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Sunday, February 26, 2012

Getting Your Skin Ready for Spring

Spring is around the corner! The gardens and fields are filled with buds and the beginnings of a beautiful flower show. Rosemary, Shepherd’s Purse, Roses, Anemone, Alyssum, Verbena, and Agarita are just a few herbs that are blooming around the hill country garden. (Anemone shown here).

This is a wonderful time to pamper the delicate skin on your face and neck -  rejuvenating and nourishing it for a glorious Spring debut!

This winter season, my face had become dull and lackluster. I was so sad - coupled with the fact I gained a few pounds - I had to do something. I'm so excited by the results of my efforts I had to share them with you.

Two words: Facial Steam!

Trust me on this, you want one. It's so easy, too. Your face will be revitalized and vibrant. Incorporate a facial steam once to twice a week for the next few weeks and you'll be one vibrant specimen.

I like to use herbs traditionally used in facial care, such as: chamomile, calendula, lavender, comfrey, rose petals, raspberry leaves, and any herb in the mint family. If you don't have these plants or dried herbs, you could use bagged tea you may have sitting around your cupboards. You could tear open the bags and pour right into your soup pot.

To prepare your skin for a facial steam, use your favorite facial cleanser. I like to use my oatmeal, lavender and citrus sugar facial polish before enjoying an herbal facial steam.

Start the facial steam by adding water to a small soup pot (2 or 3 quart pot is fine) and adding herbs of choice (my absolute favorite is two pinches lavender, two pinches of calendula, two pinches comfrey and two pinches of chamomile). Simmer over low heat until the herbs have completely infused the water. I don't allow my water to boil; I like to simmer allowing it to gently infuse.

After 20 minutes or so, take the pot off the heat and drape your head with a large bath towel and lower your face over the pot to begin receiving the benefits of the lovely steam. Hold your head over the pot in a position comfortable for you. You don't want to hurt your skin, you just want to gently expose your skin to the benefits of the herbal steam. Breathing in the steam can also help cleanse the respiratory tract. I found this out accidentally. I had been struggling with an itchy dry cough after experiencing a small cold. After the facial steam, my persistent cough had been greatly improved.

Steam your skin for at least five minutes and more if you are having fun. It feels wonderful coming away from the steam and feeling the cool air in the room enter you as you breathe deeply. Your skin will be singing! Allow your face to air dry. I like to spritz my face with either rose hydrosol or orange blossom hydrosol, too.

Next, follow up with a facial mask to experience enhanced results or if you are short on time, apply moisturizer to your face to protect and nourish your skin.

Facial masks I like to use include ingredients I have on hand. If I have a little left over avocado, I'll cream a spoonful and add a little honey. If I have some Greek yogurt on hand, I'll use that. Sometimes, I like to simply use honey I infused with rose petals. This is a lovely and delicious treat for your skin.

Here's how to prepare the Avocado and Rose Honey Facial Mask:

Begin with a small spoonful of avocado. Mash it until it is extremely creamy - the less lumps the better. Add a teaspoon of honey to the creamed avocado and mix.
Next, apply the mask to your face with your fingers. Allow to sit on your face for 10-15 minutes. This mask is skin tightening and pore reducing. I love the essential fatty acids in this mask. Skin food = sexy skin! And we all want that, don't we?

Rinse face with warm water and pat dry with a clean towel. Finish your facial regime by applying a facial moisturizer (I like to use my Restorative Skin Support Facial Moisturizer) and enjoy your replenished, revitalized and healthy skin. Spring - here you come!!

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