Home Mixtures for Problem Skin

Winter is coming which means that cases of dry , itchy skin will become more common. Here are some more home remedies to help you stay soft, moisturized and free of the chemicals in commercial lotions.

Buttermilk has been used in the USA since the earliest settlers arrived to help moisturize dry skin, including buttermilk baths to keep the whole body in tip-top skin condition. If you suffer dry facial skin, try dabbing buttermilk on before allowing it to air dry and subsequently washing it off with warm water.

The Native American Indians on the other hand have traditionally used the oil of the Jojoba plant to keep their skin moist and to keep minor irritations, rashes and skin blemishes at bay. This is because Jojoba has well established anti-inflammatory qualities making it an ideal skin treatment for those with minor skin problems and irritations.

St. John's Wort is another herbal remedy that is highly recommended for dealing with dry skin too. It works especially well if you are having problems with chapped or damaged skin in particularly cold weather or if you suffer dry skin as a result of exposure to strong detergents.

There are also several ways to dry out oily skin. Your teen might find these treatments effective for acne.

The first and easiest thing to do is to avoid washing your skin too much. All that does is encourage the skin to produce even more oil. Instead, use tissues to dab away any excess oil as often as necessary.

An alternative is to dip a washcloth in natural yoghurt before dabbing it on the greasier areas of your skin. Allow the yoghurt to dry and it will bring the excess oil away with it.

An oily skin recipe that many find to be highly effective is a mixture of 1 egg white, ½ a cup of oatmeal, ½ a cup of mashed apple and 1 tablespoon of lemon juice. Mix all the ingredients together to a smooth paste, apply to your face for 15 minutes and then rinse off with warm water.

Exfoliating your face keeps it healthy too. An alternative exfoliant recipe that is especially effective for oily skin is a mix of 3 tablespoons of aloe vera gel, 1 tablespoon each of lime juice and honey and 2 tablespoons of brown sugar. Start by combining the aloe vera and honey until the mixture is completely smooth before adding the lime juice and then the sugar.

Apply the mask to the complete facial area with the tips of your fingers (once again, be gentle), leave on for 15 minutes and finally rinse the mixture off with warm water.

Skin Care Ingredients to Avoid

Most moms use skin screens, moisturizers and other skin care products on themselves and on their kids. However is any of the ingredients actually harmful to your kid? Here is a look at some of the things we find in skin care products that you might want to avoid.

Artificial fragrances: Quite often, these chemically produced artificial fragrances will be listed on the label as nothing more than ‘a fragrance'. Unfortunately, chemicals like these are often irritating, especially if you have sensitive skin. If your skin is sensitive and you suffer headaches, dizziness or rashes after using a particular skin product, the chances are pretty good that the culprit is an artificial fragrance. You should therefore stop using it immediately.

Artificial colors: Avoid any products that suggest they contain artificial colors for exactly the same reason that you would avoid artificial fragrances. These cause cancer!

In the UK and Australia, artificial colors are usually described as ‘E numbers' whereas in the USA, they will have an FD & C code number together with a description of the color. Some food colorings are known to be potentially harmful, in some cases possibly carcinogenic, so any skin care product containing them should definitely avoided.

Diazolindinyl Urea: This is a preservative chemicals that is sometimes used in make up and skincare products. This chemical is known to be toxic and can cause contact dermatitis and other skin problems, so it is one that should be avoided.

Methyl Paraben and Propyl Paraben are two chemicals that are used as preservatives to extend the shelf life of skincare products and make up. Once again, there is some evidence that these two chemicals are toxic and that they might be a cause of allergic reactions as well as breast and other forms of cancer.

Somewhat ironically, there is also evidence that a combination of parabens and sunlight accelerates skin ageing as well.

Propylene Glycol: Propylene glycol is a synthetic organic glycerin that is used in many different ways including in skincare products (as a moisturizer) and make-up.

This petroleum-based plastic is such a powerful solvent that it can eat through a steel tank in 48 hours, which is why it has to be stored in plastic drums. In the USA, the EPA considers propylene glycol to be so toxic that it insists on workers wearing protective clothing, goggles and gloves, yet it is used in some products in strengths of up to 20%.

Given these facts, it is perhaps not surprising that this is a chemical that is known to cause severe allergic reactions in some people.

In my next blog entry I will give you some more advice as to what chemicals to avoid in skin care lotions and sunscreens! After all we have to keep our families safe!