(Stillness in the Storm Editor) Our skin is like a mouth for our entire body; everything we put on it is absorbed to some degree. And in our world of image, how we look can be very important for our sense of well-being and confidence. The face we show the world is clothed in skin.
The following article provides some great methods for maintaining the vitality of our largest organ—skin. And this has physical benefits but also provides mental, emotional, and even spiritual support in our lives. Growth in consciousness is often enhanced by a healthy state of being.
From a health perspective, our skin is under constant assault in the modern world. We use toxic detergents to clean our clothes, which then rest against our skin 24 hours a day, seven days a week. In this regard, simply changing to a non-toxic laundry detergent can be the difference between health and cancer. But there’s more.
Our skin was never designed to be cleaned with harsh soaps that strip away vital oils and compounds. In most cases, the oily feel our skin takes—usually several hours after washing—is due to a biological program that is trying to replenish the epidermis. The acid mantle is a term given to the broth of vital compounds our bodies employ to maintain a protective layer against the environment. As long as this natural barrier is maintained, most of the skin problems we encounter in the modern world never materialize. But if you are someone who frequently washes with such products, your skin will be struggling to stay healthy, and this will likely have a marked effect on your emotional wellbeing.
In this regard, switching to natural cleansing products, like non-astringent soaps that clean the skin but maintain skin health, is highly advisable. Oil and honey based scrubs are much easier on the skin, actually, feed the body compounds that maintain health, but seem foreign to those used to the feeling of oil-free skin. The skincare industry has a vested interest in preventing these kinds of washing products from gaining popularity because it would counter the cosmetic industry that is centered around covering up bad skin. But if you take care of your skin from the beginning, you shouldn’t need to rely on such things.
Removing toxins and switching to natural cleaning products are probably two of the best changes that can be made. But what arguably plays the largest role in skin health is what we choose to eat and drink.
The body is a symphony of bacteria—the vast, vast majority of the material in our bodies is microbial in nature. This means that the delicate balance that maintains this order of life must be properly tended to, or else all sorts of health problems can manifest. For example, if one ate a diet heavy in simple carbohydrates and was also exposed to antibiotics or antimicrobial food stuffs (like GMOs), then this ensures certain bacterial strains become overproductive, leading to skin problems like acne. And there are hosts of other health problems—not just related to skin—that materialize due to poor dietary practices.
The harsh reality is that almost everyone living in the modern world is suffering from some level of bacterial imbalance, and their skin suffers accordingly. By eliminating toxic foods, reducing our exposure to sugars, and incorporating macrobiotic dietary practices that encourage microbial balance and harmony, the vast majority of health problems—especially related to skin—can be addressed.
On this score, I’ll offer an anecdote from my own forays into skin health.
For most of my early teen years, all the way up through my late twenties, I had acne problems. I would have breakouts on my face, shoulders, back, and other places on my body. After several episodes of experimentation and discovery, I changed my diet to a largely macrobiotic one (mostly raw fruit and veggies, with low sugar and carb intake, and plenty of fermented foods). I also stopped using normal soaps and began using raw organic food based cleansers, courtesy of my sister who was researching and testing these things for her new business at the time.
I had already experienced lots of healing simply from changing my diet, but I was still suffering from random breakouts, and my skin and face were always oily, while my body tended to be dry. I started using the raw organic cleansers and stopped using all soaps for a week. Admittedly I wasn’t sure I would feel clean after doing so, but what happened next was shocking. Within 24 hours after starting this new protocol, all my acne disappeared, my skin achieved balance where it felt moisturized but not oily, and it only got better as time went on. In addition, I felt clean, despite the fact I wasn’t using soap.
Now, about a year later, my skin feels better than ever—I’ve actually noticed wrinkles smoothing out—and I don’t have any acne whatsoever.
What is the moral of the story? What we do to our bodies really does matter. And the sad truth is, society doesn’t teach us well. We have to be willing to set aside what we’ve learned about skincare from society (especially via the media and advertisers) to explore and discover better methods.
Interestingly enough, the oil and honey cleansing method is a somewhat ubiquitous practice in the ancient world. It seems we’ve been using these products on our skin for a very long time—perhaps we shouldn’t be so quick to dismiss the ancients as primitive?
