Awesome skin care tips pt 3

This is on of my favorite home made facial masks. It´s made with Aspirin, water and a regular (biological w/o any synthetic crap of course) facial cream, some aloe vera or even some natural yogurt (although I find this a bit too runny for my taste).

What we are going to do is our own home made BHA (Beta hydroxy acid) mask. BHA is salicylic acid normally found in anti aging creams but can also be derived from the acetyl-salicylic acid in Aspirin. BHA works as a very light chemical peel, it also cleans out your pores and can also bleach minor scars.

So here´s what to do:

Take 4-5 Aspirin and crush them.
Mix them with a few drops of water until you have a creamy paste.

Now here is where you can choose to simply apply this mix on your face (avoid areas around the eyes, and if you have inflamed areas of your skin) and let it dry, it takes about 5-10 minutes.

Option no 2 is to mix the aspirin-water blend with a biological face cream, or some aloe vera, natural yogurt or honey, and apply it to your face. I usually do it like this and leave it on a little longer for a better effect, about 15-20 minutes. (Try what works best for your skin, if you are very sensitive then it might be better to leave it for 5-10 minutes only.)

Then I take a soft face towel and soak it in warm water and gently massage off the mask until my face is completely clean.

This mask is amazing for properly cleaning out clogged up pores and remove dead skin cells, and it leaves your skin radiant and healthy looking.

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Awesome skin care tips pt 2

So if you cleaned out all the artificial crap from your bathroom cupboard after my last post :), you might want some tips on what to fill it with next. Ok, so there are various brands out there that sell biological skin care products without a bunch of suspicious additives in them, for example Dr Hauschka, Annemarie Börlind or my swedish favorite Rosenserien. However my absolute favorite and nowadays exclusively monogamous skin care lover is something you can get at the supermarket for just a few € (or whatever your currency is 🙂 ).

I´m talking about a regular bottle of extra virgin olive oil, it´s unrefined and completely natural and contains tons of vitamins and essential fatty acids for your inside as well as your outside. So what do we do with this? You mix it with a little bit of castor oil, which is also a completely natural oil, derived from castor seeds. Castor oil is deep cleansing and anti inflammatory which makes it ideal for people suffering from acne, oily or combination skin (I´m one of them). I´d say about 95% olive oil mixed with 5% castor is a good start, but since castor oil is deep cleansing after a while your skin might start to feel a bit dry, then you just put more olive and less castor. It really doesn´t take a lot to get the super effects of the castor oil. And if your skin is dry or sensitive from the start then just put 99,99% olive oil and a only few drops of castor oil, see what works best for you.

So I use this as a facial cleanser every night. Thoroughly massage the oil blend into your skin to dissolve all dirt and make up, then wash it off with warm water and a wash cloth to gently rub off the oil. Now since the oils are naturally moisturizing you don´t need to apply any cream afterwards. (In the morning just rinse you face with water and if you want apply a day cream with SPF to protect your skin from sun damage and pollution.)

In the begininng you might experience that your skin is actually getting worse (dirtier) but that´s only because all the dirt is being drawn up to the surface, so that´s a good thing. After all that crap is gone your skin will clear up. 🙂

If you have really inflamed acne I wouldn´t recommend this next one, which is a facial scrub, as it might irritate it, just use the olive castor oil blend until your skin has cleared up a bit.

This is a facial/body scrub that I use once a week to help remove dead skin cells and properly clean out stubborn pores. It´s basically baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) mixed with olive oil. (Mix it well in a small bowl.) First wash your face to get rid of make up and superficial dirt and so that your skin is soft, warm and slightly moist when applying the scrub. Lightly rub the mix onto your skin for a couple of minutes to make sure you get it all over and into your pores, then wash off with warm water and a wash cloth. This will give you baby butt skin, I swear!

Ok here´s you shopping list:

Organic extra virgin olive oil.
Organic unrefined castor oil. (For example this one from Fushi, but the important thing is that it´s unrefined and organic, as clean and natural as possible. (Refined castor oil will not work, believe me I bought one by accident once.)
Baking soda aka Sodium Bicarbonate (NOT baking powder, just saying in case there is some confusion).
A bottle for the olive-castor blend, preferably a dark glass one as it protects the oil from harmful sunlight, something like this:

Ok, I think that´s about it! Good luck! I also have more posts coming up on other awesome products so stay in touch if you´re interested! 🙂

Awesome skin care tips!

I´ve been using biological skin care products for the past 6 years now and the improvement of my skin condition has been amazing. The funny thing is I´ve spent years and years spending insane amounts of money on different products, thinking the more expensive the better product. That was before I started working in the health food business and learned all about glycerin, paraffin and other petroleum based oils that are added in basically all the conventional skin care products out there, whether it´s L´oreal or Clinique. Synthetic oils block your pores and make it impossible for the moisture to enter your skin. Meaning it will only lay on top of your skin making it temporarily soft, but the next time you shower or wash your face you´re dry again and need to apply more. Same for the cleansers, you can´t properly deep cleanse since the synthetic oils keep everything on top.


