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beauty

70 articles in beauty

Skin Brushing

Skin Brushing

Skin-brushing is an old and well-proven European technique for getting rid of toxic wastes from the body: both because it stimulates lymphatic drainage and because it increases the quantity of waste which is eliminated directly through the surface of the skin - a staggering one third of our wastes can be eliminated this way. I first learned the technique more than fifteen years ago. It was taught to me by a West Country physician named Phillip Kilsby who used it in conjunction with a high-raw diet as part of a program for healing many kinds of illness - from migraine and arthritis to high blood pressure and depression. When he first told me how effective it was in eliminating wastes and toxins from the body I did not believe him. He suggested a little experiment by which I could prove to myself just how effective it was at eliminating rubbish through the surface of the skin. He said, `Take a washcloth or flannel and wet it then wring it out well. Now brush your skin dry using the directions below. When you have finished rub the flannel over the surface you have brushed all over just once. Then hang the flannel up and don't use it again until tomorrow when you perform exactly the same routine. After three or four days smell the flannel.' That was all the proof needed! I use skin-brushing regularly, year round, several times a week. Many of the natural techniques for detoxifying the body are more effective if your body is not allowed to become accustomed to them by doing them every day. Skin brushing can be done steadily for three weeks with a week's break before resuming it again. After even a week of skin-brushing you will also notice an improvement in the look and feel of your skin. After a few weeks it even seems to improve muscle tone although I have never been able to figure out why this should happen. here's how You will need a natural vegetable-bristle brush (the long-handled kind is best) but a hemp glove will also do. Such brushes and gloves can be found in most health-food shops or good chemists. The brush should be kept dry. It is best to brush first thing in the morning before you shower. Brush the entire skin surface, except for your face. Begin with your feet, including the soles, then move up your legs, front and back, with firm sweeping strokes. Brush from your hands up your arms and across your shoulders, then brush your back and buttocks. On your front, brush a little more gently—your neck, chest and abdomen. In the abdominal area use a clockwise circular motion. To begin with brush fairly gently, increasing the firmness of the strokes as your body becomes more accustomed to it. After brushing take a shower. If you are brave you can alternate with warm and cold water (always beginning with warm and ending with cold). This is an excellent way of getting the circulation going and speeding up elimination.

How To Feel Fully Alive

How To Feel Fully Alive

I want to share with you something I find pretty surprising which so many seem to experience on Cura Romana. To be fully alive you must be who you in essence are. For who you truly are is far more interesting, vital and exciting than anything or anyone you might aspire to be. Sadly, this fact is one most of us forget. Thanks to the diencephalic changes taking place via the autonomic nervous system to body, brain and hormones, the CURA ROMANA JOURNEY is a time in which we seem to be offered the finest opportunity I have ever come across to connect with the true nature of our own being, if, of course, we choose to take it. On a physiological level alone the changes in the appetite and fat control center in the brain seem to invite this kind of transformation. Let me tell you a little bit about this center in the brain. In Simeons’ words: “Buried deep down in the massive human brain there is a part which we have in common with all vertebrate animals, the so-called diencephalon. It is a very primitive part of the brain and has in man been almost smothered by the huge masses of nervous tissue with which we think, reason and voluntarily move our body. The diencephalon is the part from which the central nervous system controls all the automatic animal functions of the body, such as breathing, the heart beat, digestion, sleep, sex, the urinary system, the autonomous or vegetative nervous system and via the pituitary the whole interplay of the endocrine glands.” The Cura Romana transformations no doubt begin as physiological and functional alterations in diencephalic functioning. Yet why they happen so much more easily on the Cura Romana we use now than they did on the original one, I don’t yet understand. Has it to do with the vibrational nature of the Essential Spray which, together with the dietary protocol, may be affecting not only the physicality of the body but also its energetic aspects? These are a few of the questions I keep asking myself. In another of Simeons’ books Man’s Presumptuous Brain, he explores interesting conflicts which often take place in civilized man between the primitive, instinctual diencephalon area of the brain and our highly developed cerebral cortex from which we do our rational thinking. These are conflicts, Simeons points out, which often result in illness. I suspect that Cura Romana helps create a finer balance between our cool, rational conscious mind and our rich, primitive and instinctual animal nature, thereby creating greater harmony between body and mind. For we live in a cerebral, intellectual culture which pays too little attention to the importance of connecting with our essential being—our soul, if you like. Then so many of our potentials for expanded consciousness, tapping higher levels of insight, joy and bliss, too often remain dormant. Whatever is going on with people on their Cura Romana Journeys, it is pretty amazing for many. This is how Mirjana in England describes it. She shed 19.8 pounds on her program: “‘Cura Romana has completely transformed my life.” She says. “I wake up every morning energized and blissful. I am more aware of everything and everyone around me and, most important of all, I am more aware of my own needs and of myself.” It all remains a mystery…but a beautiful one.