Our physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual vitality is inexorably tied to the body. The better we take care of the vehicle we use to navigate through life the more we can be empowered in all ways.
by Ulonda Faye, March 12th, 2017
Nature has so much to offer us. We walk hand-in-hand on this journey through life, and thus it goes without saying that when we are are need, we must look to nature.
Our skin is our protective barrier, and what, quite literally speaking, holds us together. Though we think most often about the appearance of our skin, the truth is, besides being our largest organ, our skin is also our temperature regulator as well as our encapsulator keeping the fluidity of our body in tact. It is an important eliminatory and sensory organ too. You can also rest assured that any emotional, physical and metaphysical imbalances in the body will with time (and often quite readily) leave its effect on the skin. By observing our skin, and that of others, we can truly learn a great deal.
We can deeply nourish our skin using simple, pure and natural plant-based ingredients (honey being an exception in this article). It is important to purchase products that are organic and/or wildcrafted (in a pesticide-free environment). Some companies are using organic methods and have very clean products, but have not spent the money on organic certification. If something is not organic, do some research and find out if it is still up to the right standards for your beautiful being. The better the quality of the raw ingredients, the better the results. We are not only what we eat, but we are what the food we intake ate before we consumed it too.
“Beauty is the translucence, through the material phenomenon, of the eternal splendor of the one”. ~ Werner Heisenberg
Now it is time to treat yourself with these amazing masks that offer far more benefits than one might imagine. We can feel empowered in knowing that we have the skills, and mother nature, to provide for ourselves that which we need. Let’s begin here by treating ourselves to vitamin-rich, toxin-free nourishment directly from nature, and learn about the beneficial beauty and rejuvenating properties of each.
These are great ways to support our skin and its process. Use any of these masks as you feel inspired. Even though these are natural and primarily plant-based masks, please test for sensitivity on a thin spot of skin before fully applying. It can also be beneficial to try one ingredient on the skin at a time before combining many ingredients into one mask.
Generally, packs and masks can be left on the skin for 20 minutes in order to provide for the necessary physical contact as well as energetic exchange. Your complexion will exhibit the results like the fine piece of artwork it is. Lukewarm water is a great method to rinse them off, and use of a light tapping method can be applied while the mask is on to help the collagen receive the nutrients. Now it is time to embrace your personal spa environment.
Avocado – Scrape the nut-like green pulp on the inside of the avocado skin (this is the best part for the skin as a mask. The lighter color can be put aside to be eaten), and apply to the skin using upward strokes. This is especially helpful for fine or dry skin. Avocado is the most oil-rich fruit on our beautiful planet. It is rich in vitamins A, C & E, and in oil including pantothenic acid, which is a natural moisturizer. This oil will continue to nourish your skin even after removing the mask. This application also makes a good makeup base, and protects the skin from any kind of unwanted pollutants. To reduce eye swelling and puffiness, place 2 avocado slices under each eye. Rest during this time (20-30 minutes) while the swelling goes down. (Cucumber slices work well for this too.)
Avocado with Carrot – Blend mashed avocado (again, dark green part close to skin is most valuable for a mask) with grated carrot, and relax while applying to face. Apply every other day or as desired. This will greatly improve the texture of your skin over time. Carrot is high in skin-brightening beta-carotene and antioxidants! (Coconut yogurt and raw honey can be added as well. See below for details)
Chamomile – Steep half a cup of blossoms with hot water, and apply mashed or blended when it is warm to lukewarm (test temperature to skin first to assure it’s not too hot). This re-hydrates the skin when it is really dry, and stimulates the nervous system aiding in circulation. The nutrition of calcium is added topically to the skin through this mask, and it can aid in reducing acne as well as lessening the appearance of pores. This is also a great mask for people who have lots of little broken capillaries too. Please note, if you have a ragweed allergy, this mask may not be for you as those with ragweed allergies often react to Chamomile. Remember to patch test if unsure.
Honey – (Raw, unfiltered and unheated) Re-hydrates, deeply nourishes, diminishes fine lines, and tightens skin. Over time it helps to smooth out wrinkles. Honey is a natural humectant, which means it hydrates the skin through its ability to draw moisture into it from the environment. Honey is also slightly acidic, which aids it in replenishing and protecting our skin’s acid mantle. This enzyme rich treatment assists in the repair of blemishes and the removal of blackheads as well.
