If you are looking for fruit that is going to help with your digestion, go for bananas. These are amazing for you, packed with nutrients, and very easy to tolerate. Bananas are super easy on the stomach and often one of the only foods recommended when you have the flu or a serious illness because of how easy they are to tolerate. Try to eat at least one banana a day, whether you eat it on its own, spread on toast, or topped on your cereal.
Yum! Sweet & Salty!
9 Dates, pitted
1/3 Cup raw almonds
4 Tbsp coconut oil
4 Ripe bandanas
1 Cup coconut cream
4 Tbsp cacao
1 Tsp vanilla extract
4 Tbsp raw honey
1 cup whole Raw Almonds
1 Tbsp Honey
Preheat oven to 180C
Place almonds in a bowl and coat with honey place on baking sheet with parchment paper for about 10 minutes. Cool and chop roughly or put in thermomix or food processor. Can store in refrigerator.
For base combine all ingredients and place in thermomix for 30 on speed 10 or place in food processor until well combined. Place evenly in silicone cup cake tins and press down firmly.
For Filling combine all ingredients and place in thermomix for 30 on speed 10 or place in food processor until well combined. Pour on top of the base and freeze for 4 hours.
Store all cup cakes until ready to use. Take out 5-10 minutes before eating and top with almonds.
To make the cookies:
1 1/2 cup of almond flour
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup choc chips
1/2 cup butter *or coconut oil
1 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla
line cookie sheet with parchment paper
Mix everything except chocolate chips then add choc chips last then fold them in
Use a teaspoon to scoop out the mixture into the cookie sheet.
Bake 6-10 minutes. just a little golden on top
You don't want to over cook these. They might not appear to be finished as early as 6 minutes, but if you take them out and let them cool. You'll find it makes them very chewy! YuMMM
Let them cool down..... Should be Nice and soft.
Irresistible Chocolate Muffins ➹GF ➹SF
I try out healthy recipes all the time, but if it wasn't for my food critic living at home I woud make the silly mistake of publishing only something I would eat! Fortunately my 5 year old and I have very different tastes. I know if it passes her test, it must be worth telling all of the mom's out there!
I keep a stash in the freezer so I can pop one in her lunchbox in the morning.
This recipe should make 20-25 small muffins.
Turn of oven 150C fan forced 160C
1 cup of almond meal
1 cup of macadamia meal
2 cups of almond meal (if you don't have macadamia)
1 cup of soaked pitted dates (drained)
1/4 cup of coconut oil
2 Tbls of Cacao or to taste
1 organic dark chocolate bar
1/4 cup of dark chocolate drops
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp of cardamom
1/2 tsp salt
Bake for 20 minutes depending on how big the muffin trays you are using. Check them with a fork and when it comes out clean they are ready!!!
*If you have a high speed blender or thermomix you can make your own almond or macadamia meal by blending it until it becomes a soft powder.
*If you soak your dates in hot water for 5-10 minutes and drain them its so much easier to blend.
What kid wouldn't LOVE these!
Funny you should ask. I took them to a kids birthday party. The mom's had them gone before the kids had a chance!
☆5 Minute Munchie
2-3 bananas3/4 cup of nut butter (your choice of peanut, sunflower, or almond butter)1/2 cup of tahini1/2 cup of shedded coconut1/4 cup of cacao nibs
DirectionsTake the nut butter and tahini and mix together in a large shallow bowl or plate. Then mix the shedded coconut and cacao nibs together in a large plate.Roll or spread the nut butter mixture on the banana then roll in the coconut mixture. Cut and serve!
Yummy Gummy Vitimin C
Ingredients1/2 cup orange juice or juice of choice
1/2 cup coco quench or coconut milk
6 tbsp of organic gelatin powder
1 tbsp of camu camu powder for a total of 644mg vitamin C per serving
1 tps of honey (optional) some juices are bitter
DirectionsPut juice, coconut milk, gelatin, honey and camu in a pot and whisk until you have no lumps.
Heat over low heat until gelatin is well disolved stirring constantly. This will happen fast so have all ingredients ready.
Pour into candy molds and freeze for 10 minutes. Will keep in fridge for 1-2 weeks
This is my go to every morning when I wake up. It blows my mind how many health benefits it has!
1-2 liters of milk
4 organic black tea bags
2 cinnamon quills
1 tsp whole back pepper
1/2 tsp fennel seeds
1 vanilla bean opened and scraped
4 whole star anise
1 tbsp cardamon pods
1 tbsp cloves
1 inch ginger grated
1-2 nutmeg opened in half
*Optional matcha or turmeric
adding nut butter for creamy texure, hazelnut, almond, cashew
Spinkel cinnamon on top!
DirectionsTo make: on stovetop with large pot
1-2 liters organic milk cocoquench, almond milk
Put all ingredients in the pot to simmer for a 1-2 hours. Strain and serve. YUM
Makes the house smell like pure happiness!
Cinnamon - Kill Bacteria, Halt fungal infections, Kill viral infections
Black Pepper - Improve digestion, Promote intestinal health
Fennel - High fibre, Lower total Cholesterol in blood
Vanilla - Antioxidants
Star Anise - Antioxidant, Anti-fungal, Antibacterial, Joint pain, Coughs
Ginger Root- Alleviate indigestion
Cloves - Anti-oxidant, Anti-inflammatory
Cardamon - Digestion, Depression
Sodium Bicarbonate - Relieves heartburn, Indigestion
Matcha - EGCg, Boosts metabolism, Detoxifies, Calms, Rich in chlorophyll, Vitamin C, Selenium, Chromium, Zinc and Magnesium.
