How to Buff Your Skin to Perfection

Polished Perfection - Creams and pastes infused with gritty, skin-buffing particles are known as physical exfoliators or skin scrubs. They certainly do the trick, but if the grains are too abrasive they can actually leave scratch marks on the skin's surface.

Many cosmetic companies now use tiny spherical beads designed to glide over the skin surface so they polish without doing such damage. Nature also boasts some softer options to the once popular ground-nut kernels. Finely milled almonds and oatmeal have a gentle, sloughing action and are also known for their skin-softening and nourishing properties.

Fruit Refiners

Fruit acids or alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs) exfo­liate by dissolving the glue that holds dead skin cells together While fruit acids such as glycolic acid occur naturally in sugar cane, citrus fruits, grapes, milk and wine, AHAs in commercial skin creams are often made in the laboratory. Preparations containing weak dilutions of fruit acids ensure old cells are shed evenly and swiftly. This keeps the skin looking fresh and radiant. At higher concentrations they form the basis of professional skin peels that strip away the stratum corneum to expose fresher, more youthful-looking epidermal cells beneath. But if the protective layer is slowly eroded away, skin becomes more vulnerable to sun and other environmental damage. AHAs therefore have the potential to encourage sen­sitivity. Use these products wisely and moderately. Once daily will keep your skin looking fresh and bright.

Recipes

Exfoliating Cream Base

  • 1 teaspoon cocoa butter
  • 1 teaspoon white beeswax
  • 1 teaspoon emulsifying wax
  • 2 tablespoons organic sunflower oil
  • 2 tablespoons pure spring water

Melt the cocoa butter, beeswax and emulsify­ing wax in a glass bowl placed over a saucepan containing a small quantity of boiling water. When they are liquid, slowly drip the oil into the mix stirring all the time with a wooden spoon. Then gradually stir in the water. Remove the bowl from the saucepan and allow to cool, stirring occasionally. This is your base cream. The recipe makes enough to last about 2 weeks. Keep it in the fridge but leave out at room temperature for 1-2 hours before using.

Almond Refining Cream

Add 1 teaspoon of finely ground almonds to I teaspoon of your base cream and blend. Massage gently into the skin reaching into every corner and then sweep away with a warm, damp muslin cloth Spray with the refresher of your choice.

Pineapple or Papaya Peel

Add 1 teaspoon of freshly squeezed pineapple or papaya juice to 1 teaspoon of your base cream and blend. Massage into the skin, especially around the base of the nose and under the jawline. Leave for a few minutes or until it begins to tingle and then remove with a warm, damp muslin cloth. Spray with your refresher.

Lavender and Almond Body Polisher

  • 1 tablespoon finely ground oatmeal
  • 1 tablespoon finely ground almonds
  • 1/2 tablespoon kaolin
  • 1 tablespoon hot boiled pure spring water
  • 1 tablespoon aloe vera juice
  • 1/2 tablespoon sweet almond oil
  • 4 drops lavender essential oil

Spoon the oatmeal, ground almonds and kaolin into a small bowl. Slowly stir in the water, aloe vera juice and finally the sweet almond'oil. When lukewarm and thickening, stir in the lavender essential oil. Rub over the body, concenfrating on rough areas such as the elbows, knees and soles of the feet. Rinse off with warm water.

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