Looking good is more than taking care of your hair and face. Your overall image says a thousand words without you realising it. Here are some aspects you should consider for a total make-over.
BODY SCRUB: EXFOLIATE FOR BEAUTIFUL SKIN
Skin exfoliation is an initial step to achieve healthy and beautiful skin. Skin will exfoliate naturally, but as we begin to age this will become slower. One way to achieve this is by body scrub. Exfoliating helps in rejuvenating the skin by removing dead skin cells and exposing the supple, smoother, and younger layer of the skin. Exfoliation also unclogs pores which decrease breakouts and smoothen rough spots. Using scrubs also stimulate blood circulation and help getting rid of cellulite.
What Is Body Scrub?
There are a number of natural body scrubs which work well for a variety of skin types and tones. A body scrub is usually done with abrasive materials such as rice bran, sugar, salt, coffee grounds, and is mixed with essential oils, massage oil or aromatic blends. A warm shower and body lotion application is needed after the exfoliation process. Oil is needed in holding the mixture together. Common oils used are sweet almond oil, jojoba oil, olive oil and macadamia oil. Fragrances that are used in body scrubs usually come from high quality essential oils, like rosemary and spearmint.
Benefits of A Body Scrub
Body scrubs help in the removal of dead skin cells, leading to the exposure of the younger skin that is more supple, softer and smoother. It is also the best method of removing skin tan, rough skin and dark layers. It is one of the easiest beauty tips for getting soft, smooth, younger looking skin almost instantly.
MAKE YOUR OWN BODY SCRUB
With just a few simple ingredients, you can make your own natural exfoliating body scrub and give yourself the ultimate spa treatment. Homemade body scrubs are cheap and natural, without any chemicals or preservatives. All you need is to pair a naturally abrasive ingredient (sugar or salt) with a soothing and moisturising base (oils); adding essential oils will make your skin smell great for hours. Here are some simple ones you can try at home.
Brown sugar and lemon body scrub
- 1 cup brown sugar
- ½ cup sea salt
- 1 tablespoon of coconut oil (or olive oil)
- 1 tablespoon of freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon of honey
Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl. Mix until it becomes a paste. Apply the paste on moist skin – the best time is after a shower. It will help the skin cells slough off faster. Use circular motion and massage gently using your fingertips. Rinse off with warm water.
Brown sugar and oatmeal body scrub
- ¾ cup of brown sugar
- ½ cup of ground oatmeal
- ¼ cup of honey and any base oil (jojoba, coconut, almond, apricot or even olive oil)
- A dash of essential oils (lavender, bergamot, lemon, tea tree, grapefruit, rosemary, vanilla, or ylang ylang)
Mix the brown sugar, ground oatmeal and honey in a container. Cover the mix with base oil until the sugar is saturated, add a dash of essential oil and it’s ready for use.
Honey body scrub (Honey is excellent as it is a strong antibacterial agent).
- ¾ cup of honey
- 1 cup of brown sugar
- 1 cup of sea salt or Kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon of jojoba oil
- 1 teaspoon essential oil (lavender, orange, etc)
Mix the dry ingredients first until it becomes a paste. Apply on moist skin after a shower. Use circular motion and massage gently using your fingertips. Rinse off with warm water.
BODY LOTION AND CREAMS
Body lotion and creams don’t just keep you beautiful. In fact, their benefits go beyond what the eyes can see. For best result, they have to be applied as often as possible – even throughout your lifetime.
WHAT YOU CAN GET OUT OF BODY LOTION AND CREAMS
Make your skin smooth to touch. There are times when your skin starts to feel rough or go dry. Dry skin can lead to itching, redness, and flaking. It makes you look dehydrated too. Body lotion and creams can help bring back the smoothness and softness of your skin. These products usually include butter, which makes your skin smooth but without leaving any greasy feeling.
Moisturise your skin.
Your skin can also get dry due to loss of moisture. This means that your body doesn’t produce enough oil to keep your skin well nourished and hydrated. Most body lotion and creams contain essential oils. Of course, these oils can never go beyond the topmost layer of your skin, contrary to what most people think. However, since they are applied on the skin’s surface, they can fill in your pores, preventing your skin from losing its moisture. The oils can even act as skin protector because they can reduce the effects of irritants and radiation.