Turmeric - Anti-inflammatory, Anti-oxidant, Control Weight
Tips for Prepping Your Smoothie Bowls
Making smoothie bowls is rewarding and nutritious, not to mention fun, but it can be a little time consuming. If you want to enjoy a smoothie bowl for breakfast without spending an hour in the kitchen, prepping it beforehand is your best option. Here are some tips for accomplishing that.
Use Frozen Fruit
If you want to prep your smoothie bowls ahead of time, the main thing you are going to do is prep your fruits and vegetables to be included. One way to do this and not worry about spoilage is to freeze all of the fruit you intend to use. Most fruits can be frozen for a good amount of time, so even if you prep your fruit for tomorrow, and don’t make your smoothie for a week, it should still be good. Preferably, you will separate the fruits based on the smoothie you intend to use in them, by slicing and chopping before you freeze them. This will make it a lot easier for you.
Create Smoothie Packs
Once you have prepped all your fruit and prepared to freeze it, you can decide if you want to put together smoothie packs. These include freezer bags where each one is a different smoothie recipe. This is a good option when you already know what types of smoothie recipes you intend to make for your smoothie bowls. If you are making a strawberry banana smoothie, a frozen banana and sliced frozen strawberries go into one bag. That way, when the morning comes, you empty the contents into the blender, add your other ingredients, and you’re good to go. You can even write on the bag what other ingredients to grab.
What You Can Prep
As you know, you can easily prep the fruit and freeze it beforehand. IF you are going to make smoothie bowls with vegetables, like spinach or kale, put them into individual servings and either put them in the refrigerator or freezer. These do tend to taste better when in the refrigerator, left in a crisper drawer. Another thing you can prep are the added toppings and additional ingredients. Just put them in a bag that is left out, where you can pour it into the smoothie after you have added the frozen fruit and any dairy you intend to use.
Prepping your smoothie bowls saves time and energy, and really encourages you to make them more often.
The Classic Acai Bowl
Smoothie bowls first became popular a couple years ago as a way to make a thicker smoothie you could eat with a bowl and spoon. They soon became popular for breakfast, even becoming a major trend on Instagram and other social media accounts because of their enticing appearance. The original smoothie bowl began as a way to use acai packs and fruit. Here are some things to know about the classic acai bowl.
About Acai Packs
Smoothie bowls were originally called acai bowls, since they relief on acai packs. Acai berries come from South America and parts of Central America, where the acai palm trees grow. These berries are usually only found fresh in these areas, so when you want to use them in the U.S., they are typically in the form of acai puree. These come most often in packs of puree that you can use for various recipes. A popular way to use the packs is to thicken up and sweeten a smoothie, which is thick enough to turn it into a smoothie bowl you can eat with a spoon. The acai berries have lots of nutrients as well, including omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, amino acids, and lots of vitamins and minerals.
The Original Basic Acai Bowl Recipe
The traditional acai bowls started with an acai pack, usually one that was unsweetened so that you can control exactly how sweet you want your smoothie bowl to be. The classic bowls often included a frozen banana, fruit like strawberries and blueberries, some chia seeds to put on top, shredded coconut on top, and occasionally a little agave in order to sweeten up the smoothie bowl.
New Variations on the Classic
Over time, the smoothie bowls have changed and move from just being acai bowls, to being another way to make delicious and nutritious smoothies. Some of the smoothie bases still use acai packs, but many of them instead use other fruits, vegetables, yogurt and milk, nuts, seeds, and lots of other ingredients. There are many different variations of smoothie bowls, from using tropical fruit and yogurt, to going with a dessert bowl that has chocolate and peanut butter. Some do more of a traditional smoothie with bananas and strawberries, while others are using lots of goji berries and chia seeds along with the acai berries.
As you can see, you have many variety whether you start with the classic acai bowl recipe or not.
The Best Toppings for Your Smoothie Bowls
When you are done blending up your smoothie, making sure it is thick enough, and pouring it into a bowl, the next step is to add your toppings. Some toppings are there for appearance, such as choosing a variety of colors for the look you are going for, but they are all good for you. Here are some of the best toppings to use on your smoothie bowls.
Cacao Powder and Nibs
This is a really fun topping, and one that goes great with fruit bowls and the more dessert-inspired ones. If you ever have a smoothie bowl with banana and peanut butter in it, or even more of a dessert bowl, definitely consider using cacao. Cacao powder is often used inside the bowl to make it creamier and add a chocolate flavor, but you can also sprinkle some on top. Cacao nibs are bits of raw, dark chocolate that doesn’t have added sugar or processed ingredients. This is great for topping the bowl for some natural sweetness, but not too much.
One of the most popular toppings for a smoothie bowl is coconut shavings. These really taste great with any smoothie bowl, from green smoothie bowls with lots of veggies, to any of the acai and fruit smoothie bowls. The coconut shavings are lightly flavored like coconut, so they are even better with more tropical fruit smoothies. Plus, they have a lot of amazing health benefits.
Nuts and Seeds
Another topping you can use on top of your smoothie bowl is any combination of nuts and seeds you like. Some common ones include slivered almonds and chia seeds, as well as pumpkin seeds. The chia seeds are small, round, and black, often placed in a long, thin line along the top of the bowl. These have omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, fiber, and lots more nutrients.
Not only are berries perfect for blending up your smoothie bowl, but they are beautiful when placed on top of the bowl as well. You can go with classic options like blueberries and raspberries, slice up some fresh strawberries, or go with something more unique like goji berries. These are a reddish purple color and are great for your skin, eye health, blood sugar, and providing more antioxidants your body needs.
Aside from these toppings, you can also sprinkle some homemade muesli or granola, or pretty much any type of fruit that is sliced or diced.
