MODULE 8: Treat Yourself – The Best Skin and Body Treatments
Keeping your skin healthy and radiant looking does not have to be a chore. If you get into some good habits and learn what you need to do and avoid doing in order to look after and maintain your beautiful skin, you will have no problems. This module explores which things harm your skin and why, and it will also offer some excellent tips on easy beauty treatments that you can do in the comfort of your own home. Module seven includes the following items:
8.1. What you must avoid if you want healthy beautiful skin
8.2. Exfoliate your way to smoother skin
8.3. DIY At-home beauty treatments
8.4. Treatments worth paying for
.1. What you must avoid if you want healthy beautiful skin
A person has beautiful healthy looking skin when their body functions properly. A sign that the body is functioning as it should do is that it eliminates the waste and toxins efficiently and digests food properly transporting all the goodness and nutrients around a person’s body. More often than not having good flawless skin is in a person’s own hands – it is not just for the genetically blessed.
Our skin is an indicator of our overall health. When we are able to improve our skin’s condition, we can then work on our health generally. Good skin is essential for optimal health, but it also contributes to our overall confidence and happiness. However, if your body is unhealthy, it will tell you through your skin and you will be more prone to swelling, acne, and a change in skin colour to name a few. Therefore, proper skin care starts with you and your healthy lifestyle. Every single thing you eat affects the way you look, as does your environmental and lifestyle conditions.
List as many factors that contribute to poor skin health.
- Protein is an essential part of our diet, but when it is combined with saturated fats and trans-fatty acids, it could have a negative impact on the skin. Food that contains this harmful combination includes minced beef, bacon, and sausage. They contribute to the wrinkling of the skin and encourage the ageing process.
- Your body needs carbohydrates for energy, but when it is in combination with high glucose levels it could be dangerous for your skin causing inflammation. Such food includes pasta, bread, rice, raisins, and canned baked beans.
- High glycemic food means that their carbohydrates are digested very quickly after having been consumed. Such foods can induce acne like white bread, cereal, cake, sugar, and ice cream.
- Alcohol causes the body to become dehydrated. The more fluids your body loses the drier your skin becomes which leads to wrinkles and premature ageing. Excessive drinkers have liver problems which also influence your skin’s overall health, causing even more problems later on.
- Oily fried foods like chips, hotdogs, hamburgers, and fast foods are full of saturated fats and refined sugars that cause acne.
- Smoking is bad for your skin’s health. The chemicals and toxins inside cigarettes cause dark circles under the eyes and premature ageing due to a decreased blood flow and a vitamin C depletion.
.2. Exfoliate your way to smoother skin
To remove your dead skin cells you need to exfoliate. Exfoliating will leave your skin looking smooth and radiant.
Exfoliation is more common in the lead up to the summer when women prepare their winter worn bodies for bikinis and fake tanning.
Exfoliating the skin is essential before applying a fake tan to your body as this will give you a smooth even finish.
To maintain silky smooth skin it is necessary to exfoliate one to two times a week. However, if you have oilier skin, it is advisable to exfoliate more. If your skin dries out too much after you have exfoliated or it becomes red and irritated, do not scrub as hard and explore whether you have a skin allergy to one of the products you have been applying to your skin.
What equipment do you think you need to successful exfoliate your entire body?
- Exfoliating cleanser or body scrub
- Body brush, exfoliating gloves or loofah
- Pumice stone
- Moisturiser or body lotion
Before getting into the shower or bath, take your loofah, exfoliating gloves or body brush and brush your whole body focusing on the drier areas of your skin. This will help you remove all the loose skin on your body. Start with the soles of the feet and work your way upwards.
- Step into the shower and completely wet your body. If you have any open wounds or cuts or you are suffering from sunburn, avoid exfoliating until they have healed properly. Scrubbing wounds or irritations will only aggravate them more.
- Take the pumice stone and begin scrubbing your feet to get rid of any calluses or rough spots. If it is the end of winter and you find that your feet are extremely rough, soak them in a tub of lukewarm water mixed together with a cup of whole milk for a period of approximately 30 minutes prior to getting in the shower and using the pumice on them.
