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beauty

To me there is nothing more beautiful than the unique nature of a human being, that “seed power” within each of us which carries the genetic potentials of what we can become

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Know The Real Aphrodisiacs

Know The Real Aphrodisiacs

These days we treat aphrodisiacs as folk fantasy. Don’t be deceived. The biochemistry of certain plants like ginseng, dang quai, fennel and wild yam, as well as certain essential oils, are known to bring powerful sexual regeneration to the body and to intensify libido. It is your own individual response to specific herbs that is the key to aphrodisiacs. Loss of libido or impotence can have many different causes. So when turning to herbs for help in the sexual arena, you may need to experiment a bit to find which plants work best for you. But watch out. It is not only easy to create an experience of intense desire; it can be just as easy for a woman to end up fertilized by the results of it. Wings Of Desire Sexual impotence or a loss of ability to maintain a full erection affects most men at some time in their lives. It can be a result of feeling unwelcome, afraid of one’s own power, or experiencing a sense of inadequacy or depression in your life. Such things reflect themselves in the behavior of the body. With real awareness of how each partner feels and with patience and consideration, psychologically-caused impotence will often clear by itself. But many difficulties with maintaining erection are biochemical in nature. In men over the age of 35, it can happen during periods of prolonged stress, after illness, or simply as a result of having lived for too long on convenience foods, so that your body has become depleted in essential minerals, trace elements and vitamins—so that some of its metabolic processes no longer work properly. The first step is to detoxify your body by doing an herbal cleanse. Then change the way you live. Eliminate processed foods. Eat lots of fresh vegetables and clean sources of protein such as fish, organic meats and poultry as well as eggs, or only organic tofu made from soya beans that have not been genetically engineered. It is important, too, to throw out margarine and all highly processed oils. Replace them with extra virgin olive oil, organic coconut oil and good old butter from grass-fed cows. Include a teaspoon of top quality omega 3 fish oil each day. This is important. For, if you do not have a good supply of these essential fatty acids, you will not produce the hormones necessary for sexual potency. Male Potency There are a several useful plants for enhancing sexual energy and intensifying erection: Ginkgo biloba not only boosts the flow of blood to the brain and enhances memory; it can also increase circulation to the penis, potentizing iffy erections. The best way to take it for this purpose is in the form of a concentrated 24% standardized extract capsule, once or twice a day. Do not take more, since in large quantities, gingko can cause loose bowels, nervousness and irritability. One research project gave men 80 milligrams of such an extract three times a day, and got good results. It not only cleared impotence, it also lifted the depression which often accompanies it. You can also use a ginkgo tincture: 1 teaspoon in a little water twice a day. Fava beans—Vicia faba—can have an astounding effect on erection. The first written record of this food having sexual connotations came from ancient Rome, where Cicero used it to heighten his own passion. Fava is the best natural source of L-dopa. This chemical (which is also used to treat Parkinson’s disease) intensifies erections in some men. That is how fava got its reputation as an aphrodisiac. One way to use fava is to make soup from them. Siberian ginseng—Eleuthrococcus senticosus—is a natural MAO inhibitor. It helps lift depression and improves libido in both men and women. It also helps overcome long-term fatigue. You can take it as an extract daily. Its effects build slowly over weeks and months. This adaptogen is an excellent restorative for the whole body. Women In Love When libido flags in women there are many herbs that can help revive it. Wild Yam—Dioscorea villosa—restores libido so successfully in most women that I would not advise you to use it unless you have a sexual partner. You can take the tincture—½ -1 teaspoon in water twice a day—or as a dried herb in capsules, 4-6 capsules a day. I have known women to take 10 capsules a day, but less than this works very well for most. American Ginseng—Panax ginseng—is as good a raiser of libido in women as it is in men, despite the assumption that it is a male plant. It is particularly useful in post-menopausal women. Drink it as a tea three or four times a day. Fennel—Foeniculum vulgare—is replete with plant steroids. In animal experiments it raises the libido of both males and females. You can take it as a tea. Bruise a teaspoon of fennel seeds and pour 2 cups of boiling water over them. Steep for 5 minutes, strain and drink. Caution: Do not use fennel oil on your body when you are pregnant, as it can cause miscarriage. Other simple herbs which you can add to your foods that have a reputation for enhancing libido are parsley, fenugreek—great to sprout and eat in salads—ginger, and anis (Pimpinella anisum). Even coca from which chocolate is made carries mild aphrodisiac power. Essential oils help with libido on the night. Massage your body and that of your partner with a carrier oil such as sweet almond oil or apricot oil to which you have added one of the aphrodisiac essences: clary sage, ylang ylang, rose, or jasmine. This is for external use only. Powerful stuff—you need only 1 drop of an essential oil to each teaspoon of carrier oil. A capsule of vitamin E squeezed into the oil when you mix it helps keep it fresh longer. Here are some products you might find useful: Carlson Labs, The Very Finest Fish Oil, Lemon The finest of fish oils from deep, cold ocean-water fish. Bottled in Norway it has a refreshing natural lemon taste. Take by the teaspoonful, mix with foods, even try it on salads. This product is regularly tested (using AOAC international protocols) for freshness, potency and purity by an independent, FDA registered laboratory and has shown itself to be fresh, fully-potent and free of detrimental levels of mercury, cadmium, lead, PCB's and 28 other contaminants. Buy Carlson Labs, The Very Finest Fish Oil, Lemon Now Foods, Ginkgo Biloba NOW Ginkgo Biloba is grown and extracted under the highest quality standards and is standardized to min. 24% Ginkgoflavonglycosides and min. 6% Terpene Lactones, including Ginkgolide B, the most significant fraction, and Ginkgolides A, C and Bilobalide. Order Now Foods, Ginkgo Biloba from iherb Now Foods, Ginkgo Biloba Extract Supports Cognitive Function 24% Standardized Extract With Gotu Kola and Eleuthero GMP Quality Assured A Dietary Supplement Vegetarian Formula Order Now Foods, Ginkgo Biloba Extract from iherb Bob's Red Mill, Fava Beans For over 5,000 years, Fava Beans have been enjoyed as a delicious source of protein, fiber and iron. Similar in taste and texture to lima beans, they are one of the most flavorful and meaty beans around. Bob's Red Mill Fava Beans have been naturally blanched to remove the unsavory skins. They're excellent for soups, dips, and a wide variety of other dishes. Order Bob's Red Mill, Fava Beans from iherb Dragon Herbs, Siberian Ginseng, Super Potency Extract This is a potent formula, made from the finest Chinese herbs, to enhance your adaptability and daily Qi. Order Dragon Herbs, Siberian Ginseng Extract from iherb Herb Pharm, Wild Yam To assure optimal extraction of Wild Yam's bioactive compounds, the rhizomes are hand-harvested only in late autumn, are carefully shade-dried and are then thoroughly extracted. Our Wild Yam is never fumigated or irradiated. Order Herb Pharm, Wild Yam from iherb Nature's Way, Wild Yam, Root Capsules Health & longevity through the healing power of nature—that's what it means to Trust the Leaf. Wild Yam (Dioscorea villosa) was historically offered as "colic root" and used in herbal remedies for gastrointestinal irritations. In recent years it has become popular for women's health. Our Wild Yam is carefully grown, tested and produced to certified quality standards. Order Nature's Way, Wild Yam, Root Capsules from iherb Triple Leaf Tea, American Ginseng, Caffeine-Free American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius) has long been a popular herb. Modern research confirms both American and Asian ginsengs contain ginsenosides and supports their long history of use. American ginseng is considered less yang than Asian ginseng (Panax ginseng). For this reason, Chinese herbalists valued American ginseng for regular long-term use. Native Americans in North America first used this herb in similar ways to Chinese herbalists. In the 18th century, it became popular in America, and began being exported to China. Today, a large amount of the American ginseng grown in North America is exported to a large amount of the American ginseng is exported to Asia. 100% pure American ginseng root sets this tea apart from other ginseng tea blends, creating a delicious tea with the maximum amount of this marvelous root. Order Triple Leaf Tea, American Ginseng, Caffeine-Free from iherb Frontier Natural Products, Organic Whole Fennel Seed A graceful plant, fennel is an aromatic, hardy, perennial with golden yellow flowers and feathery leaves. Also known as garden fennel, this plant's botanical name, Foeniculum vulgare, comes from the Latin for "fragrant hay", it is a member of the Apiaceae family--along with anise, caraway, coriander and dill. Fennel seeds are small, oval, and grooved. They resemble caraway seed (though less curved) and smell and have a lemony anise taste. Fennel was well known as a food, flavoring and medicine in ancient China, Greece, India and Egypt. Since Roman times it has been used as a diet aid and to overcome hunger during fasts. In fact, its early Greek name, marathron, comes from maraino, which meant "to grow thin." The Roman emperor Charlemagne popularized the use of fennel seed in Central Europe, and the ancient Saxons included the seed in their list of nine sacred herbs used to combat the nine causes of disease. Order Frontier Natural Products, Organic Whole Fennel Seed from iherb ORDERING FROM IHERB.COM: If you decide to order any products from Iherb.com, you will automatically receive $5 or $10 off your first order. Their products are the cheapest and best in the world…I use them for everything no matter where I am. Get it sent to you via DHL. It will be with you in three to four working days… iHerb.com ship all over the world very cheaply.