Mmm, mineraal ooil…

“Mineral oil acts as a thin layer on the skin. It is difficult to absorb and clogs the pores, which slows the skin’s ability to eliminate toxins. Remember, the skin is the body’s largest organ and plays an important role in maintaining overall health! Once the oil is absorbed, it is broken down by the liver and passes through the intestinal tract, it will absorb all of the fat-soluble vitamins found there. It is essentially stealing important vitamins from the body, which the body will not be able to replace. This can eventually lead to nutritional deficiencies. Studies have also shown forms of pneumonia caused by mineral oil decreasing lung function, known as lipoid pneumonia. Because of these dangers, the medical community has condemned the use of mineral oil taken orally or as an ingredient in medications.”(Source;)


Mmm, petrooleuum…

I know a lot of people will argue that if mineral oil was that bad for you it wouldn´t be allowed in all these skin care products. Well, I just woke up but unless there´s been a dramatic change since last night and the Dalai Lama was just proclaimed president, money still rules the world. And fact is mineral oils are cheap, it´s actually cheaper to buy the oil than to dispose it. And no, obviously it doesn´t have any instant harmful effects. However, as you may have noticed earlier in this blog, my favorite motto is educate yourself and learn to think for yourself, instead of trusting others to do it for you. So let´s look at this from a common sense point of view; mineral oils are by-products from refining gasoline (you know that stuff we put in our cars that are currently destroying the earth), does that seem like something you would want to rub your body in? I mean does that make sense?

So what to use instead? Fear not, I have a guide coming up in part 2!

Carrots are your friends

I don´t know about your parts of the world but here in Barcelona the temperature is going up, up, and the sun is shining and getting stronger every day. Thus, it´s time to start thinking about taking a little extra care of that skin of yours. (Especially if you were blessed with fragile scandinavian skin and happen to be living by the Mediterranean sea like me.) So what are the top three nutrients to stock up on this season…?

– Beta Carotene.
– Zink
– Vitamin E

Here´s why!

Beta Carotene
This might be the most famous antioxidant out there, as many people already know beta carotene is what gives carrots their bright orange color. Beta-carotene is a member of the carotenoids, highly pigmented (red, orange, yellow), fat-soluble compounds naturally present in many fruits, oils, and vegetables such as green plants, carrots, sweet potatoes, squash, spinach, apricots, and green peppers. Beta carotene can also be transformed into vitamin A, in the event that your body is lacking it. Any excess of beta carotene is then stored in your skin, which is why, if you eat too many carrots, your skin turns orange. Beta carotene is known to help the skin tan more easily, and a lot of people who suffers from sun rash has noticed a big improvement in the condition of their skin during the sunny months. I normally just try to take a beta carotene supplement for this time of the year, but this year I also bought organic carrot oil to give some extra aid from the outside as well. (Of course in combination with a high SPF cream, I never leave the house without it, unless I know I´m going to be covered up from head to toe all day.)


Organic Carrot Oil from Fushi.

Zink
Zink is an essential mineral, important for your immune system but also in the healing of damaged cells, such as your skin cells. (On a completely different note it is also believed to enhance your fertility and is crucial in the regulation of the male sex drive…) The best sources for zink are for example; liver, beef, chicken, eggs, seafood, wheat germ, pecan nuts, cashew nuts, sunflower seeds, and peanut butter.

Vitamin E (aka Alpha-tocopherol aka Gamma-tocopherol)
This fat soluble vitamin plays an important roll in protecting body tissue from damage caused by substances called free radicals. Free radicals are to blame for the process of the break down of cell, tissue and organs, also known as aging. Of course you cannot stop your body from aging, however making sure your vitamin E levels are stocked up is a good way to work against premature aging caused by for instance the sun and rough living. The body also needs vitamin E to help keep the immune system strong against viruses and bacteria.

The best way to up your vitamin E intake is through food. I always promote people eating healthy natural food before running to the health food store buying a supplement. Vitamin E can be found in leafy green vegetables, such as spinach or broccoli, nuts and seeds such as peanuts, sunflower seeds, almonds and hazel nuts, and also in vegetable oils such as sunflower oil, carrot oil and wheat germ oil.

PS. Don´t forget to stock up on a high SPF cream too!

Omega 3 and why it should be in your diet

I´m sure most people out there are already familiar with the benefits of Omega 3 by now, but let´s do a little repeat, for fun! 🙂

Omega 3 fatty acids are what we call essential fatty acids, which means your body needs them in order to function properly, however your body can´t make them, so you need to get them through your food. The best source would be fatty fish, such as salmon, mackerel, herring, sardines, and tuna. If fish isn´t your thing, the next best option would be a high quality supplement (found in your nearest health food store, make sure it´s made from natural oil though and not the creepy synthetic alternatives which unfortunately are out there).

These are some of the important roles omega 3 plays in our lives:

Brain Function:
Omega 3 is necessary for your brain to function optimally. Don´t forget this is especially important for the growing brains of kids. In fact there are studies pointing to the importance of adding the fatty acid to the diet to improve the cognitive functions in children with ADD. (More on that here!) It´s also recommended for pregnant women to (if not willing to eat fish) take an omega 3 supplement for the development of the brain of their unborn baby. You remember when you were little and your mom would always tell you “fish makes you smart” (or was that just me), well, as much as I hate to admit it, she was actually right!

High cholesterol, high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease:
This is probably the areas where Omega 3 is mostly famous for its benefits. I´m not going to get into the details cause then I´d be writing a book, so just to keep it short; clinical studies have shown eating EPA and DHA (acids found in fish oil) helps reduce the risk of high cholesterol, high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease. If you´re interested in more information I would suggest Google. 🙂

Diabetes:
A low carb high fat diet has shown itself being very beneficial for people with diabetes (type 1 and 2). An intake of omega 3 could help lowering the levels of triglycerides and raise your HDL (good cholesterol). For more on diabetes and the importance of fat in general (not just omega 3), click here!

Skin conditions:
A lot of people suffering from acne, dry skin, and exzemas can be helped from an intake of omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids. The essential oils will help keeping your skin cells soft, smooth and happy, and if you catch them early they might even prevent a wrinkle or two from popping up too soon! It´s important to combine the two oils though, as omega 6 by itself has a inflammatory effect, they need to be combined for optimal results.


Click on image to buy high quality omega 3!