Become Ageless

Become Ageless

I learned the secret of agelessness when, many years ago, I came upon a quotation from someone I much admire. Let me share it with you: “All men dream; but not equally.” he said. “Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find it was vanity: but dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dream with open eyes, to make it possible.” The quotation comes from T.E. Lawrence. I adore it. It transformed my own vision of aging. It reminded me of the imaginative power each of us has to create our unique path. It taught me that there is no need to fear growing older. Each one of us can live a rich and fulfilling life at any age. Yet too few of us make use of our powerful abilities to envision, then bring into being, what we long for. If, like me, you’d prefer to die young late in life, there are two things for you to do: First, get savvy about how to care for yourself naturally. Second, start to practice Lawrence of Arabia’s dictate. Decide to become a “dreamer of the day”. Then “act with open eyes to make it possible.” The growing understanding of natural medicine, together with reputable research into high-tech biochemistry, has made this transformation possible. Once little more than a pipe-dream, agelessness is becoming a reality. Savvy gerontologists have challenged the assumed maximum lifespans of human beings. They show us that people in the know can make intelligent use of antioxidant nutrients, electromagnetic treatments, and a myriad of other safe, natural anti-aging tools—including an organic, high-raw diet—to prevent physical degeneration and restore a healthy balance to their bodies and their lives. It is never too late to begin. Instead of prescribing dangerous drugs, this new wave of visionary scientists and practitioners show that the foods we eat exert powerful effects on control centers in the brain. These powerful loci direct metabolic processes on which your health depends—from hormonal behavior, weight and appetite, to emotional and mental states—even, believe it or not, the way we perceive the nature of reality. What few people yet know—and what I have been studying and teaching for decades—is that these control centers in the brain are also filters through which we experience profound spiritual growth. Choose to live on a diet of convenience foods, sugars, and carbohydrates, as more than 90% of people now do, and your brain’s control centers become crippled. You begin to age rapidly. Then, should you be urged to buy into relying on pharmaceutical drugs, eventually your body becomes poisoned by them. Become aware of this. Fresh foods grown on healthy soils foods and top quality nutrients do not poison the body’s crucial enzymes, nor do they block vital cell receptors, on which your health depends. Taking drugs long-term does both, bringing about not only ill-health and rapid aging, but unbalanced emotions, mental fog, and a strong sense that—in ways you cannot even articulate—you have lost trust and connections with yourself, although you may have no idea how this has happened. Changing the way you eat and care for your body can begin, within a few weeks, not only to transform your health. It can expand your consciousness and help you change your life for the better on virtually every level. Forget your chronological age. It’s a very limited indication of your biological and functional age. These are the measurements that really matter. Older people are capable of far more than society would have us believe. At any age, people can learn how to live by the principles of natural wellbeing and become highly resistant to the ravages of degeneration and chronic illness. They come to know their bodies. They face each morning in fresh anticipation about what the day can bring. They’ve learned to dismiss the negative brainwashing continually bombarding us from mainstream media, the medical profession and government directives. They know, for instance that, as George M. Mann MD says, “The diet-heart hypothesis which suggests that high intake of saturated fat and cholesterol causes heart disease has been repeatedly shown to be wrong. The public is being deceived by the greatest health scam of the century.” Those in the know refuse to allow themselves to be deceived any longer. Savvy, independent people have every right to boast of their increased longevity and high resistance to degeneration. They’ve earned it. These people seek truths and continue to uncover them. They choose to shun unnecessary drugs, to banish convenience foods, to make at least 50 to 75% of the foods they eat organic. They reject negative beliefs about growing older. They become not old, but ageless. Agelessness makes available to you a steadily maturing wisdom which is one of the greatest blessings as years go by. You become someone whose experience and awareness has not been distorted by an ill-functioning mind or waning vitality. Our sense of time expands and helps us come alive to the present moment. In a powerful, real, and positive way, this draws it towards the future. And when we are able to project ourselves into the future, that future becomes not an abstract consideration, but an experience of great rewards. The future of the planet is our future. We are responsible for it. If we wish, we can start to see ourselves as caretakers of our earth instead of tenants in a rented property. At last, the freedom from mental and physical degeneration which agelessness brings is no longer an empty dream. It is happening to many who are awakening. Who cares if, at the age of 85, you are still capable of running a marathon, or if you look 20 years older or younger than you are chronologically? Such things matter little by themselves. But high-level health, mental clarity and well-being which are the rewards of agelessness—no matter how old one is chronologically—are of urgent concern to all of us as residents of the earth. They form the foundation on which we human beings can build if we are to make use of our creative potentials. In the full use of such creativity lies the future of ourselves, our children and our planet. Have I become one of Lawrence’s “dreamers of the day”? I certainly have. It’s dreams that create the true mythologies by which we live our lives. I believe each and every one of us urgently needs solid dreams to give our lives direction—dreams which, tempered by the wisdom of age, are large enough and rich enough to carry us forward. Such dreams not only have power. They can help us bring forth exciting new realities.