Sensuous Massage Do-It-Yourself

Sensuous Massage Do-It-Yourself

The simplest treatment can sometimes bring the greatest healing to body, mind and spirit. So it is with massage. Yet few have yet discovered this truth. Not only does massage calm the mind, relieve pain and bring better muscle tone. It enhances immunity, clears the toxic wastes we all pick up in day-to-day life, improves athletic performance, and builds greater health all round. There are many different kinds of massage—from deep tissue massage, acupressure and Amma Shiatsu to lymphatic drainage and simple stroking of the body. Each has its benefits. And, while some need the trained hands of a professional to be used well, I think you will be surprised to learn that you can bring exceptional benefits to yourself, a friend or partner by using simple hand movements which require no professional training at all. SIMPLE BASICS Here are the six basic massage movements. Have a play with them on your own body. You will be surprised how easy and rewarding this can be. Begin any massage of yourself or another with effleurage, allowing one hand to follow the other in a rhythmic pattern moving in a direction towards the heart. Effleurage means “skimming over”. This is a light pressure applied to an area of the body with moving hands. It boosts the circulation of blood and lymph in the areas to which it is being applied. This improves the functioning of the glands, increases skin sensitivity and heightens the ability of the skin to feel pleasure. Used on the abdomen, it improves digestive functions and helps eliminate constipation. Effleurage is also great for getting rid of chilling sensations in feet or hands, for eliminating numbness, and decreasing swelling caused by obstructions in the circulatory system. Deep Muscle Massage consists of tiny circular movements with a thumb or finger which is firmly pressed into a muscle and then rotated. The finger doesn't actually move over the surface of the skin. Rather it moves the muscle under its pressure. After you have made several small circles in one place you move on to another nearby, always working in an upwards direction on the body. It is excellent for calming overactive nerves and tense muscles, as it is for treating neuralgia or muscular aches. This kind of pressure on the abdomen improves digestion and elimination. Used in imaginary lines up the limbs it can also significantly improve lymphatic drainage and the elimination of wastes. Single Point Pressure where you press on the surface of the body with the palms, thumbs or fingers is also good for deep muscle aches and tensions. It is used when giving acupressure or shiatsu massage for a specific purpose, such as eliminating a headache or calming nerves. Petrissage is a kneading movement in which a muscle is held firmly but lightly and moved in circular patterns using the palm of your hand or the balls of your fingers. This increases circulation, and is an excellent way of helping muscles recover from fatigue and eliminating lactic acid build-up, which causes muscle ache after a workout. Always keep your fingers relaxed while kneading or you will pinch the skin uncomfortably. Vibration is where you put your fingers or palm against the skin of a part of the body and then shake it gently. This is particularly helpful where there is a feeling of numbness, say in fingers or toes. Tapotement is a tapping with both hands—one after the other—against the skin surface, usually with the palms cupped. It is very invigorating, which is why it is used before sending athletes out on the field, but it is not good if you are using massage as a means of ‘detensing'. GET IT TOGETHER If you are massaging yourself, you will need to be in different positions to work on various areas of your body. The legs are easy—they can be done lying on the floor with your legs propped up against the bed or a wall and your head and shoulders against a cushion or two. Or you can simply sit on the edge of a bath. To do your neck and shoulders, it's best to sit at a table with your head lying forward on a pillow in front of you. Lie on your back to do your abdomen and chest. For your lower back, lie on your stomach with a pillow underneath your waist. Then using some oil (see below), begin with an effleurage of the area you are working on, and go on to any of the other movements which feel right to you. WORK WITH A PARTNER Make sure the room is warm. Usually the floor is best, covered with a blanket and a towel. Let your friend or mate lie on his or her stomach and begin to work on the back. Never pour cold oil directly onto the skin. Instead, put it in your hands and give it a chance to warm before applying it. Let your friend relax as you do an effleurage picking up the back, one hand after another. Always maintain contact with his or her skin, so that as one hand is ready to come off the back, the other is already making contact with the skin. And don't be too light or feathery—it makes people feel uneasy. They need to sense good clear contact with your hands to be able to relax deeply. Let your partner do just that, so that he or she doesn't feel a need to speak. Indeed, the massage will work better if he or she doesn't. After you finish a minute or two of effleurage on the back, try a kneading movement or a deep muscle massage on the areas which seem most stiff or uncomfortable. Then, move on to other parts of the body—the feet, the legs, the arms, using the same sequence of movements. Ask them to turn over and work on the front of the legs and arms, the abdomen and the diaphragm, then finish off with some soothing petrissage on the shoulders, and finally some deeper circular movements to get rid of tension there. End the session with a more gentle effleurage to relax him or her deeply, or do some tapotement to stimulate energy levels, whichever your partner prefers. The whole process is not as difficult as it may seem at first, even if you have never had a go at it. There is an instinct most people have of finding out how to use these movements, so that they feel good not only to the person being massaged but to yourself. Massaging each other can be an excellent way of communicating for a couple feeling somewhat at odds with each other. It eliminates the need for words and seems to restore a sense of unity between people. OIL BLISS The best massage oils are those you mix yourself from a “carrier oil” such as almond, sesame, or coconut, to which you add a small quantity (measured in drops) of specific essential oils. Essential oils are the complex hydrocarbons which give plants and flowers their characteristic odors. Each essential oil has its own spirit as well as its biological characteristics. Each will affect the body in a slightly different way. Depending on what you want from a massage, you can choose what is best to use. For instance four drops each of the essential oils of rosemary, camphor and wintergreen mixed with half a cup of carrier oil makes a superb massage oil for sore muscles after strenuous exercise. Oil of sage mixed with a carrier is good for aches and pains from gardening. A few drops of pure sandalwood or camomile or lavender—or all three—in a carrier is excellent for relaxing you if you feel tense or under stress. (You must make sure that you buy the real essential oils however. The chemical analogues which are often sold in their place don't have a therapeutic effect.) These mixtures are also excellent treatments for both male and female skin. They help keep skin moist and protected from the hazards of environmental stress. ONLY THE BEST Once you fall in love with one or two essential oils, you will probably want to build up a whole collection. Be savvy about what you buy. A natural essential oil is impossible to reproduce artificially. It is something which, in its wholeness and its power to act on the human mind and body, can only be created by life itself. You should only ever use pure essential oils as they alone contain the full range of aromatic compounds from the plant. There are many—probably the majority of—products on the market which call themselves “essential oils” but which are poor quality. Some are synthetic, others diluted. Although they may not smell too bad—actually, most of them smell sickening to me—you will not get the full benefits from them that you will from a pure essential oil. The healing, the beauty, the sanctity and the pleasure you can experience using floral essential oils or their blends in these ways is hard to describe—just try it. It is likely to spark off new ideas for aromatherapy and self-healing that have yet to be tried. Note: Whenever possible buy organic oils. Organic or not, however, they need not cost a lot to be good. The reasons I order the majority of mine from iherb.com is that the prices are fabulous and the oils are great. Here are some essential oils and carrier oils I particularly recommend both for quality and price: Flora, Certified Organic Almond Oil, 8.5 fl oz (250 ml) Flora's Almond Oil is a light, premium quality oil pressed from carefully selected, certified organic almonds. The almonds are pressed using Flora's unique European HydroTherm pressing method under low temperature and then carefully bottled in light-resistant, amber glass. Order Flora, Certified Organic Almond Oil from iherb Eden Foods, Organic Sesame Oil, Unrefined, 16 fl oz (473 ml) It is simply pressed from Eden select seed and lightly filtered retaining sesame's full aroma and flavor. Contains the revered antioxidants sesamol and sesamin. Nitrogen flushed when bottled. Order Eden Foods, Organic Sesame Oil from iherb Now Foods, Organic Essential Oils, Rosemary Aroma: Warm, camphoraceous. Benefits: Purifying, renewing, uplifting. Mixes Well With: Bergamot Oil Lemongrass Oil Peppermint Oil Thyme Oil Extraction Method: Stem distilled from flowering tops. Order Now Foods, Organic Essential Oils, Rosemary from iherb ow Foods, Essential Oils, Camphor Benefits: Purifying, energizing, invigorating Mixes Well With: Cinnamon oil, frankincense oil, rosemary oil Extraction Method: Fractional distillation of crude decamphorized oil Order ow Foods, Essential Oils, Camphor from iherb Now Foods, Essential Oils, Wintergreen Aroma: Warm, sweet. Benefits: Stimulating, refreshing, uplifting. Mixes Well With: eucalyptus oil, lemon oil, peppermint oil, tangerine oil Extraction Method: Steam Distilled from leaves. Order Now Foods, Essential Oils, Wintergreen from iherb Now Foods, Essential Oils, Sandalwood Aroma: Subtle floral, undertones of wood and fruit. Benefits: Grounding, focusing, balancing. Extraction method: Steam distilled from wood/bark/roots. Order Now Foods, Essential Oils, Sandalwood from iherb Now Foods, Essential Oils, Sage Aroma: Warm, camphoraceous. Benefits: Normalizing, balancing, soothing. Extraction Method: Steam Distilled from partially dried leaves. Order Now Foods, Essential Oils, Sage from iherb Now Foods, Essential Oils, Chamomile Aroma: Intense sweet, delightful. Benefits: Relaxing, calming, revitalizing. Extraction Method: Steam Distilled from plant's flowers and stalks. Order Now Foods, Essential Oils, Chamomile from iherb Now Foods, Organic Essential Oils, Lavender Aroma: Floral Benefits: Soothing, normalizing, balancing. Extraction Method: Steam distilled from fresh flowering tops. Order Now Foods, Organic Essential Oils, Lavender from iherb

