Add the acid mantle to the long list of bodily functions which doesn't receive much attention but which can easily be at the root of skin issues, or be making them worse. If we knew better how the acid mantle functions we would take better care of it! It's surprisingly easy to damage it; unknowingly, we don't properly nurture this microscopic film. In the past 100 years our habits and expectations have been entirely altered by the explosive growth of the cosmetic, beauty, fashion, hair and skin care industries. And this is spelling bad news for the skin of people of all ages. If we knew a bit more about the acid mantle and the history of cleansing we would be adopting more nourishing approaches to skin care, and making a habit of employing a few simple tricks to help along the way.
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oil cleansing method
In a past post I explored some of the benefits of distillates (aka hydrosol waters) in general. Here I will explore in more details the specific benefits of individual plant (leaves, flowers, roots, needles, bark etc) hydrosols. Starting with the lovely Rose. But first I want to restate some important aspects of hydrosols in general.
You know I love nourishing traditions! So when I spritz my face with a Hydrosol water I know I'm not just nourishing my skin with pure, plant quintessence, I'm participating in an ancient healing ritual. The use of hydrosol waters predate essential oils by hundreds if not thousands of years! Here's a brief intro to these healing waters and how to use them to nourish, condition & beautify your skin.
The coniferous denizens of the Northern Forest possess powerful healing properties. I am enthralled by these evergreen sentinels of my alpine world and the more I learn about them, the deeper in love I fall. Oils infuse with spring Evergreen needles, resin, bark, and cones are featured in many of my oil blends and salves. Not only do these creations smell like heaven, they are imbued with the power of these mighty trees .... which studies show might compare to that of the well known cancer killer Frankincense.
The lovely Salix plants ... hugging the banks of the rivers and climbing the slopes of the mountains. If you are interested in natural skincare, you are probably familiar with White Willow. White Willow Bark is part of the Salix family of plants, which all contain Salicin in their leaves, bark and buds. Salicin (the precursor of Salicylic Acid) is a natural compound renown for it's ability to relieve pain, swelling and inflammation. White Willow bark is the most common Salicin source found in natural skincare formulas and the herb most easily acquired, but it is not the only one. And this where Cottonwood Buds fit in ....
Instead of "clearcutting" your skin's "forest" by washing away all the diverse creatures living there, learn how to nourish them! These microbes help support, maintain, and nourish strong resilient skin which is better able to withstand the ravages of the environment, air borne toxins, aging, stress, and sun damage, and help it heal from more quickly from injuries. Skin microbes also play a vital role in supporting your immune system. Your skin loves you .... LOVE IT BACK!
All skin types at any age benefit from the correct application of facial treatment oils. Facial oils are also part of the Oil Cleansing Method and a nourishing skin care tradition. Even those with oily skin, clogged pores and outbreaks benefit from the right facial oils. Mature and aging skin respond amazing to the Oil Cleansing Method and using facial oils. Reducing use of foaming cleansers & soap, and the overuse of harsh topical applications, we can help heal, nourish and protect our precious skin.
One of the most basic principles of chemistry is that “like dissolves like.” The best way to dissolve skin oils is by using another oil. With carefully selected oils we can cleanse pores of dirt, grime, sunscreen, makeup - even bacteria and virus - naturally, gently and effectively, without the need for soap or cleansers. Seed oils not only clean, they heal, protect and nourish your skin, preserves the beneficial microbiome living on us, and do no damage to our precious acid mantle. Use my list of cleansing oils to pick and make your own blends or single oils.
We have so many fruit and seed oils to choose from to create oil blends for our 2 different purposes, cleansing and nourishing. This article will help you understand which oils to choose for your needs and how to apply them for the best results
Oh how I love nourishing traditions! Cleansing ourselves with oils is a beautiful one to rediscover. I made the switch. I'm happy I did.