How Savvy Are You About Soy?

How Savvy Are You About Soy?

For generations, we’ve been urged to eat soy-based foods. We’ve been told that soy foods are great for our own health and the health of our families. In fact, in the late 90s, soy became every aggressive marketer’s dream. The ignorant FDA informed the entire world that “Diets low in saturated fat and cholesterol which include 25 grams of soy protein may reduce the risk of heart disease.” This was another of their potentially dangerous pronouncements. As if from nowhere, soy food sales skyrocketed, rising from $300 million a year to an astounding $4 billion by 2006. Thanks to massive advertising campaigns, the whole world started swallowing soy foods, drinks, powdered sports supplements and oils, as well as a thousand other soy products which every one of us would have been better off without. Of course, Monsanto loved it and started growing GMO soy everywhere they could get away with it. Did you realize that as much as 95% of all soybeans in the world are now genetically modified? The last thing you want to do is feed yourself or your children on GMO anything. Not only this, but soy foods are incompatible with your body for all sorts of other reasons too. Most soy grown nowadays contains dangerous quantities of glyphosate—the main ingredient in the weed killer Roundup. Soy is also full of potentially destructive levels of manganese and aluminum—both known to reduce brain function. Even non-GMO soy carries many anti-nutrient inhibitors, known to interfere with the proper functioning of the enzymes needed for good digestion—l.ike hemagglutinin, which causes red blood cells to clump together and inhibits your body’s ability to take up oxygen. It also contains goitrogens, which interfere with thyroid functions and phytates, which depress the body’s ability to absorb important minerals such as zinc, iron, magnesium and calcium. Nevertheless, you will still find soy in one form or another in a majority of the convenience foods and drinks which line our supermarket shelves, including many foods which have nothing to do with soy like ice creams, sausages, breads and sauces. For me, the saddest news is that a huge percentage of babies continue to be fed on soy formula all over the world. When it comes to infant formulas, soy is something you want to avoid at all costs. It is dangerous to your child. The very best care you can give to both yourself and your baby is to breastfeed. If possible, let your child decide when he or she is ready to give up nursing. Your baby will get life-long health gains from breastfeeding. Not to mention that the closeness which develops between the two of you is a lifelong blessing. Here are some of the health benefits that breastfeeding confers upon a child: Decreased risk of obesity Decreased risk of eczema and other skin problems Fewer middle ear infections Better respiration Added protection against diabetes, asthma, allergies and heart disease Improved immune function Better brain function. We’ve long been told that soy must be good for us since Asians consume huge amounts of it. The truth is, the Chinese and Japanese eat surprisingly little soy—on average, only about 10 grams—about to two teaspoons per person—per day. And they eat soy only as a condiment, never as a replacement for animal proteins. The eating of soy foods began during the late Chou dynasty in Japan and China (1134-246 BC). This was only after the Chinese had mastered the art of naturally fermenting soy beans. They began to make foods like tempeh, natto, and tamari, all of which were made from traditionally—read: organically grown— soy beans. These fermented soy products are indeed healthy for you, since fermenting neutralizes the toxins in soybeans. By contrast, eating unfermented soy not only denatures the small quantities of protein soybeans contain, it actually increases the levels of carcinogens present. If you are vegetarian, you’ve probably been told that soy foods provide your body with complete proteins. This is untrue. So is the notion that eating soy foods will supply Vitamin B12 to vegetarian diets. If you wish to eat soy, eat only fermented foods made from organic soybeans: natto, tempeh and tamari. Stay away from all soy milk products which are not fermented and not organic. Vegetarian or not, it’s time to let go of the belief that any soy product will give you all the protein you need to live at a high level of health and resistance to early aging. They won’t. Want to learn more? Check it out online at the Weston A. Price Foundation. There you can discover and learn which naturally fermented soy products are available. http://www.westonaprice.org/soy-alert/