Brush It

Brush It

Some of the simplest techniques for supporting your body’s elimination processes also happen to feel wonderful and can bring delicious relaxation in their wake. Your body is working hard to get rid of all that stored waste, so treat it gently and give it some attention. Your mind will benefit too. Your two day apple fast is a not to be passed-up opportunity for some bodily indulgence of the first order. Skin brushing is now frequently recommended by health practitioners and has a long history for health and healing in the annals of European natural treatments. It is a particularly helpful technique to use during a detox, and can do wonders for your skin used daily afterwards. Skin brushing acts both superficially to draw out wastes from the skin, and deeply by boosting lymphatic drainage (more of this later) and helping to break down congestion in areas where the lymph flow has become sluggish and toxins have collected. It improves the look of skin, helps eliminate cellulite, and tones the whole body. It is an extraordinarily gentle yet powerful technique, and it feels wonderful. Using a natural bristle brush, preferably one with vegetable bristles and a long handle (available from pharmacies, natural beauty shops and health-food stores), go over the surface of your body once with long sweeping motions. Brush across the tips of your shoulders and upper back, then down over the neck and shoulders and down the arms and over the hands – always working in a downwards direction and covering the surface of the skin once. Now brush down over the trunk and tummy and down the back until you’ve covered every inch of your upper body. Then, beginning at the feet, brush upwards in the same long sweeping motions up the legs, front and back, and up over the buttocks. Do this slowly and enjoy the feeling of having the skin of your whole body gently exfoliated. Always brush your skin with a dry brush and never brush your face. How much pressure you put behind the brush should depend on how strong your skin is, your age, and how much stimulation it is used to. Go easy to begin with. Your skin will soon become fitter and then you will be able to work far more vigorously. But you should never go too hard too quickly or you risk being counter productive and will miss out on the benefits of steadily increasing skin firmness and fitness. Skin brushing encourages better circulation, brings energy into ‘deadened’ areas of flesh, smooths and softens skin, and encourages better lymphatic drainage. You are also sloughing off dead skin cells with the brush, so encouraging new cells to come to the surface and make the skin of your whole body glow. detox test Being your body’s largest organ and one of the most important for elimination (almost a third of your body’s wastes can be eliminated through the skin), skin that is brushed regularly yields up the most amazing quantity of rubbish. You can check for yourself just how dramatic is the skin’s elimination of wastes by performing a practical experiment with the help of a flannel. Every day before your bath or shower, brush your skin all over for three to five minutes. Then take a damp flannel and rub it all over your freshly brushed body. Hang the flannel up and repeat the process with the same flannel the next day. After a few days, the smell of the flannel will be quite revolting thanks to the quantity of waste products that have come directly through the skin’s surface. Just think how much better off you are without them.

Epsom Salts Baths

Epsom Salts Baths

Our energy is balanced between dynamic, outpouring energy—which is exciting, creative, fun and challenging—and inner, moving energy, which is receptive. It’s a kind of quiet expectance that allows the universe to give you the gifts that it has to give. And of course, we can’t receive those gifts unless we know how to move from the dynamic state into the real receptive one. One of the things that’s important in helping us learn to do this—and almost everybody I know needs to learn to do it in our hectic, overstressed, dynamic world—is using water. Water itself is a powerful energy balancer. For instance, when you apply hot and cold water alternately to the surface of your skin, this stimulates circulation through the cardiovascular system, and it also spurs really good lymphatic drainage. From an electromagnetic point of view, by stimulating these systems you are increasing electricity at the heart of your cells, heightening your body’s ability to produce energy at a cellular level and to produce vitality in your life. Hydrotherapy works in other ways too. Like a really good way of eating, high in fresh green vegetables and low or no processed and convenience foods, water helps detoxify acid wastes which are interfering with normal energetic processes. An excellent technique that works fantastically well is Epsom salts baths. They are magical in the way they can help you to balance your energies, not only on a physical level, but emotionally. Epsom salts are magnesium sulphate. Both magnesium and sulphate molecules have an ability to leach excess sodium, phosphorous and nitrogenous wastes from the body. By reducing toxicity, your body’s energy becomes freed up for more efficient use. Magnesium and sulphur are also some of the most alkalinizing earth minerals. In practical terms, what this means is that they have the ability to create more physical space between the atoms and the molecules of your body. The greater the acidity in the body, and the more compressed the molecular space becomes, the greater the physical and emotional pressure you feel. When you get into an Epsom salts bath, the magnesium sulphate disturbs the pressure in your body, dispersing it and helping to restore balance. Magnesium sulphate dissolved in a body of water creates an electrical unified field. When you put your body into this field, it removes any excess electrical discharge from one area of the body and sends it to areas which are undercharged, creating a magnetic balance. There is nothing quite as good as an Epsom salts bath when you have been on a long flight or if you are suffering from jetlag, emotional tension, great fatigue or upset.