- Apply your exfoliating lotion or scrub onto your loofah or gloves. Start scrubbing your body with the gloves or loofah in circular motions to get the blood circulating. Start at the bottoms of your feet and gradually work your way up your entire body. When you reach your bikini area, scrub a gently because it is a sensitive area. Choose exfoliating lotions or cleansers that contain sugar, sea salt, walnuts, seeds or seeds for their natural grainy components.
- To get to those hard-to-reach areas such as your back, use a body brush to exfoliate.
- Go easier on your face, especially around the eye and mouth area. When exfoliating your face, use a different product from your body that is gentler. Read the labels well and see if it has been especially formulated for the face.
- Exfoliate your hands to make them soft and smooth.
- Rinse off your body using lukewarm water and then repeat with the coldest water your body can bear. Wash your skin with a mild shower gel to soften your skin further.
- Pat dry your skin leaving it a little moist and apply a good multi-purposemoisturising body lotion to your entire body. Look for products containing alpha or beta hydroxyl acids as these acids assist in the removal of dead skin cells.
- Moisturise your entire body daily after exfoliating. Exfoliating the body dries out the skin therefore it is necessary to keep your skin hydrated.
8.3. DIY At-home beauty treatments
It is not necessary to spend hundreds of dollars on beauty treatments, and cosmetics to help rectify a few common skin problems there are many natural ingredients that you most likely have readily stocked at home.
A lot of the ingredients found in the big-name cosmetic brands and skincare ranges are very similar to those that you find in your kitchen cupboard. Skincare and cosmetics companies often fool the consumer with their long scientific names, making us think that we are buying something really special and rare.
Dry and ageing skin
A cocoa mask full of antioxidants will help replenish your skin’s moisture and give it a restored more youthful appearance. As your skin ages, its moisture barrier does not work as well as it used to and this leads to the dryness of the skin. When this happens, the most important thing for your skin is hydration.
Mix 1 T of cocoa powder with 1 T honey, 1 T sour cream and the white of one egg. Beat the ingredients until it forms a creamy consistency and apply the mixture to your face and allow it to dry properly before rinsing it off. The sour cream is a type of lactic acid which helps hydrate the skin, honey is a kind of humectants that also helps increase the skin’s hydration while the egg white’s protein helps tighten and firm the skin.
If you have rough or hard-working hands, soaking them in warm milk will soften them. Warm up 2-4 cups of whole milk (enough milk so you can completely submerge both of your hands into it) in the microwave or on the stove until it has warmed up. Pour the milk into a bowl and allow your hands to soak for 5-10 minutes, allowing the fats from the heated milk to absorb into your skin and hydrate it. Whole milk contains both vitamins A and E, two vitamins essential for nourishing dry skin.
To reduce the effects of oily skin, use apple cider mixed with ground up oats. Applying apple cider, which has high levels of alpha-hydroxy acids, will help remove the excess oil and buildup. Oats also contain saponins, which act as a powerful cleanser and exfoiliator to the skin. To make this mix, combine 3 tsp of ground oats with ¼ tspof apple cider until the mix is a smooth consistency. Add an extra ¼ T lemon juice mixed with 1 T brown sugar and stir it into the mix until everything is even. Apply the mix to freshly cleaned skin and allow it to sit and penetrate for 5-10 minutes. Afterwards, rub it into your skin in circular motions to exfoliate your skin and increase its blood flow. Rinse off the scrub with lukewarm water and pat your face dry with a clean cotton towel and carry about your daily skincare routine as usual.
The combination of onions and oatmeal works wonders as a pureed face mask to fight acne. The oatmeal helps clear any pores that might be clogged and the onions are used for their anti-inflammatory properties that can help heal any acne scarring. If you want your face mask to have a thicker consistency, add some honey for its moisturising properties. Puree two white onions until they form a pulpy juice and add a cup of oatmeal to the mix. Give it a quick zap in the blender, making sure not to destroy the texture of the oatmeal. Pat the mask onto a dry clean face and leave for 5-15 minutes. After the time is up, gently massage it into your skin and rinse off it with warm water.
Fade acne scarring
A number of skin lighteners that can be purchased at the chemist’s contain hydroquinone which kills the skin’s melanin causing the reduction of the skin’s colouration. If used too much, this can result in mercury poisoning. You can get the same results by simply using lemon and Greek yoghurt. Squeeze three lemons into a cup and a half of Greek yoghurt and mix it well to avoid it curdling. Use it either as a mask or an on-the-spot treatment to target discoloured areas.
