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Archive for June, 2011

Skincare Recipe of the Month is a monthly feature where we share one of our favourite skincare recipes that you can make at home, usually using ingredients you will already have in your kitchen cupboards.

As I’ve been talking about acne a lot recently, I thought June’s skincare recipe would be along those lines aswell. So this month we’ve got a recipe for Marigold, Lavender and Geranium Acne Gel.

Bright orange pot marigold (calendula officianalis) flowers contain salicylic acid which is used in many over-the-counter acne treatments. They also contain anti-inflammatory and antiseptic substances, which make calendula a popular ingredient for many skin conditions.

Used over a period of weeks, this gel can significantly alleviate the appearance of acne, and reduce discomfort.

This is a great recipe for June because all the flowers used are popular in many gardens and should be in flower now.

Ingredients

10 geranium flowers, with leaves and stems

8 calendula flowerheads

20 lavender flowerheads

200ml water

1 sachet vegetable gelatine

2 tsp aloe vera gel

5 tsp vodka

20 drops tea tree essential oil

Method

  1. Roughly chop the flowers, leaves and stems and place them all in a large glass bowl.
  2. bring the water to the boil and pour it over the flowers to make an infusion. leave to infuse for 10 minutes, or until the water has taken on the colour of the flowers.
  3. Place the infusion and plant material into a blender and blend. strain the mixture through a piece of muslin into a clean bowl.
  4. in another bowl, dissolve the gelatine in 2 tbsp of cold water. Gradually add the flower infusion, stirring to separate any lumps. Add the vodka and tea tree oil and aloe vera, stirring until a gel is formed.
  5. Using a funnel, pour the gel into a clean, sterilised pot.

To Use

  • Apply to affected areas twice a day, or as frequently as needed.
  • Store in the fridge for up to six weeks.

Variations

  • If you have dry skin, you may wish to leave out the vodka as alcohol can be drying.

Take the next step towards naturally beautiful, healthy skin by clicking here to sign-up to the Freyaluna tribe.

I’ll send you weekly inspiration, recipes, ideas, and straight-talking skincare advice to get you on track for your most beautiful skin ever, the natural way!

As a bonus, you’ll also get a FREE copy of my “5 Secrets to Naturally Beautiful Skin” ebook. Join the tribe here!

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I was on the tube the other day (I’ve just realised a few of my posts start like this…)  and I saw a poster advertising a vitamin supplement designed to improve the skin, its tag line being “the unique supplement for inner health and outer glow”.

It got me wondering…

Can a supplement really improve your skin?

I decided to delve a little deeper, so I took a look at their website.

The website claims that Perfectil is the UK’s number one nutritional supplement specially developed for skin, hair and nails. It goes on to explain that the advanced formulation is based on 35 years of scientific research into the benefits of targeted optimal nutrition.

Your skin is a really good indicator of what is going on inside your body and with your overall health. So to get good-looking, healthy skin, you need to take care of your whole body.

Diet plays a big part in this. Eating a healthy diet reduces the number of toxins, and increases the amount of vitamins and nutrients consumed. However, even the healthiest of diets can’t always include enough of all of the nutrients required by your body for it to function at its best.

So it stands to reason that a specifically designed vitamin supplement can fill the gap left by a diet lacking in certain vitamins, minerals and trace elements, and help to improve your health as a whole, and so improve your skin.

These supplements are designed to support the building blocks of your skin, hair and nails, as well as maintaining their health and appearance. This approach can deliver results, with an effectiveness that works on a deeper level than by just using topical moisturising creams or conditioners.

But these supplements are not an easy, quick-fix solution. To improve your health and your skin long-term you need to improve your diet and lifestyle.

Take the next step towards naturally beautiful, healthy skin by clicking here to sign-up to the Freyaluna tribe.

I’ll send you weekly inspiration, recipes, ideas, and straight-talking skincare advice to get you on track for your most beautiful skin ever, the natural way!

As a bonus, you’ll also get a FREE copy of my “5 Secrets to Naturally Beautiful Skin” ebook. Join the tribe here!

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You might wonder what a skincare blog is doing talking about food.

Well, your skin is really a reflection of what is going on inside your body.