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

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.

Exploring Beauty

Exploring Beauty

I am a sucker for beauty. I always have been. It dazzles me, whether in the form of a man, a woman, a sunrise, or tiny shoots poking their heads through encrusted mud after a devastating flood. One way or another I have spent more than forty years of my life working with beauty, writing about it, researching for product formulations and helping create skincare ranges in the beauty industry. Superficial? Nothing but an indulgence? Nonsense. Like truth, beauty can be one of life’s greatest joys. Keats knew what he was on about in the final lines of his Ode To A Grecian Urn: "'beauty is truth, truth beauty,' – that is all / Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know" For years I had a recurring dream: I am walking through a wood and come upon a tree so magnificent I cannot bear to look upon it. I never understood what the dream was telling me. Then one day I got it. True beauty—the dazzling uniqueness of a tree or a wonderful piece of music or a woman, be she 18 or 80—in some way annihilates us. It takes us beyond what we feel comfortable with to what physicists call zero point, a realm of no thoughts, no opinions, just a sense that we are at that moment in the presence of something wondrous. THE ZEN OF 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. Each man or woman boasts her own brand of seed power—a unique collection of physical characteristics, passions, needs, quirks and agendas. Like a stalk of bamboo in a Zen painting, the seed power of a human being is absolutely unique, yet carries with it a magnificent sense of the universal. The more freely and fully a person’s seed power gets expressed in how they speak, think, look and live, the more beautiful they become. This is what I call deep beauty. Real beauty is above all authentic. That is, it is carried on the energy that comes from living your own truth instead of buying into somebody else’s rules. The mythologist Joseph Campbell used to say that the best way to live your life is to “follow your bliss.” I think he’s right. When you live this way your eyes shine, your body grows stronger and your skin glows, no matter what your age. In this lies the truth of what they call “inner beauty.” ICING ON THE CAKE But what about “outer beauty?” I also love the trappings and trimmings, the glory and glamour of lotions and potions, sparkling eyeshadows and shimmering lip-glosses. Since I was a teenager my dressing table has been littered with colors and brushes, hair clips, bottles and sprays. They were my playthings for adornment and exaggeration. Like the ribbons nineteenth century women wove into their hair and bodices… mmm… sheer delight. I had a beautiful mother whose name was Violet. She looked like a cross between a golden-haired fairy godmother and a Hitchcock blonde. Always impeccably dressed, my mother could walk through a barnyard in a white suit and emerge without a speck. Not me. I am a walking advertisement for what I ate for lunch, since most of it ends up down my shirt. COOL BEAUTY Violet was a cool beauty. She never shared her clothes with me, her jewelry, or her cosmetics. Even to walk through her dressing room and touch them was a crime punishable by banishment. But she did share some important advice: First she taught me that beautiful skin matters. To maintain it, she insisted, you need just the right amount of sunlight—half an hour early or late in the day—no more ever. She was adamant I needed to eat natural foods and to supplement my diet with some judiciously chosen vitamins and minerals as well. “Stay away from sugar and breads and pizzas,” she insisted. “Never go to bed without cleaning your face first, and always nourish your skin with something active, be it fresh papaya or an absurdly expensive but irresistible French night cream. That will help repair damage that takes place in the daytime.” At first I balked at the idea. Then, in my mid-twenties, I decided she was right. I began to make a little time each day to look after myself. It was then I discovered that the time a woman spends at her dressing table (this can be as simple an affair as a cardboard box covered with cloth at which you sit on a cushion) far from being a narcissistic self-indulgence can become a time of silence, solitude, and renewal. I believe this right to this day. It can be a time every bit as full of peace, simple pleasure and quietude as meditation. It can also be a lot of fun.

