Keeping your skin feeling fresh and maintaining a healthy complexion is one of the easiest and most beneficial things you can do to boost your self-esteem. But sometimes chemical-laden harsh cleansers and scrubs can wreak havoc on tender faces, causing acne breakouts and dry patches. Luckily, you can use natural cleansers instead of harsh soaps, and herbal scrubs and toners are simple to make at home.
Fresh facial masks are easy to create and can be tailored to your skin’s needs. Plant your own “Healthy Complexion Garden” in a sunny spot in your garden or in a container and you can have a year-round supply of fresh ingredients for your favorite homemade facial treatments. And don’t forget the importance of adequate sleep, water intake, sun protection, a healthy diet and daily exercise for healthy skin.
Facial Treatments At Home
Give Yourself a Facial
Follow these steps weekly for fresh, clean skin:
1. Wash your face thoroughly, using a mild cleanser.
2. Tone your face, using an astringent to remove any dead skin or leftover cleanser.
3. Nourish your face with a facial mask. Choose a mask with ingredients that are best for your skin type. Cover skin with a light, even coat, avoiding the area around the eyes, and allow to dry, about 15 to 20 minutes. Rinse well.
4. Steam your face to clean out pores, using a large bowl or sink full of hot water. You may add herbs to the water—chamomile for normal skin, peppermint for oily skin or rosemary for dry skin. Lean over the steaming water, using a large towel to cover head and the bowl, for 10 to 15 minutes. Rinse well with warm then cool water.
5. Apply a light moisturizer to your face and neck. If you don’t have time for a complete facial, give yourself a “mini-facial”: Start by cleaning your face as in Step 1. Put on a simple, one-ingredient mask (plain yogurt, honey or egg whites) for 5 to 10 minutes. In a warm shower rinse off mask and open pores at the same time. Rinse with cool water and follow with moisturizer.
Janice Cox is the author of Natural Beauty At Home (Henry Holt and Company, New York). For more information and recipes visit her website at www.herbcompanion.com/contributors .