Smoothie Bowl Variations With Veggies
If you want to have a smoothie bowl for breakfast or another meal or snack during the day, but want to increase the nutrition, adding more veggies is a great idea. This turns it more into a green smoothie bowl, by combining fruits, veggies, and other nutrient-dense ingredients.
Turn it Into a Green Smoothie
The first thing you can do when you want a smoothie bowl that also includes a good amount of veggies is to create a green smoothie. This is essentially a smoothie that includes leafy greens like spinach or kale, which not only gives it that green color, but adds a lot more nutrients as well. You get additional fiber, vitamins and minerals of the greens, but they won’t overpower the sweetness of the smoothie recipe.
Try Avocado in the Smoothie Bowl
It may seem weird to have avocado in a smoothie, but don’t avoid this one until you try it! Avocado does work really well with savory dishes, but it also has a good flavor and consistency for sweet dishes. When you are making a smoothie with vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds, a little avocado will add creaminess and nutrition to the smoothie, but it won’t take away from the flavor. Sweet and tarty fruits have a strong enough flavor to cover most veggies you add, including avocado. Plus, avocado is a great way to thicken up a smoothie if you don’t use a banana or yogurt in it.
Don’t Miss Out on Other Veggies
While the leafy greens are often what people think about when they are adding vegetables to a smoothie, this is definitely not your only option. Also consider adding some other veggies to the smoothie, like cauliflower, carrots, or broccoli. The most important thing to remember is how much you use and what other ingredients you have in the smoothie in order to balance out the flavors, so it doesn’t just taste like a vegetable juice smoothie. This sometimes just takes a little bit of experimenting.
Find the Right Flavor Balance
The flavor balance is essential when you are making a smoothie bowl that is going to include vegetables and fruits in it. Choose sweeter fruits to include in the smoothie bowl, but that won’t negatively affect the flavor. Tarty fruits like apples, neutral fruits like bananas, and citrus fruits like oranges and lemons all work really great in smoothies that have vegetables in them.
Options for Making a Plant-Based Smoothie Bowl
If you want to have a yummy smoothie bowl, but are following a plant-based diet, you can’t make it in the same way others do. Most smoothie bowl recipes ask for yogurt and milk, which of course is not allowed on a vegan diet. Here are some ideas for making a plant-based smoothie bowl.
Thicken it Without Yogurt
One of the difficulties with making a smoothie bowl that is vegan-based, is that you lose the thickness when you don’t use yogurt. The yogurt really helps to thicken it up so that it works in a bowl, and not just a smoothie you drink with a straw. You can always use a dairy-free yogurt, but it’s not your only option. Another way to go is by adding banana to every smoothie. You can use a frozen banana or use a banana that is fresh, though frozen is often preferred. Another way to thicken it up is to freeze almond milk in an ice cube tray, and use those as your ice cubes.
Always Use Frozen Fruit
When it comes to having a good plant-based smoothie, you of course will have lots of fruits and veggies. With the fruit, you should try to use frozen fruit whenever possible. The frozen fruit is going to be blended up like ice in your smoothie, which gives it a creamy and frothy consistency. If you use fresh fruit, you might end up with too much juice, causing it to be watery and not the consistency of a smoothie bowl you are looking for.
Try Adding More Nut Butter
This is a great way to increase the protein and fiber of your smoothie bowl, while also making it the right thickness for a vegan option. Nut butter is really easy to add to a smoothie, plus it tastes amazing. You can go with a standard peanut butter, or nut almond butter, cashew butter, or any other type of nut butter you enjoy.
Go With a Dairy-Free Milk
Many smoothies also ask for a little bit of milk to increase the creaminess of the mixture, but this is easy to remedy when you are following a plant-based diet. Just switch to a diary-free milk like almond milk, coconut milk, or even soy milk. You can go for the sweetened or flavored variety, or just stick to unsweetened and get all the flavor from your fruits, veggies, nuts, and seeds.
How to Make Dessert Smoothie Bowls
While many smoothie bowls, or acai bowls are based around fruit, yogurt, and nuts or seeds, there are some that are better for dessert. These are still going to contain some healthy ingredients, so feel free to have them for breakfast, lunch, or dessert!
Go With a Classic Chocolate and Peanut Butter Combination
It doesn’t get much better than chocolate and peanut butter combined! These ingredients together are not only amazing with a morning smoothie that uses bananas and yogurt, but they can also be the way to get a delicious and filling smoothie bowl. There are many ways to use these ingredients for a dessert smoothie bowl, from the type of peanut butter you use to how you get the chocolate in there. The bulk of the smoothie can be a mixture of frozen banana, yogurt, and your preferred type of milk.
For chocolate, you can use raw cacao powder, cacao nibs, or chocolate-flavored protein powder. You can then add in your favorite type of peanut butter or even another type of nut butter. For toppings, slivered almonds, cacao nibs, and peanut butter slices are all great to include.
Make Your Own Healthy Caramel
There are two main ways to use caramel in a dessert smoothie: you can use real caramel or caramel sauce to drizzle on top, or you can look for a healthier option. If this smoothie bowl is simply another way to have a yummy dessert, go ahead and use your favorite type of caramel. It can be added inside the smoothie bowl or just drizzled on top. For some healthier alternatives, you can either make your own with dates, maple syrup, and coconut milk, or you can use something like caramel-flavored yogurt in the smoothie bowl to get that flavor you’re looking for.
Choose Dessert Toppings
The last way to turn a typical smoothie bowl into one that is perfect for dessert is by choosing your toppings carefully. Instead of just topping it with berries and granola, think of more dessert-type toppings. This might be a drizzle of peanut butter or caramel, using chocolate sauce, or having cacao nibs or chocolate chips on top. You can also go with nuts if you prefer them on your desserts, such as almond slivers, or even add some coconut shavings for a healthier sweet taste. Maple syrup is also really amazing on some of these sweeter smoothie bowls.
