Caring for your body the natural way

January 26, 2016

Your body reveals many things about you. That Includes how well you look after yourself. Here are a few natural methods that can help you take care of your body without using harsh, man-made chemicals.

Caring for your body the natural way

Keeping your skin healthy requires some effort, but the soft and silky results are worth it.

  • Remove dead skin cells and improve your circulation by brushing your body with a natural bristle body brush or an inexpensive loofah. Using gentle circular strokes, brush upwards from your feet and over your hips and stomach, then move lightly up your arms and across your chest, shoulders and back.
  • Smooth almond or coconut oil all over your body and relax in a comfortably warm place for about 15 minutes. Afterwards, have a bath or shower and use a loofah or face cloth to gently buff the oil away.
  • Soften and naturally lighten any leathery, discoloured skin on your knees and elbows. Soak cotton pads in lemon juice and massage them into your knees. Then place your elbows in the pre-squeezed lemon halves for five minutes. Finish by rinsing with water and gently drying your skin.
  • Treat rough, bumpy skin by spreading sour cream over the backs of your arms and legs. Leave it on for 10 minutes, then rinse it off. The lactic acid exfoliates the skin via a natural chemical reaction.
  • For dry, cracked hands, combine two boiled, mashed potatoes with 15 millilitres (one tablespoon) of vegetable glycerine and enough milk to make a workable paste. Massage thoroughly into your hands, leave for about five minutes, then rinse.
  • Relieve itchy skin by adding 30 millilitres (two tablespoons) of baking soda to your bath water. If you are sensitive to highly-scented bath preparations, it's an ideal alternative.
  • For softer skin, put a handful of rice bran into a clean cut-off stocking, knotted at the top, and drop it into the bath to release vitamin-rich oils. In Japan, this is known as a nuka bath. Or sprinkle 125 millilitres (1/2 cup) of powdered milk into the bath water and swish to disperse. Another one to try is 125 grams (1/2 cup) of oatmeal in a muslin bag, added to the bath water.

Smelling sweet

Embrace each new day with confidence by ensuring that you smell great.

  • Have a bath or shower every day and wash your body thoroughly to get rid of perspiration and bacteria – the two main causes of body odour.
  • Wear clothes and nightwear made from natural fabrics. They absorb perspiration better than synthetic materials.
  • Try a crystal stick as a deodorant. It's a chunk of mineral salts that keeps bacteria under control without irritating the skin.
  • Watch what you eat. Certain foods and spices – such as fish and curry – impart a strong odour.
  • Make your own pleasant-smelling deodorant. Combine 10 drops of lavender essential oil with 125 millilitres (1/2 cup) of witch hazel. Use a pump bottle to spray it on.

Avoid aluminum salts

Although aluminum salts are used in many commercial beauty products, avoiding them may be better for your body in the long run.

  • Used in most commercial deodorants, aluminum salts have powerful astringent properties that shrink the sweat glands and so reduce perspiration.
  • Aluminum is sometimes added to baby powder to increase its water-repellent effect and to eyeshadow to create a silvery finish.
  • Despite industry assurances that aluminum is not linked to health problems, natural health practitioners continue to recommend avoiding its ingestion and topical application.

Caring for your body is an important part of feeling good and maintaining high self-esteem. And if you can do this in a natural way that is gentle on your body and on the earth, it's a win–win situation.

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