.
Papaya juice.
Shea butter -it's supposed to be highly effective in reducing the appearance of stretch marks and scars.
Vitamin E -ditto.

And, of course, neck exercises and proper posture should help as well.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Mile-Long Lashes

It's been about a month since I bought my rose-hip oil, and I promised an 'after' report.  I found I love the smell of rose-hip oil, but it's a bit drying for my skin and made me itchy, so I stopped using it a while ago.  This would be a good time to mention the importance of spot tests.  Before applying anything on a regular basis, you should test it on a small patch of skin to check your reaction to it.

And, now, to the main topic, enhancing the eyes with longer lashes.  There are three oils that are said to grow lashes:  olive oil, vitamin E, and castor oil.

The latter two oils are usually mentioned for lashes, but the first one rarely so.  I learned about olive oil as a lash stimulant from an acquaintance.  It's commonly used in her family.  She applied extra-virgin olive oil nightly to her lashes and they grew so long that she had to trim them.  I, on the other hand, saw no growth at all; and I followed her instructions exactly.  Perhaps it comes down to genetics.

Vitamin E and castor oil are the most popularly recommended eye-lash growing oils around.  Both oils are supposed to do wonders for lifeless, dull hair.  Castor oil is also said to strengthen hair and is recommended for brittle, damaged tresses.

Since I don't like the smell of castor oil, I've decided to try vitamin E oil.  It's available pure in bottles, and I recently purchased a small one.  I'll give it a month-long trial and announce the results, hopefully positive.  If things don't work out, though, there's always the castor.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Reduce Frown Lines

Do you have the job-loss blues? Are you naturally pessimistic or just a deep thinker? Whatever the reason for the lines between your eyes, you might be able to reduce their appearance with the following measures:

One. Try to relax the muscles of your forehead. Frown, then smile. You'll notice that when you smile, your face muscles move up and out, especially those of your forehead. Try to be aware of your expression and the tension in your face, and make a conscious effort to relax your forehead muscles through out the day.

Two. Massage those muscles!

You can try facial exercises as well. I've read arguments for and against them, and I've started to do them myself. You can find some information about facial exercises here.

Three. Use Retin A. Regular users report decreased appearance of wrinkles -I know this a natural beauty site, but Retin A is supposed to be highly effective. Some natural wrinkle reducers are rose-hip oil (which I've written about here previously), coconut oil, baobab oil, grapeseed oil, and shea butter. All are said to regenerate the skin and improve elasticity.

Four. Drink lots of water. It hydrates the skin, improves the complexion and is necessary for good health, and therefore, good skin. On the same note, watch your diet; try to stay away from processed foods.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

The Wonders of Rose Hip Essential Oil

Look at any anti-ageing product and no doubt you'll find rose-hip oil is a key ingredient. Extracted from the seeds of the fruit of the plant, the oil is known to prevent and reduce the appearance of fine lines especially around the eyes and mouth. It's also said to improve the complexion and even out skin tone. Rose hip is a stable, non-greasy essential oil and is safe to apply directly to the skin. It does make the skin more sensitive to the sun, so apply some sun-block before going outside. If you have acne, consult a dermatologist before using.

I recently ordered a four ounce bottle of organic unprocessed rose-hip oil made in Chile. Rose-hip bushes are native to the Andes and the miracles of the plant were first discovered there. Now, however, the oil can be made anywhere, in fact, if you have a rose-hip plant you could make it yourself. But, oil from Chile sounds great and the price was reasonable. Another wonderful thing about rose-hip oil: the price.

The oil smells and feels light and I've started applying it twice a day around my eyes and mouth instead of a moisturizer and beneath my usual cream for the rest of my face. I am lucky, at thirty something I have hardly any lines, so this no doubt is the right time to start. I do hope to minimize some 'thinking' lines between my eyes, though. I took a before picture and will compare the results in thirty days. Till then!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Brown Sugar Cinnamon Body Polish

1 cup granulated brown sugar
1 cup sweet almond oil
1 teaspoon cinnamon

The sugar is to exfoliate and the oil is to moisturize. Different base oils have different properties and can be substituted. Aloe vera oil, for instance, helps rejuvenate the skin; I haven't experimented with it yet, though, and I am not sure what combinations work well with it. Almond oil helps soften and smooth the skin and also helps it absorb moisture, hence it's great to use in the shower.

The sugar also can be substituted. I actually like the texture of regular sugar but I find that granulated sugar is easier to use. The smell and texture of different sugars vary, so experiment at your own delight.

You can add various other ingredients to smell. I sometimes add any other spice that catches my fancy.

You can also add a few drops of essential oils which, like base oils, have their own properties. Vanilla goes especially well with cinnamon, so you can add that. If you don't like cinnamon or vanilla, add your favorite oil instead. Lemon essential oil is invigorating and refreshing and a great option. I'd advise against lavender oil though as, according to doctors, it inflames the skin.

Essential oils are potent and can burn the skin, so take care when using them. Definitely don't splash them around and read the instructions carefully.

Mix the oils first, then add the sugar and let the polish steep overnight. When using, scoop from the bottom of the container and gently massage into skin. Be aware that the oil can make the tub slippery.

Organic Body Care Recipes by Stephanie Tourles.
The World of Fine and Pure Essential Oils,