The best way to improve your body’s health (and so, your skin) is to eat well.

This means reducing the ‘bad’ foods, increasing the ‘good’ foods, ditching the diets, and really enjoying the food you eat.

Notice I said to “reduce”, instead of “cut out” the ‘bad’ foods. I don’t believe you should have to cut anything out of your diet completely (unless you’re allergic or intolerant to it, but we’ll talk about that later).

As my Mother used to say… everything in moderation.

Here are a few pointers…

Reduce the ‘bad’ stuff

Try to reduce ‘bad’ foods like alcohol, caffeine, fizzy drinks, refined sugar, bad fats (found in cakes, cookies, fast foods, etc), refined carbohydrates (white bread, white pasta, white rice), fried foods, etc.

Stock up on the good stuff

Come on, we all know what the ‘good’ foods are… fresh fruit and vegetables, wholegrains, good fats (omegas 3, 6 and 9, found in fish, nuts, seeds, olive oil, etc), greens and salad leaves, chicken and lean meat, etc.

Consider the 90/10 rule

I hate that this is called a rule (in my head, rules are there to be broken), but other than that, I think this is a pretty good principal to work to. The idea is that you have lots of good, healthy food for 90% of the time, and treat yourself for the other 10%.

I’ll admit, sometimes it’s more like 80/20 for me, but that’s ok. As long as my body is getting lots of fresh healthy food, I don’t mind treating myself when I feel like it.

Watch out for allergies and intolerances

It goes without saying that you should cut out any food that you are allergic to, because you can have really dangerous reactions from even just a tiny amount.

It may also be worth looking at food intolerances. These are generally less noticable than allergies and you may not even know when you have one, but it could be affecting your body in a negative way.

For me, it’s white bread and white pasta that do it. I absolutely love white bread, but if I eat any I have symptoms of bloating, sluggish digestion and lethargy. So, I cut it out altogether and feel much better for it.

Pack a snack

There are ways of acknowledging your hunger and taking care of it in a healthy way. A typical time for a blood-sugar dip is mid-afternoon. Always take a snack with you wherever you go, this will save you from popping into the nearest shop for a choclate bar.

Beware BOGOFs

Supermarkets like to make us feel like we’re getting a bargain with “2 for £3.00”, “buy-one-get-one-free”, and just recently I’ve been noticing “by-one-get-two-free”! Steer clear of these offers if they are for items like cakes which have a short best-before date as they’ll “need eating before they go off”. Sound familiar?

Identify trigger foods and trigger times

We all have food triggers from childhood that seem to have an electricity about them, that make us feel comforted.

The same goes for certain times or activities.

I used to treat myself to a couple of pieces of chocolate when I was watching my favourite TV programme in the evenings. Not too bad, you might think. But it got to the point that whenever I was in that position on the couch, facing the TV (the TV didn’t even need to be on!), I would just crave chocolate and have to have it!

What started as a little treat became a must-have.

Are you stressed?

This is one of the main reasons why people over-eat or under-eat. If you are stressed, take some time to identify why, or it will be a never-ending cycle.

Be realistic

We live in an all-or-nothing culthure; you’re on a diet or your off a diet, you’re exercising six days a week or you’re lazy. Our generation is always looking for a quick-fix solution.

Take your time, ease into it gently; habits will change over time.

The perfect healthy diet will not just happen overnight. There will be the odd stumble and fall along the way. It is important not to feel guilty about it. Just pick yourself up and carry on.

It’s all any of us can do.

Take the next step towards naturally beautiful, healthy skin by clicking here to sign-up to the Freyaluna tribe.

I’ll send you weekly inspiration, recipes, ideas, and straight-talking skincare advice to get you on track for your most beautiful skin ever, the natural way!

As a bonus, you’ll also get a FREE copy of my “5 Secrets to Naturally Beautiful Skin” ebook. Join the tribe here!

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Whether you have a severe case, or just get one big spot every now and then, acne can be just as traumatic and embarrassing.

What is acne?

I have trawled the internet far and wide, and have found many definitions of what acne is, but the simplest, and the one that makes most sense to me is this…

Acne is simply your body’s way of getting rid of physical or emotional toxins through your skin.

