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» Listings for February 2012

  1. Amaranthus hypochondriacus

     

     

    Amaranth is an annual herb native to North America. The whole plant is used in herbal skin care for its astringent properties, while the seeds are mostly used in cookery.

     

    The juice of the whole plant can be applied to the skin as a lightening, anti-wrinkle treatment that can freshen the skin and dry up spots. To use amaranth juice in this way, wash the whole plant and chop it finely in a food processor. Press the chopped plant material through a sieve and collect the strained juice. Combine the juice with milk and a little lemon juice and gently massage into the face and neck. Leave on the skin for 20 – 30 minutes before rinsing off. If you are fortunate enough to have some amaranth growing nearby, this treatment can be repeated each evening. Amaranth juice can also be applied to the hair and scalp to aid hair growth and improve its condition.

     

    An amaranth infusion can be used as a gargle for oral inflammations and ulcers.

     

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  2. INCI name: Aloe barbadensis


    Aloe gel comes from the leaves of the aloe plant, which can be grown indoors in a pot.

    The leaves, gels and extracts of aloe are more effective than the powdered variety, as the enzymes are destroyed when heated above 70 degrees C. It is antiseptic and acts against bacteria such as staphylococci, streptococci, salmonella and candida albicans.

    Add to skin care products to relieve skin irritations, scars, burns, sunburn, sores, bites, acne and nappy rash. Also good in eye creams and gels to help reduce puffiness. Aloe is moisturising, soothing and regenerating.

     

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  3. The natural glycolic acid contained in sugar makes it a good choice for skin exfoliating products. Glycerine is water-soluble, softening and smoothing and is a good carrier for the sugar. Sugar scrubs leave your skin feeling soft and fresh and can conveniently be made as needed from readily available store cupboard ingredients.

     

    You will need:

     

    15ml granulated sugar

    30ml vegetable glycerine

    5 drops essential oil

     

    Method:

    Mix the sugar and glycerine together in a small bowl. Add the essential oil and mix until well combined. Apply the scrub in small circular movements to cleansed and dampened skin. Rinse off then tone and moisturise as usual.

     

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  4. Prunus communis P. amygdalus, P. dulcis

     

     

     

    Almonds have a long and varied history in skin care. As well as their cleansing, moisturising benefits, almonds are also believed to have skin-lightening effects.

     

    The ground kernels can be used as an exfoliant and can be added to masks, cleansers and soaps for their cleansing, nourishing effect. Ground almond kernel can be combined with a herbal infusion such as chamomile to create a mild bleaching face mask.

     

    Powdered almond kernels can also be used as an exfoliant, although they are too abrasive to be used in facial skin care. Add powdered almond kernels to body exfoliating scrubs and gels and foot scrubs.

     

    Almond oil and almond butter can be used for their mild, nourishing effect on the skin and are well tolerated by most skin types. Almond oil can be incorporated into herbal skin care creams and lotions while almond butter makes a good addition to herbal soap.

     

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