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Skin Care Reconsidered

by Psyche Torok

Avocado treatmentWe don’t need to be chemists or certified aromatherapists to start making natural skin care products. All we really need is a kitchen and a little inspiration.

Many consumers seem to think that fancy ingredients or high-end labels are necessary for effective personal care products. Not so, says fledgling skin care enthusiast Ianna Kristiansen. “We rely too much on what ads and manufacturers say is good for us. But everything essential to our well-being is already provided by the earth.”

Allergies and aging prompted Kristiansen to investigate natural skin care. She recently founded Herb Alley and established an page to get the word out about her philosophy.

What is the best way to start switching to more natural skin care? There are three easy steps, says Kristiansen.

1. Consider diet. What we put inside our bodies has a huge impact on how we look on the outside. Start by cutting out sodas and processed foods, then begin eating more fresh fruits and vegetables.

2. Learn to scrutinize product labels. Putting “natural” on the label doesn’t necessarily make the product better. For example, petroleum products (like mineral oil) might be “natural,” but they clog the pores.

3. Check the kitchen. Our pantries, cupboards and refrigerators may hold items that, while not lauded in cosmetics labs, are prevalent in many homemade skin care regimens. Items like honey, oatmeal and avocado are commonly used.

A study published in Science News found that honey contains a wealth of antioxidants and other beneficial compounds. Honey can be applied as a facial mask to help moisturize the skin.

Kristiansen points out that oatmeal has been used as a skin treatment for 2000 years. One common use is to mix ground oatmeal with honey or water and then leave it on the face for ten minutes for a soothing, nourishing experience.

Prevention published a study that indicated avocado may help stimulate collagen and elastin production. Rich in essential fatty acids and antioxidants, avocado is a popular choice among many adherents of natural skin care.

Kristiansen notes that we can experiment with a variety of items to find what works best for us. Other possible ingredients we can try include eggs, yogurt, olive oil, coconut oil, lemon juice and almonds.

Psyche North Torok is a Columbus writer and lover of words, language and Nature. Connect at

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