How to Make a Smoothie Bowl Without Bananas
Smoothie bowls allow you to have a delicious, fruity smoothie in the morning that is thicker and can be eaten with a spoon. However, if you don’t like bananas or can’t eat them, it can be hard finding a recipe that works for you. Luckily, there are some options available.
Thicken it Up With Vanilla Powder
Bananas provide multiple purposes in your smoothie bowl. They can replace the ice when your banana is frozen, allowing you to have a thicker smoothie that is also cold and frothy just like you like. Bananas also give you something tasty to sweeten up the smoothie bowl, and of course have just the right consistency for a thicker smoothie. However, you might be allergic to bananas, don’t have them available, or simply don’t like them, so you are looking for an alternative. You need to have a thicker smoothie bowl without bananas, which is often done by using vanilla protein powder or any other flavor protein powder. This thickens it up as long as you have enough liquids to add to the smoothie.
Use Other Frozen Fruit
To fix the problem of using your frozen banana as the “ice” in the smoothie, just use other frozen fruit instead. Many types of fruit can be easily frozen and will work great in your smoothie, including frozen strawberries and blueberries, frozen tropical fruit like kiwi and watermelon, and even frozen apple slices. Freeze any fruit you want, put it in containers or freezer bags, then remove it and toss in the blender when you’re ready to make your smoothie bowl.
Add More Yogurt and Nut Butter
Another way to thicken up your smoothie without using a banana is to use yogurt and nut butter, or just one or the other. This is not only going to make it thicker so the smoothie works well in a bowl, but it adds the right texture you are missing by not using a banana. Of course, if you are also using an acai pack, that will also help with the smoothie bowl consistency. There are many types of yogurt you can use, from unsweetened yogurt to low-fat, Greek, or even low sugar yogurt if you are on a low carb diet.
Don’t be afraid to experiment a little with your smoothies so that you get the perfect smoothie bowl without ever having to use a banana.
Health Benefits of Smoothie Bowls
You have probably seen smoothie bowls around, most likely on social media sites like Instagram. These bowls aren’t just to look pretty, but they are delicious and contain a lot of vitamins and minerals. Here are some different health benefits of eating smoothie bowls.
They are Loaded With Nutrients
One of the top reasons you should consider eating smoothie bowls is because they are very good for you. You have full control over the amount of fat, calories, and carbs by changing the ingredients, and you get all the added nutrients of those ingredients. Smoothie bowls often contain fruits, nuts, seeds, dairy, and veggies, all of which are loaded with vitamins and minerals your body needs. You may have any combination of nutrients, but often antioxidants, vitamin A, vitamin C, fiber, and many other essential nutrients.
You Can Try New Things
Smoothie bowls provide the perfect opportunity for you to try new things that will be in the bowl or used on top for toppings. While you may not have another use for cacao nibs, chia seeds, maca powder, and hemp seeds, they are frequently used in smoothie bowls. There is such a large variety of interesting ingredients you can use, from acai packs for the thickness of the smoothie, to using coconut shavings or goji berries on top. Think of all the different ways to try these new, fun, and healthy ingredients for your smoothie bowls.
They Encourage Healthy Eating
Also consider the fact that because smoothie bowls are fun to make and of course pretty to look at, you are more encouraged to eat healthy. Perhaps you mostly want to make one of these bowls for the awesome Instagram picture – that’s okay! You will still be eating the bowl for breakfast or another meal during the day, allowing you to get all those nutrients you might not have otherwise enjoyed.
You Get Your Daily Amount of Fruits and Veggies
A smoothie bowl contains a large smoothie that is loaded with fruits, vegetables, and other nutrient-rich ingredients. If you are struggling to get your daily amount of fruits and veggies, this is a great way to increase it. It is a simple smoothie bowl you eat with a spoon just like a bowl of cereal, but you are really loading up on the vitamins and minerals. One smoothie bowl could have a cup of kale, an entire banana, full serving of berries, and nuts and seeds, which is going to be great for your body and your mind.
Green Smoothie Bowl Variations
Smoothie bowls have a lot of different options, from going with a classic acai bowl, to using your favorite fruits. Another option is to turn the smoothie bowl into a green smoothie, where you are combining the traditional ingredients with lots of veggies. This increases the nutrition of your smoothie bowl and makes it more filling. Here are some ways to have a green smoothie bowl for breakfast.
Go Green With Greens
Green smoothies get their name from the color of the smoothie, which is often any variation of a green shade, but where do they get the color from? Greens of course! The bulk of your green smoothie, even in a smoothie bowl, is going to be your dark, leafy greens. While you can use any greens, kale and spinach tend to be more popular options. They have a mild flavor so it is still easy to sweeten your smoothie bowl and have the nutrients from the green veggies at the same time. About a cup or two of greens is good for a smoothie bowl.
Use Enough Fruit to Sweeten it Up
The next step after you have chosen your greens and veggies is to add fruit. This is going to add more flavor to the smoothie bowl, so it doesn’t just taste like you are drinking liquid vegetables. What you want to look for are fruits that don’t just help thicken it up, like your bananas, but fruits that have a lot of sweetness. Fruits that are on the tartier side really help to cover the flavor of the greens, like apples and certain types of berries. Some other fruits that go well with greens are kiwi, strawberries, blueberries, mango, and pineapple.
Add Extra Nutrients
You can go with more nutrient-dense ingredients both in the green smoothie and on top when the smoothie bowl is done. This is when you start adding ingredients like chia seeds, sunflower seeds, nuts or nut butter, coconut, and various dairy products for extra calcium. On the top, some good nutrient-dense toppings include coconut flakes, cacao nibs or powder, chia seeds, and goji berries. Get creative with your green smoothie, focusing not just on taste, but texture and nutrition as well.
