Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Exfoliate, Exfoliate, Exfoliate….

Exfoliating is an important part of taking care of your skin. Exfoliating your skin should be done on a regular basis; at minimum you should be doing it once a week. Based on your skin type this may even be done every other day, but you will have to experiment with it in order to figure out how often you should exfoliate. Sometimes it really is dependent on the weather. In the summer you may find that your skin does fine with exfoliation being done once a week, but in the winter you may find that once every three days works better for you.

Exfoliating your skin is important for many reasons. It helps to lift away old dead skin cells, unclogs pores, and overtime reduces the appearance of dark spots and the “red marks” left behind after breakouts. It also gives skin an immediate softness and a brighter “healthier” glow to your skin. And all of us women know that our make-up goes on better when our skin is smooth!

Now what do you exfoliate with? There are lots of exfoliating products out there. You can get them anywhere from the drug store to the high-end make-up counters. I have purchased all ends of the price spectrum and some did a little better than others, but all gave similar results. But in the light of my new “Do more with less” movement I have been using something so much less expensive than even the cheapest of brands and works just as good as any expensive brands. So what is it?

Sugar! Nope, that is not a typo. Sugar works as an excellent exfoliant! It is not overly abrasive and easily rinses off (Unlike some of the other products I have used. Some of those things feel like I will never get them off my face!) You can use regular white sugar (this would be the least expensive) or if you are looking for something with a bit stronger exfoliating power you can always use brown sugar or raw sugar.

I’m sure I could give you a really cool concoction of things to mix together and call it a “homemade exfoliating scrub”, but the truth is you really don’t have to go through all that much work. Sure, if you have really dry skin you could probably add a small amount of coconut or olive oil. I am going to tell you how I use it. Feel free to alter it based on your skin needs.

I have suffered from very oily skin all my life (Thanks Dad!) and have had a hard time controlling it. Well I found out that peppermint oil helps control oily skin. I tried it…and people, it works!

In a small dish (maybe the size of a salsa bowl or something) I put approximately 2 tablespoons of sugar and 1 drop of peppermint essential oil. With a spoon mix the oil and the sugar together well. (Or I just used my thumb and index finger and “rubbed” the sugar and oil together really well) You will not use all of this sugar during one application so if you have a small container with a lid or a zip lock bag to put it in that would be ideal. If you like peppermint like I do, by this time you are  in heaven as you breathe deeply and enjoy the aroma therapy session you are experiencing.

Then place a small amount of sugar in the palm of your hand and a pea size drop of whatever face wash you like to use, get your hand just slightly wet and mix all the ingredients  in your hand. (I have found that Mary Kay’s Velocity works pretty well on my oily skin so I use that)

Then massage it over your face like you would with any other product. Add more water to your face as needed to work the mixture around. At this time you should be feeling pretty happy as the peppermint relaxes you. Then rinse your face with warm water followed by a splash of cool water to close your pores. Make sure not to use too cold of water. The peppermint is already going to give the cool water a chilled sensation to your face, if that water gets too cold you are going to feel like you put your face in an ice bath. Lastly, pat your face dry.

Your face will feel smoother immediately and you will continue to smell the peppermint for quite some time. I like to do this at night because it relaxes me as I drift off to sleep.

Then what to do with the extra peppermint sugar mixture? Well, you can save it for later in the week when you do another exfoliation treatment. You could also take it in the shower with you and scrub your hands, knees, and elbows with it. Just make sure to moisturize afterward. Or what I do with it is wet an old toothbrush (or a new one, but again I’m cheap) and dip it into the sugar mixture and gently “brush” your lips. This will remove dry skin from your lips. You will also see that your lips will get plump and red as it promotes blood circulation to your lips. Again, do this gently so you don’t hurt the blood veins in your lips or anything. Then apply your favorite lip balm to moisturize them. I do this often and sometimes just before we go out somewhere because it naturally plumps my lips up.

There ya go; I promised you an awesome use for peppermint and sugar! Give it a try and tell me how you like it! I am working on finding what essential oil works best on dry skin, but I’m pretty sure that the peppermint would work well on all skin types. If you have dry skin just make sure you moisturize after you are done.

Until next time….God Bless,

PS: If you don't have essential oils you can still do this without it and still get your skin exfoliated. If you aren't sure where to get your essential oils, I get mine at Mountain Rose Herbs.  Click here for their website.

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