Summer holidays are over and we’re already into mid September. I don’t know about you but this Summer felt like it flew by. Where does the time go!?
Whilst we’ve been lucky to have some sunny September skies, the days are definitely getting shorter and Autumn is just around the corner. With the change in seasons going from warm to cool, we can become prone to dull and lacklustre skin - but here are two easy ways to help maintain the healthy glow of Summer, all year long.
Let’s start with exfoliation.
This is key and something we can sometimes get wrong.
Firstly it’s important to be gentle. There’s a misconception amongst some people that you need something quite abrasive. But you are not scrubbing a dirty pan! So there’s no reason to use harsh or abrasive products or ingredients.
There are different types of physical exfoliant ingredients which can be used by the best natural face scrubs. Sometimes walnut shells are finely ground up; sometimes fruit stone kernels from things like peaches and apricots are used. Whilst these can feel like they are giving your skin a good scrub, they can cause damage as they can be too abrasive.
Softer, but just as effective, are jojoba grains. These are what I use in my natural face exfoliator recipe, Scrub Up. These grains come from jojoba wax which are completely spherical and as a result, they glide over your skin and gently polish your skin without irritating it.
These are just as effective as other physical exfoliants - but with none of the abrasiveness - which is why I have chosen to use these in my organic skincare range.
As well as shells and stones, other ingredients that help exfoliate our skin can be found in certain fruits - ingredients such as alpha hydroxy acids (often shortened and referred to as AHAs).
Bilberries (which are from the same family as blueberry), lemons and oranges are a good source of AHAs and as a result are brilliant for your skin. Alpha hydroxy acids contain a mix of lactic, glycolic, citric, malic and tartaric acids and it this mix of different natural acids that combine and have different benefits for our skin – including moisturising, skin-softening as well as helping to increase collagen production and elasticity.
In my organic face scrub recipe, I have combined the likes of papaya, bliberry, lemon and jojoba grains to makes Scrub Up a bit like a smoothie for your skin. Using Scrub Up three times a week can help brighten your complexion, even out skin tone and also it can help other products (like organic serums, facial oils and natural moisturisers) to absorb better into your skin.
You can use Scrub Up two or three of times a week in the evening after cleansing and it’s suitable for most skin types, except if you have rosacea - in which case I don not recommend exfoliating at all, as using a face scrub when one has rosacea can aggravate.
Super-charge your Skincare
Facial treatment masks are often associated with having a spa treatment or professional facial - but they can easily be (and should be!) part of your home skincare routine.
I recommend using a facial treatment mask once a week – the whole ritual of applying the mask is deeply relaxing and when you do apply a natural face mask regularly, you will notice your skin is brighter and clearer.
My own organic face mask recipe is called Look on the Bright Side - and it is a mask with a difference! It contains white clay, pineapple and papaya, as well as 10% vitamin C and comes as a powder - allowing you to customise it, depending on how your skin is feeling that day, or what you think your skin needs.
Look on the Bright Side works on several levels – the white clay is good for deep cleansing your skin, the papaya & pineapple work to gently peel your skin and when used at high levels, the vitamin C brightens your skin.
Papaya and pineapple both contain enzymes which are really beneficial to our skin. Papaya’s enzyme is called papain and the enzyme in pineapple is called bromelain.
In cooking these are often used to make things tender – in skincare, they are used to gently dissolve dead, dull skin. This gives my mask a peeling effect – nothing harsh, rather it’s very gentle and works on the surface of your skin. Using this once a week will help keep your skin looking bright and, if you find your skin is usually on the dull side, it will help to restore your skin’s radiance.
If you wanted to give your skin that little extra boost on top, Look On The Bright Side is perfect for pimping up! Try mixing it with a drop of Bloom & Glow face oil and some Freshen Up toner, to give your skin even more of a brightening boost as well as helping to hydrate your skin too.
If on the other hand your skin needs plumping and firming you can mix it with some A Little Lift serum, or Thirsty Work moisturiser. For more ideas on how to customise your mask and super-charge it Spa-style, go to my Look On The Bright Side page.
Once you have removed your mask, spritz your skin with some refreshing Freshen Up or Tone Up toner, followed by a little radiance boosting massage with a face oil.
Your skin will thank you in no time x