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How Strawberry Extract and Infusion Nourish the Skin
1.Uses in Cosmetics
The last decades of the 20th century witnessed the large scale use of strawberries in cosmetics. Strawberry is used in shampoos, moisturizers, cleansers, scrubs, soaps, masks etc.
Madam Theresa Tallien, a wealthy French socialite, popularized the use of strawberries in cosmetics and facial treatments. She used sliced strawberries in bathwater and claimed the bath to give protection from any type of skin problem.
Cut the strawberry and rub immediately over the washed face. It will whiten the skin and remove slight sunburns.
If the face has severe sunburns, rub the juice well into the skin, leave it for 30 minutes and then wash off with warm water containing few drops of simple tincture of benzine. No soap should be used as it may cause irritation.
How the Contents work
lifts off the old dead cells
reveals new and more youthful skin cells.
for acne prone skin
regenerates the skin
revives skin cells in thick skin
protects from sunburns.
prevents skin spots
treats and pampers the skin
How to Prepare the Strawberry Extract
An extract is a concentrated solution of flavoring made from just about any food item. The strawberry extract that can be added to sauces, desserts, toppings etc.
The homemade strawberry extract has the benefit of being natural and devoid of alcohol, which is a common base in commercially manufactured extracts.
To make the strawberry extract, take a pound of strawberries, pick off their green tops and make of quarter inch slices. Place the slices in a saucepan with a cup of water and 1/2 cup of sugar. Cover the pan, simmer on medium heat and cook for about 30 minutes or till the slices become soft and break off.
Strain with cheesecloth into a plastic container and squeeze off excess juices. Again boil the liquid on medium heat till the liquid contents are reduced to one fourth of a cup. This will concentrate the flavor of strawberry.
The extract can be stored in refrigerator for two months, in an airtight container. This extract can be used in recipe like a commercially made extract.
Uses of Strawberry Extract
The strawberry extract has several uses, some of which are as follows.
Protection against ultraviolet rays
The strawberry extract, when added to skin cell cultures protects against ultraviolet radiations, increases the cell survival and viability and reduces the DNA damage. This study conducted by Italian and Spanish researchers has helped to develop a photoprotective cream made from strawberry.
Even the small concentration of 0.5 mg/ml of strawberry extract, shows photoprotective properties and provides protection for cells that can provoke cancer or other skin-related illnesses. The extract is also capable of modulating the enzymatic processes in the body.
The anthocyanins molecules give strawberries the photoprotective properties. The anthocyanins are the pigments that give a red color to leaves, flowers, and fruits. The extract is rich in anthocyanins.
Like mango butter and pomegranates, the strawberry extract has an acid which is a post-sun exposure ingredient. It prevents spots and freckling arising after the exposure of ultraviolet radiations. The extract of strawberries in sunscreens protecting the skin from sunburns.
This acid is a tyrosine inhibitor. The tyrosine plays an important role in melanin synthesis or melanogenesis. The extract can reduce the collagen destruction and has anti-inflammatory properties.
As an additional advantage, the ellagic acid can regenerate or revive the skin cells in thickened skin.This helps in reducing the aging phenomenon.
This extract is good for oily skin and helps in sebum production and large pores.It is an astringent. This property is due to hydroxybenzoic acid / gallic acid and also gives it a quality of wound and burn healer.
Chlorogenic acid in strawberry is recommended for acne prone skin as it offers anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, and anti-oxidizing properties.
The kaempferol or phytosterol has anti-oxidizing and free radical removal properties. It is anti-inflammatory and helps in the reddened skin, increases the barrier protection abilities of skin, reduces trans-epidermal water loss, reduces itching, good for dry skin and helps to improve the quality of skin damaged by weather.
Body wax strips
The elastic and soft wax strips up to the shape of the body and made from an extract, effectively remove even small body hair giving a soft and velvety smooth skin feeling. The extract nourishes and moisturizes the skin.
Strawberry Leaf Infusion
Strawberry leaf infusion is an excellent recipe and has many uses in cosmetics and food. It uses that part of a plant which is generally thrown away.
To make leaf infusion take 8-10 organic strawberry caps and a cup of distilled or spring water.