Experiment with differ combinations when putting together your green smoothie. There is an almost endless amount of ways to turn the smoothie into a filling and healthy breakfast.
4 Ideas for Lower Carb Smoothie Bowls
Smoothie bowls are a great way to get more nutrients into your diet and have a pretty, filling breakfast you can be proud of. Unfortunately, a lot of smoothie bowls are loaded with dairy and sugar, which you can’t have if you are on a low carb diet. These smoothie bowls allow you to have this fruit and vegetable bowl in the morning without adding too much to your carbs for the day.
Use Almond Milk
The first option you have for your low-carb smoothie bowl is to replace the regular milk with almond milk. One cup of low-fat milk has about 12 grams of carbohydrates, while a cup of unsweetened almond milk has 0 net carbs. Just make sure you choose the unsweetened variety, as there will be some carbs in the sweetened version. You can also try using a little bit of unsweetened coconut milk if you prefer the taste of that to almond milk.
Skip the Yogurt
Another ingredient that smoothie bowls typically have that will be a little too high in carbs is the yogurt. Yogurt is not always added to smoothie bowls, but it frequently is to make it nice and creamy, and also to thicken it up a little. If you see yogurt in a recipe and just want to replace it, you can try a low-sugar yogurt, like the Triple Zero yogurts from Oikos. These do have some carbs, but at 6-8 net carbs each, they are considerably lower than your traditional yogurt.
Add Low-Carb Protein Powder
One of the reasons you have ingredients in a smoothie bowl that are not low carb-friendly, like bananas and yogurt, is because you are trying to thicken it up. The smoothie bowl needs to be thicker so that you can pour it in a b owl and eat it with a spoon, as opposed to a thinner smoothie you eat with a straw. To accomplish the thickness without the banana, which is about 25 net carbs each, you can try some low-carb protein powder instead. There are unflavored and flavored varieties, giving you a lot of different options.
Go Heavy on the Veggies
While there are many delicious fruits that taste wonderful in smoothies and smoothie bowls, many of them are too high in carbs to make this a worthwhile breakfast for you. The best low-carb fruits to use are berries, like strawberries and raspberries. Most other fruits you should skip. However, you can turn it into a greens smoothie with veggies that are low in carb like avocado, kale, and spinach.
Try These 7 Acids for Healthy Skin
When someone talks about acid, you typically think of dangerous chemicals that are used for experiments in a lab with test tubes and rubber gloves. Luckily, this is not always the case. There are many different types of acids, with some of them actually being good for you – especially your skin.
Acids can be powerful for your skin, helping to remove blemishes and acne, reduce age signs like spots and wrinkles, and help even out your skin tone. There are a wide range of natural and over-the-counter skin care products that use acids to help your skin.
If you are interested in adding products with these types of ingredients, here are some of the top acids for your skin.
The first acid is one you probably recognize – hyaluronic acid. This type of acid does a lot for your skin, starting with helping to replenish its moisture. There are a lot of new products, including some with many natural ingredients, that are getting popular and contain this acid.
This is best for people with very dry skin, whether you have patches of dry skin, or a skin condition that makes it dry. You can replenish the hydration and moisture of your skin, which is going to help reduce the signs of aging, help your makeup go on smoother, and just boost your confidence overall.
There are also some added benefits to using products with hyaluronic acid, including filling out your wrinkles by helping to give your skin a nice plumping boost.
Another extremely common acid that can actually help your skin is salicylic acid. You will find this in many of your store-bought skincare products, especially the facial cleansers. There are a variety of acids known as beta hydroxy acids, providing a more “natural” approach to improving your skin without having to use expensive products or get facials and other treatments you might not be interested in.
Salicylic acid is found in many popular facial cleansers because it not only helps to fight acne, but it can also exfoliate your skin, removing dead skin cells and cleaning out your pores. This will help to reduce pimples and those blackheads nobody wants. You will also find that it helps reduce inflammation on your skin, and can also work as an antibacterial acid for your skin.
Aside from facial cleansers, you can look for this product in creams, gels, and medicated pads for your face.
You already know about beta hydroxy acids, such as hyaluronic acid, but there are also a number of alpha hydroxy acids. Glycolic is one of the top alpha hydroxy acids you can use on your skin. If you’re concerned about where it comes from – don’t be. It comes from the sugar cane! This is wonderful when you are looking for anti-aging products that help reduce fine lines and wrinkles.
Aside from anti-aging benefits, products with glycolic acid can also help fight acne and prevent breakouts from forming, as well as reducing dark spots and helping to even out your skin tone. It is also found in many exfoliating products for your face and neck.
Moving on to another alpha hydroxy acid, this is one of the less common ones, but you might be surprised to learn it is found in many commercial skincare products. This is also from a natural source – bitter almonds. It works wonders for exfoliating your skin, which as you know helps to clear dead skin cells and other bacteria from your pores.
The big bonus for mandelic acid, compared to acids like glycolic, is that it won’t be as harsh on your skin. It is more for sensitive skin that need exfoliating, since it doesn’t penetrate quite as deeply. While it is helping to clear your pores, it will also help treat sun damage like spots and pigmentation problems.
If you want a skin acid that can help with anti-aging, then citric acid will be your best option. This, unsurprisingly, comes from citrus fruits. Due to this, it provides some natural antioxidants for your skin, which is going to help reduce the signs of aging and fight free radicals that might be damaging your skin.
Look at the ingredients of skin care products that claim to be helpful for the signs of aging, and you just might find citric acid listed there.
Another of the less common skin acids is called azelaic acid. Like many other skin care acids, this can help with a wide range of things. Azelaic acid is great for lightening your skin if you have dark spots or pigmentation problems, can treat acne and breakouts, and works wonders at clearing your pores.
