Archive for the 'skin care tips' Category

Getting Rid of Panda Eyes! How to Deal With the Dark Circles and the Eyebags?

eyebagsThere is nothing of a surprise to see dark puffy circles around the eyes after a couple of sleepless nights, but what if you see them each morning even after 8-10 hour sleep? What causes the eyebags and dark circles to appear and what are the measures to get rid of them?

The eyebags may appear when your body starts retaining moisture, – it may occur due to kidney malfunction, large amount of salt taken daily with food, some diseases. The eyebags may also be a sign of an allergy, stress, the lack of sleep or side effect for a congested nose. If you start noticing that you are having the eyebags without any obvious reason, it is better to see a doctor and find out the cause for this.

The dark circles around the eyes may be caused by a thin undereye skin that lets vessels to be well visible, bad blood circulation, poorly balanced nutrition, aging, some diseases accompanied with itching, like eczema or allergies (rubbing or scratching the eyes may damage the skin and underlying vessels).

Good Night, Honey

If you need some quick solution for a better look, try putting cucumber or raw potato slices or cold teabags (just plain black tea, nothing flavored or colored) on your eyes so that they overlap the undereye area, keep them for about 45 minutes and then rinse the eyes with the lukewarm water. 

Avoid drinking much coffee and tea, cut down energy drinks and alcohol, every time you’d love to make tea, have a glass of water instead (lemon allowed). Try not to drink anything for an hour’s time before going for bed and sleep with you head slightly upwards to avoid retention of moisture and “baggy” look in the morning. 

Gently remove all the make-up every evening, so that no particles of mascara get into your eyes. Make sure that this “puffiness” is not an allergic reaction to your newly bought eye-shadows or mascara, if so, don’t hope for “eyes’d get accustomed and everything’d be OK”, as it won’t. Get rid of the product that causes allergy right away and next time either try pricey products before buying them or buy something that you’d be ready to throw away with no regret.  

In order to lighten the dark circles and considerably brighten the skin around the eyes you can massage almond oil mixed with honey before going to bed.

Good Morning, Dear

You may start each morning with a light minute-long massage of the problem area with an ice cube made of water or green/chamomile tea.

Skin PHacts – Know What The PH Is

Have always been curious what all this chatter about PH balance is about. Have forgotten my chemistry classes long ago and called to my friend, who himself is a doctor, to fish out some facts from him… There is nothing too complicated, really, but still interesting… Here is what I’ve “caught” from the discussion…

PH (potential of hydrogen) is a system, with the scale from 1 to 14, to measure the strength of acids and basis. Water, as a neutral element, takes the middle point of the scale, with the PH number of 7. Everything that is above 7 is categorized as a basis, below – as an acid. The farther the PH number of any substance is from the middle point of the scale, the stronger base/acid it is.

Human skin at birth is neutral (PH7) and then quickly becomes more acidic to resist outside bacteria. At puberty, when human organism is undergoing hormonal changes accompanied with the increased activity of sebaceous and eccrine glands, a thin protective layer, called the “acid mantle” (with the PH in between 4 and 5.5) is getting formed on the surface of the skin.

Acid mantle is a mixture of sweat and sebum (secreted by oil glands of the skin to keep it waterproof and protected from penetration of the environmental irritants) and is mildly acidic to help control the growth of bacteria living on the surface of the skin.

Not all the bacteria are harmful to the skin, some of them naturally associate with skin, help in protecting it from the incoming pathogens and keep its PH balance slightly acidic. These bacteria are referred to as the microflora.

Hint: The bacterium (Propionibacterium acnes) known to be the reason for developing acne – is a resident bacterium that can be found in any person, but on the skin of acne-prone people its amount is greatly increased. The natural solution to prevent bacteria growth (and thus avoid developing acne) is to keep the PH balance of the skin at PH5.5.

With the ageing, the skin’s acid mantle gets thinner as the body’s oil and sweating glands start working worse. As a result, the acidity is reduced and the skin is getting closer to neutral PH again, it makes the skin more susceptible to bacteria and infections and leads to development of various skin problems and diseases.

Note: Most soaps have PH in between 9 and 11 that means they are highly alkaline; it means that they remove acid mantle, kill the natural microflora of your skin and you need the PH balance of your skin to be restored after using them.

