Skin Care Tips from Camellia…

6D8B13DF-D837-44B4-97F7-667344F7836CThere’s no doubt that Winter takes it toll on our skin; and while Spring is on it’s way…our thoughts turn to the time when we’ll shed these winter coats in favor of lighter weight clothing…which means- do I have to say it? Our skin will be revealed! Even after years of working in the fragrance and cosmetics industry- I must say, I’m always learning new things and paying closer attention to the largest organ in the human body- our Skin. It actually takes a lot for me to be inspired by new treatments and products- yet, I do think these tips are worth sharing!8611396A-D832-427A-A45C-DC05C93C7F0A

  • Dry Brushing: This is my first and best skin care tip! The photograph you see is a dry brush that I purchased after reading about the benefits of dry brushing. I had to convince myself that it actually worked, and I’m here to tell you I’ve reaped the benefits! So, I ordered the full set of dry brushes. Not only is dry brushing a natural skin care product- it is also a practice every adult should be using! Dry brushing removes dead skin cells while at the same time – those nubs in among the bristles are stimulating the lymph glands to help rid the body of toxins, and… you’ll love this- it also aids in toning and tightening the skin! There are several different prices and products for dry brushing available, just make sure the bristles are of natural fibers. The dry brush set should come with directions also. The idea is to never get these brushes wet. Stand on a towel or a bath mat before you get into the shower or bathtub. When you brush your legs do it in upward strokes- always brushing toward the heart! The set I bought had a large body brush, a hair brush which stimulates the scalp and a side effect is it works to de-tangle.  Also, in the set was a face brush which I was more reluctant to use, since I make an all natural scrub to exfoliate my facial skin. Y’all? this facial brush is wonderful! There is a ‘map’ that comes with my brush set to show you how to dry brush the face- so, it doesn’t just act as an exfoliator- it also stimulates my face and neck. I can actually see and feel the results after only a few weeks! So, if you add just this one thing to your skin care routine- it’s not a fad- it’s an ancient practice worth trying!353B73FE-8D03-49E9-97DC-9D7B377B8815
  • Water: We all know about drinking more water and wintertime it’s critical to drink more fluids. I’ve been trying to make pretty water to entice me! Here’s one I made recently-with cucumbers, mint and lime!  As great as it is to consume more water- if we’re dehydrated in the first place, our internal organs are making the best of liquids we consume well before the benefits reach our skin! So- here’s a tip to make a good long soak do double duty- add ingredients to the water. The old remedy for aching muscles is Epsom Salts and yes it does work. However, adding any natural salt will bring precious moisture to the skin surface and make that just brushed skin look and feel wonderful. The other thing you may want to add to bath water is dry milk in granular form. Now…if Cleopatra knew this was good for her skin, who are we to second guess her? The science behind milk baths- is that lactic acid in milk is a natural skin softener!! Read that again! Lactic acid softens the skin! You can also add dry milk to your favorite skin scrub and make it even better!9C53FD5D-B997-40C8-AA78-93D876E217FF
  • Vitamin C Serum Touted by skin care experts as natural Botox®! You can pay almost any price you choose for Vitamin C serum. Now, you may be consuming loads of Vitamin C in tablet form or drinking lots of citrus juice, which is terrific for your overall health- again…it would take masses of orange juice before the benefits actually reach your skin! So, here’s what I’ve done in the photo above- I saved lemon peels, put them in 2-3 cups of water and brought the pot to a boil (the house smelled wonderful!) Cover and turn off the heat. Allow this mixture to steep for a few hours, then discard the lemon peels and keep lemon water serum chilled. The result is a lemon water, which is a homemade Vitamin C Serum. Orange peels will work as well. Vitamin C is water soluble, so it’s delivery system to the body, and also why it doesn’t remain in the body very long! With the homemade lemon serum- Dip a  cotton pad into the lemon water serum, then saturate your face and neck. You will be surprised to note a skin tightening effect. This skin treatment is delightful, can be repeated as often as you choose and is practically free!  The essential oils in citrus have been proven to reduce fine lines, fade sun spots, minimize wrinkles and have an excellent track record on delivering antioxidants to the skin. And that’s not all, lemon and orange oils are very potent- so potent in fact that used in furniture polish, they restore dry cracked wood, what do you think the effect that lemon serum would be on the skin? They do work on fading age spots, minor skin tags and even reduce scarring after surgery. Now, to be honest, there are wonderful Vitamin C Serum products on the market, some are very expensive and not all that much better than the less expensive ones- just look for at least 20 % vitamin C serum in the product!