Remove the caps or leaves from the strawberries and let them dry in air for 1-2 days or till they are dried. Crumble the leaves or use them whole and add them to the boiling water. Then stop heating and cover the pot with a lid. Leave the leaves to steep for 20 minutes to an hour and then strain. Thereafter pour the contents into a clean bottle and store in the fridge.
The shelf life of infusion without preservatives is only a few days. To extend the shelf life freeze them in the form of ice cubes. For the infusion to drink, make it fresh each time. Drink it within few days, If stored unpreserved in the refrigerator.
Use the infusion as toners and a hair rinse.
Strawberry leaves have astringent properties and contain antioxidants and tannins, including vitamin C or ascorbic acid and flavonoids with many traces of nutrients too.
The infusion suits the oily skin and the skin that is oily because of dehydration. The infusion acts as a hydrating agent.
As a facial toner
The infusion can be used after cleansing and before moisturizing the face. You can also use the strawberry leaf infusion can also be used the whole day.
As a hair rinse
After shampooing the hair, apply to the hair and scalp and let it remain there for few minutes. Rinse the hair with water after using infusion or let it remain there without rinsing.
Other cosmetic uses:
Strawberry leaf infusion can be used as the water phase in masks, lotions, or creams. For a preservative-free product, refrigerate the leaf infusion. Use up the lotion or cream made from infusion within 1-2 weeks and the mask made thereof within few days. While handling fresh natural products always use a clean spatula.
Strawberry leaves can be used as a facial steam. Just add the leaves to boiling water and use a towel to make a tent. Steam the face for about 5 to 10 minutes. Do not steam if skin is very sensitive or there are thread veins.
The leaf infusion is a good for achy muscles when added to bath water.
The spent leaves can be used in facial scrubs too.
Anti-Aging, Growth and Repair
The use of topical products containing strawberries or just eating few strawberries regularly is good for skin health.
To prevent molding the strawberries should be kept unwashed in the fridge and while freezing them it is good to wash and pat dry.
The free radicals occur when the body transforms food into energy.A build-up of free radicals in the body is responsible for the aging. The vitamin C and other antioxidants block the damages caused by free radicals.
Growth and Repair
The vitamin C in strawberries helps the body grow and repair its tissues. It also helps to make collagen, which is an important protein needed for skin and other vital parts of the body. It quickly helps to heal the wounds. The vitamin C is water-soluble and the body can not store it. So regular intake is necessary. Vitamin C is a great anti-oxidizing and chelating ingredient.
Hair Conditioning Mask
As a hair rinse apply the leaf infusion to the hair and scalp just after shampooing the hair and leave it for few minutes. Rinse the hair with water after using an infusion if you like it.
Strawberries are wonderful for hair too. Don't waste the overripe strawberries, just combine other ingredients to make it useful.
Impart extra shine to hair with strawberry hair conditioning mask. Take 8-10 strawberries and mash them with a tablespoon of mayonnaise. Shampoo the hair and rinse. Apply the strawberry conditioner and cover it with a warm towel after using a plastic wrap and leave it for 15 minutes and then rinse.
Strawberry Hair Conditioner
For glossy and silky hair, take 8-10 fresh strawberries and a tablespoon mayonnaise. Thoroughly mash the ingredients and massage into the damp hair. Then cover with a warm towel after using a shower cap. Leave it for 10 minutes and then shampoo the hair. By a single application of the strawberries, paste one can instantly get the natural shiny hair.
Banana and Strawberry Body Soap
The strawberry and banana body soap made at home is a natural alternative to commercial soaps which are generally expensive and may contain unnatural and harmful ingredients. It is best for children because the sweet odor is tempting.
The recipe is for four soap bars of four ounces each, but the ingredients can be doubled for the larger supply. Always store the unused soap bars in dark and dry place in sealed paper wrappers.
Take clear glycerin soap base(1 lb), cut it into rough chunks and put it in a heatproof measuring cup. Half fill the saucepan with water and place the measuring cup in it. Heat the saucepan over low heat till the soap gets completely liquefied. Stop heating and add the banana essential oil and the strawberry oil into it. Stir to combine with a wooden spoon or glass stirrer. Put the contents into the mold and leave it for six to eight hours to set. On hardening, just turn the mold over, push the soap out and trim the edges if desired.
