Health, Fitness and Beauty

No matter how careful we are with our skin, from time to time flare ups of an unsightly nature can occur. Modern life with its skin-drying accessories of central heating and air conditioning can have an unhealthy impact on the skin, and even the weather can wreak havoc with even a usually flawless complexion. But instead of frowning at ourselves in the mirror, take action! Beat the beauty blues with these 100% natural quick fixes. For guaranteed gorgeousness the organic way.

1. The problem: Lank hair

The solution: Hair guacamole. When hair gets lank and greasy it is tempting to try to dry it out, but often it needs a boost in the form of some fatty acids and proteins. Give your locks some super-nourishment in the form of a simple avocado.

How to: Mash up a nice ripe avocado with a tablespoon of olive oil and apply to damp hair, leave on for at least 20 mins then wash out thoroughly. It may take more than one wash to remove every trace of lovely green avocado.

2. The problem: Flaky skin on the body

The solution: Silky sugar body polish. When legs and other body parts start resembling crocodile skin it’s time to treat yourself to a low-cost yet indulgent body polish. This will slough off the flaky bits and smooth the skin all over to leave you glowing and gorgeous.

How to: In a bowl mix up two tablespoons of fine white organic sugar with two tablespoons of organic unrefined sunflower oil. Finely grate the outer skin of an orange into the blend for a zesty smell. Massage the sugar scrub gently into damp skin and rinse off in the shower. Pat the skin dry to retain all that nourishing oil and enjoy silky flake free skin.

3. The problem: Dull complexion

The solution: Go live with yoghourt. The face, especially in the winter months, can develop a dull patina. A super quick and easy fix is plain simple yoghourt. Due to the presence of lactic acid yoghourt has a very mild bleaching effect and evens out skin tone making for a brighter healthier glow.

How to: Pat two tablespoons of plain live organic yoghourt over the face and neck, avoiding the eyes, leave for 5-10 minutes then rinse off. Pat the skin dry gently and look in the mirror to see a healthy complexion revealed before your eyes.

4. The problem: Puffy eyes

The solution: Chamomile tea. Waking up to eyes that resemble two wrinkly raisins pushed into uncooked bread dough can be a depressing sight. Luckily chamomile tea is a great friend to the eyes. Chamomile, rich in healing properties, is anti-inflammatory and so helping to reduce puffiness. Chamomile is also great for when the eyes are sore, red, itchy or tired.

How to: Simply make a cup of chamomile tea with two organic chamomile tea bags, leave to cool then fish out the bags and wring them out so that they’re not dripping. Lay back for 10 minutes with a bag on each eye. Rinse off afterwards and enjoy sparkling eyes.

5. The problem: Eczema and other sensitive flare-ups

The solution: Porridge oats. Itchy eczema can be maddening to those who suffer from it; it can look unsightly as well as itch like crazy. It is almost impossible not to scratch it and when scratched it bleeds and flakes. However, soothing silky oats can offer relief.

How to: Cut a section from an old pair of thin nylon tights and tie up at one end to make a fabric container. Into the tights put a large handful or two of organic porridge oats and tie up the remaining end so that you have a closed pouch of oaty tights. This may seem odd but trust me, it really does work. Use this oat bag in the bath or shower to wash with and soak in, the warm water will cause the oats to turn mushy and they will release a milky liquid which cleanses the skin beautifully and soothes the soreness of eczema.

For really acute areas of eczema, make up a porridge pack; mix a tablespoon of organic oats with enough warm water to form a thick sticky mush. Apply this to the area affected and leave for 10-20 minutes then rinse thoroughly. Repeat this twice a day or more for a really simple soothing solution.

6. The Problem: Sunburn (the mild type)

The solution: Witchhazel and lavender. Tight pink skin from an accidental sun exposure can cause lots of damage to the underlying tissues of the skin and makes you look permanently embarrassed too. It is imperative to take the heat out of the area as soon as possible. Lavender has long been used for all types of burns and is also skin-repairing as well as antiseptic. Witchhazel offers a wonderfully cooling and astringent helping hand.

How to: Buy a bottle of witchhazel and add 30 drops of pure essential oil of lavender to it. Keep this bottle in the fridge and at the first suspicion of mild sunburn, shake it up and douse the skin liberally. Reapply every half an hour at least until the heat has been taken out of the skin.

7. The problem: Pimples

The Solution: Lemons and steam. Just when you thought it was safe to come out, a dreaded red angry spot appears somewhere glaringly obvious (and it is always somewhere very obvious, like on the end of the nose) to spoil your day. A spot is really just a blocked pore and will need to be treated the night before so that it has time to heal. But it is possible to banish these pimples with simple lemon juice and a pore-cleansing facial steam.

How to: When you can feel a spot brewing under the skin apply fresh lemon juice to it before bed, the next day when it has come to a head it can be gently steamed to loosen it up. Half fill a large heatproof bowl with very hot water just off the boil (never use boiling water as the steam will damage the skin), chuck in 5 chamomile tea bags and lean over the bowl so that the steam gently wafts against the face. Ensure that the spot is getting a fair dose of the steam. Keep steaming for at least 10 minutes and then massage the area around the pimple. Applying gentle pressure around the spot helps the skin to unblock the pore but never directly squeeze a spot! After the spot has been purged dab once more with fresh lemon juice to close up the pore and keep it clean.

8. The problem: Chapped lips
The Solution: DIY healing lip balm. Sore cracked lips are no fun and most commercial lip balms offer little in the way of real healing as they are mostly made from petroleum jelly which just coats the lips, smothering them. A natural handmade version containing nourishing oils and lip-protecting beeswax is the best cure and preventative.

How to: Making your own lip balm is very simple and takes no time at all. All the ingredients below should be easy to find in health food shops.

20g Natural Beeswax
25ml Organic cold-pressed Sunflower oil
10ml Cold-pressed wild/organic Honey

Chop up the beeswax roughly and melt together honey, wax and oil in a glass bowl over a pan of simmering water (like melting chocolate) Remove carefully from heat and pour the molten lipbalm into small pots then leave to cool. Once cool put on the lip and label them. These balms will keep for a year.

9. The problem: Un-sweet feet

The solution: Bicarbonate of Soda. It’s one of those embarrassing issues isn’t it; no one likes to be told that their tootsies smell offensive. Nylon socks, plastic trainers and even diet all can contribute to the problem. It is always beneficial to the feet ton allow them some daily naked time, so kick off those shoes and socks and enjoy the feeling of freedom. Afterwards treat your toes to this footbath daily. Bicarb is one of nature’s great odour absorbers and is cheaply available too.

How to: Half fill a large bowl with warm water and add a heaped tablespoon of Bicarbonate of Soda, soak the feet for at least 20 minutes daily. You can also sprinkle Bicarb into your shoes and leave overnight to absorb odours there. Just remember to tip out the powder in the morning before putting on the shoes.

10. The problem: Greasy skin.

The solution: Rosewater. Distilled rose petals make a simple skin tonic to alleviate shiny oily skin. Rosewater is gentle enough not to cause the skin to over-compensate by producing even more oil. Use rosewater to cleanse the skin, do not use harsh cleansers or soaps. Find pure rosewater in health food shops.

How to: Soak natural cotton pad in the rosewater and gently wipe over the skin to cleanse. Use as often as is necessary. This beautiful cleanser allows you to wake up and smell the roses!