Super skin savers

Get glowing, radiant skin with these top tips from Hanna Sillitoe

As the colder weather is drawing in, our skin can become much drier due to the lower temperatures and the drying effects of central heating. Here, skin expert Hanna Sillitoe offers some natural ways to give your complexion a radiant glow this autumn and winter.

For cleansing and rebalancing

Oil cleansing uses a specific combination of oils to cleanse the skin and rebalance the skin’s own natural oils, leaving it feeling nourished, hydrated and moisturised, where traditional soaps and synthetic cleaners can dry skin out. My favourite oil blends are below. Try different blends for yourself to find the one that best suits you. As we massage the cleansing oils into our skin, they dissolve that have hardened with impurities stuck in our pores. Using a hot steam cloth will open pores, allowing the stale oil to be easily removed.

As with any change to your skincare regime or diet, you might find you go through an adjustment period where skin briefly gets worse. It’s mostly a detox reaction to impurities being pulled from the skin and should ease off in time.

Makes 100ml (3½ fl oz)

FOR OILY SKIN

  • 30ml (2 tablespoons) castor oil
  • 70ml (4½ tablespoons) olive oil

FOR COMBINATION SKIN

  • 25ml (1½ tablespoons) hazelnut oil
  • 75ml (2½ fl oz) hemp oil

FOR DRY SKIN

  • 90ml (3½ fl oz) olive oil
  • 10ml (2 teaspoons) hazelnut oil

Add your chosen blend to a 125ml (4½ fl oz) sterilised glass bottle and gently shake to combine. Shake again before each use. Store out of direct sunlight.

Pour a small quantity of oil into the palm of your hand and gently massage into dry skin for two minutes, or until you are sure that the oil has saturated your skin. This will also lift make-up very effectively, so there’s no need to use harsh make-up removers. You can even leave the oil on the skin for up to 10 minutes to give pores a really deep clean.

Soak a clean wash cloth under a very hot tap. Wring it out and immediately place it over your face. The warmth of the water creates a lovely steamy effect, which works to remove dead skin cells and impurities clogged in pores. Leave the cloth on for a minute or two until it cools. Repeat if necessary with the opposite side of the wash cloth. There should still be a thin layer of oil remaining on the skin; this is beneficial and naturally moisturising.

Your skin should feel hydrated, so you should not need any additional moisturisers, but if you still have especially dry skin, you might choose to massage in a small amount of homemade natural lotion. Use within one month.

For reducing inflammation

Green tea is loaded with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties and these have been proven to be beneficial in the treatment of rosacea. Cooled green tea can be applied as a compress, using a clean washcloth dipped in iced water.

Makes one treatment

  • 3 green teabags
  • 700ml (1¼ pints boiling water)
  • Ice

In a bowl, soak the green teabags in the boiling water, then refrigerate. When ready to use, remove the bowl from the refrigerator and add a handful of ice. Dip a clean cloth in the cooled green tea water and apply the compress to the affected area.

Rosacea

Most conventional rosacea treatments include the use of oral and topical antibiotics. Drinking aloe vera water can help ease the symptoms of rosacea. It helps increase water content in the intestines, which in turn helps to eliminate toxins in the body, thereby reducing inflammation and lessening rosacea. Applying aloe vera gel, or using a green tea compress, or colloidal oatmeal mask, can also help to relieve redness and inflammation.

For soothing skin

The simple soothing powers of oats are quite incredible! I would never have believed it myself, had a sleepless night of itchy skin not led me to scour the internet for home remedies. That’s where I first learned about oatmeal. Parents and doctors alike have been turning to the skin-soothing powers of oatmeal for centuries. It’s not surprising, then, that you’ll find colloidal oatmeal listed among the ingredients in many excellent natural body soaks, moisturisers and haircare products – I now use it in my own haircare range. Oatmeal is a natural way to lock in the body’s moisture, protect the skin and soothe any irritation or itching.

Gentle enough to be used on delicate children’s skin and ideal for even the most sensitive skin types, this simple bath soak is perfect for hydrating dry skin and offering relief from chronic skin conditions such as eczema.

Makes enough for one bath

  • 100g (3½oz) oats – unflavoured instant oatmeal, quick oats or slow-cooking oats all work equally well

There are two ways to create your milky, soothing oatmeal bath. The first is to run your oats through a grinder or food-processor. Basically you want those oat flakes to transform into a fine powder, so that they can be readily absorbed into water without clumping or blocking the plug hole. Add a cupful to a warm water bath and soak for 15 minutes.

The second way, if you don’t have a blender powerful enough to create a fine dust, is to simply add a couple of cups of oats to a muslin (cheesecloth) bag, tie the end and place it under the warm water while you run the bath.

Soak in the water for 15 minutes. You may even want to gently rub the muslin bag directly against your skin, if using the second method. Be careful getting in and out of the bath. Oatmeal will make it even more slippery than usual.

Pat your skin dry with a super soft towel and apply your favourite oil blend for extra hydration.

Extracted from Skin Healing Expert: Your 5 Pillar Plan for Calm, Clear Skin by Hanna Sillitoe (£19.99, Kyle Books) Visit www.octopusbooks.co.uk

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