Beauty Treatments you can do yourself
How much money do you think the average woman will spend on beauty products in her lifetime?
The average woman will spend approximately £100,000 on cosmetics and beauty products in their lifetime and she also has an average of 54 different beauty products in the home at one time. This is not all; women also spend a lot more on specialist beauty treatments and procedures with the average woman most likely spending around £40,000 on massages, facials, waxing, and other beauty treatments at the salon in her lifetime.
It is natural that every woman likes to be pampered. But in this day and age it is becoming increasingly difficult to afford the luxury of going to the salon every week, but the good news is there are a number of treatments you can do yourself in the comfort of your own home.
This can cost quite a bit, especially if you have cracked and calloused feet that need more work. Ideally, in the summer months when your feet are more exposed and visible, you need a good pedicure on a weekly basis.
Start with buffing your dry feet with a strong foot file to remove the dead skin, focusing on the tougher areas of your heels and balls of your feet. Fill a small tub with lukewarm water mixed with a few drops of a reviving foot soak to strengthen your nails.
Leave your feet to soak for approximately 10-15 minutes. After soaking, massage your feet quickly with a penetrating foot scrub to get rid of the excess dead skin and then rinse your feet off. Dry your feet well, especially in between your toes and with a cuticle nail stick, ease the cuticles back gently. With your nail clippers, cut your toenails straight across with many little snips instead of trying to cut it off in one go. Take your nail file and gently round the edges of the nails.
Using a rich foot lotion, massage your feet well. If you do not have a lotion, use olive oil. If you want to paint your nails, wipe off any excess lotion from your toenails using some cotton wool and paint them using a base coat. With the colour of your choice, add two layers of nail polish and finish it off with a topcoat to maintain your nails for a longer period of time.
First you need to carefully remove all the traces of your previously applied polish. Having old nail polish on your nails will affect your new coat.
To remove your nail polish well, use an acetone-based nail polish remover unless you have sensitive skin. Emerge your hands into lukewarm water mixed with a face cleanser. Do not use a soapy cleanser as these dry out the skin and cuticles.Do not soak your hands for more than 3 minutes otherwise you will damage your skin and nails. Before your hands are completely dry, clip your nails if needed to prevent them from splitting when they are dry. With an abrasive emery board shape your nails into a slightly rounded or square-rounded shape.
Using an abrasive buffer, smooth off the tops and sides of the nails, but be careful; if you do it too much, your nail polish will not stay on your nails as well as it should. Apply a cuticle remover and wipe it off immediately with cotton wool to soften the skin. Gently push back your cuticles away from the nails. Never use nail clippers to clip cuticles, instead use cuticle nippers and nip them off carefully. If you do not, you risk bacteria entering your fingers which will then lead to an infection. Using a rich silky hand cream moisturize and massage your hands, focusing on your cuticles to hydrate them and replenish your skin.
Make sure you remove the remnants of any moisturizer from your nails with cotton wool before painting them otherwise the polish will not adhere. The painting process can now begin. If you have weak nails, use a base coat which will protect your nails from chipping and getting stained. Apply the nail polish of your choice in layers finished off with a top coat to add luster and protection. To maintain your nails and help them last longer, touch them up every few days with another layer of top coat. After your nails have dried properly, reapply your moisturizer.
Facials are a real treat, but sometimes they are just too expensive or time-consuming. Giving yourself a facial includes doing some gentle cleansing, steaming of the face, deep-pore cleansing, exfoliating, and moisturising.
There are different levels of facials, but if you want the same results as a professional spa treatment, you cannot skimp on your products. Use a natural gentle scrub or an enzyme peel to get rid of any dead skin and clean the pores. With your scrub still on your face, run steaming hot water over a flannel and wring it out.
Drape the wet cloth over your face and allow it to sit for a few minutes for the steam and enzymes to open up your pores. Rinse off your scrub and pat dry your face preparing it for a clay mask to deep cleanse the pores and remove any kind of toxins and impurities from the skin.
Allow your clay mask to sit for about 15 minutes, but be careful not to let it dry out completely. Follow up with another steaming flannel stage to remove the clay from your skin. Rinse off any excess clay with lukewarm water. After your clay mask, it is time for another mask, a hydrating one, which will penetrate and hydrate the face properly. Leave it on for 10 minutes and then rinse it off with some cool water.