If you have issues with irritated and inflamed skin, you will be happy to note that it also reduces inflammation. In many cases, the acid is found in prescription-strength skincare products, so talk to your dermatologist if you are looking to try this one on your face.
The last facial acid on this list is lactic acid. This is a type of alpha hydroxy acid that is going to provide very gentle exfoliation on your skin. If you have sensitive skin, you might find that lactic acid is much better for your skin than some of the other options.
Lactic acid comes from milk, so it also provides some natural moisture for your skin, while reducing fine lines and helping with dark spots. It is not uncommon to find it alongside other acids in the same skincare products.
The Impact Dairy Has on Your Skin
From lattes and ice cream to pizza and cheeseburgers, dairy is pervasive in the standard Western diet, considered both a staple and a necessary comfort food ingredient. In the United States, the Federal nutrition policy developed by the USDA and the Department for Health and Human Services recommends Americans consume two to three servings of dairy daily as part of a healthy, well-balanced diet.
However, exposure of mass agricultural practices suggest that not all dairy products are created equally and the quality of dairy products may differ drastically based on the presence of growth hormones and antibiotics administered to the livestock. These hormones and antibiotics then travel through the food chain causing adverse health effects for dairy consumers.
As dairy alternatives such as almond milk, coconut yogurt, and soy cheese have become increasingly accessible in recent years, complications with skin and digestive health among dairy consumers has risen, disproving the notion that dairy is a mandatory component of a healthy diet.
Consuming Dairy Can Exacerbate Certain Skin Conditions
Despite its widespread consumption, scientific and anecdotal evidence suggests that dairy products in the diet can have adverse effects on skin health and can exacerbate certain conditions. Understanding the ways dairy relates to the complexion and using or avoiding it accordingly can be a powerful tool for achieving healthy skin.
Dairy is a highly inflammatory food and can particularly irritate skin that is already prone to breakouts. When the body stays in a constant state of inflammation, its' ability to naturally heal itself is compromised. Because dairy comes from pregnant cows and naturally contains a host of hormones, it can cause hormone imbalance in humans, leading to oily skin and breakouts.
Casein, a protein found in cow's milk, can be a trigger for eczema. Switching to goat and sheep's milk products which do not contain casein may be a good alternative for those with eczema who do not want to cut out dairy completely, although the inflammation caused by dairy products of any kind can still contribute to flare ups.
Consumption of pasteurized dairy has been linked to premature aging of the skin due to the oxidization of proteins that occurs during the process. Digestive enzymes found in dairy are also destroyed during the pasteurization process which decreases the body's ability to absorb all of the nutrients properly. This can lead to digestive trouble and can contribute to skin breakdown. Switching to raw, unpasteurized dairy products can lessen digestive problems for those with lactose sensitivity and allows for greater absorption of the vitamins and minerals found in milk.
Using Dairy Topically Can Benefit Complexion
Despite the adverse effects of many dairy products when consumed internally, some types of dairy, particularly yogurt, can be an invaluable addition to skincare when applied externally. This can partially be attributed to the living cultures found in yogurt which act as pre- and probiotics, balancing the levels of bacteria found on the skin.
When applied topically, antioxidants found in yogurt fight free-radicals which lead to premature aging and wrinkles. Dairy also contains lactic acid which acts as a gentle exfoliator while tightening pores to give the skin a more firm appearance.
Brighten and Correct Blemishes
The lactic acid found in dairy also works to lighten discolorations and even skin tone. A yogurt face mask provides moisture to the skin, leaving it soft and supple rather than red and irritated as often occurs after harsher blemish-correcting treatments.
Because of it's ability to balance levels of good and bad bacteria on the facial biome, a yogurt face mask can help to clear skin by killing acne-causing bacteria. Although dairy is considered an inflammatory food, yogurt applied topically acts as an anti-inflammatory treatment, decreasing facial redness and minimizing the appearance of breakouts.
The best way to reap the benefits of dairy is to apply a layer of plain or Greek yogurt to the face and leave on for about 10 minutes before rinsing off with warm water. Yogurt sourced from organic, grass-fed dairies should be used to avoid contact with growth hormones, antibiotics, and other unwanted contaminants. While yogurt can be used alone, other ingredients can be added to boost results. Mix yogurt with a teaspoon of raw honey for extra moisture or the juice from half a lemon for added brightening power.
Essential oils such as lavender can be added to increase the calming effect on sensitive or inflamed skin. For best results, and to avoid irritating the skin, use a yogurt face mask before applying makeup, or after washing your face before bed, once or twice a week.
Skin Care Trends: Have You Tried Charcoal Yet?
Charcoal-based skin care products are extremely popular, and manufacturers have created several items that you can use for cleansing or exfoliating your body and facial skin. The type of charcoal in your skin care products has been treated with chemicals or heat to increase its absorption into your skin. It is easy to find an assortment of skin care products that contain charcoal because this particular ingredient is trending right now. Look for charcoal-based skin care products at local or online drugstores. Here are some of the products that you can use to improve your skin with charcoal.
You can find bars of soap that contain charcoal, and this is the perfect product for cleansing the excess dirt and sebum from your skin's pores. If you have oily skin on your back or shoulders, then charcoal-based bar soap can help with preventing pimples and blackheads. Dermatologists recommend using charcoal-based bar soap three times a week to eliminate oiliness.
Facial and Body Scrubs
Body and facial scrubs that contain charcoal also have tiny granules that help to exfoliate your skin to leave a smoother layer of skin. The small granules also enter your skin's pores to left the thick debris that cause acne. This type of skin care product also tends to dry the skin, so you should use it only once a week.
