4 All-Natural, Homemade Facial Scrubs and Cleansers

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The perfect facial scrub and cleanser for our skin types are hard to come by, especially at a reasonable price. Many of these products are contain ingredients that are foreign to us: sodium lauryl sulfate, ammonium laureth sulfate, stearic acid and more. While some may know what these ingredients are, most of us feel they are rather harsh and unnecessary.

There are also ingredients that many know to avoid when using a cleanser or facial scrub. Alcohol is used in many facial products as a base ingredient to lighten the weight of thick products. However, alcohol is a harsh ingredient that breaks down the skin’s natural oils and barrier. This can leave the skin dry which can trigger an overproduction of your skin’s natural oils. You want to avoid alcohol in your facial products if it results in dry or oily skin. Secondly, Parabens are used as preservatives in most cosmetics and skin care products. Although the FDA feels the use of parabens in beauty products is not to be concerned about, many people fear that it can increase breast cancer risk since parabens mimic estrogen.

There are so many unknowns out there about our skin care products it can cause hesitation before applying to our skin. However, there are some amazing recipes that are all-natural and can be easily made from your home!

Here are some of the best all-natural, homemade facial scrub and cleanser recipes:

Cucumber Yogurt Facial Cleanser

The cucumber relaxes and soothes your skin which results in soft and cool skin. The yogurt in this cleanser acts as a better moisturizer for irritable skin while fighting acne, reducing discoloration and prevents aging. This cucumber based facial cleanser is blended in a food processor and left on your skin like a mask for 5 minutes. Rinse with warm water and moisturize.

Ingredients

  • ½ cup plain yogurt
  • ½ cucumber (peeled and deseeded)
  • 5 mint leaves

Oatmeal Facial Scrub

The oatmeal in this facial scrub takes on many properties for your skin. Many believe oatmeal is a natural remedy to acne. Oatmeal can also soothe dry and irritated skin. Some even believe oatmeal is great for your dog’s itchy and dry skin. Mix ingredients in a bowl, apply to skin in a circular motion for 30-60 seconds. Rinse with warm water and moisturize.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup oatmeal (non-instant, finely grounded)
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp of sweet almond, coconut or olive oil (add more drops if mixture is un-spreadable)
  • 2 tbsp of whole or 2% milk
  • 1 egg white

Lemon Juice Facial Cleanser

The lemon in this cleanser acts as a disinfectant, killing bacteria and removing dirt on your skin. The lemon juice and oatmeal also absorbs excess oils to prevent your face becoming extra oily. Also, the lemon’s citric acid can help fade dark spots to even out your skin tone. Mix ingredients in a bowl and massage into the skin for 30-60 seconds. Rinse with warm water and moisturize.

Ingredients

  • ½ cup rolled oats
  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
  • ¼ cup water
  • ½ tablespoon honey

Brown Sugar and Honey Facial Scrub

This scrub is easy and simple to make. The brown sugar acts as an exfoliator to help open up your pores and improve sun damage. The honey is great for acne treatment and prevention, anti-aging, creates a glow, and easily unclogs pores. Mix ingredients in a bowl and apply to skin in circular motions for 1-2 minutes. Rinse with warm water and moisturize.

Ingredients

  • ½ cup honey
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp olive or coconut oil
  • 1 drop of essential oil


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Guide to Alternative Medicine Part 1: Traditional Chinese Medicine

“When health is absent Wisdom cannot reveal itself, Art cannot become manifest, Strength cannot be exerted, Wealth is useless and Reason is powerless.”
— Herophilies, 300 B.C.

Just a decade ago, if patients wanted to explore unconventional treatment options they were on their own. Traditional health professionals generally didn’t encourage alternative therapies or treatments, and discouraged departures from allopathic treatment models such as drugs and surgery.

As research validates the efficacy of non-traditional treatment models, such as traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), ayurvedic medicine, massage and chiropractic adjustment, naturopathy, diet, and natural supplementation — even homeopathy and sound therapy — new branches of medicine emerge.

Integrative, Functional, Complementary, and Alternative Medicine

The “integrative” medical model developed during the early 1990s but was formalized when the National Institute of Health (NIH) created the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH). This classification covered non-conventional treatment and research, and was the beginning of a slow recognition of alternative systems. Integrative models include consideration of a patient’s lifestyle, body, and mind, and how to promote well-being for the whole person rather than just diseases and their symptoms.

“Functional” medicine refers to holistic and alternative medical practices intended to  improve overall functions of the body’s systems and explores individual biochemistry, genetics, and environment to determine underlying causes of disease.

According to the NIH, “complementary” medicine coordinates non-mainstream practices with conventional treatments. This has driven acceptance of alternative therapies such as TCM, diet, and nutraceuticals, or supplements.

Alternative medicine is any practice that falls outside conventional systems and is not combined with traditional treatments. For example, if patients choose Ayurvedic medicine, dietary changes, and supplementation to treat their cancer and exclude conventional therapies, they have entered the realm of alternative medicine.

Traditional Chinese Medicine

“Those who disobey the laws of Heaven and Earth have a lifetime of calamities while those who follow the laws remain free from dangerous illness.”

— Huangdi, The Yellow Emperor,  2698–2598 BCE

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) claims to be the third-oldest medical system, preceded only by Egyptian and Babylonian medicine. Theories of TCM are believed to be at least 3,000 to 4,000 years old — likely older, predating written language.

The foundations of TCM are meridian channels and acupuncture points that conduct the movement of chi, and the five-element model correspondences to these points and channels. This five-element system of wood, fire, earth, metal, and water also applies to seasons, colors, sounds, sense organs, personality types, Chinese astrology, feng shui, the I Ching, and countless other aspects of Chinese culture and life.

The Five-Element System in Chinese Medicine

Called the Wu Xing, this five-element system defines relationships between the elements and considers them to be in continual active cycles wherever they are found. Mother/child, or generating relationships, are: wood fuels fire, fire forms earth (think of volcanic flow and ash) earth produces metal, metal carries water (buckets, pipes, etc.), and water feeds wood.

Conversely, there are antagonistic (father/child) relationships: fire melts metal, metal penetrates wood (ax, saw), wood separates earth (tree roots break soil), earth absorbs and directs water (river banks), and water extinguishes fire.

Feng Shui destructive cycle, five elements

Chinese and Taoist doctors, called OMDs (oriental medicine doctors), see a patient through this lens of five-element relationships, along with yin and yang (passive and active) qualities. Organs are paired into male and female element families that include seasons, colors, compass directions, sense organs, emotions, and virtues. The female, or yin, organs are continually active — the Chinese say a woman’s work is never done — while male yang organs have periods of rest and activity. Element family qualities are:

    • Metal: Lung (yin), large intestine (yang); season: autumn; color: white; direction: west; sense organ: nose; emotion: grief. When balanced, grief becomes the virtue of integrity.
    • Water: Kidneys (yin), bladder (yang); season: winter; color: black; direction: north; sense organ: ears; emotion: fear. When balanced, fear becomes the virtues of poise, calm, and alert stillness.
    • Wood: Liver (yin), gall bladder (yang); season: spring; color: green; direction: east; sense organs: eyes; emotion: anger. When balanced, anger becomes the virtue of kindness.
    • Fire: Heart (yin), small intestine (yang); season: summer; color: red; direction: south; sense organ: tongue; emotion: rush/rudeness. When balanced, rushed rudeness becomes the virtues altruism and  joy.
    • Earth: Spleen (yin), stomach(yang); season: late summer; color: yellow; direction: center or middle; sense organ: mouth; emotion: worry and overthinking. When balanced, worry and obsession become the virtues of balance and equanimity.
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