Art Of Skin Treatments

Art Of Skin Treatments

While there is no fountain of eternal youth anywhere in cosmetics, there are substances which, when externally applied, can not only be absorbed but will also help improve skin's texture and quality, correct problems, and preserve youth. There are also treatments with masks, exfoliaters, massage, exercise, and hydrotherapy which, although the substances used to give them are not taken directly into the skin, will also do a great deal for skin health and beauty. They are all part of the rather esoteric art of skin treatment. skin absorption - a useful tool In general, your skin is impermeable. Water, for instance, will not go through it. Neither will most oils. However, if it is in prolonged contact with some substances, if it is broken or has a rash, or if it is rubbed with an oil, emulsion or extract whose molecular structure is fine enough to cross the epidermal barrier, then active ingredients it contains can be carried not only through the epidermis but deep into the skin and sometimes even throughout the body via the bloodstream. In fact the skin's permeability is constantly being exploited by drug companies which view this percutaneous absorption as a means of getting medication into the body without irritating the gastrointestinal tracts of sick patients. The three main routes of skin penetration are through the hair follicles into the sebaceous glands, through the sweat glands, and through the unbroken stratum corneum between skin appendages. Once a substance does get past the stratum corneum by any of these means, its further passage into the epidermis and dermis is pretty much assured. Vitamins were first applied this way after the Second World War to treat ex-prisoners with severe vitamin deficiencies who couldn't take them by mouth. Vitamins D, E, and A - the fat-soluble vitamins; vitamin C; and some of the B-complex vitamins have all been used successfully in this way. Hormone absorption is well known. Oestrogen creams are often given to postmenopausal women by dermatologists. Many essential oils of plants are also absorbed very readily. The important questions are, How do you make positive use of your skin's percutaneous absorption? And how do you protect it from misuse? The second question is easy to answer: Avoid skin contact as much as possible with household chemicals, products containing toxic metals such as aluminum, lead, and mercury, and soaps with cleansers containing hexachlorophene. Also guard your skin from atmospheric chemicals in the air by cleansing it regularly twice a day and wearing a moisturizer/sunscreen, preferably one that contains the silicones that are particularly useful in protecting from pollution. Then get to know the substances that can be usefully applied to the skin for treatment purposes, and discover which ones work for you, using them as night treatments or special cures. The French have an excellent idea of treatment in the concept of the cure. A cure consists of a particular product or substance applied daily for a specific period - usually about two weeks at a time - as a kind of shock treatment to stimulate better oxygenation of the tissues. Because this cure is different from what your skin is used to and because your skin doesn't ever get a chance to become accustomed to it and therefore to stop responding positively to it, cures often bring excellent results. A cure can be repeated every couple of months and will be particularly useful when given with the change of the seasons. Here are some of the commonly applied skin benefactors that can be used on their own or mixed into simple oils and creams. Many of them will be found in some of the world's best manufactured cosmetic products - particularly the European ones and those truly based on plant oils and essences. But there are a lot of so-called natural or herbal products that are made of synthetics and have never seen a flower, lemon, or blade of grass - so choose carefully. The vitamins and antioxidants Vitamin A applied to the surface of the skin either from a capsule on its own or mixed into cream and oil preparations has been used successfully in the treatment of dry and aging skin and acne. It appears to work particularly well in combination with vitamin D, which itself has a healing effect on the skin. (This is why vitamin D is often used in nappy-rash remedies and in burn ointments.) Vitamin E, about which there has been such controversy, and vitamin C are certainly useful in the treatment of skin healing from a cut or burn. There is no conclusive evidence that, applied topically, it will do much for normal skin, although many women who use vitamin E regularly claim good results from it. Both vitamins are natural antioxidants and as such are probably useful in preventing premature aging of the skin (as well as the whole body) but for this purpose should be taken internally as well. In a few people, vitamin E used on the skin can cause allergic reactions. So, if you decide to use it, test it out on a small area first. Fatty acids can be very helpful in treating skin. GLA from borage oil or Evening Primrose Oil squeezed from a capsule enhances both the health of skin as a whole and improves the ability to hold moisture in all kinds of skin. Flax seed oil is excellent too. But it must be cold-pressed and kept in the fridge and you need to be careful of it on the body since it can stain clothes and sheets. There are two ways of applying vitamins to the skin: You can squeeze the vitamin oils directly from the capsules (which works well with E but tends to smell very strong with vitamins A and D) or you can mix any of the vitamins into a simple carrier oil and then spread it on the face. Good times for doing this are before you take strenuous exercise (the physical exertion improves the skin's absorptive abilities) and after a facial sauna, steaming, or hot bath (when the skin is warm and moist). Leave your preparation on for twenty minutes, then either remove with cleanser or simply tissue off the excess. The essential oils Plant extracts, or essential oils, are some of the most useful substances for skin treatment that you will find anywhere. The chemical structures of these essences are close to those of the fluids and oils in the skin itself, so that the skin appears to have a natural affinity for them. Essential oils in small quantities mixed with a carrier oil are excellent for general skin treatment as well as for correcting problems such as early aging and excessive dryness or oiliness. Make sure when choosing them that you are buying the pure essential oils of plants, not their synthetic substitutes, which are much cheaper but have no therapeutic action. Mix your own formulas, using fifteen drops of plant essences (that is, all the various essential oils you may use should total only fifteen drops together) to each ounce of carrier oil. Almond oil, apricot oil and hazelnut oil are particularly good carriers for the face. You can add vitamin E or A, squeezed directly from the capsules (the scents of the plant essences do wonders to mask the unpleasant odors of vitamins). Keep your mixture in a cool place (mix only small quantities each time), preferably in a brown glass bottle to protect them from the light. Some plant essences such as fennel contain phytohormones, which have an action on the skin resembling that of hormones such as oestrogen. They have a remarkable ability to firm skin and stimulate cell metabolism in aging skin. Others, such as lavender and orange blossom (neroli) are cytophylactic: They stimulate cell reproduction in the basal layer. Most essential oils used externally encourage the elimination of cellular wastes and help regulate the activity of the capillaries, restoring a look of freshness and glow to the face. Massage them in gently. Here are some of the best essential oils for specific purposes. For skin that is too oily: lavender, lemon, basil, geranium, juniper, and ylang-ylang. For skin that is dry: sandalwood, geranium, rose, lavender, jasmine, and chamomile. For aging skin: fenugreek, wheat-germ oil, sandalwood, rose, myrrh, frankincense, lavender, mace, clary. liposomes You hear a lot about these little microscopic spheres used in cosmetics. Actually they are nothing in themselves but little delivery vans for active ingredients. Filled with GLA or plant fractions or antioxidants they are a great way of making sure these treatment substances and complexes are carried to just the right place in the skin where they can do the most good - restoring the integrity of cell membranes, improving the use of oxygen, and protecting from free radical damage. retinoic acid Available only on prescription this derivative of vitamin A comes in gel, lotion or cream form. Originally used as an acne treatment in the late 70's doctors noticed that it also appeared to improve the appearance of sun-damaged skin, smoothing out fine lines, lightening freckles and blemishes and improving tone and texture. Retinoic acid can change cell metabolism, making cells turn over faster and bringing them better oxygenation and nourishment. That is all the good news and why for a few years retinoic acid was hailed as the great rejuvenator of skin. The trouble is there is bad news too. First, it can cause birth defects used by pregnant women. It also irritates the skin badly, making it dry and flaky and highly sensitive to UV light damage. Retinoic acid has too often been used wrongly, even in the hands of doctors, in too high a concentration and all over the face. As a result it has recently gained a bad press. Used properly in low concentration (0.05%) it can be useful. But results come slowly over a period of three to six months and you still end up with highly sensitive skin. Retinoic acid is only for sun-damaged skin. It has little to offer natural aging skin. the acids and enzymes "Fruit Acids" otherwise known as alpha hydroxy acids or AHA's include such compounds as glycolic acid from sugar cane, malic acid from apples, pyruvic acid from paw paws and lactic acid from milk. They are used in all sorts of concentrations, some of which you can buy over the counter, others which can only be used by doctors. With regular use they dissolve the intercellular glue that sticks old dead cells together allowing them to slough off and make the skin clearer. They also help plump up the skin of the epidermis, help to fade age-spots and increase the skin's supply of hyaluronic acid - a natural moisturizer. Some also believe they stimulate the production of new collagen. But why buy expensive products when you can use the fruits themselves complete with rich plant enzymes? Many of the best European skin-treatment products are based entirely on the actions of plant enzymes. These biocatalysts consist of two parts: the protein fraction, or apoenzyme, and the coenzyme. The smallest particles of enzymes are very large if one takes into account the entire molecule. However, thanks to enzyme splitting, the action of many plant enzymes is not restricted to just the uppermost layer of the skin. They can also produce effects on the deeper layers. Enzyme splitting is part of the manufacturing process in the production of cosmetics that depend for their effectiveness on the action of those plant biocatalysts. Another part lies in preserving the stability of their actions. For enzymes are delicate substances. All are destroyed at a temperature of 140 degrees Fahrenheit (60 C). Many also lose