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DIY Natural Beauty Secrets

by Mary Beth Janssen
Photo courtesy of Belovodchenko Anton

Photo courtesy of Belovodchenko Anton

Exfoliation is good for the skin. It can remove dead skin cells that block pores and enable our moisturizer to penetrate more easily. But one of the natural beauty secrets when it comes to exfoliation to remember is: Don’t overexfoliate.

Overexfoliation can sensitize the skin and severely compromise the skin’s barrier function. Once a week is often enough. Make sure to exfoliate at night, so your new skin isn’t exposed to sunlight right away—new skin is more vulnerable to UV rays. And don’t use more than one alpha-hydroxy skin product per day. Consider using just a hydrating nighttime moisturizer with AHAs.

It’s especially important to use an SPF 15 or higher sunscreen every day if you exfoliate and use skin treatments with AHAs. And if your skin is irritated by any treatment, calm it with a moisturizer that contains anti-inflammatory ingredients, like green tea. Again, count on a skin care professional’s expertise if you’re not quite sure how to proceed with an exfoliation or AHA regimen.

Homemade AHA Skin Peel

Mix 1 teaspoon pure apple, lemon, grape or papaya juice with a few drops of purified water and dab onto your cleansed skin with your fingers. Leave on for 5 to 10 minutes, then splash your face with plenty of water. Follow up with toner and moisturizer. This natural peel can be used once or twice a week.

Following is my favorite mask for mature skin:

Colloidal Oatmeal Cleansing Mask

This mix is very hydrating, deep cleansing, and balancing for all skin types—but especially beneficial for mature, dry skin. Use on your whole body if desired (adjust ingredient amounts). The beta glucan in the oats penetrate to the deeper levels of the skin softening fine lines and wrinkles. The almond oil imparts essential fatty acids, vitamins and minerals, while the honey is known for its humectancy (moisturizing). Use this cleansing mask at least once a week.

2 tablespoons ground oatmeal
1/2 tablespoon sweet almond oil
1/2 tablespoon honey

Thoroughly mix the ingredients together. Stroke over you face and neck in up- and-outward movements. Leave on for 20 minutes. Rinse thoroughly, then apply toner and moisturizer. Use this treatment once a week.

TRY: YUM Gourmet Skincare Adzuki Blueberry Exfoliant, yumskincare.com; One Love Organics Brand New Day Microderma Scrub & Masque Exfoliant, oneloveorganics.com

Connect with Mary Beth Janssen @cosmicdenmother.

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