Simple ways to keep your skin healthy

Despite scientific advances in treatments for skin problems, many people still prefer to rely on natural ingredients and home remedies. Here's your line of defence.

Simple ways to keep your skin healthy

Essential to your health, beauty and well-being, your skin is an important part of who you are and is crucial for your body's survival. Your skin acts as a barrier that protects you from the outside world, so be kind to it.

Prevention

  • Wear protective gloves when working with any sharp objects.
  • Store knives in a knife block or in a container with the blades pointing downward.
  • Make sure your tetanus shot is up to date.

Treatment for injuries

Twenty-four hours after an injury, your wound — which by now should be closed — can be treated to aid healing. You'll find any number of commercial antibacterial ointments at the pharmacy, but why not try one of Mother Nature's simple, low-cost remedies?

Natural home remedies

  • St. John's wort or tea tree oil compresses have proven their worth to many generations of healers. Add five to eight drops of oil to a clean dishcloth and cover the wound with St. John's wort for several hours, or for 24 hours with tea tree oil. Repeat regularly.
  • For a yarrow wrap, add 100 millilitres (3 1/2 ounces) of boiling water to 15 millilitres (one tablespoon) of dried yarrow blooms, and strain. Moisten a cloth with the solution, gently wring it out, and apply to injured skin.
  • You may already know that cabbage is a nutritional all-star, but its leaves have many healing properties as well. A cabbage wrap alleviates pain and promotes healing. To prepare, rinse a few inside leaves from a head of cabbage and remove the central rib. Soften the leaves with a rolling pin, then apply to your wound for several hours at a time, using a bandage or cling wrap to hold them in place. Use twice a day.
  • To speed up healing, scald a lavender teabag, let it cool, and place it on your wound.
  • Vitamin C helps wounds heal more quickly. So treat yourself to an extra serving of strawberries or a delicious juicy orange. After all, it's good for you!
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