their activity if they come in contact with oxygen. Traces of iron or heavy metals also render them inactive. Finally, enzymes function best at the same pH as the skin - in a slightly acid medium. So the quality and the activity of vegetable and herbal extracts must always be carefully controlled in order to produce preparations of quality. But plant-based skin-care products that are made with all this in mind are excellent. home treatments On a do-it-yourself level, raw fruits and vegetables from your own kitchen are rich in acids and enzymes and will, in my opinion, give you an even better effect used regularly on the skin than most of the expensive "Fruit Acid" preparations you can buy. For instance, the cosmetic effect of the juice of fresh cucumber, which contains Ascorbic acid oxidase, has long been known. It is slightly diuretic and astringent and good for all types of skin. Similarly, the juice of fresh lemons, which also contains phosphates and the enzyme esterase, is also beneficial, particularly for oily skins. It is antiseptic and refining. So are fresh carrot juice and fresh papaya, as well as the juice and pulp of many other fruits. The enzymes contained in them help stimulate the life processes in your skin's cells, making it firmer and fresher-looking and giving it a glow of health. Only infinitesimally small quantities of enzymes - measured in millionths of a gram per liter - are needed for the enzymes to have a beneficial effect on the skin. And the art of using enzymes for cosmetic purposes is an elaborate one. For instance, for dry and tired skin one needs preparations with more proteases in them - enzymes that act on proteins; for blemished skin, or acne, you use more lipases - fat-affecting enzymes. When preparing plant-enzyme treatments at home, you need to make your preparations fresh each time and then put them immediately on the skin. The beneficial results will occur only so long as the living substances from the fresh fruits and vegetables have not yet been oxidized by exposure to air. And this oxidation process takes place rapidly. Here is an easy way of treating skin inside and out:  When you make fresh juices with a juice extractor, spread a couple of tablespoonfuls on your face. Masks are also particularly beneficial when made with fresh fruit and vegetable juices or pulp plus other ingredients from the kitchen - beaten egg yolk plus a tablespoon of raw, unheated honey for dry skin, or two teaspoons of natural yogurt for oily skin. They are best used after a facial sauna, when the skin is highly receptive to whatever is put on it. The following juices can be made with a juice extractor or the fruits and vegetables can be pureed in a blender. Experiment until you find the ones that work best for you, for every woman's skin is unique. air - let your skin breathe It may surprise you to see such a common thing as air listed among the important treatments for external use on skin, but in many ways it may be the most valuable of all. It is also often the most neglected by women who tend to cover their skin day and night with heavy creams. Although most of the oxygen your skin needs comes by way of the bloodstream, the skin also helps itself to as much as 2½ percent of the body's total oxygen from the air by direct absorption. Skin also directly eliminates almost 3 percent of the body's carbon dioxide waste. Generally, this direct oxygen intake is used only by the epidermis, where it helps to break down nutrients for cell use at the basal layer and to eliminate wastes. But in an emergency, when the body is short of oxygen, skin respiration can increase in order to partially oxygenate the blood as well. This ability of the skin to take in oxygen directly from the air appears to play an important part in maintaining its health and beauty. In the words of one oxygen researcher, Goldschmidt, "There is no doubt in my mind that skin respiration as such, and all our concern for its perfect function, is vital to health, life, even beauty ... the retention, holding back of exhaling carbon dioxide must produce a toxic condition in the body which is supposed to be discharged by way of normal respiration through the skin. If such unloading of carbon dioxide is made impossible, the condition of health suffers." Yet how many women do let their skin breathe? We cover the face day in and day out with cosmetic products, not to mention necessary sunblocks and sunscreens, many of which form a heavy, occlusive film on the surface of the skin that severely impedes the natural exchange of gases through the skin's surface. And in some cosmetic products too high a concentration of preservatives can cut down the skin's ability to inhale. On the rest of the body we wear layer upon layer of clothing, much of it made from synthetic materials, which also tend to restrict this skin breathing process. All this, together with the fact that few women breathe deeply and fully even through their lungs, means that they may be severely depriving the skin of vitality both from inside and out. Recently cosmetic manufacturers have begun to produce products - foundations and complex emulsion moisturizers - that do not interfere with the skin's air absorption. There are also several good treatment creams for older skin that contain ingredients designed to stimulate the skin's use of oxygen, which can be particularly helpful in aging skin. But whatever products you use on your skin, give it time to rest some of each night by cleansing it thoroughly and then leaving it free. For instance, there is no reason to wear a night cream all night long. With any treatment product you put on your skin, the lion's share of what the skin will pick up is taken in during the first twenty minutes after you apply it. Leaving it on longer than that is a waste of time. A night cream or a treatment oil or a mask can be applied after cleansing, for instance, left on for fifteen minutes to half an hour, and then removed before bedtime, so that your skin will be left free to breathe throughout the night. On the other hand there are also useful tools for encouraging the skin cells' use of oxygen. As your skin begins to age, its respiration slows down so dramatically that by the time you are sixty your skin may be taking in only half as much oxygen as a teenager's. At that stage it is helpful to take adequate supplies of pantothenic acid and the other B-complex vitamins and to use products containing placental extracts on the skin's surface. The skin on the rest of your body needs air too. Traditional European naturopathic methods of treatment have for years insisted on "air baths" as a means of increasing resistance to disease and strengthening the whole body. Patients are exposed to air in the nude or near nude for a specific period of time daily and even in cold weather. The treatment is even used with babies and small children, for colds and other infections. Practitioners claim that one of the main reasons women tend to feel so well during the summer months, while they are on the beach, is simply that their skin's surface is exposed to the air for long periods of time and that, although the sun's ultraviolet rays are destructive to skin tissue, the air exposure does it nothing but good: helping to clear up rough patches, lending a youthful glow to skin from improved circulation and better use of oxygen in the cells, and even, they say, revitalizing the whole body. They recommend spending from five to fifteen minutes a day (depending on the temperature) unclothed in the air - preferably outside or if that is not possible at least in a room in which the windows are wide open. They also recommend sleeping in a well-ventilated room. However you do it, find a way to set your skin free in the air for a few hours in every twenty-four. herbal saunas Every now and then (how often depends on whether your skin tends to be dry or oily and whether you live in the polluted air of cities or the clearer, fresh air of the country) skin needs more than everyday cleaning. It needs deep cleansing, and one of the most effective ways of getting it is from a facial sauna. In fact, the only skin condition that doesn't benefit from facial steams, or saunas, is that in which broken capillaries appear in the cheeks and nose, in which case the warm steam could aggravate the condition. A facial sauna will open the pores, drawing out impurities in them, soften the texture of the face, and tone the skin, all at the same time. If your skin is oily, you can benefit from one a couple of times a week. If your skin is dry, have one only once every two weeks. A facial steam is also an excellent way of preparing skin for treatment with masks, essential oils, creams, and vitamins. Here's how: Toss a couple of handfuls of mixed herbs (see below) into two quarts of water you have brought to the boil and then removed from the heat. Now cover your whole head with a towel and put it over the steaming pot so the towel forms a tent to catch the steam. Sit in front of the steaming pot (not closer than one foot from the water), and breathe in the scent of the aromatic herbs for five to ten minutes. Finish the treatment by splashing with cool water to remove wastes accumulated on the surface of the skin, and follow either with a treatment cream or mask, or your usual moisturizer. Here are some of the herbs you can choose from: chamomile, elder blossom, mint, basil, rosemary (particularly good for oily skin), sage, slippery-elm bark (good for sensitive skin), comfrey leaf and root (also good for delicate or inflamed or troubled skin), strawberry leaf, raspberry leaf, acacia flower, lavender, and rose petal. the mask effect Masks are one of the mysteries of the cosmetic world. The manufactured kinds come in many varieties and are designed for several purposes. You have to pick the right one for the right purpose. Many women don't. This is probably why they are often disappointed. Dermatologists disagree about their effectiveness. While some swear by them, others consider them little more than cosmetic security blankets. Chosen carefully, I believe, a mask can be a boon to beauty. A mask is designed to perform one of the more specific tasks: to deep-cleanse, to tone, to stimulate circulation, to moisturize the skin, or to exfoliate - that is, to remove the outer layers of dead epidermal cells so the skin is refined and left more receptive to whatever treatment product you choose to put on it after. Most commercial masks contain a great amount of water, which makes their evaporation rate rapid and gives the skin a cooling and soothing feel. But this is of little more than psychological help to the user. The deep response to elements in a mask comes through the vascular network in the dermis, where active ingredients coupled with physical tension from the mask drying on the skin bring about increased circulation and help stimulate cellular activity. 