So really, acne is a good thing in a way, because your body is expelling toxins that you really don’t want inside your body!

Of course, we would all like these toxins to be removed in healthier ways, even better if there are fewer toxins to begin with!

How can I get rid of my acne?

Most people believe that acne is due to uncleanliness or not washing enough.

It’s not.

People also tend to think that to cure acne, you simply need to find the ‘right’ skincare product or routine.

While skincare does play a part, there are many things you need to consider.

Here is a quick rundown of what helps…

  • Stop picking! Picking and squeezing your spots only makes it worse – you are spreading the bacteria around your face, and you will be left with scares that will last a lot longer than the spot itself.
  • Skincare – use gentle products that are non-comedogenic (meaning they won’t block your pores). Don’t use harsh products that will scrub away the natural balance of your skin and strip away all the oil. Your skin does need some oil to function properly!
  • Diet – try to cut out any foods you are allergic or intolerant to. Try to cut down on ‘bad’ foods such as refined sugar, processed food, fried foods, fizzy drinks, bad fats… I think you get the picture!
  • Diet – try to include lots of ‘good’ foods in your diet, like fresh fruit and vegetables, good fats (omegas 3,6,9), anti-oxidants, water.
  • Reduce stress – stress can muck up your whole system! It can weaken your immune system, mess up your digestive system, and really screw-up your hormones and emotions.

This has been a super-quick look at acne.

I’ll be going into it in more depth over the coming months. Make sure you stay up to date by clicking here to sign-up to the Freyaluna tribe.

I’ll send you weekly inspiration, recipes, ideas, and straight-talking skincare advice to get you on track for your most beautiful skin ever, the natural way!

As a bonus, you’ll also get a FREE copy of my “5 Secrets to Naturally Beautiful Skin” ebook. Join the tribe here!

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I know I’m normally a Friday blogger, but just had to put this out there for any of you who may be suffering with me!

This may be a bit of an over-share, but it’s just come around to my ‘time of the month’. Any ladies out there (and men if they’ve been unfortunate to be on the receiving end of it) may well know my pain (quite literally), when I tell you my PMT is awful, unbelievable, terrible, dreadful, beastly, or any other adjective you’d like to add!

I get cramps like you wouldn’t believe, feel nauseous, just generally don’t want to get out of bed, and to top it all off, I also tend to get PMT acne.

As you probably already know, it’s those darn hormones that cause all the trouble!

Hormones regulate every function in your body.

When your hormones are in balance you feel great! You have bags of energy, sleep like a baby, your sex drive is strong, you’re thinking straight, you look wonderful, your immune and digestive systems function well, and your weight is stable!

Hormone imbalance, then, has the ability to mess up every function in your body, including causing acne.

So here they are…

4 steps to treating PMT acne;

  • Reduce stress – high stress levels will elevate PMT. Reducing stress will, of course, not only help to ease PMT, but will also help improve your skin, body and life in general.
  • Eat better – I don’t mean to go on a diet, just eat better/healthier – include plenty of wholefoods, fresh fruit and vegetables, protein and good fats in your diet. Reduce the amount of refined sugar you consume. Even just small changes can make a difference. Avoid caffeine, especially around your period, as it can increase stress levels.
  • Consider supplements – even a great diet can be lacking in essential nutrients, such as good fats (e.g. fish oils, evening primrose oil, flaxseed oil), which can help with reducing PMT and PMT acne. Visit a naturopath or health food shop for advice.
  • Exercise regularly – I know that when you’ve got that ‘don’t even want to get out of bed’ feeling, exercise is probably the last thing you want to do, but it really does help. I just walked to the shops and back (around 20 – 30 minutes) and feel a lot better for it. Walking, swimming, and yoga all help to reduce PMT by reducing stress. But be careful, sometime intensive workouts can increase PMT and PMT acne.

So there you have it… My super-quick guide to treating PMT and PMT acne.

Oh, and as an added bonus, I feel it is my duty to give you this little tip… If you, like me, suffer from period cramps, try staying clear of cold drinks. I know it can be difficult when the weather is so warm, but the cold can exacerbate cramps. Try drinking warm drinks. I especially recommend herbal teas.

I’d love to hear what you think, so please drop a comment below.

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