Health and Beauty at home

When I was a professional therapist I took great pleasure in caring for the clients who came to my clinic, both beauty and health-wise. After all, good health is a first priority for beauty – it shows in your skin, in your hair, in your figure and in your whole demeanour. Vibrant good health has a beauty all its own.

These days I’ve retired from my clinic, and now enjoy my other passion – writing – so I can’t physically care for you, but I can pass on some of the things I learnt in my thirty-plus professional years.

It’s easy to give yourself a professional-style facial at home. Of course, you can’t replicate the wonderful facial massage that a trained therapist will give, but you can benefit your skin with this routine. As you won’t have on hand some of the wonderful and luxurious products and essential oils that I loved to use, I’ve replaced them with items you’re likely to have on hand. The only exception is the lavender oil, which is the one essential oil I believe should be in every home, for its versatility. I’ll do more on essential oils another time, but for today let’s get on with the facial.

You’ll need to have an exfoliating scrub ready before you start, made by mixing some fine oatmeal or finely ground almonds with a little honey and a few drops of oil. If your skin is very fine or sensitive you should skip that step. You will also need oil for massaging – rose hip, vitamin E, almond or any extra virgin plant oil are all suitable.

Before you start hold your hair well back from your face with a headband. And don’t do this when you have your hair fixed ready to go out, because it’s going to flatten your hair.

So let’s start:

  • Clean your face thoroughly with your normal cleanser.
  • Run some very warm, but not hot, water into a bowl.
  • Add two drops of lavender essential oil and stir (this must be 100% natural oil, not synthetic).
  • Now make a compress from a small towel or something similar. Professionals use a square of layered gauze, the kind that was used for babies in the past, but you can improvise here. Fold it so that it will cover your face.
  • Immerse the compress in the water, lean over the bowl and lift the wet compress in your two palms and press it into your face, neck and decolletage, holding it there and moving your hands and pressing so the water can penetrate to hydrate your skin. Repeat this several times.
  • Now place a little of the exfoliant into your palms, and press it into your skin all over your face and neck, avoiding the eye area. Work it gently. DO NOT SCRUB. Rinse off, making sure you remove it all.
  • Rinse in clean water and pat your face and neck dry.
  • Now pour several drops of the massaging oil into your palm and rub hands gently together to spread and warm the oil.
  • Beginning with two hands flat at the base of the decolletage move your hands up and out over the chest and then up the neck, using long sweeping strokes. Your pressure should be firm but not heavy.   Repeat several times then move up to the face.
  • Now use flat fingers to stroke from the centre of the chin over the cheeks to the ears. Repeat. Using finger tips gently make small circles around the lips. Repeat these movements several times before moving to the eyes.
  • Commencing at the outer corner of the eyes and, using the finger tips only, slide GENTLY under and up around the eyes, circling out over the brow bone, using the lightest pressure possible. You must not stretch the skin. (Don’t get oil in your eyes.)
  • Move to the temples and forehead and massage with circles.
  • Repeat all movements. Spend about fifteen to twenty minutes doing this massage.
  • Remove the excess oil with a warm damp cloth.
  • Now you’re ready for a mask. You can make one for normal skin by whisking a fresh egg white, adding a drizzle of honey and a teaspoon of corn flour or dried milk powder and mixing to bind it together. Smooth it over the face and neck, avoiding the eye area, and lie down with your feet up while it sets.  You can place eye pads of thin cucumber slices over your eyes for a more soothing effect. The mask sets quite firmly and you must soften it with warm water before removing it with a cloth and plenty of water. If your skin is dry or sensitive try using mashed avocado in place of the egg white mixture.
  • Gently pat your face dry and finish with your favourite moisturiser or night cream.

If you repeat this process every 1-2 weeks you will see a definite improvement in your skin.

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