1. THE TIGHTENING EFFECT Putting the skin under a controlled degree of positive stress makes it look good. Most masks are smoothed on and then left to harden. They gently squeeze, and pinch the flesh while they are hardening. This constriction of the tissue, coupled with whatever stimulating properties the ingredients have, sets up a kind of temporary tension, When the constricting substance is rinsed away or peeled off, the blood vessels in the inner layer of the skin expand, the skin turns a pink tone, and the inner layer of it swells up somewhat as the fluid escapes from the enlarged blood vessels. This fluid pumps up the skin, making it resemble younger, more hydrated skin and making fine lines temporarily disappear. If the mask's tightening effect is powerful enough (as it is in clay-based masks, used for oily skin), the pores are also constricted, making them look smaller than they are. The whole face appears younger, smoother-textured, and more alive. The only trouble is, this mask effect is very transient. Almost as rapidly as it arrives, it can vanish, for as escaped fluid is reabsorbed, the skin returns to its normal state. But, for many women, this temporary lift, coupled with the fifteen minutes of enforced relaxation, is a useful beauty treatment. 2. THE EARTH TREATMENT Some of the most common and useful masks contain a clay base to absorb excess oil and in the process lift out dirt from the skin's pores. They usually also incorporate such ingredients as resorcinol and salicylic acid to slow down the activity of the oil glands themselves. They are designed for oily, combination, and blemished skin ("combination" meaning dry skin that has an oily "T" patch across the forehead and down the nose), and can be a remarkably effective adjunct to your regular skin-care regimen. Most of them dry on the skin. Clay also has a mild bleaching agent in it, which slightly lightens the skin. These masks are definitely not for the driest or most sensitive skins and are a kiss of death to any skin with broken capillaries. 3. FACIAL PEEL-OFFS In recent years, some of the most popular masks have been the peel-offs. Based on rubber, wax, or some kind of plastic, they are applied with a brush or fingertips, left to harden, and then finally peeled off like a piece of cellophane tape, taking surface dirt and some of the old dead cells of the epidermis with them. Because most of the peel-offs are translucent and many even transparent, they can be worn without fear of frightening the postman or the children. They form an occlusive layer on the skin which prevents water from escaping and encourages the tissue to store it up. They also contain specific treatment agents to soften the skin, and they come in formulas for all skin types. 4. CREAMS AND GELS Other masks are specifically designed for moisturizing as well as treatment. They contain such substances as collagen, NMFs, oestrogens, and silicons, liposomes containing fatty acids, and are formulated to increase the water retention of the skin and to soften its texture. In the form of a gel or a nondrying cream, they are ideal for dehydrated skin and can be used several times a week if necessary. They do not exfoliate, but they do moisturize and refine the texture of the skin slightly, leaving it smoother and softer to the touch. 5. EXFOLIATERS Although usually classified as masks, really these products are simply designed for smoothing out the surface of the skin, much as fine sandpaper does to mahogany. Very young skin doesn't need them. In the process of exfoliation, or skin sloughing, the cells that are dead on the surface are taken off, the pores (which may be blocked by cellular buildup) are opened, and excess pigmentation on the surface of the skin is removed. The texture is improved. Your skin becomes more translucent and a lighter and more uniform color. Exfoliation is particularly helpful to skin after thirty; as skin ages, the reproductive processes in the basal cells slow down. Removing the top layers of dead cells tends to stimulate these cells to reproduce more rapidly. It also makes the skin more receptive to any external treatment given afterwards. There are two types of exfoliaters on the market. Either will do the job well, so it is a matter of personal choice. One is a chemical exfoliater, which dissolves the cells when it is applied. The fruit acids, AHA's, are a good, gentle chemical exfoliation. The other is a pot-scraper physical exfoliater, which comes either as a little pad you wash with; as a mask you put on, let dry and then rub off like rubber cement; or as a cream containing lots of tiny grains. This kind you put on wet skin and rub gently for two or three minutes while the little particles in it scrape off the surface cells. Your skin can benefit from exfoliation once a week if it is dry, two or three times a week if it is oily. If you use exfoliation use it gently and with respect. It is easy to get too much of a good thing. the medium of massage Provided it is done skillfully, massage is a wonderful treatment for the face. But it must be done gently and carefully, for the muscles of the face and neck are made up of fibers which, unlike muscles in the rest of the body, are attached not only to bone but also to the skin itself. They are, therefore, delicate and must never be pulled hard, or massage can have a detrimental effect, rather than a helpful one. Always following the direction of the muscle fibers themselves, massage will stimulate blood circulation, which improves the tone of muscles and skin and promotes the use of nutrients in the cells and the elimination of wastes. Massage will also help the skin to absorb active ingredients in creams and essential oils. Always begin a massage by covering your face with a cream or oil. Begin with effleurage, which means moving the palm of your hand and your fingers lightly over the surface of the skin. This has a soothing effect and a relaxing one which encourages blood and lymph flow. Start at the center of the chest with your right hand, sweeping it outward towards the left shoulder and then upward over the left side of your neck. Then do the same for the other side with your left hand. (Actually these movements can be done simultaneously, using both hands at once.) Now massage from the base of the neck at the rear to the hairline. Do each stroke five times. Massage the neck, bringing first one hand and then the other around the curve of the neck from back to front also five times. Now bring each hand, one at a time, upward over the front and sides of the neck, under the chin, and outward at the jawline (five times each side). Stroke upward from corners of the mouth to temples (five times). Now, using the palms of your hands, stroke upward from the chin, over the jawline to the hairline so that the fingers cover the center portion of the face and the cupped palms go over first jaw and then cheekbones to end at the temples (five times). Stroke around the eyes. Begin at inner corners, at both sides of the nose, and using your middle finger, stroke outward around the eye to the outer corner. Then begin at the same inner corner and stroke upward and outward in a half circle around the top part of the eye, just underneath the bone that forms the eye socket. (Repeat upper and lower semicircle five times each side.) Now stroke across the forehead, using the left hand to move from right to left, followed by the right hand moving from left to right - five times each side. Finally, with the tips of your fingers tap lightly several times all over the chin and jawline, then over the cheekbones, then all across the forehead. Finish off the massage by removing the excess oil still left on the skin and splashing with cold water several times. the esoteric helpers Probably the finest toner you will ever find is simple ice-cold water. This is an excellent shock treatment not only for everyday use but also as part of postoperative care after plastic surgery. It stimulates cells, improves circulation, and brings back life to a neglected face. Here's how to give yourself a water treatment: Add two dozen ice cubes to a basin of cold water. Tie back your hair and cover your face with a layer of rich cream (oily and thick) or Vaseline or vegetable oil. Put on cotton-lined rubber gloves (I prefer to wear cotton, rather than rubber, gloves). Splash water on your cheeks ten times, under your chin ten times, on your neck ten times, and on your closed eyes five times. By now your face should be tingling and feeling frozen, so you are ready to go to work on the parts that most need firming, such as lines around the eyes, and double chin. Splash each section six to ten times. (You can begin with half the number of splashes everywhere and work up each time you give the treatment.) Finish by patting your skin dry with a soft towel and then applying a little oil or eye cream under the eyes and on the cheeks. You can use this freezing treatment every morning if you like, or only once a week. It is good for all skin types except those with broken capillaries, which should never be put under the strain of temperature extremes. Another marvelous skin treatment is spring water. Although I cannot say why, the spraying of spring water in microscopically small droplets from an atomiser or a spray bottle with a fine spray can not only hydrate skin but can also help eliminate skin eruptions and alleviate dry skin. I know two French dermatologists and an English one who have found this treatment useful in all kinds of skin inflammation as well. One of them believes that its beneficial results come from its being in such small droplets that the skin will actually take the water into itself. Whether or not this is true I don't know, but I do know it can greatly improve the texture and look of skin when used regularly. It is best to spray your skin after cleansing night and morning, before applying moisturizers or treatment products. I also find treatment products appear to be more effective when used after a skin spray. Ionization is excellent for improving skin of all types and ages. Ionization is the discharging of negative air ions into the atmosphere and is well known for its ability to speed the healing of severe burns. It has also been shown to be helpful in the treatment of many types of migraine and respiratory ailments and in improving mental clarity. Negative ions, which have often been referred to as "vitamins of the air," are negatively charged air molecules which occur naturally in unpolluted air, particularly by the sea or a river or in the mountains. It is the presence of these molecules, which carry a tiny negative charge, that makes one feel so well standing beside a waterfall in the country. It is also partly their absence in polluted air and in the air of centrally heated or air-conditioned offices and houses that makes some people feel tired or depressed, and which can cause illness and emotional disturbances in weather-sensitive people when the so-called ill winds blow, such as the sharav in the Middle East, the foehn in Germany, the mistral in southern France and the chinook in the Rocky Mountains of the United States. Scientists still do not know whether the beneficial effects of negative ionization occur as a result of these tiny particles being absorbed by the skin, or taken in through the lungs in breathing, or both. But, besides their other health-promoting properties, negative ions are useful in improving acned and blemished skin and, even more important, in helping protect skin against premature aging. This particular aspect of ionization is not one that has been proved scientifically yet, for most of the research into the use of air ions has been in the treatment of specific ailments, not as cosmetic treatment, but I can vouch for its effectiveness. I have seen it improve the skin of a number of women with all types of skin and of all ages. An ionizer you can put beside your bed at night will also help you sleep soundly. Ionizers are not cheap, but they are a most worthwhile investment.