What I want you to take away from these tips, is that they are safe, natural and proven. And, please use a good face and body moisturizer on the skin after these treatments, all natural moisturizers abound. Just make sure the term ‘all natural’ is actually true and is plant based. If you want to deliver an all natural moisturizer from your pantry, you can’t do much better than straight Olive Oil- which has a healing effect on  the skin.  If you want more skin care tips- send me an email- I will be happy to tell you the name brand of the dry brush system I am currently using- it is economical and all natural bristles; I will also recommend a few Vitamin C Serum products I am currently testing and seeing the results, quicker than I would have believed possible. We are not being compensated in any way for these recommendations, however, I do feel they are high quality and for a very reasonable price.  Email us for this information, our address is: brenda@camelliascottage.com

I believe good skin care helps us feel better, improves our overall look- first take care of the skin,  then apply the makeup- is the rule! One of the best ways to age gracefully is to take care of ourselves inside and out!

Love y’all, Camellia

*All information is gleaned from my own background in the industry and personal testing and research, if you experience any side effects, rashes or other skin problems- discontinue use. I never recommend a product that we haven’t tested first!

*All photographs are obviously mine.

September Skin Care…

 

‘You’re lookin’ a little dry, darling’…When a friend interrupts you to say that, well it’s time to take a look in the mirror, Cinderella. Actually, when summer ends and September begins… we all may be lookin’ a little dry.  Where is that Ponce de Leon when we need him? He came South looking for the Fountain of Youth and left us with just part of it- Water. Drinking water is one of the easiest and best ways- internallyto keep skin looking good.fountain-of-youth

After years of working in fragrance and cosmetics- I hope you will look at your skincare, makeup and even sunscreen products- if these three are at the top of the list of ingredients:

  • Water
  • Mineral Oil
  • Alcohol

You need to re-think what you are putting directly on your skin. I can just feel y’all running to look at the labels! All three will dry out the skin.  You need to have something as a barrier between the skin and those ingredients. So what to do? The simple answer is this- for aging skin in particular– Our grandmothers were right to clean their complexions with cold cream or even lard. Toss facial soaps and commercial face cleansers unless your skin is very oily. Home remedies– right out of our pantries, may actually be better and healthier for aging skin. Facial skin is delicate and thins as we age. Olive Oil would be my cleanser of choice and a natural barrier between your skin, makeup and even sunscreen– all may contain harsh chemicals. Olive Oil has amazing properties-

  • Packed with good fatty acids
  •  Vitamins and Minerals
  • Absorbs into the Skin quickly with no Residue
  • Has Powerful Antioxidants
  • Helps maintain Elasticity

Now if any of you have underwear with the elastic waistband stretched out…well you get the picture. Aging skin gets fine lines, is crepe-y and sags. I know, it’s depressing. Nourishing it with Olive Oil is a good start.

Soybean Oil is another good option-it also absorbs into the skin quickly and while it doesn’t have the power of Olive Oil- it does contain Plant Based Estrogen which is another good thing for aging skin. Mix the two together and you have a very good makeup remover and all purpose face and body product. Besides, it’s biblical to anoint yourself with oil!

Now- as skin ages, it doesn’t renew as quickly- so if we can give it a little help with exfoliation– the skin will look better almost immediately. Let me tell you a little story…I had a customer years ago- who was in her early 70’s, she obviously could buy any products- she bought $250 bottles of fragrance without batting one of her adorable eyelashes; but she never bought our face and body products. She had beautiful skin. She would just politely decline, as any refined Southern Lady knows how to do.

I couldn’t stand it…curiosity was killing this cat. One day I asked her what she used on her beautiful skin- She told me she used what her plastic surgeon told her to use…Not to be deterred I said, ‘You don’t look like you’ve had any ..ah- hem…work done!‘ She had an eyelift, but nothing else. Long story short – it wasn’t a product- it was a recipe! Basically a combination of the two oils I have just shown you- Soybean and Olive Oil.

