The cosmetic industry is huge, I know first hand. I was a Make-Up Artist with M.A.C. Cosmetics when the company was just a few years old in Toronto. I watched and learned and witnessed a company that started out in the kitchen become an enormous empire that took over the beauty industry. I then moved to Vancouver and worked as a Make-Up Artist for film and tv.
After the birth of my first baby in 2001, I used my background in the industry to create my own line of natural skin care products for babies and kids, which I still oversee and is distributed across Canada.
Today, I don’t wear much make up myself, but I do focus on using quality products that are chemical-free and non-irritating. This usually means making my own out of food and botanical ingredients, but I always have my eye out for other skin care and cosmetic lines that meet my standards.
If you caught a recent issue of the Wall Street Journal, I was featured in a story about using food on your face. This brings me to 3 of my go-to’s when it comes to keeping my skin glowing:
One of my remedies is to slather moisturizing honey, organic oats and flax on my skin once a week. As a humectant, honey naturally draws moisture to the skin, oats are soothing and moisturizing, and flax provides antioxidants and essential fatty acids.
As we know, eating all these ingredients provide nutritious benefits, and our skin absorbs the nutrients when used topically. They are all non-toxic, edible ingredients, so your mask is actually good enough to eat. As always, first do a patch test. Apply a small amount to skin and wait 5 minutes to see if you have an intolerance or allergy to any ingredient.
In a food processor, pulse:
- 1 Tablespoon organic oats
- 1 Tablespoon ground flax seeds
Once ground until fine, transfer into a small bowl and add
- 1 teaspoon honey
Mix well and apply to a clean, damp face. Lightly massage into your skin to gently exfoliate dry skin. Leave on for 15 minutes, rinse well and apply a moisturizer while skin is still damp.
2. Lemon Lip Scrub
Lips, especially lips that get dried out from cosmetics and sun exposure, need daily exfoliation. I came up with a natural solution to use around the mouth as you may end up ingesting a bit. And, it tastes so good that you might want to sneak a lick in. And, when you are using natural ingredients, it is ok to ingest your skin care!
In a small bowl, combine
- 1 TBLSP sugar
- 1/2 TBLSP olive oil
- 1 TBLSP lemon juice
Use a toothbrush to apply the mixture to dry lips, working in a circular motion. Leave on for 5 minutes and rinse off. The acidity in the lemon will help dissolve dead skin cells, the sugar helps to slough off the dead skin, and the olive oil naturally moisturizes, leaving your lips supple and glowing. Repeat daily as needed.
3. Coffee Body Scrub
This is one of my favourite uses for coffee, aside by drinking it. I demonstrated this recipe on Global BC morning news a while back and you can watch the segment here. Re-purposing at least some of your daily coffee grounds makes you just a little bit greener. Coffee not only stimulates your energy but it also stimulates collagen production in the skin and creates a nice glow. Used grounds from a recent pot of coffee are still warm and soft, so they are not abrasive when used as an exfoliant.
4. Serious Night Cream
I was introduced to a botanical line of skin care by my elementary school friend who is now a medical doctor. When I do not make my own skin care, I use this line and I recommend it to anyone concerned with anti-aging. Really, aren’t we all?? Why I like it: it does not contain parabens or fragrance. It does contain aloe vera, vitamin C, coconut oil, cucumber extract and licorice extract. Your cells repair themselves while you sleep and this night cream boosts the process and leaves your skin supple.
5. Natural Cosmetics
Your skin is your body’s largest organ and it can absorb what you slather on it. Choose your cosmetics wisely, especially lipstick, which you end up ingesting most of. I like ILIA Beauty’s line of lipsticks which are made with 85% bioactive organic ingredients, are creamy, and the pigments pack a serious punch.
6. Rose Oil
Rose petals naturally contain vitamin C, an antioxidant that protects your skin from free radicals that cause premature aging and the breakdown of cells. I hand-infuse my own rose oil for my skin and I use it from head to toe. The process is quite easy, but if you are not one to get crafty in the kitchen, this is my new skin care staple. Not only does it smell like a garden, but it naturally moisturizes with my favourite coconut oil, organic jojoba, apricot, and rose-infused oils.
7. Marine Collagen
aka The Fountain of Youth. Collagen is the body’s most abundant protein and it helps protect the body from cancer, it strengthens hair and nails, prevents liver damage, relieves joint pain, and improves the skin’s cellular repair and growth. I add Kitchen Alchemist‘s marine collagen to my smoothies every day to help boost my collagen that is naturally depleting with age.
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