If you have an oily scalp or flaky dandruff, then you can use a shampoo that is formulated with charcoal. The activated charcoal in some shampoo products can eliminate dandruff so that you don't have itchiness. This type of shampoo will also remove a buildup of other hair care products so that your hair feels softer and smoother. You don't need to use a charcoal-based shampoo each day, but by using it occasionally, you can have hair that looks better.
Specialized Facial Cleansers
You can use a specialized liquid facial cleanser on your face to eliminate bacteria along with removing the toxins from the upper layer of your skin. This type of cleanser helps to remove the plugs of sebum that fill your skin's pores, leading to blackheads and pimples. Skin care product manufacturers formulate several types of facial cleansers for skin that is dry, oily, sensitive or acne-prone.
Facial masks that contain charcoal are trending, and you may see television commercials for this product. This skin care product is thicker, and it has a gooey texture as you apply it to your facial skin. After waiting until the facial mask dries, you can lift the dried product from the bottom of your face. Next, you will rinse your face with warm water to remove the skin care product. You will notice that the dirt and sebum in your skin has been lifted from your skin with the dried facial mask.
Foot Deodorizers and Cleansers
When you suffer from horrible food odor, you can find skin care products that are designed for your feet. The activated charcoal in these foot care products helps to eliminate the foul odor from your sweaty feet. You can soak or wash your feet with activated charcoal skin care products to eliminate the bacteria and toxins that create a bad odor. You can also sprinkle charcoal-based powders in your shoes, or you can place charcoal-based pads in your sneakers.
Instead of using a facial mask on your entire face, you can use adhesive nasal strips on your nose. You will find nasal strips in a box at a local store, and you will place one of these items across the bridge of your nose. After leaving the strip on your nose for the recommended amount of time, you will lift it carefully to remove the plugs of dried skin cells, dirt and sebum from the skin. In addition, the charcoal from the nasal strip seeps into your skin's pores to prevent acne.
You can remove the impurities from your body’s skin with a clay skin care product that contains activated charcoal. This product is slathered on your body skin, and you should let it dry completely before washing it off with a warm shower. Not only will charcoal-based body clay remove deeply embedded dirt, but also, your skin will have a firmer texture after it is rinsed from your body.
Natural Ways to Brighten Your Skin
Caring for your skin properly is incredibly important as there are many factors in daily life that can negatively impact it, such as pollution, makeup, eating unhealthy foods, stress, and more. These variables can cause many side effects, including acne, dryness, red marks, and even wrinkles, and knowing how to take care of your skin can eliminate these results and leave your skin feeling smooth and looking bright and healthy.
There are many solutions that can improve the condition of your skin, and here are five natural ways to brighten it for a flawless and healthy look for the long run.
The acidic properties of lemon juice can do wonders for your skin. The acidity helps to cleanse the pores, exfoliating the skin, helping to rid it of pimples and blackheads and preventing them from popping up as frequently in the future. The juice is also packed with antioxidants and vitamins that help to rid the skin or red spots and dark spots, resulting in an overall brighter complexion.
Lemon juice can be applied directly to the skin using a cloth or cotton ball. Be cautious when using the pure juice because the high acidity can irritate skin. For less potent solutions, mix the lemon juice with some water or make a mask with honey, turmeric, milk, specialized oils, or other ingredients. Leave the mask on for 15 to 30 minutes, then rinse it off.
Green tea has many common health benefits, such as aiding in weight loss, strengthening hair, increasing energy levels, and more, but it can also help you achieve healthy skin. The antioxidants in green tea help rid the pores of bacteria, decreasing inflammation, acne, and symptoms of conditions like rosacea. It also removes dead skin cells and promotes healthier cells, helping them grow and heal more effectively, leading to smooth and younger-looking skin.
Soaked green tea bags can be applied directly to dark spots, but there are also many homemade options that can serve as simple face masks. Some common ingredients that can be used to make a mask include water, oils, aloe, turmeric, sugar, banana, and more, all of which can be blended with green tea leaves to maximize benefits.
Aloe vera is most commonly used to soothe the skin after a sunburn, but it also has many other benefits and can help naturally brighten your skin. Aloe can reduce hyperpigmentation, or dark spots, on the face and other parts of the body with its moisturizing and purifying qualities. The enzymes, vitamins, acids, and other properties in the aloe plant's gel help fight skin infection and can reduce redness and inflammation.
Aloe in its original form comes in a gel substance from the aloe plant. Aloe vera can be found in various lotions, chap sticks, masks, and other products, but the gel can be applied to any part of the body directly from the plant if desired.
Epsom salt and similar magnesium products can help exfoliate and draw toxins from the skin, leaving it feeling and looking smooth and healthy. It reduces redness and inflammation and has anti-bacterial properties that soothe itchy skin and reduce infections. For those with atopic dermatitis, or eczema, Epsom salt can be particularly helpful in reducing irritation and lessening the redness of the area.
Add one to two cups of the salt to a warm bath and soak in the water. Depending on the condition of your skin, a relaxing bath with Epsom salt can be taken anywhere from one to a few times a week. A small spoonful can also be added to body and face washes for extra exfoliation.
Coconut oil provides an incredibly effective solution for many skin types due to the wide range of benefits it provides. This oil has anti-fungal and bacterial properties, strengthens skin, protects against sunburn and harsh weather, reduces redness, and is a great moisturizer. These many benefits can help relieve the symptoms of various skin conditions, such as the dry, flaky skin associated with psoriasis. Not only does coconut oil protect skin, it also nourishes it below the surface, providing a simple way to achieve a bright and healthy look.
This natural remedy can be used simply by rubbing a small amount onto the face and body. It may leave an oily appearance directly after application, but the oils will be absorbed. Coconut oil can also be added to face masks and combined with natural substances and lotions for a healthy boost for your skin.