De-Age Your Skin

De-Age Your Skin

There are now over 10,000 ingredients commonly found in cosmetics and toiletries. Among these are a few thousand aromatic compounds used to perfume products—by the way, most products these days are anything but natural. More than a thousand of these substances have already been shown to produce toxic effects on living systems. Now here’s the BIG news: Far more important than the potential harm any single chemical can do is the dangerous way in which these chemicals can interact to produce far more toxic compounds within your body and, of course, the skin, which is your largest organ. OUTDATED SCIENCE So far behind the times are the methods used to check out the “safety” of chemical ingredients, that it’s likely to take decades before the depth of the chemical damage to which we are now exposed can become common knowledge. The outdated analytical methods still being used to identify carcinogenic chemicals, for instance, examine the effect of only one chemical on living tissue. This kind of research is at least 150 years behind what it should be. It’s based on 19th century toxicology, and as such, it takes no account of the dangers of mega-toxic compounds created by chemical interactions with one or another. Not to mention the pollutants in our foods, water and air. All of these chemicals—and others formed by reactions between them—contribute to mounting toxicity. They make our skins highly susceptible to rapid ageing. FOREIGN DANGERS Man-made chemicals are foreign to living systems, including our own skin and body. As such, they’re potentially dangerous to them. Why? Because, in a million years of evolution, our bodies have never come into contact with them. Our genes are simply not adapted to handle them. We don’t have the enzyme system needed to clear these chemicals from our bodies. And here’s the bad news: Included in the group of potentially destructive chemicals are hundreds—probably thousands—of common cosmetic ingredients, from artificial preservatives to fragrances. TOXIC OVERLOAD Chemical cocktails, to which our bodies are constantly exposed in cleaning products, toiletries, perfumes, makeup and skin care products don’t just remain on the surface of the skin. They are absorbed right through it. They interfere with the exchange of nutrients and oxygen to the skin cells, and with the elimination of wastes—an exchange regulated by subtle electrochemical energies. This results in a buildup of toxicity in the body, poor circulation and electrochemical stagnation, so that the skin’s cellular metabolism—and the transmission of important information and the regulation of hormones to keep it young and beautiful—break down. So much for the bad news. THE GOOD NEWS When cells thrive, and your skin is radiant, you have a high level of protection from aging. This happens when plenty of nutrients and oxygen get into your cells, and toxic wastes are efficiently and effectively removed. One way help this takes place is to go for self care and cleaning products that are safe. The second way is to stop eating massive amounts of convenience foods, riddled with grains, cereals, sugars and junk fats. Of course this is what most people still eat. Then they wonder why their skin ages rapidly. The good news is this: There are some wonderful new skincare products just being introduced. These are not only organic in nature, they contain none of the nasties you will want to steer clear of. BUYER BEWARE Unfortunately, most cosmetic manufacturers still pay little attention to the effects that these chemicals can exert on the body and on health in general. Here are some of the most widespread chemicals commonly used in makeup, skincare and toiletries, and which you need to be aware of. Parabens: Heavily used preservatives in the cosmetic industry, used in an estimated 13,200 skincare products, makeup, and toiletries. These are the most common synthetic preservatives. They show up on labels with names like butyl-paraben, methyl-paraben, and propyl-paraben. Naïve cosmetic manufacturers insist that parabens are “safe”, because they don’t directly cause inflammatory reactions to skin. But what these enzyme-inhibitors do is cause damage to the DNA of skin cells. This is something easily verified by feeding placebos to live cells in a laboratory, then recording what happens to them. Research carried out in Germany, Britain and Japan also indicates that parabens—which we absorb in significant quantities day in, day out—are likely to be a causative factor in male infertility problems and breast tumors in women. Sodium Lauryl or Lauryl Sulfate (SLS): Also known as Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES), which is found in some 90% of personal care products. They tend to attack your skin’s important ability to retain moisture, leading to premature aging and, in many, dry skin. Since they are very easily absorbed into the body when you put them on your skin, they actually give easy access to other chemicals that you are better off without. Isopropyl alcohol (SD-40): This is a drying and irritating solvent which disrupts the skin’s immune protective barrier, making it more vulnerable to invasion by microbes and to penetration by other destructive chemicals. It also promotes the formation of irregular pigmentation and age spots. Coal tar dyes (FD&C color pigments): These are common synthetic colors made from coal tar. They can contain heavy metals to pollute the body and deplete it of oxygen. They can also be carcinogenic. Coal tar dyes are major culprits in skin reactions, and they engender skin sensitivity. Dioxane: Often hidden in the list of ingredients, and called such things as polysorbates, PEG, and laureth ethoxylated alcohols. These chemicals are easily absorbed by the skin and are carcinogenic. This was discovered back in 1965 and later confirmed by a number of studies, including one in 1978 by the National Cancer Institute in the US. Artificial fragrances: Lots of chemicals used to make artificial fragrances are known to be both toxic and carcinogenic. They can affect the central nervous system, triggering emotional disturbances and behavioral problems in some people. This is a wide group, the majority of which is dangerous—in no small part because of the solvents used to disperse their molecules and to suspend these complex organic chemicals in solution. MAKE YOUR CHOICE Does this mean you should never again slick on that yummy lip gloss? Or that you need to toss the light-as-air cream you just bought into the bin? Not necessarily. What it does mean is this: It’s time to become aware of the dangers of toxic overload to your own system, and take action to minimize it happening to you. It’s also a good idea to cleanse your system through a very gentle but effective detox a couple of times a year. You might, for instance, choose to use the lipstick or a favorite mascara—but search for a shampoo with a natural saponifier, like kumerhou or soap wort. And forget the foaming bath lotions—use Epsom salts instead. It is important not to take, on trust, cosmetic and skincare manufacturers’ assurances that everything they put into their products is perfectly safe. It just ain’t true. ORGANIC ALTERNATIVES A growing number of conscientious companies are striving to formulate products without potentially dangerous ingredients. Some of these products are excellent. Others, although they may have been conceived out of a genuine wish to produce good, safe skincare and makeup, fall short on effectiveness and aesthetic appeal. Just like organic wines—which can be wonderful— but simply because a wine is organic does not make it beautiful to drink. Delicious organic wines rely on chemical-free vineyards and the sophisticated skill of the winemaker who creates them. So it is with cosmetics. NEW GUYS ON THE BLOCK There are two brand new organic skincare ranges that are worth taking a look at. One of them, Gaiavita…From Nature to Beauty With Love, is an excellent range that has just appeared. I have tried their products and they are effective and delightful. Their products are not only produced from superb-quality organic ingredients, the company has a powerful commitment to supporting transformation in business and on the planet, which I find inspiring. Gaiavita offer luxury health and beauty products using the purest ingredients in preparing rejuvenating skin creams and clay body masques. Do take a look at them. GaiaVita's ethos is derived from core principles of responsibility, integrity, transparency and quality...all of which I love. They have created luxury skin and body products which are not only uncompromising in their ethics but are delicious to use... and they do the job for which they are intended. The founders have a vision of forming partnerships with other women’s organizations dedicated to empowering women to become everything that they want to be. Their skin care and body treatments contain only the purest ingredients. This range is formulated in Hungary with great care and is certified by Hungaria Biokontrol as 95% organic. All in all I feel that GaiaVita is inspiring, delicious and effective. Do take a look at it…perhaps I should say take a feel of it...I suspect you’ll come to like it as much as I do… The second new organic skincare range comes out of Dr Joseph Mercola’s stable. Mercola believes that it’s important to use only ingredients that promote healthy appearances without causing potential harm. His products are certified organic, which means that they are all natural agricultural products grown and processed according to the USDA’s national organic standards, then certified by the USDA-accredited state and private certification organizations. I have a lot of respect for Dr Mercola, however I have not yet tested the Mercola organic skincare range myself. I will be doing so within the next month. It relies principally on specific natural substances such as sea buckthorn oil, cupuaco butter, and even Acai berries. My reservations about the Mercola range—and this may change once I have experimented with them—is this: Just as I have never trusted anybody to tell the truth about weight control when they have never been overweight and don’t have any idea what people who have been struggle with, I have reservations about a skincare range put together by a man who understands little about the nature of the process. I know this sounds sexist, but my experience in skin care and cosmetic is a long one. Among other ranges I have worked on, I conceived and created the Origins range for cosmetic giant Estee Lauder. I believe that you must have the experience of women to create a skincare range that is effective, delicious to use and wonderful. Hopefully, testing out Mercola’s products will prove me wrong. MERCOLA’S RANGE FAILS Alas, my concerns about the Mercola skincare turned out to be well founded. The range is indeed organic however, having tested the products now, I cannot recommend them. They smell pleasant but are in my opinion ineffective. They are also badly packaged and priced far to high. They brought no improvement to my skin and added nothing to its care. My advice is to stay away from them altogether... just because some ingredients are organic says nothing about what they can or cannot do to care for your skin and this range brings can do little or nothing for you. I DO NOT RECOMMEND THIS RANGE IN ANY WAY. For more information about GAIAVITA click here For more information about MERCOLA’s SKINCARE RANGE click here

