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Summer, the time when plants and creatures develop to their fullest potential, marks the ascendance of the power of fire/heat. In summer Yang is dominant, light, warmth, activity, and interaction are at a peak. Fire, like summer, is expansive, radiant, outgoing, and warm. Most skin disease will be effected by the change in climate that occurs with a change in season. Although the sun rays may be positive in healing some skin problems the extra heat generated at that time can cause an outburst of spots and pimples.
In summer, fruit and vegetables are abundant and many can be used in cosmetics to create excellent masks and lotions. Fruits have a revitalizing, nourishing and often astringent action on the skin. Masks give a soft peeling action that removes dead skin, blackheads and excess pigmentation from the epidermis. They help to regulate the secretion of sebum cleanse pores and hydrate the skin. When choosing fruits to use in masks it is best to avoid acidic fruits they may cause an allergic reaction. Preferably choose fresh organically grown fruits. The following fruits that are suitable to use are apple, avocado, banana, melon, papaya, apricot, grape and raspberry.
In most recipes the fruit is pureed in a food processor or blender. The puree is then mixed with other natural ingredients and thickened with clay powder. Make sure that all cooking utensils are sterilized in hot water and do not use metal bowls or spoons as they oxidize when in contact with clay, fruit and vegetable juices. (It is fine to use the stainless steel blade of a processor).
Masks based on vegetables have an anti- inflammatory action making them excellent for sore, red and sensitive skin. They contain large amounts of vitamin A and valuable minerals and trace elements. Vegetable masks are appropriate to use in an outburst of acne, after sunburn, or with an allergic skin reaction to foods or chemicals. The cooling properties of vegetables help to soothe and nourish the skin tissues. Again always use organically grown vegetables. The following vegetables are suitable for face masks, carrot, cucumber, lettuce, potato, cabbage and watercress.
Masks are best made and used on the same day, they do not have a good shelf life so make small quantities.
To apply the mask
Cabbage is rich in vitamins and minerals. Its deep cleansing, anti-inflammatory and cooling action makes it a valuable mask for acne.
¼ small green cabbage
1 large carrot juiced or 2 tablespoon fresh carrot juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons of green clay powder
Throw away the outer leaves of the cabbage. Rinse and chop the remainder of the cabbage. Combine the cabbage, carrot juice, one teaspoon of lemon juice and the olive oil in a blender or food processor and puree until smooth. Mix together three tablespoons of puree with the clay powder. If the mask seems dry add more olive oil or carrot juice. Apply the mask and leave for around 20 minutes. Remove the mask with water and cotton wool and dry. Close the pores using a chamomile infusion or rosewater. Use the cabbage mask once a week.
The nourishing wheatgerm oil counteracts the drying effects of the clay. This combination of ingredients tone, cleanse and reduce inflammation.
2 apples or 3 tablespoons fresh apple juice
1 tablespoon wheatgerm oil
2 tablespoons of green clay powder
If making your own apple juice, place the apples in a juicer and extract 3 tablespoons. Cover the clay powder with the fresh apple juice and leave to rest without stirring for approximately 20 minutes. Now mix thoroughly to form a thick paste. If the clay mix is too thin add a little more clay powder. Lumps are formed if more water is needed at this point so it is safer to add a little more water at the beginning when covering the clay with apple juice. Keep stirring until a smooth mixture is formed. Now stir in the wheatgerm oil. Again leave to rest for 30 minutes before stirring to form a smooth paste. Remove the mask using water and cotton wool. Finish by toning the face with an infusion of chamomile or rosewater to close the pores. This mask can be used once or twice a week.
Clay is a deep cleanser that detoxifies by drawing impurities out from beneath the skin surface. Clay contains various minerals and trace elements that nourish the skin. Varying proportions of these elements change its colour and give the different clays individual therapeutic qualities. There are three types of clay used in cosmetics, white clay (or kaolin), green clay (or montmorillonite) and red clay (also montmorillonite). Green clay is best used for treatment of skin problems it is particularly therapeutic for acne and seborrhoea.