Wrinkles and dry skin - How to deal with them naturally.
We probably spend more money on cosmetic treatments for our skin than any other form of beauty aid. With the benefit of hindsight we would have been better served by treating our skin more sympathetically when younger.
Wrinkles are formed, as we become older, due to the skin losing its elasticity. The areas worst affected occur as we frown, smile or screw up our eyes against the sun. Exposing the skin to the sun is essential to maintain a supply of vitamin D to allow the body to absorb calcium for the formation of healthy bones but we are only talking about 10-15 minutes daily each week. Because of this obsession with deep tanning you should beware that another cause of dry wrinkled skin is the overuse of tanning or sun lamps.
If you are a dyed in the wool sun worshipper then at least give your skin some protection by not only using a high factor sunscreen but by taking Betacarotene tablets combined with Vitamin E
Regular massage with essential oils and the right carrier oil can help, although, as said before, it would have been best to have treated the skin correctly from youth.
Massage stimulates the circulation and allows oxygen to the blood vessels allowing health and growth of the cells. The massage, however, should be gentle to avoid pulling and stretching the skin which only makes things worse.
The most useful of the essential oils is Frankincense and Neroli which has been used since ancient times. Indeed Frankincense was used by the ancient Egyptians during their embalming process and seems to have worked very well. It may even reduce existing wrinkles but certainly seems to help prevent new ones forming.
It is important to use the right carrier oil which can have a beneficial effect in its own right. Try Avocado, Lemon Balm, Lime Blossom (Linden), Macadamia or Peach Kernel with abt 10% Wheatgerm oil as a stabiliser, but if you can afford it use 100% pure Argan oil or Rose Hip oil which will help skin without further assistance and again has been used as a skin treatment for centuries. If you have broken veins then Calendula is the oil to use. Another excellent oil, which can be used on its own is Sea Buckthorn oil although this may be difficult to source. However, it is worth seeking out as clinical trials at the University of Turku proved that it reduced the production of CRP (C-reactive protein) indicated in inflammation and cardiovascular diseases.
Although those of us with oily skin don’t suffer as badly, the greasy surface encourages spots and blemishes and poor adhesion of make-up. Golden Jojoba is technically a wax but it acts as an excellent carrier oil for those with oily skin as it will absorb excess sebum. Grapefruit seed oil also works well for those with an oily complexion.
Moving away from essential oils we should look at other oils and herbs that can help aging skin.
Here we have plant chemicals which are water soluble and work as antioxidants better than vitamin antioxidants normally available. There are two in particular – a pine bark extract sold under the name of Pycnogenol which is massively more potent than Vitamin E (x50) and C (x20). It works to improve the strength and repair connective tissue and slow down the aging process. There is also a material, derived from algae and yeast, sold under the name of Astaxanthin, which analysis shows to be x500 times stronger than Vitamin E. Small amounts of this are added by cosmetic companies to their products but with a massive premium.
If there was only one herb I could suggest it would be Red Clover. It is underused and poorly explored but has great potential in keeping hormone related skin problems under control. Red Clover contains phytoestrogens which are startlingly intelligent – if the oestrogen level is low it increases it, conversely if the oestrogen level is too high it will reduce it. It is also a rich source of vitamin A and B, calcium, magnesium, iron and selenium. If you also take into account its blood-cleansing action – then that’s not bad for something previously considered as a weed !!
Rosa Mosqueta is made from the seeds of a wild rose (Rosa affinis Rubiginosa) grown in the Chilean Andes. It has been found to have incredible properties in skin regeneration. It was originally investigated to reduce scarring after accidents and operations, but was found to fade and soften wrinkles, and help to keep the skin hydrated & soft. The oil is naturally rich in vitamins A, C & E, and essential fatty acids (EFAs) which play an important role in skin regeneration. Two year clinical trials were carried out at the University of Concepción, Chile in 1983 which confirmed its claims including those of enhancing skin tone, lightening uneven pigmentation, and repairing sun damage. It is expensive but use sparingly, just apply 1 or 2 drops of the oil to the affected area and massage into skin with the fingertips. Repeat 2-3 times per day
Make up a simple face wash of Rose water and honey and apply to the face, rinsed after about ten minutes with lukewarm water. Honey is an excellent moisturizer and is safe and gentle enough to be used on a daily basis. It is expensive but try one of the cheaper grades of Manuka honey.
Make up a paste using one banana, a papaya and a peach or avocado. Apply and leave to dry for twenty minutes then rinse off with lukewarm water. Follow by moisturizing with Argan oil or margarine together with Aloe vera gel from the live plant which is also excellent for healing dry skin, in addition to removing dead cells.
Silica is a trace element used by the body to support the connective tissues and improve elasticity. The easiest way to obtain it is by buying a “herbal horsetail tincture” which is an excellent source of silica.
Sodium Bentonite Clay is a fine clay powder which can be mixed into a gel with a little water and applied to the face as a “mud pack”. Although it is safe to eat wear a dust mask while mixing as it can irritate the lungs. Keep out of eyes and leave on the face for around 20 minutes then wash off with warm water, again avoiding the eyes.
Sodium Bentonite also works extremely well for flaking scalp and other scalp conditions. The clay removes and deals with parasites, infections and product build up while pulling toxins and impurities from below the skin’s surface. To prepare the gel, mix 50:50 with water using a plastic or wooden spoon as metal utensils will take the properties of the clay away. Massage the clay onto your scalp and leave for approximately 20 minutes rinsing well with warm water and a little baby shampoo.
Methylsulphonylmethane (MSM) is an organic form of sulphur originally developed to help the relief of arthritis. Tests, however, showed dramatic improvements in the health and condition of skin, hair and nails.
Zinc is considered to be a skin nutrient. A suitable dosage is 30mg daily.
Don’t overlook the importance of good nutrition, take Vitamins B, C and E and reduce the amount of sun, tobacco, alcohol, tea and coffee as the latter tends to reduce the health of the skin and allows wrinkles to form.
Vitamin A is a good aid to skin problems but because an overdose can be quite toxic, it is safer to take betacarotene as the body will convert it to vitamin A.
The actual outer layer of the skin is already dead and the work that you do is to improve the lower living layer where new cells are being formed.
There are certain other factors in your life style which can result in dry wrinkled skin. Firstly ensure you are fully hydrated, drink plenty of quality spring water (not tap water as there are too many chemicals added) and if you are constantly dehydrated due to diabetes or similar, drink coconut water either from the nut itself or pre-packed.
A final comment – let’s try to make our skin care as cruelty-free as possible. Don’t be taken in by cosmetic company claims that they do not test on animals. The important word here is “they”. The law requires that all chemical products are submitted for a prescribed number of animal tests. These tests result in the death of at least 100 animals each time (i.e. the LD50 test – 100 animals are force-fed the product until 50 of them die – the dose is then noted) The LC50 test – same thing but the animals this time are forced to inhale – and so on. Multiply this up by the number of cosmetic companies and products then you may imagine the slaughter we are talking about as these companies refuse to share information. There are shops who specialise in real cruelty-free cosmetics – try Organic Pharmacy at 396 Kings Road London which is the brainchild of pharmacist and homeopath Margo Marrone. (www.TheOrganicPharmacy.com) – products are available for USA and all of Europe.
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© 2012 Peter Geekie