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Thursday, April 24, 2014 | Last updated: 10:10am

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Treat your skin the way nature intended



One of the most common misconceptions with skin care is this idea that your face needs to be completely dried out and then blasted with harsh chemicals like salicylic acid.

Your skin is your largest organ and we end up soaking it in chemicals. You wouldn’t want to take a gulp of peroxide, so why spread it all over your skin? And when it comes to acne, part of the reason we get pimples is because our pores become infected as a result of the lack of proper moisture.

Luckily, there are thousands of natural products out there that are right in your pantry or local grocery store. As always, be sure you are not allergic to any of the following items before putting them near your face.

The first thing you will want to do in your skin care routine is steam your face by running hot water in the faucet and letting the steam waft toward your face, taking in deep breaths as you do so. This opens up the pores and preps your skin for optimum absorption. If the water from your faucet doesn’t get very hot, just splash your face with warm water.

Next, exfoliate with distilled water and a small handful of uncooked oats, to use as a scrub to eliminate dirt and dead skin. Gently pat your face dry with a clean towel. Then, make your own gentle, skin softening toner and cleanser by adding 1/4 part rose water to 3/4 parts witch hazel in a bottle.

Rose water is great for skin as it is full of vitamins, antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties, which will leave your skin bright and radiant. Witch hazel comes from the leaves and bark of the witch hazel shrub and acts as a gentle astringent and can be used to treat sores and swelling. Put the mixture on a cotton pad and apply.

Let your face soak everything in for about a minute, and then apply a moisturizer. This is absolutely one of the most important steps — skin needs to be hydrated to remain healthy. Coconut oil, jojoba oil or almond oil are all great for moisturizing the skin. These are gentle, base mixing oils.

Lavender oil and tea tree oil are anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory essential oils that help immensely with acne. Eucalyptus oil helps with breathing and inflammation.

While lavender can be used alone, other essential oils need to be mixed in small amounts, as in a few drops, with distilled water or a milder, base oil like the ones mentioned above. For an invigorating, energizing face/body mister, mix 10 drops of your favorite essential oil per one ounce of distilled water in a spray bottle.

Nearly all of these items can easily be found at markets like Sprouts Farmers Market or Whole Foods Market.


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