Sacred Truth Ep. 70: Epsom Salts Reborn

Sacred Truth Ep. 70: Epsom Salts Reborn

Epsom salts baths are one of the world’s most potent yet underrated natural treatments. Don’t take them lightly. They can improve your health and they cost almost nothing. They can be useful if you have been having a stressful day because they deep cleanse the body, both physiologically and energetically. They are great for encouraging deep, restful sleep and relaxation. Epsom salts also carry a magic that goes way beyond this. Lying in an Epsom salts bath is a superb way to enter your inner world and make you aware of dreams and longings you may not even have discovered yet. Use them to help forge deep connections with your essential being. Use them often and just allow yourself to BE instead of having to DO all the time. Named after a compound of minerals discovered in 17th century England, Epsom salts were first discovered by Nehemiah Grew in Epsom, a small town not far from London. He discovered that Epsom salts could relieve pain in muscles, calm headaches, and quell inflammation. Early on, drinking Epsom water was used as a purgative. The salts themselves were produced by boiling Epsom water until it turned into hydrated magnesium sulfate—which is where the name Epsom salts comes from. This hydrated magnesium sulfate brings important minerals your body, and they are absorbed through the skin when you take an Epsom salts bath. Both the magnesium and the sulfate molecules have the ability to leach excess sodium, phosphorous, and nitrogenous wastes from the body. As they reduce toxicity, more of your body’s energetic potential gets freed up for use. Magnesium and sulfur also happen to be among the most alkalinizing of earth minerals. In practical terms, what this means is that they have the ability to create more physical space between the atoms and molecules of your body. This is important since the greater the acidity in the body and the more compressed this molecular space becomes, the greater the physical and emotional pressure you feel. There’s more good news. When you step into an Epsom salts bath, magnesium sulfate immerses your body in a unified electrical field. This takes excess electrical discharge from one area of the body and sends it to areas that are undercharged, which creates energetic balance and flow. There is nothing quite as good as an Epsom salts bath; for instance, taking an Epsom salts bath after you have been on a long flight or if you are suffering from jet lag, emotional tension, or fatigue. Magnesium deficiencies are rampant in the Western world as industrial agriculture has removed massive quantities of magnesium from our soils and also because most people choose to feed themselves on packaged convenience foods. More than 80 percent of people in the United States are deficient in magnesium. Very few have any idea just how important magnesium is to their health. Magnesium is the second-most abundant element in your cells. It is also the fourth most positively charged ion in your body and essential to more than 300 specific enzymes in the body. Magnesium helps activate your muscles and nerves. It’s a catalyst for vital neurotransmitters like serotonin. It helps create ATP, which are energy molecules for your body. And it must be present for optimization of the mitochondria in cells, which are crucial for vitality, health, and athletic performance. What about sulfur—the other half of the Epsom salts equation? Sulfur is a natural detoxifier. It is a powerful antioxidant, pain reliever, and anti-inflammatory. Inviting sulfur into your body through the surface of your skin while lying in an Epsom salts bath is a superb way to strengthen your system as a whole. The electrical charge between magnesium with its positive charge and sulfur with its negative charge helps these two minerals blend together in a superb way. There is a very specific way of taking an Epsom salts bath. Let me share it with you: Pour two large cups of industrial grade Epsom salts into the bathtub. You can find them in small amounts at the chemist and in supermarkets. Far better is this: order in bulk a 25 kg bag over the Internet. This way Epsom salts are inexpensive. One more tip: I like to add a pound of sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) to every Epsom salts bath because it blends well with magnesium sulfate and is wonderful for skin. But you must make sure that any baking soda you use contains no aluminum since this is the last thing you should ever put into your bath water or anywhere else. Fill the bath with blood-heat tepid water, just above body temperature. Immerse yourself in it for at least 20 to 30 minutes. If your body gets too cool, add some more hot water. If your body becomes too warm, add some cold water. You need to be able to sustain being in this bath in a very relaxed state for 20 to 30 minutes. Then get out of the bath and wrap yourself in a towel. If you are doing this just before bed, now climb into bed, cover yourself up, keep warm, and you can easily drift into blissful sleep. If it’s during the day or if you are trying to restore yourself to be able to go out in the evening, then when you get out of the Epsom salts bath wrap yourself up in a towel and lie down for 10 minutes. Then get up, get dressed, and go about doing whatever you are intending to do. In our home we are completely addicted to the joys and the benefits of daily Epsom salts baths. I predict that you too may become the addicts we have become. Try it and see.

The Cellulite Story

The Cellulite Story

Cellulite makes everybody uneasy - from the woman who worries about her orange peel thighs to the British or American 'obesity expert' intent on proving that fat is fat, cellulite is nothing more than a figment of foolish women's imagination, and what any woman with lumpy thighs should do is get down to a good old calorie-controlled diet to shed it. Even staunch feminists who write hard-hitting polemics about the coercion of women by the beauty industry get het up about cellulite. It is, they insist, something invented by fashion magazines to make women feel bad about themselves. Meanwhile hundreds of thousands of women with the problem bemoan their fate at having contracted a "nonexistent" condition and hope that if only they spend a little more money or endure a little more discomfort from one of the high-tech treatments - being pricked with multi-injector syringes or subjected to brutal pummeling for instance - it will make her legs smooth, sleek and svelte. banishing disbelief I've seen medical papers from all over Europe and America on cellulite, its cause and its development as well as proposed solutions to this lumpy bumpy flesh which can mar the thighs of even the leanest women. As of this moment literally hundreds of medical references to cellulite exist, some of them going back a hundred and fifty years. Next time someone tries to tell you you are imagining pea d'orange thighs smile knowingly and ignore them. None of the theories, analyses and descriptions of elaborate chemical treatments for cellulite have the full answer. In part this is because cellulite is a difficult condition to study in vivo - within the body of a woman who has it - since this means performing a biopsy of the tissue which is a painful medical process. In part it is because cellulite is a many-facetted syndrome with no single cause and no single effective treatment.

Lymphomania

Lymphomania

Lymphatic drainage is vitally important to making sure metabolic processes run cleanly and efficiently. Your body's lymph system is, amongst other things, a kind of metabolic rubbish dump. It helps the body rid itself of dead cells, toxins, metabolic wastes, pathogenic bacteria, foreign substances and other assorted junk the cells cast off. Lymphatic drainage Unlike the circulatory system, in which the circulation of blood is controlled by the pumping of the heart, the lymphatic system has no such pump. The plasma which has seeped through capillary walls gathers in the tissues and then slowly enters the lymphatic channels. These are tiny vessels with one-way valves in them for carrying lymph, along with whatever small bits of foreign matter, wastes and bacteria it has gathered, through the lymph nodes and eventually back into the bloodstream. The normal contractions and relaxation of your muscles and the force of gravity on the body keep the lymph flowing. They act to pump the lymph back through its channels and eliminate these wastes. Regular vigorous exercise encourages this elimination. It brings about a general flushing of the wastes from interstitial fluid and then helps them be carried away through the lymphatic tree of vessels until eventually they empty into the subclavian veins and are eliminated from the body through the actions of all the excretory organs - the skin, lungs, kidneys and colon. In Europe some of the finest natural treatments for healing involve a kind of massage dubbed `lymphatic drainage' which helps the body do this. It is not only used to treat serious chronic illness and fatigue but even as a beauty treatment for women on the face. Skin-brushing stimulates the tissues beneath the skin, encouraging efficient lymphatic drainage. It is an extraordinarily efficient technique for cleansing the lymphatic system and for clearing away waste materials from the cells all over the body as well as those which, as in the case of cellulite in women, have become trapped in interstitial spaces where they are held by hardened connective tissue and where they build up to create pockets of water, toxins and fat that make the skin look like peau d'orange. Skin-brushing is something any woman with cellulite should do twice a day.

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Leslie Kenton’s Cura Romana®

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Leslie Kenton’s Cura Romana® has proudly supported 12,000+ weight loss journeys over the past 12 years. With an overall average daily weight loss of 0.5 - 0.6 lb for women and 0.8 - 1.0 lb for men.

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Yesterday’s Average Daily Weight Loss:

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