While you may be doing all the right things in terms of sustaining mental and physical energy throughout the day, waking your skin up might be just the thing for a total energy infusion
FIRST THINGS FIRST
There’s nothing like a splash of cool water to get your nerve endings tingling. There’s also good reason for using cold water, especially when you understand the veritable downsides to our usual luxurious hot water:
Hot water opens your pores, which may sound like a good thing – so you can cleanse them properly – however, hot water can strip your skin of its natural oil. When the skin cells, that are normally plump and moist, shrivel up from lack of natural oil, fine lines and wrinkles start to appear. Cool water appropriately flushes away toxins and leaves your skin as it should be. It also constricts blood vessels, reducing swelling and those pesky dark circles. A cold shower will give you a whole body wake up – if you’re up for it, that is.
It seems sensible that if you can’t eat it, you really shouldn’t put it on your skin (not that you need to start munching on your facial scrub now). Fruit is filled with antioxidants and vitamins that are just as good for your skin as they are for your body. For a great wake up, use a cleanser that’s infused with fruit. Red fruit contains loads of lypocene, which protects your skin from harmful UV rays; blue and purple fruit (especially red barriers) are filled to the brim with antioxidants; citrus tightens pores and removes redness from blemishes; and apples contain collagen and elastin – great for youthful looking skin.
SPICE IT UP
Turmeric is certainly a versatile spice, with wide ranging health benefits. Although it can temporarily stain your skin (use it before going to bed at night), it does do wonders – it reduces acne and even scarring; contains masses of antioxidants; and evens out your skin tone. Use it as a face mask by combining organic plain yoghurt and honey with two pinches of turmeric. Leave on for 20 minutes before washing off with cool water.
GO BACK IN TIME
You may remember a continuous supply of rosewater in your grandmother’s bedroom – it seems to have been replaced by more technologically advanced treatments now, but it’s still a great antibacterial agent that relieves inflammation and redness on your skin. It doesn’t dry your skin out and can help get rid of dark circles under your eyes. Make your own:
Fill a pot with fresh rose petals and cover them (just) with distilled water. Place a lid on the pot and set on a low heat to slowly bring the mixture to a boil. Once boiled, remove from the heat and allow to cool to room temperature. Once cooled, strain and decant into a clean glass bottle.
Tip: Put your rosewater in a spray bottle to use as a great energising spritz at any time of the day, or use as a toner before moisturising.
Don’t throw away your coffee grounds after you’ve had your morning fix. Simply rub the grounds over your whole body for a caffeine infusion and great exfoliating experience all in one. Add a few drops of olive oil to the mix for a smoother scrub. Make this delicious face mask for a sweet morning wake up: Mix two tablespoons of coffee grounds; two tablespoons of cocoa powder; three tablespoons of whole milk or yoghurt; and one tablespoon of honey. Leave the mask on for 15-20 minutes before washing off with cool water.
Tip: For an extra boost, add a few drops of ginger oil – ginger is great for kick-starting your circulation
Essential oils have myriad benefits for overall health and beauty. Make your own skin care range by mixing your own with a carrier oil of your choice.
Use the following oils for your skin type:
- Normal skinjasmine, lavender, soy, neroli, evening primrose, almond, orange, geranium, palmarosa, rose, rosewood, ylang-ylang, tea tree
- Combination skin geranium, rosewood, ylang-ylang, rose geranium, neroli
- Dry and aging skin almond, carrot seed, cedarwood, jasmine, geranium, lavender, orange, wheat germ, sandalwood, rosewood, rose, Vetiver, ylang-ylang
- Oily skinCedarwood, geranium, clary sage, lavender, ylang-ylang, lemon, peppermint, cypress, frankincense, patchouli, sandalwood, juniper, coriander, grapefruit, rosemary, eucalyptus, red mandarin, myrtle
- Sensitive skinrose, neroli, rosewood, carrot, angelica, jasmine, chamomile
Tip: For skincare, the best carrier oils are jojoba and sesame. Jojoba is similar in its chemical makeup to your skin and sesame penetrates readily into the skin and helps remove toxins. Use four to five drops of essential oil to one cup of carrier oil.
Give your lips an energy boost and plump them up. Apply a thick layer of lip balm or moisturiser to soften your lips – leave on for 15 minutes and then wipe away excess. Use a dry toothbrush to gently scrub away dead skin cells. Mix half a teaspoon of fine brown sugar with a quarter teaspoon of cold-pressed oil and a drop of lemon juice. Massage the mixture into your lips using a circular motion. Wipe off residue with a damp cloth and apply moisturiser.