Honey (2 tablespoons) & Nutmeg (1 teaspoon) – (freshly ground nutmeg works best) This is a helpful combination as nutmeg is a great gentle exfoliator. It removes dead skin, relieves pitting and scarring from acne, and deeply cleanses pores while refining smaller pores. Paired with honey it helps to re-hydrate, remove fine lines, and tighten the skin over time.
Molasses – (unsulfured is important) This softens and nourishes while toning the skin. It is also helpful for smoothing out fatty deposits under the skin. Due to its wide range of essential minerals and vitamins, it promotes healthy growth of tissues.
Oatmeal – (Steel Cut is best) Soften in hot water and apply. You can also add avocado oil, fresh avocado (the dark green part against the hard shell), banana and/or honey to create a paste to apply to your skin. This acts as a deep cleanser, removes dead skin while pulling deeply from the pores. Lightly massage in a circular motion into skin as you dampen and remove it. This acts as a skin-friendly exfoliant (many exfoliants are too rough on the skin, and harm the acid mantle). Oatmeal is high in silica, which is an important ingredient for skin health.
Coconut Yogurt – This is very beneficial for skin that is aging before its time, and especially when enzymatic action is low in the body (which generally occurs as we age). With usage over time, this aids in a more youthful appearance. Coconut yogurt is a great source of amino acids and probiotics, and you can apply this mask with as little or as much yogurt as you desire.
Honey (1 tablespoon), coconut yogurt (2 tablespoons) & ground fennel seeds (1 tablespoon) – This is a great combination that over time assists in releasing wrinkles, and is deeply nourishing and rejuvenating to the skin. Apply to face and neck as desired. Ground fennel seeds contain a number of important volatile oils, and is packed with beneficial antioxidants. Zinc, potassium, magnesium, iron, cobalt, copper, phosphorus, sodium, silicon, and zinc are also present along with vitamins A, B, C, E, and beta carotene. It is anti-inflammatory and contains phyto-estrogen.
“Give me beauty in the inward soul; and may the inner and outer be at one.” ~ Socrates
Just as nature has its natural rhythm and cycles, our skin too has its own natural 21-day rejuvenation cycle. You can experiment by applying a mask or a variety of masks for a period of 21 days. An option could be to choose one mask for the first week, and then to switch to another one the next week (repeating this cycle). Observe how your skin feels and looks after applying, during the next week, and during the next cycle. I think you’ll be quite satisfied with the results.
“Get thee a skin of exquisite texture, of a soft and delicate bloom, and a complexion pure and clear.” ~Yoga Sutra
The intention of this article is to spread some food and plant-based knowledge on how to be empowered in your skin care. As with all things in life, these are guidelines, and the reader must take full responsibility for his/her own unique needs/conditions, and consult a healthcare provider when needed. When we take full responsibility over our own lives, we are fully empowered. Feel free to experiment on your own with a variety of fruits and vegetables, nuts, seeds, and grains to make your own incredibly beneficial masks with the signature of mother nature. May you feel inspired, and keep learning and growing. Embrace the unique beauty that is you.
These masks were taught to me during my studies with Linda Burnham, N.D. They are a result of her and others experimentation as healers and herbalists. The following book serves as a great reference:
Burnham, Linda, N.D. The Natural Face-Lift: A Facial Touch Program for Rejuvenating Your Body and Spirit
About The Author
Ulonda Faye has a B.A. in Political Science and International Studies, and studied peace and conflict research during her Masters program in International Relations. She survived a Near Death Experience during an accident that led her into Mind-Body-Spirit studies. She is a certified Wellness Practitioner, Rejuv Miracles Practitioner, and holistic esthetician. She also offers life coaching. Her services are available in English and German, and she offers donation-based services in order to better assist in the collective healing. For more information, please visit fayenaturales.com
Featured Image, and flower picture
Stillness in the Storm Editor’s note: Did you find a spelling error or grammar mistake? Do you think this article needs a correction or update? Or do you just have some feedback? Send us an email at [email protected] with the error, headline and url. Thank you for reading.