Apply your regular moisturiser slowly, massaging it into your skin in an upwards direction making sure it does not pull on the skin.
- Hot Oil Hair Treatment
You have the choice of buying your own pre-made hot oil hair treatment or you could save yourself money in the long run and control the products you use and make your own. There are a number of benefits of hot oil hair treatments, but the most important one is the restoration of moisture. Your hair is subjected to a great deal of external elements on a daily basis such as pollution, dust, and bacteria to name a few. They also help cure dry scalps and control frizzy hair while adding more shine and body. You should consider giving your hair an oil treatment every 4-6 weeks to really see the effects. Some oils you can use include:
- Virgin coconut oil prevents damage and helps restore moisture
- Avocado oil boosts shine and improves the strength of the hair
- Extra virgin olive oil helps prevent dandruff and hair loss
- Almond oil smoothes the hair cuticles and locks in moisture
- Safflower oil nourishes and hydrates
- Jojoba oil promotes healthy hair growth
Pour your oils into a microwave safe container and heat them up for approximately 2 minutes on medium high. Pour the oil into a hair applicator bottle. Completely wet your hair with water to ensure the oil has a chance to cool down and always make sure you test the heat on your finger before you apply it to your scalp to avoid burning yourself. Distribute the oil evenly throughout your hair and massage it from your scalp to the ends.
Cover your hair with a plastic wrap or cap, and if you have a hooded dryer, sit under it for about 20 minutes. If not, leave your hair for a good 45-50 minutes. After removing the cap, shampoo and put a deep conditioner through your hair and rinse it off with cool water and style as normal.
8.4. Treatments worth paying for
Beauty treatments can be expensive, but sometimes there are a few beauty treatments you should never attempt by yourself at home. With these beauty treatments there is either a risk of making a big mistake or you could actually do something that will inadvertently harm you.
- Dying your own hair
It is not uncommon for many people to reach for the more convenient and cheaper option of reaching for a box of supermarket dye to dye their own hair. However, if you are a person with sensitive skin or you have never dyed your hair before, it is sometimes best left for the professionals.
- You are not a colour expert. If it were really foolproof, there would be less of a demand for colourists. Colourists are trained to mix dyes and recommend the right colour for you based on your skin tone and hair condition. Your home dye kit will have more of a chance with reacting to your hair. There is also the potential risk of it looking nothing like it does on the box.
- At home you should always stick within one shade of your current hair colour to get safe results, however, if you want something more drastic, the only person who can do this is a professional colourist.
- If you make a mistake, it will cost you. Not only will you have to pay for it to be corrected, your hair’s overexposure to chemicals will leave your hair feeling and looking dry and brittle. Also, if you have a hair dying accident, the hairdresser will refuse to fix it until at least one week has passed for the chemicals to settle a little bit.
- Hairdressers use professional products that have been tested on a number of skin types. Usually, they also ask you about skin allergies and your skin type. In some cases they will even have you sign a paper stating you have no allergic reactions, so they are protected. At home you risk having an allergic reaction from hair dye which will leave you red, blotchy, and itchy.
Tweezing your stray eyebrow hairs is not a problem, but when it comes to shaping and waxing them, professionals need to do it. Eyebrows are very easy to make a mistake with and if you pluck too much or over-wax them, you run the risk of creating bald spots for some time as eyebrow hair takes much longer to grow back than your regular hair.
- Spray on tan
You need a professional to apply your spray on tan so you do not end up with blotches and streaks. Professional airbrushed spray-on tans are smooth and have a good even finish. When you do it yourself, you will always have difficulty getting an even finish, especially in the harder to reach places.
Chemical hair treatments
If you want to chemically straighten or relax your hair or even get a perm done, it needs a special kind of hair treatment that needs heavy chemicals. If you try doing this at home, you run the risk of damaging your hair beyond immediate repair.
- Chemical peels
Chemical peels are a great way to remove any damage that has been done to the skin such as sun damage, age spots, and acne scarring. Chemical peels are also used to reduce signs of ageing such as fine lines and wrinkles while brightening your complexion. Chemical peels use harsh chemicals that should always be applied by someone in the know. If you do it yourself, you risk either burning yourself or having an allergic reaction.
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