Strawberry shower gel
Evenly mix strawberry essential oil (12 drops), vanilla extract (4 drops), unscented liquid soap (1/2 cup ), water (1/4 cup of) and a half tbsp of sea salt. In warm shower use this mixture as as a body wash and then rinse.
Strawberry Facial Scrubs
Strawberry makes a good exfoliating facial scrub for the dry feeling of the face and for the signs of aging. Exfoliation is a means to restore the youthful looks. The mixtures provided by the doctors are quite strong, but the strawberry recipe has natural ingredients.
To prepare the scrub blend the strawberries and prepare 7-8 tbsp of strawberry mash. The mixture grittiness acts like a natural scrub. The strawberries in the recipe have alpha-hydroxy acid, which lifts off the old dead cells and brings out the youthful and new skin cells.
Add 1 tbsp lemon juice which also contains alpha-hydroxy acids, making it more powerful to remove those dead skin cells which can no longer retain the water to give a youthful, plump and fresh appearance to the skin.
Blend 2 tablespoons of powdered milk with strawberry and lemon juice. Milk acts as an exfoliant because it also contains alpha-hydroxy acids and unplugs the pores and thereby removes blackheads. The fats in the milk seals and softens the skin.
Apply the mixture on face and neck and leave it for 15 minutes and then scrub off with lukewarm water containing the lemon juice. Again rinse with cold water.
Strawberry sugar scrub moisturizes the dry skin. Mix one large strawberry thoroughly with two third cup of sugar in which 1 tbsp. of olive oil has been added. Gently massage this scrub onto the dry skin areas and leave for 2 minutes and then rinse. It gives an instant glow and exfoliates the skin.
Quickest Strawberry Scrub
Cut a strawberry in half, rub it over the face, and leave it there for a few minutes. Then rinse and get instantly softer, silkier and smoother skin.
Strawberry Foot Scrub
In summer, the sandals expose rough dead skin of feet. The strawberry scrub helps in blisters. Take 7-8 strawberries, 2 tbsp olive oil, and 1 tbsp kosher salt. Mix the ingredients into a paste and massage on feet. Thereafter rinse and dry.
Strawberry Lip Gloss
Strawberry lip gloss makes the lips shine with a gloss. It gives a fabulous taste and a sweet aroma to the lips. A homemade, semi-liquid lip gloss gives extra shine, softness and natural color to otherwise dull lips.
Take 10 fresh strawberries, sweet almond oil or coconut oil ( 2 tbsp ), honey ( 2 tbsp ) or take the vitamin E and oil of your choice.
Mix honey with strawberries and put the mixture in a microwave safe bowl. Heat the mixture for a minute or till it just begins to boil. Allow the mixture to cool down and then mash the strawberries till they become pulp. Stir in the mixture in the strawberry extract.
To remove the seeds and pulp just strain the mixture through a cheesecloth. Put the lip gloss in containers and let it dry for 24 hours. Add few more drops of strawberry extract, If there is not enough taste of strawberries.
The old and already used makeup containers with screw lids and wide mouths are ideal for lip gloss containers.
How to Use Strawberries in Daily Beauty Routine
Instead of pleasing the palates, the strawberries whiten the teeth, make skin younger and smoother, clear the acne, remove excess facial oiliness, reduce under-eye puffiness and make the hair glossy and conditioned.
Puffy Eye Remedy
Place few strawberry slices for ten minutes under the eyes. Then remove these slices and moisturize gently. After some days the under eye puffiness would be removed.
Strawberry is good for acne too. Take 1/2 cup sliced strawberries and mash with 1 tbsp of sour cream, to combine. Apply the mixture on face and let it stay for 10 minutes and then rinse thoroughly with cold water. Use this remedy at least twice a week.
Rub the fresh and crushed strawberry pulp directly on the teeth to clean them and to remove the stains. The strawberry pulp mixed with baking soda ( 1/2 tsp ) when applied once a week, effectively removes the stains of the teeth. The regular use of strawberries as a toothpaste naturally whiten the teeth.
Allergic to strawberries has been reported in some people. Undertake a patch test (e.g. behind the ear), to ascertain the skin reaction.
The fruits which contain citric acid are lime, lemon orange etc. While using on skin, be careful that how much you use, because too much of it can cause acid burns. Same is true with all essential oils.
Do not use the leaf infusion, if allergic to strawberries.
© 2013 Sanjay Sharma