The Kitchen Spa

Maybe it’s the stress from being in class for long hours, the assignment deadlines and almost monthly exams we have, but CCNM really takes a toll on my skin.

Flawless skin is a tricky thing to achieve, as factors such as stress levels, hormone balance and food sensitivities, among other things, come into play.  Whatever the reason, I always find that the start of school coincides with an episode of bad breakouts.  Fortunately, there are healthy ways to cleanse, clarify and nurture stressed skin that are cheap and effective and can be done at home, with ingredients from your kitchen.

For this 3 Step Facial, the only product I recommend buying is Treemenda 100% Tea Tree Oil.  Other tea tree oils cause skin to redden but I find that this essential oil to be more gentle.  It’s perfect for treating skin blemishes (from cold sores, acne or fungal infections) and can be used for antimicrobial steam inhalations when you’re feeling “stuffy”.  It’s been the single best natural skin care product I’ve purchased.  Other than that, you’ll also need:

1 large glass bowl

1 medium sized dish towel

1 handful of baking soda

1 kettle for boiling water

1 tbsp all natural plain yogurt

1 egg (separate the egg white)

Step 1: Baking Soda Exfoliation

I find baking soda to be a great exfoliant for sloughing off dead skin cells and makeup. Fill one hand with baking soda and slowly add warm water to create a paste.  Use the paste to gently scrub your face in circular motions.  Rinse well with warm water. This step helps cleanse the skin, remove excess oils and pore-clogging debris and encourages skin cell turnover.

Step 2: Tea Tree Steam Facial

Boil water in the kettle and pour it into the glass bowl, filling it to a depth of about 10 cm.  Add two drops of the tea tree oil.  Lean your head over the bowl and cover your head with the dish towel.  The scent from the tea tree can be strong at first.  If you find it too overwhelming, remove the dish towel momentarily to release some of the steam.  Keep your head over the bowl at a distance that feels comfortable for your face (not too hot) and at which you can inhale comfortably through your nose.  This exercise is also great for head colds and relieving sinus and nasal congestion.  However, please don’t attempt this if you suffer from asthma.  The steam encourages the pores on your face to open and release sweat, thereby clearing out the bacteria, dead cells and excess oils that cause acne.  The tea tree is antimicrobial, which also aids in killing the bacteria that can cause skin blemishes.

Perform the steam facial for 10 minutes or until you feel that there is no longer any steam being released.  Finish by rinsing your face with cold water.  I sometimes like to repeat this step to get maximum benefits.  Always finish with a cold water rinse to close the pores.

Step 3: Nutritive Face Mask

I have to give credit to my wonderful intern at the Robert Schad Naturopathic Clinic for this effective skin-care tip.  In a small bowl, mix the egg white and 1 tbsp of natural plain yogurt until blended.  Apply this mixture evenly to your face (avoiding lips and eyes).  Leave until dry and then rinse off with lukewarm water.  The mixture feels tight and pulls out impurities, yet adds nutrition and moisture to skin.  This mask is easy to do and leaves your skin feeling supple and soft.

Finish by applying your favourite natural moisturizer, or a few drops of Jajoba oil and then go do something relaxing (like go to bed)! Your skin will thank you for it.

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