Thursday, June 27, 2013

Avocados... some call the perfect food.

As some of you know I co-own a business with my sister, Terry, called 2 Prickly Pears.   We take a simple approach to cooking, while educating about healthy foods and how to add them to your daily meal planning.   Along the way I have realized how many food we consume are also good for your skin.  I recently wrote an article on cooking with avocados,  on 2 Prickly Pear blog.  They are the perfect food and yet so many of us do not eat enough of them.  We also do not us them enough for our skin.

We are all guilty of spending more money, sometimes a lot of money, on our skin care items.  We all want to fight back the aging process.  Yet how many times do we spend money on something only to be disappointed in the results?  We get frustrated only to let the unfinished jar of cream sit… money down the drain. What if we watched what we ate and what we put on our skin?  I bet we would find some pleasing results that will not cost us a lot of money.

Let’s take a look at avocado oil and it benefits.  It soothes, protects and moisturizes allowing the skin to soaks in all the vitamins, fatty acids and antioxidants the skin needs.  Kinda sounds like the commercials or sales pitches we hear all the time.  Only this time Mother Nature is providing the answer with no chemicals and not a lot of money.

Avocado Oil is high in vitamin E that is a powerful antioxidant which helps fight against free radicals that cause unwanted aging.  As the oil penetrates the skin it helps promote circulation to the cell walls keeping the skin cells healthy.  Your skin will be able to retain the water it needs to stay smooth and moist.   For those who have dry skin, natural skin cream that contains avocado oil will be beneficial.

Avocado Oil also contains sterolins and essential fatty acids.  Sterolins help produce collagen and reduce age spots.  Essential fatty acids helps promote cell function and reduce inflammation. 

Avocado oil is high in omega-3 and is very effective in protecting against UV rays.  For those sun lovers or those who are sensitive to the sun it's a good option in a sun screen to protect again sunburn or skin cancer.

I know many people who use avocado oil straight from the jar for their skin or they mash up an avocado for a natural facial mask.  You don’t have to buy a skin cream with it in.  Mother Nature already has it bottled up for you without a lot of work on your part.

Here is a facial mask recipe I have tried and love. 
1 avocado
1 banana
1 teaspoon Jojoba oil.  Or an oil of your preference that works well with your skin type
1 teaspoon lemon juice

In a food processor combine all ingredients.  Apply to skin and leave on for 10 – 15 minutes.  Gently remove with a damp cloth.  You are sure to like the results of your skin.

You can also jazz up the mask with other ingredients.  How about Kaolin clay, ground almonds or oatmeal?  You can add so many things to a facial mask without spending a lot of money and most important… no chemicals!

And raise your hand if you tried growing your own avocado tree :-)

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Great oil right off the vine... Grapeseed Seed Oil!

Lets just start with the benefits Grapeseed oil has.

  • Absorbs easily into the skin without leaving an oily residue.
  • Rich in antioxidants
  • Great anti inflammatory properties
  • Rich in antioxidants, even more than vitamin E
  • Aids in healing psoriasis and eczema
  • Great moisturizer for the skin and scalp
  • Helps even out skin tone

I could go on and on but I think you get the point.

Grapeseed oil is one of the most versatile oils you can use.  It helps fight premature aging while it stabilizes collagen.  What’s not to love!  It is great for those who are dealing with acne issues.  Grapeseed oil has very small chains of molecules which allows it to absorb easily deep into the skin where it can destroy the bacteria that cause breakouts.

Because Grapeseed Oil is so good for acne it is one of the main reasons I use it in my scrubs.  It is a great astringent which helps firm and tighten the skin as it moisturizes.   It is a great alternative to the other oils on the market that are used in skincare.

It is worth a try.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Olive Oil and the reasons to love it.

Olive Oil is widely used in cooking but it benefits go way beyond the dinner table and kitchen.  Its usage dates back to ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome because of it health benefits for the skin and the body. Quality can make a difference.  Try to buy a good equality oil.  However you do not have to spend your life savings on it.  

As you determine what oil works best for you keep in mind the following:

  • Look at the expiration date of the bottle.  Buy as fresh as possible.
  • Choose a dark color container as light will begin to break down the oil.
  • Purchase small amounts and buy more often.   Olive Oil can last 3 months to 3-4 years.  Unless you are going to use a lot of it, it is best to buy in small amounts so you are not wasting your money.
  • Store in a cool dark location in your home.  Again, light and heat can damage the oil. 

But why is Olive Oil so good for your skin?  It contains hydroxytyrosol a very rare antioxidant that helps prevent free radical damage to skin cells.  Olive oil is able to penetrate deep into the skin naturally without any harmful side effects which makes it ideal for all skin types.  It also contains vitamin A & E.

Olive Oil is popular in anti aging and anti wrinkle creams.  It creates a protective barrier on the skin that does not clog pores but helps the skin retain its own moisture keeping it hydrated.  Because of this reason Olive Oil is safe to use on your face.

For those who deal with eczema or psoriasis, Olive Oil can help relieve some the itching and irritation.  Add about a quarter cup of oil to your bath water or apply a small amount of oil directly on the skin.  It will not cure eczema or psoriasis but it is a healthy alternative to lotions that will only clog the pores in the area you are trying to treat.  Remember read the labels of the lotions you are using.  Odds are if you have not heard of an ingredient or cannot pronounce it, it probably will be harmful to your skin.  Do your research!

Olive Oil is great for shaving.  Apply a thin layer over the skin like you would with shaving cream.  You will find less razor rash, bumps and nicks on your skin.  I know many people will use my skin scrubs to exfoliate their skin and after rinsing off the scrub they will shave the unwanted hair.   The skin is left clean, smooth and moisturized.

Here are 101 reasons why Olive Oil is so beneficial from Robbins Family Farm

Like many of the oils I use, Olive Oil is good for your body both on the inside and outside.  It is one of Mother Nature’s rules.  If it is good for the skin it is good for you internally.