Skin is sometimes called the third lung, as it is our largest organ of elimination and assimilation. Acne is not only embarrassing, it is a sign that internally something is not right. Many factors come into the picture when we see our skin erupt, from diet, to stress, to hormones. Although the problem area is usually the face, the chest and back are also prone to breakouts, especially this transitional time of year. Besides good nutrition, rest, and exercise there are other rituals to bring beauty into your life. Excess oil on the face is a major cause of irritation. Sometimes an evening of working on yourself is in order to clear up problems which may be manifesting themselves in the form of acne. Making your own remedies guarantees synthetics, preservatives, fragrances, and coloring agents will not be present to spoil the results as they often make problems worse. Try to set aside an evening once a week to do this for yourself, and don’t forget daily cleansing and toning to maintain radiant skin.
Start with making a cup of tea. The chanakara line from Stash offers seven different caffeine free herbal teas. Please avoid teas or any beverage containing caffine when trying to clear up angry skin. If you don’t drink tea, have water or make a fruit and ice smoothie and try to use honey or agave nectar instead of refined sugar for extra sweetening. Put on music or enjoy the silence. Leaving the tv off is a must, overstimulation stresses the body.
Draw a warm bath, try not to bathe in extremely hot water, it strips moisture and oils out of the skin, and can actually cause overproduction of oils. If you aren’t into baths, or just don’t have time just do a facial steam. Either way the pores will be opened. For this ritual use the same herbs i suggest for the steam right in the bath if you don’t feel like standing over a bowl.
- Facial steams – use about 1/2 oz to 1 oz total of these combinations make notes in a journal of how the results were so your recipes can be tweaked to meet the needs of your skin.
- Licorice Root- Unique and potent in opening pores so other herbs can medicate.
- Violet Leaf-Soothing yet astringent, contains SALICYLIC ACID and are extremely high in vitamin A. Try infusing in a carrier for a body massage treatment
- Comfrey Root- contains allantion which can liquefy pus and necrotic protein(causes death of tissues) thus accelerating healing of lesions and denuded skin
- White Willow-Contains salicin, very astringent
Feel free to substitute the white willow with Lavender, Neem, Witch Hazel, or any other gentle herb you’ve had good experiences with. I suggest swapping the willow because i personally don’t like the smell. Try , however to use the licorice and comfrey, as they assist other herbs in medication.
After steaming , or soaking in the tub, cleanse skin with a gentle cleanser. Here is a recipe for cleansing grains, however be gentle and as with any exfoliant, let the scrub do the work for you so you do not over stimulate skin and cause it to make more sebum(natural oil produced by skin)
- 1 part fine ground oats to 2 parts clay(green or white)
- Dash of ground almonds or apricot kernel meal, dash powdered lavender
- Dash of powdered roses
- 1-2 drops each lavender essential oil and lemon essential oil
If you wish, add a little honey and distilled water to make a creamy paste. Do not make more than a weeks worth at a time, keep it fresh in the fridge.
We sell powdered rose and lavender, but electric coffee grinders or a mortar and pestle work fine. DO NOT USE SYNTHETIC OILS IN SKIN PREPARATIONS, they can burn or irritate skin.
After cleansing , do a mask if you like or simply close pores with a toner. Try an infusion of herbs in apple cider vinegar. Cover herbs with apple cider vinegar in air tight jar. Seal and keep in a dark location for one to two weeks. Try to remember to shake the concoction daily for even distribution. Strain, and to each cup of herbal solution, add half a cup of distilled water, or food/cosmetic grade rosewater. Since the solution is in vinegar, it is preserved and does not need refrigeration.
One of the biggest mistakes acne prone people make is not moisturizing. As I mentioned earlier, when the skin is over-cleansed and oils are stripped, the skin actually makes more oil to compensate. This oil, in turn clogs the pores and the vicious cycle begins again. At least put a thin layer of jojoba on while skin is still damp. I promise, it won’t make things worse, only better. Beauty and blessings!!