We all know the damage that the sun can cause - both to our appearance and our health, but there are also a number of other factors working against us when it comes to skin health. For most women, a daily ritual of applying creams and lotions seems not only harmless, but beneficial, but when we look at the ingredients of some of these compounds, they read more like the inventory of a science lab.
Then there is make-up, deodorant, body sprays Ė all applied with good intention but often to the detriment of natural skin health.
In summer, we slather on all sorts of questionable compounds to avoid sunburn and insect bites. Indoors we are subjected to the drying effects of fans and air-conditioning.
In winter, we bury ourselves under layers of clothing or blankets and crank up the heating, which also has a drying effect.
Then, of course, there are the numerous allergic reactions we can experience in spring, or Ė if you are like me Ė all year round. My skin is often inflamed from a variety of allergies that unfortunately canít be avoided.
Looking after our skin is a combination of mindfulness about the products we use and taking time to nurture ourselves with good healthy foods, plenty of water and some natural practices like herbal baths.
Our local health food shops carry a range of natural skincare products and, while they are a bit more costly than other commercially produced ones, are well worth it in terms of health care.
If your budget doesnít allow for this though, here are some affordable alternatives:
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For natural make-up- foundation, blush and lip colour, there are numerous recipes that use everyday household items like arrowroot powder, cinnamon and nutmeg.
Moisturisers can be made from items like aloe vera, coconut oil, almond oil and shea butter.
A simple home-made sunscreen can be made using zinc oxide ad a healthier alternative to protect against UV rays.
For insect repellent, a combination of essential oils is usually sufficient - citronella, lavender, eucalyptus and lemon are a few. Simple vinegar will sooth stings and bites.
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For skin allergies there are soothing compounds like aloe vera, olive oil, apple cider vinegar and baking soda.
One of my favourite ways to pamper my skin is a warm bath using any of the following: peppermint, milk powder, lavender, chamomile, witch hazel or apple cider vinegar.
Recipes for all of these natural, home-made products can be found via a simple search on the internet. By taking a little time to make your own products you will save money, the environment and, of course, the health of your skin.