Salts Of The Earth

Salts Of The Earth

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. Here’s How [video src=http://d1vg7rm5xhtxe9.cloudfront.net/video/sd/epsom-salts.mp4 poster=http://d3oy45cyct8ffi.cloudfront.net/health/video/wp-content/uploads/sites/3/2013/08/epsom-salts-baths.jpg ] Take two cups of industrial grade Epsom salts. These are available from the chemist and sometimes from supermarkets. Pour it into a bath with a tiny, tiny bit of household bleach—the bleach is optional, but strangely enough it is another helper which, in minute quantities (and I’m talking less than a teaspoonful in a whole bath) ionizes wastes that are stored in the body. Fill the bath with tepid water, just above body temperature. Then immerse yourself in it for at least 20 minutes. If you begin to feel cool, add some more hot water. If you feel too warm, add a little bit of cold water, so that you are able to sustain being in this bath in a very relaxed state for 20 to 30 minutes. Get out of the bath, wrap yourself in a towel and rub yourself vigorously. This is lovely last thing at night and brings blissful sleep. You can also take an Epsom salts bath during the day, or before going out for the evening after a stressful day. When you get out of the bath, wrap yourself up in a towel and lie down for 10 minutes then get up, get dressed and go about whatever you are intending to do.

The Buildup

The Buildup

Banishing cellulite requires a long-term approach. It took a long term to establish itself, and it will take time for your body to remove it and rebuild the structure of the skin. Detoxification helps enormously. Helping your tissues rebuild themselves in a healthier, sleeker form is the second part of any anti-cellulite approach. What you put into your body after a detox is as big a part of this process as any. Avoid at all costs artificial sweeteners, pre-packaged foods, sugar and grain-based foods. You will find after a detox that you will prefer to put lovely fresh, raw fruits and vegetables, complete with good quality proteins, into your body anyway. Banishing cellulite and rebuilding your body in firm, sleek contours takes time. And it can’t be done without good protein. In creating a new, cellulite-free body it is essential that you rebuild new skin, connective tissue and muscles from protein foods which are high in bio-available amino acids. You need a good amount of the highest quality protein. Watch out for hidden fat in your meat, and always buy organic if you can. Fish is an excellent form of protein, as are shellfish and eggs. But probably the best form of protein I know is nature’s little green miracle… Nature’s Green Miracle A near-microscopic form of blue-green fresh-water algae, spirulina is made up of translucent bubble-thin cells stacked end to end to form an incredibly beautiful deep green helix. It is unique and remarkable in so many ways that it is hard to list them all, but it is probably the single most important nutritional supplement you can use to support good body ecology. It is a superb form of protein, easier to digest than any other kind, lower in fat, and alkaline. This is particularly important when detoxifying, as most of the wastes you want to get rid of are acidic in nature. Spirulina also contains some wonderful nutrients in highly bio-available form, such as vitamin B12, iron, vitamin E and beta-carotene, plus vitamins C, B1, B5, B6, zinc, manganese and copper. Like sea plants, spirulina contains many rare and unique substances not found in other foods. A teaspoon to a tablespoon of powdered spirulina in a glass of juice or a cup of vegetable broth is just about the most energy-supporting thing that you can do while on an anti-cellulite program. You can also take it in tablet form, but where in powder form it is absorbed almost on contact with the stomach, the tablets take around 45 minutes to get their goodness into your bloodstream. What I like to do is to make up a big thermos of vegetable broth with powdered spirulina to drink throughout the day whenever I need an energy boost. Start with a teaspoon in a glass of juice or broth, and work up to a heaped tablespoon. Spirulina is unquestionably one of the planet’s finest natural complexes for supporting body ecology and the energy-enhancing health it creates at the highest levels.

Leslie Kenton’s Cura Romana®

Fast, Healthy Weight Loss

Leslie Kenton’s Cura Romana® has proudly supported 19,000+ weight loss journeys over the past 14 years. With an overall average daily weight loss of 0.5 - 0.6 lb for women and 0.8 - 1.0 lb for men.

Yesterday’s Average Daily Weight Loss:

on the 25th of January 2023 (updated every 12 hours)

-0.74 lb
for women
-0.78 lb
for men
-0.74 lb
for women
-0.78 lb
for men

Yesterday’s Average Daily Weight Loss:

on the 25th of January 2023 (updated every 12 hours)

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