Mix it 2/1 ratio of Soybean to Olive Oil. If you don’t need the Estrogen, use straight Olive Oil. I became a firm believer in her all natural skincare product.  Still, because aging skin doesn’t renew as quickly as it once did- an all natural exfoliant will get you started. Using some information I had garnered from working with skincare- including several ‘all natural’ lines- I came up with this one- straight from the pantry. It is powerful and is not to be used on a daily basis but just to get you started turning over those old dead skin cells!   Here’s my Heavy Duty September Salted Skin Scrubimg_1431

  • 1/4 cup of Mild Pure Olive Oil (this does not have to be an expensive olive oil)
  • 1/4 cup of Soybean Oil
  • 2-3 Tablespoons of Granulated Non-Fat Milk Powder
  • 1 Tablespoon Black Hawaiian Lava Sea Salt- you can use Epsom Salts in place of the Black Sea Salt
  • 1 -2 Tablespoons of Fine Sea Salt
  • Zest of one medium size Lemon and-
  • The Juice of one half of the Lemon

Combine these to make a paste, mine looked gray because of the black lava salt.    img_1435

Blend thoroughly until it has a thick paste texture. Let it sit for a few minutes, while I explain the benefits of the other ingredients beyond the Olive Oil and Soybean Oil-

The coarse natural salts are what make this a heavy duty scrub, not recommended for daily use but to kickstart the turnover of skin cells! Black Sea Salt has a larger grain than the Sea Salt, as does Epsom Salts, if you choose to use that instead. Salts

  • Exfoliate
  • Bring Moisture to Surface of the Skin
  • Plumps the Skin naturally
  • Kills Bacteria
  • Encourages Skin Regeneration
  • Reduces Inflammation

Lemon zest is where the Essential Oil of the Lemon resides, and it adds another texture to exfoliate- it is powerful stuff!  The Zest and Lemon Juice-

  • Shrink Open Pores
  • Tighten Skin Tissue
  • Increase Skin Elasticity
  • Brighten the Skin
  • Lightens Age Spots
  • Evens Skin Tone
  •  Reduce Fine Lines and Wrinkles.

Granular Powdered Dry Milk is another powerhouse! The texture of the granular dry milk is part of the exfoliant. Milk is another powerful ingredient to use topically, you won’t believe all it can do. Even Cleopatra knew Milk was good for the skin! Here’s what she may not have known, bless her heart! Milk is-

  • A Natural Source of Vitamin D
  • Hydrates and Softens Skin
  • Contains Mild Alpha Hydroxy Acid properties
  • Reduces Appearance of Aging
  • Lightens Age Spots
  • Repairs Sun Damage
  • Complete Protein with Calcium and Potassium
  • Contains all 21 Amino Acids

Alright ladies, start your September Skincare! Here’s the Method:

  • Cleanse the face and neck with a tissue dipped in Olive Oil-
  • Take a small amount of the Heavy Duty Scrub-
  • Starting on the forehead, working down the face, over the nose-
  • Avoiding the delicate tissues around the eyes!
  • Moving across the upper lip and around the mouth, chin and down the neck-
  • Scrub lightly!! Use circular motions- gently scrub
  • Then let the oils absorb into the skin before removing the residue with a Warm Damp Cloth.
  • Your skin will feel tingly and lightly damp.
  • With a clean tissue, apply a fine coating of Olive Oil.

When it absorbs –  you will love the way your skin feels! Refrigerate the excess scrub, it will stay fresh about 3 days. I plan to use it again on the third day and wait another month or so and do it again. Men can also benefit from this all natural scrub! Feel free to use the rest of the scrub when you shower as a body scrub! Now, drink your water, anoint yourself with oil, scrub occasionally – then you won’t look dry. That’s straight from Ponce de Leonetta! As a bonus for those of you have read all of this- Listen to that good ol’ boy who could use a little Heavy Duty Skin Scrub himself….none other than Willie Nelson, singing September Song. It’s a good reminder to take care of ourselves and the ones we love- for the days do really go by from May til September…

Love y’all, Camellia

Fountain of Youth Photograph from http://welcometopattyville.blogspot.com

AOL images for oils – the rest are mine!