In the last post I talked about three amazing and unconventional skin super foods. This week I will discuss two more skin healing substances and a healing face-mask recipe.
4. Activated Charcoal
This is not your typical backyard BBQ charcoal but medical grade charcoal that is used in air and water filtration and in hospitals to treat poisoning. Essentially, it binds to chemicals and toxins allowing them to be cleared from the body. It is because of this powerful binding ability that it is being used as a topical skin care treatment. It can draw out impurities and oil from pores and from the skin’s surface and help to dry up active acne lesions. It is used best in a mask that can be applied weekly to the skin, or in a daily soap or spot treatment.
5. Oil Cleansing
…Has been on the scene for a little while but it’s worth mentioning. Using oil to clean and moisturize is a very effective treatment for sensitive, dry and acne prone skin. It seems counterintuitive but oil is attracted to oil, so when you apply an oil to your skin’s surface the existing oil binds to this new oil and with it all of the dirt, make-up and other impurities that are trapped within it. What makes it extra effective is that it accomplishes this without disrupting the delicate acid mantle on the surface of your skin that protects you from dryness and inflammation. Oil cleansing is done with a single oil or a blend of different oils. (You can find out the properties of individual oils here and here). I like a blend of Jojoba, Sunflower and Avocado with some lavender and Frankincense essential oil.
Using oil simply as a moisturizer, as well, is a nice gentle way to nourish your skin.
For moisturizing I look to Rosehip, Seabuckthorn and Tamanu with the same essential oils mentioned above.
Face mask recipe
1 tbsp bentonite clay
1 capsule activated charcoal broken open or ¼ tsp
1 tsp organic turmeric – (can stain clothes and cause temporary yellowing of skin in some skin types)
1 opened probiotic capsule that contains L. acidophilis and B. bifudum
1 tsp olive oil (or other oil of your choice)
Add water until desired thickness is achieved. I aim for a toothpaste or heavy moisturizer consistency.
Apply to clean face avoiding eyes and leave on for 15-20 mins. Rinse with warm water. Once clean, splash with cold water and moisturize as usual.
Any combination of these ingredients can be used for your own recipe as well. If you are worried about stains, leave out the turmeric. If you don’t have probiotics on hand leave them out. The mask will still be beneficial with any combination, as all of the ingredients have important skin nourishing properties.
This is a messy mask and can stain clothes and skin slightly but the skin stain comes off quite easily and the benefits are great.
This is not intended as a prescription. Before using any recipe it is recommended to check with your health care provider that it is safe and right for you.
Yours in Health,
Mahaya Health Services
2 College St., Suite #105,
Toronto, ON M5G 1K3
Mahaya Health Services is an integrative naturopathic clinic in Toronto. With a variety of practitioners each drawing on their own modalities, you’ll find a well-rounded team that can help you with your health concerns.