Hint: You are able to detect the PH level of any skin care product at home by using simple lacmus paper. Blue litmus paper turns red when dipped into an acid, red litmus paper turns blue when dipped into a base. Color changes: pH 4.3(red) to 6.8 (blue-violet) to 8.1(blue).

Masks, Which Are Not Hiding Anything

Some simple recipes to let your beauty bloom, naturally!

honeyI am not too fond of just following any “proven” solutions blindly. Wanting to be well informed, I always ask questions, wishing to know “how it works” and “why does it work this way” before buying or even trying most anything. So, before getting to masks themselves, I am going to give you a bit of information on what our skin loves and needs in order to stay healthy and beautiful.
 

Here is a list of vitamins and minerals needed for the skin’s wellbeing:

  • Vitamin A helps prevent dry skin, acne and wrinkles; it strengthens the skin and repairs its tissues.
  • B complex vitamins help the body to withstand stresses that may prevent such skin diseases as eczema, the form that can be caused by stress. Vitamin B1 is an antioxidant that helps eliminate toxins. Vitamin B2 helps prevent acne and keep the skin healthy. Vitamin B3 improves circulation. Vitamin B5 helps in stress reduction. Vitamin B6 is the one that helps the immune system stay healthy.
  • Vitamin C is a healing and rejuvenating agent, it also helps the immune system to fight off viruses.
  • Vitamin D is an antioxidant playing significant role in skin pigmentation (see my posting below for the effects that Vitamin D has on the entire body).
  • Vitamin E is an antioxidant that means it helps preventing damage to the skin caused by free radicals.
  • Zinc helps regulate the generation of sebum, preventing its hyper-production, which helps control acne. It participates in skin’s healing process and helps in keeping the immune system healthy.

Here is a list of products, easily found in most every kitchen along with the effect they have on the skin:

  • Cucumber – is a natural cleanser, it helps clean the pores.
  • avocado and lemonAvocado – is widely used in skin care as a natural anti-aging agent, as it reduces age spots, increases the amount of collagen in the skin, which helps the skin keeping that youthful look, assists in the regeneration and rejuvenation of the skin. Avocado yields a rich and extremely deep penetrating oil, which is perfect for dry and mature skin. Additionally, avocado helps to relieve dryness and itching from such skin diseases as eczema and psoriasis. It is rich in vitamins A, D, E, lecithin, potassium (a so-called “youth mineral” as it contains proteins, lecithin, beta-carotene and essential unsaturated fatty acids including palmitic, palmitoleic, stearic, oleic, linoleic and linolenic. 
  • Lemon – has both drying and cleansing effects on the skin, it will help us to remove oiliness; apples may help in removing oily shine as well, but it has milder effect on the skin.
  • Eggs contains protein that has just the right mix of essential amino acids needed by humans to build tissues, it is rich in almost all the vitamins except for C. They contain A, B1, B2, B6, B12, D, E, Folate, Niacin, Biotin and Pantothenic Acid. Additionally, eggs are the source of most of the minerals required for optimum health: zinc, selenium (an antioxidant), calcium, iron (used to build red blood cells), iodine (vital to make the thyroid hormone) and phosphorus. Additionally, egg contains cholesterol, a material for the fatty lubricants, which helps keep the skin supple. 
    • Egg yolks, as a nourishing ingredient, are widely used in masks for dry skin.
    • Egg whites  are helpful in closing pores and tightening the skin.
  • Oatmeal – is a natural peeler; it softens the skin and soothes itching.
  • Orange peels – are a natural bleaching agent.
  • Olive oil – is a source for mono-unsaturated fatty acids and anti-oxidative substances, it’s a nourishing and softening ingredient providing elasticity to the skin.
  • Milk – is good for moisturizing, whitening, skin-softening and filled with nutrients. It was a favorite skin care product of Cleopatra. She used milk along with honey for her favorite milk-and-honey baths to keep her skin youthful.
  • Honey – is a natural moisturizing agent, a humectant (it helps to attract and retain moisture). It is an antioxidant that means it protects the skin from ultraviolet radiation and takes a significant part in its rejuvenation. It has antimicrobial properties and helps in treatment for minor abrasions and burns. Because of its anti-irritating effect it can be used even by children and people with the sensitive skin (allergy-prone). Honey is extremely rich in vitamins and minerals, containing Vitamin A, Vitamin B-6, Vitamin B-12, Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Vitamin E, Vitamin K, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Niacin, Pantothenic acid, Folate, Calcium, Copper, Iron, Magnesium, Manganese, Phosphorous, Potassium, Sodium and Zinc.

