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Skin is so much more than it seems, it has minute receptors to touch, pressure and pain. Our skin is a sensor, monitoring the body’s surroundings and everything it contacts. With tiny blood vessels, sweat glands, and hairs, skin also acts as a thermostat. It works to release heat or to conserve it to adjust body temperature. Skin is also a watertight barrier and shield. The first line of defence against the outside world.
For all its toughness, however skin can be easily bruised, burned, and scuffed in everyday life. It can flare up with welts, rashes, hives, and sores as a result of allergies, disease, exposure and stress. Historically, healers turned to plants for solutions to skin issues and today herbalists still turn to nature to cleanse, heal and soothe the skin. Here are some ingredients that Westpoint Naturals stocks and can be used at home to help with your skin needs.
When one is feeling stressed out and anxious, the scent of lavender relaxes and soothes. It has been used to help ease stress and help with sleep problems. It also has a long history of skin care usage, it was valued for its disinfecting and antiseptic properties. It can be used for minor skin conditions, such as fungal infections, cuts, scrapes and even eczema.
Make your own infusion: Steep 1 tablespoon dried lavender flowers in a cup of boiled water for 15 minutes. Cool and strain the liquid. It can be used as a compress, make sure to hold over affected area for 15 minutes. It can also be dabbed on cuts as a mild antiseptic.
A scrub of oatmeal is one of the healthiest ways to care for your skin. It can help with itchiness, dryness, oiliness, eczema, dermatitis, bug bites and poison ivy. Oats are able to soothe the skin with a group of compounds called avenanthramides, which block the release of inflammatory compounds and histamines to reduce redness and itching. Oats also have antiviral and anti-fungal properties, which makes it useful when fighting itchiness such as from chicken pox, shingles or ringworm.
Make your own paste: Grind up 4 cups of oatmeal into a fine powder. Mix with ½ baking soda or corn starch. Add ½ cup of water to make a paste. Apply to affected area and let dry for 30 to 60 minutes. Rinse with cool water.
Savory smelling rosemary is a true herbal medicine multitasker. When applied to the skin, rosemary has been shown to exhibit antibacterial, anti-fungal, anti-parasitic and mild analgesic properties. It can also be used to treat muscle pain, arthritis and to improve circulation.
Make your own shower scrub: Ground almonds and oatmeal are good body scrub bases. Combine 2/3 cup of coarsely chopped almonds, 1/3 cup of regular oatmeal, and ½ teaspoon of dried rosemary in a food processor. Pulse until the mixture resembles medium-coarse meal. Add almond oil to make a thick but spreadable paste.