As I skip down the path of life, getting closer to 50, I realize the signs of aging are here on my face. Now I also realize that my sister, who is 2 years older, looks remarkably younger. Oh the hazards of a nature girl; worshiping the sun by day and the moon by night, hiking, biking, canoeing, swimming my youth (and any adult moment I can squeeze out) and life away out under the open skies. If, given the chance, I could do it all over again, I would not hide inside for fear of the sun, wind, rain, snow, and cold's aging effects on my face. To hell with it all, I have lived to be on the tops of mountains, wandering deep in forests far from civilized life as we know it, riding country roads on my bike, swimming lakes and river .... so be it, I will take the sun and natural elements, wrinkles and all!
Ok, now with all that said, I have some secrets to prevention and repairing the natural elements effects on my skin and its visible signs of aging.
Number one is a whole food diet. Eating real foods, natural foods, fortifies the body with nutrients we do not even know the names of. These nutrients work hard to protect and repair. Thank you local farmers, I will eat your whole foods!
Number two through five is good sleep coupled with plenty of fluids, daily body movement, and finding peace within.
From there it helps to use only natural products on your skin. If I would not put the '"ingredient" in my body because it is not a whole food, why would I put it on my body?
So here are my natural face lift secrets:
1. I use no sunscreen lest I make it myself (the lotion recipe below is the base for my natural sunscreen).
2. I wash my face with water only, splashing cold water on in AM and PM. When living outside I use the springs, rivers, lakes and streams of the Adirondacks for face splashing.
3. I put pure aloe on my face after splashing:
Aubrey Organics from Nature's Storehouse in Canton, http://www.natures-storehouse.com/
Mountain Rose Herbs via mail order: http://www.mountainroseherbs.com/bulkmisc/bulkmisc.php
4. Then I use the lotion I am about to give you the recipe for. To this I add essential oils specific for sun damaged and aging skin. There are essential oils specific for sensitive skin, skin from every decade in life, oily and dry skin.... you name it. Want details, email me.
In the summer, the lotion I use is much lighter, mostly an aloe gel with a just a very few drops of carrier oil and the essential oils specific for sun damaged and aging skin. This works best in the aloe gel from Mountain Rose Herbs as it is a gel. The Aubrey Organics aloe is a very liquid consistency, great for putting on after the morning and evening face splashing.
To this face lift in a jar I owe thanks to three fabulous herbalists: Rosemary Gladstar (Family Herbal: A Guide to Living Life with Energy, Health, and Vitality), James Green (The Male Herbal), and Valerie Ann Worwood (The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy). Blending their secrets has created my secret!
Rosemary's Perfect Cream
2/3 cup distilled water--OR distilled rosewater or -- orange flower water) 1/3 cup aloe vera gel 1 - 2 drops essential oil of choice (here is where I mix and match from James Green and Valerie Ann Worwood's essential oil recommendations) Vitamins A and E as desired
3/4 cup apricot, almond or grape seed oil (I have used organic olive oil, as well) 1/3 cup coconut oil or cocoa butter 1/4 tsp lanolin 1/2 - 1 oz grated beeswax
1. Combine distilled water, aloe vera gel, essential oil and vitamins in a glass measuring cup. (Tap water can be used but it will sometimes introduce bacteria and encourage the growth of mold.) Set aside.
2. In a double boiler over low heat, combine remaining ingredients. Heat just enough to melt.
3. Pour oils into a blender and let cool to room temperature. The mixture should become thick, creamy, semisolid and cream-colored. This cooling process can be hastened in the refrigerator, but keep an eye on it so it doesn't get too hard.
4. When cooled, turn blender on the highest speed. In a slow, thin drizzle pour the water mixture into the center vortex.
5. When most of the water mixture has been added to the oils, listen to the blender and watch the cream. When the blender coughs and chokes, and the cream looks thick and white like butter cream frosting, turn off the blender. You can slowly add more water, beating it in by hand with a spoon, but don't over beat! The cream will thicken as it sets.
6. Pour into cream or lotion jars. Store in a cool place.
7. For a thinner lotion, use more water.
Paula's IMPORTANT NOTE: I do not add the essential oils in step #1 as described above. To me, heating them destroys their natural nutrients. I add the essential oils as an additional step, my step #7. I add the number of drops, based upon the size of the jars I have put the cream into, and stir with a tiny baby spoon to blend the essential oils well.
Essential oils for sun damaged and aging skin: Add 4-5 drops per tbsp. of the lotion. James Green's Recommendations (the book Male Herbal) and what I have used for years: lavender, frankincense, carrot seed, Helichrysum italicum (Immortelle). Immortelle is a very expensive oil, but well worth it as per James Green, for its effects on sun damaged skin and skin cancer.
Essential oils for skin over 40: Neroli, lavender, frankincense, rosemary, fennel, carrot, lemon, evening primrose
Sunscreen you ask? To the above Rosemary Gladstar's lotion I add:
1 rounded tsp. of Mount Hagen Organic Fair Trade Instant Coffee,
1 rounded tsp. of organic fair trade cocoa powder, and
5-10 drops wild pansy extract.
1/2 tsp. wild pansy powder
Wear a wide brim hat during the high, hot hours of the summer days and wing it with the sun and wind on my face at every other moment.
Chemical sunscreens? Not a chance. Frankly, I believe they cause skin cancer!
PS For another option to restore your youthful glow: Call Shelby Connelly, Acupuncturist in Colton. She does an amazing acupuncture face lift. This is a series of treatments to restore vitality to the facial skin. http://fiveelementsliving.com/