Oily Skin:

In order for oily skin to start looking good we should get rid of oily shine, clean the pores and tighten them a little, next we should rejuvenate the skin, refresh it and make it soft.

  1. Cucumber juice mixed with the milk can be used as a cleanser for oily skin.
  2. Smear your face with the mix of grapes, lemon and milk white. Leave the mask on for 20 minutes and then rinse with lukewarm water for clean and smooth skin. Note that this mask has tightening effect on the skin.
  3. A mixture of oatmeal and egg whites also works well for oily skin, peeling it gently and constricting the pores.
  4. A mixture of honey and milk, used as a mask, will make your skin glow.

Dry Skin

Dry skin needs gentle peeling to remove flakes and nourishing to make the skin supple.

  1. A mixture of honey (you may replace honey with egg yolk), lemon and olive oil is a good moisturizer for dry skin. Wear for 10 minutes and then rinse with the tepid water.
  2. A mixture of well-beaten egg yolk and mashed pulp of half an avocado put on a clean face for 20 minutes greatly improves the texture of the skin and helps in its revitalizing.
  3. If you add a cup of milk to the #2 recipe, you’ll get a great facial cleanser keeping your skin free of pollutants.

NOTE: all these masks should be put on a thoroughly washed face  then carefully removed. Avoid keeping them on for more than is recommended and make sure you don’t have an allergy reaction to any of its ingredients before you try it.

“Beauty Is Only Skin Deep…”

The first thing I see every morning – is my face in the mirror. Sometimes it looks fresh, young, with healthy vibrant skin, but there are times, it looks old and tired. I’m quite a curious person, you know. This has caused me find some simple tips on how to keep my skin good-looking. Some simple things to share with you:

  1. Rest – you should sleep for no less than 8 hours a night (for children it is 10 hours ). It is better to go to bed early, by 9 PM, as many experts agree that every hour of sleep before midnight is as valuable as two hours after midnight. Make sure that the room you sleep in is aired well (remember that your skin loves oxygen). Regarding your bedroom – it is better to have cool air as opposed to warm and darkness to light. This allows you to rest better.
  2. Clean Face – gently remove your make-up and be sure to go to bed with your face “clean”. Wash your face with lukewarm water (never hot!), do not rub or tug your skin while washing.
  3. Go Natural – make some natural nourishing mask (there are plenty of mask recipes on the web, I will find and post the simpler ones in the next post). You may apply some yoghurt, honey or several pieces of cucumber or just smear your face with a piece of strawberry, banana or avocado and leave it there for some time. This has worked well for many – some of our moms and grannies will vouch for these skin treatments. Use natural lotions to care for the skin. When you check the list of ingredients you should keep in mind that some of the best botanicals for the skin are: aloe vera, comfrey, calendula and chamomile.
  4. Fresh Air and Exercise – toned bodies have better blood circulation, increased metabolism and burn more fat than a body of a sedentary lifestyle. The effect is that your skin is better supplied with oxygen and all nutrition to help keep the skin supple and resilient.
  5. Moisture – both inside and outside the body – You should drink at least half of gallon (8 – 8 oz glasses) of water daily to keep your entire body hydrated (not tea, not coffee, not juice – just pure, fresh, sugar-free water). Remember that dry, unhealthy-looking skin is a reflection of some disorder of the organs or other systems.
  6. Alcohol and Tobacco – absolutely NOT!
  7. Food/Drink – your diet should be well-balanced. It should include:
  • Red, yellow and orange fruits and vegetables, which contain much beta-carotene (antioxidants)
  • Vegetables, which are rich with sulfur, such as garlic, onions and asparagus (for skin smoothness)
  • Grains, seeds, and nuts
  • Milk cheese, natural plain yogurt, kefir
  • Vegetable oils that are cold-pressed, unrefined (Avoid cooking on such oils as they may become carcinogenic when heated)
  • Avoid junky food, animal fats, cooking on cold-pressed vegetable oils (try to avoid everything that is fried), sugar, chocolate, coffee, strong black tea.