Reduce premature ageing.
People age, but some age much faster than others. And dry skin only aggravates your skin, speeding premature ageing. They can also provide great protection from the sun and weather.
Double up as toners or cleansers.
Body creams can be used not only to nourish the skin but also to cleanse it. This is ideal if you’re wearing makeup all day, and you want to make sure that the chemicals are completely removed from your skin.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN BODY LOTION & CREAMS
Body lotion and creams should ideally have zero toxic content as they generally seep through the interstices on your skin to find their way into your blood. So it is wise to look for ones that are 100% natural and don’t contain any toxins. Here are a few ingredients to look out for:
- Vitamin E is used as an antioxidant and has a great property of removing wrinkles and other lines from the skin. By applying a cream with Vitamin E as one of the ingredients, you are giving your skin an instant dose of antioxidant.
- Olive oil has many uses other than for cooking. It is a great property for hydrating the skin and also for replacing dead skin cells. This oil is comparable to sebum of skin. Olive oil is also known for its antioxidising properties. Due to this, olive oil is used in many cosmetic products.
- Jojoba oil has moisturising properties which make them a great ingredient in body lotion and creams. The oil also acts as an antioxidant. It is not excessively sticky or oily. The oil softens, smooths and even dehydrates your skin. It is excellent in removing wrinkles and stretch marks and other signs of ageing. Unlike petroleum based body creams, this oil does not seal skin pores.
- Honey is antibacterial and antiseptic. It is used on wounds as it helps to prevent infection. Honey helps in promoting skin renewal and leads to the formation of collagen and elastin, which are fibres that make the skin taut.
BAR SOAP, SHOWER GEL, OR BODY WASH?
If you’ve been confused with which one is best for your skin when you’re at a supermarket or pharmacy, here are some pointers.
Firstly don’t fall for advertising that surrounds body washes, bar soaps, and shower gels. Most of the messages in these ads are misleading. Instead, you should consider your skin type, specifically whether your skin tends to be sensitive and dry, or oily. Your bathing habits may actually be more important than the product that you choose: it’s best to use warm instead of hot water when taking a bath and to moisturise immediately after toweling off.
Whether you choose a bar or a bottle, many body cleansers may have the same effect. These products remove dirt, bacteria, and – unfortunately – some or all of your natural body oils. One solution is to look for products that state that they are moisturising. Many body washes leave a layer of moisturiser on the skin that helps to replenish the oils removed.
Despite what many bath product commercials may suggest, you do not need a lot of foam to get clean. In fact, avoiding lather might be your best bet, especially if you are worried about dry skin. Most people can avoid over-drying their skin by selecting a soap for sensitive skin and applying a body lotion to still-damp skin after bathing. This seals the moisture back into your skin and replenishes the oils you removed.
A Coat of Film
Both soap and body wash can leave a thin layer of oil (film) which forms a barrier to seal in moisture. As long as this doesn’t lead to a breakout or make you feel greasy, it’s perfectly fine. However, beware of soaps that leave no film. Soaps that strip off all your oil, making you feel squeaky clean but leaving no moisture barrier, are harsher than those that leave a film.
However, if you find film bothersome, try newer formulations of soap, shower gel, body wash, and moisturisers. These come more closely to the skin’s natural lipids and still leave moisture in the skin, but feel less greasy.
True to Bar Soap
Many people believe that a simple bar soap is the best body cleanser. However, bar soaps may be unpleasantly drying. The most important step you can take is to check the ingredients for lye. Deodorant soaps and lye soaps tend to strip the skin’s oils and do not replace them. If your skin is really oily, then that is not a problem. If you use these relatively harsh soaps and your skin becomes dry, you will need to moisturise afterwards.
If you still fancy a bar soap, it’s better to choose a beauty bar, which tends to be more moisturising that regular bar soaps.
Finally if you try several products, moisturise after bathing, and continue to feel dry and uncomfortable, you may need to see a dermatologist for prescription skin care rather than switching to another body cleanser.