Nature’s Bounty

Post 1475 of 1734

In the fast – paced lifestyle of two-minute face packs and do-it-yourself beauty treatments, go back to basics to rediscover the roots of skincare. Nancy Varghese takes a peek into nature’s basket to bring you some of the most essential and effective methods of treating beautiful skin

In a world where your lemonade may contain artificial flavours but your dishwashing soap has essence of real lemons, pause and think how chemically enhanced beauty products make a point to advertise ‘natural glow’ for your skin. ‘Natural’ is not always code for ‘better’. Just as there are good and bad synthetic products, natural products have their own set of cons if you’re not familiar with the effectiveness of the ingredients on your skin. Skin care experts, however, can vouch for certain natural ingredients that have proven to work wonders for all kinds of skin ailments from battling breakouts, soothing irritation, treating uneven pigmentation, to even preventing sun damage, in some cases. Next time you go shopping, scan the labels for some of nature’s best solutions.


Colour me healthy
Red, orange, and yellow fruits and veggies like carrots, sweet potatoes, and pumpkins are packed with
beta carotene, a nutrient with many benefits to your skin. Your body converts beta carotene into vitamin A, an essential nutrient for healing wounds, protecting against sun damage, and encouraging cell turnover.


Oats in plenty
Oatmeal is one of the few natural ingredients that the FDA has approved to treat skin irritation such as eczema, dry skin, poison ivy, poison oak, and insect bites. Oat lipids and proteins help replenish and maintain the skin barrier and they contain anti-inflammatory and antioxidant chemicals. Oats are also a healthy option for children who suffer problems with asthma. While there is widespread belief that introducing solid foods to children too early may cause later health problems, a Finnish prospective study of 1293 children found that those introduced earlier to oats were in fact less likely to develop persistent asthma. Adding oats to a gluten-free diet may enhance the nutritional values of the diets, particularly for vitamins and minerals.


Go green
The most popular suggestion for an effective weight-loss regimen is undoubtedly the mighty green tea that is recommended by experts and home makers alike. However, extracts of this concoction has another more important effect on your skin’s well-being. It contains high levels of antioxidant chemicals (catechins such as epigallocatechin gallate and flavonoids, such as kaempferol and theaflavin) to help prevent and reverse UV damage to the skin. These same chemicals make green tea an excellent natural anti-inflammatory, and skin soothing ingredient in skin care. Now you have more than one reason to sip on your morning cup of green goodness.


Papaya pampering
To be young forever is what most of us would use our genie-granted first wish for. And while that may be physically impossible, healthy habits like eating a papaya daily will prolong the process and may make you look five years younger than you are. Papaya is rich in Vitamin C, Vitamin E and antioxidants which help prevent your skin from free radical damage keeping wrinkles and other signs of ageing at bay. Papain, an enzyme found in papayas and pineapples, gently eats off dead skin cells, decongesting clogged pores and helping with skin texture. You can blend up a fresh papaya and use it as a mask, or crush some papaya enzyme tablets into your moisturizer to make a hydrating, gently exfoliating mask.


Aloe Vera love
Aloe Vera is quite an incredible medicinal plant full of nutritional benefits. It is a succulent plant and part of the lily family (Liliaceae), the same family that garlic and onions belong to. Different parts of the plant are used for different purposes and aloe vera has both internal and external applications. Aloe acts as an analgesic, acting to help relieve pain of wounds. Due to aloe’s high water content (over 99% water) it is a great way to hydrate, moisturize and rejuvenate the skin. It also increases the elasticity of the skin making it more flexible through collagen and elastin repair. It helps supply oxygen to the skin cells, increasing the strength and synthesis of skin tissue and induces improved blood flow to the skin through capillary dilation.


Naturally Neem
Extracts from the neem oil along with the leaves reveal antibacterial and antiseptic benefits. The leaves may be used in paste form to treat many different skin conditions for example acne, rashes, psoriasis and eczema. The Neem Foundation reports early Indian practice was to bath in warm water with submerged neem leaves to heal skin conditions. Small scrapes and cuts can be treated with neem leaf extract to prevent bacterial disease and redness.

  • Argan oil,the vitamin E-rich oil improves skin ailments such as eczema, psoriasis, wrinkles, and dry skin.
  • Soy can help prevent pigmentation.
  • Licorice, mulberry, and burberry extracts, along with Vitamin C from citrus fruits – grapefruit, lime, lemon, and orange – can fade brown spots.
  • Maitake mushrooms help people with sensitive skin who suffer from rosacea and redness.
  • Chamomile and cucumber extracts all have soothing properties
  • Rhodiola (or rhodeola), known as golden root, is native to the high Himalayas. In a recent study of people with sensitive skin, those treated with rhodiola extract reported improved skin sensation and less skin dryness.
  • Coffee Berry is harvested from the coffee cherry, the outer, fleshy casing of the coffee bean. It is said to possess antioxidant activity greater than pomegranates, berries, and green teas.
  • Resveratrol, a polyphenol from wine and grape skins, serves as an antioxidant and is anti-inflammatory.