Pollutants, skin diseases, and other elements of daily life can take a negative toll on the skin, and taking care of it is important to ensure that it remains healthy and looking young. These natural remedies will leave your skin bright while providing the various health boosts it needs to maintain a wonderful glow.
How to Use Witch Hazel for Your Skin
Witch hazel is a versatile addition to your skin care routine. While it's easy to use the natural astringent as-is on a cotton ball, blending it with other ingredients allows you to create a range of customized skin care products that suit your skin type perfectly. Use these simple tips to get healthy, glowing skin with simple, natural ingredients.
Cleansing and Toning
Witch hazel is a pore-tightening toner and a natural cleanser that can be applied directly to your skin with a cotton ball. For the best astringent and toning benefits, let your skin dry naturally after applying witch hazel. Using witch hazel as-is provides you with a simple option for most daily skin care needs.
For instance, you can use a cotton ball or facial pad dampened with witch hazel to remove makeup, heal dry skin and eliminate excess oil. Just dab the desired areas lightly to apply the witch hazel and let your skin dry naturally for more balanced skin.
If you have sensitive skin, witch hazel is an excellent occasional replacement for your normal cleanser. You can rinse your face after cleansing it with witch hazel, or you can let your face air dry to tone your skin. Witch hazel is also a natural option to heal acne and reduce the occurrence of breakouts.
Naturally Clear Skin
Witch hazel is a safer alternative to commercial acne treatments, and you can boost its blemish busting power by adding 10 to 15 drops of tea tree essential oil to three ounces of witch hazel. Apply a small amount of the mixture to blemishes with a facial pad, cotton ball, or cotton swab. This mixture is safe to use on your face, but is also suitable for treating acne on other areas, such as your back.
Try storing the mixture in your refrigerator to soothe the irritation and redness that commonly accompanies blemishes. You can substitute the tea tree oil for lavender essential oil if you prefer a milder, sweeter scent, but avoid using undiluted essential oils on your skin. If you are looking for a simpler, more affordable anti-aging product, witch hazel is the solution you need for younger looking, healthier skin.
Age-Fighting Antioxidant Blends
Witch hazel's toning properties make it the perfect base for anti-aging products. To make a gentle anti-aging toner to replace commercial vitamin C serum, add a teaspoon of powdered vitamin C to a half-cup of witch hazel. To give the anti-aging toner soothing properties, try adding a teaspoon of aloe vera to the mixture.
You can also purchase witch hazel that is already blended aloe vera to easily create your own wrinkle-fighting, skin-soothing blend. The skin soothing properties of aloe and witch hazel are perfect for treating skin irritations, but skip the vitamin C in favor of more aloe when creating a skin soothing blend.
Soothing Irritation and Sunburn
You can make your own treatment for sunburn and minor skin irritations with witch hazel and aloe vera. To cool and soothe sunburns, mix two parts witch hazel with one part aloe vera into spray bottle. Shake the mixture well before each use, and spray sunburned skin with the mixture as often as needed. You can store the spray bottle in the refrigerator to make the sunburn treatment more soothing.
Witch hazel provides nearly instant relief from skin irritation caused by poison ivy, poison oak and poison sumac. Try pouring witch hazel directly onto the rash to reduce symptoms like swelling, itching and redness, and repeat the treatment twice a day until the rash is gone.
Managing Chronic Conditions
To manage the symptoms of eczema or psoriasis, apply witch hazel directly to the affected areas twice daily. To treat the symptoms of eczema, combine one part neem oil and seven parts witch hazel, and apply the mixture twice daily for symptom relief. A blend of equal parts glycerin, aloe vera and witch hazel is ideal for managing the dry, flaky skin that is associated with psoriasis.
Apply the mixture to the affected areas twice a day, or use the mixture more often if your symptoms are bothersome. Witch hazel has a variety of properties that keep your skin looking healthy, and the natural toner is an inexpensive option that can replace nearly any item in your skin care routine.
Home Remedies for Cracked Heels
Dry, cracked heels can make even the simplest tasks, such as walking, uncomfortable, and using your normal lotions and moisturizers may not effectively provide relief. Using home remedies for severely dry skin is a simple, affordable option for lasting relief. A wide range of home remedies are available to soothe and heal dry, cracked heels, including these easy at-home treatment options.
Soak and Exfoliate
Cracked heels are often accompanied by a layer of thick, hard skin, often called a callus, that slows the healing process. To remove the callus and speed healing, soak your feet in warm, soapy water for about thirty minutes, and gently scrub your heels with a pumice stone to remove the layer of dry skin.
If a pumice stone is too rough, try using a loofah to scrub the dry skin away. After exfoliating with a pumice stone or loofah, you should immediately dry and moisturize your feet. Petroleum jelly is an excellent option that protects and moisturizes dry, cracked skin.
Put a layer of the petroleum jelly on each heel and put socks on to keep the moisturizer in place. Wear the socks overnight, or for as long as possible, to promote healing. If you prefer a more natural home remedy for cracked heels, you may find relief in your kitchen.
Naturally Healing Fruit Packs
Fruit packs are a simple option to treat cracked heels. To make a fruit pack, mash a banana thoroughly, and spread the mashed fruit over your heels, and put socks on to keep the fruit pack in place. Leave the banana on your feet for at least 20 minutes and apply a moisturizer after washing the fruit pack off of your feet.
You can also leave the banana on overnight if you want to promote faster healing. Other ways to use natural ingredients to heal cracked heels includes the following:
Mash an avocado, rub it onto your heels, and allow it to remain for at least 20 minutes before washing and moisturizing your feet.
Mix equal amounts of olive oil and oatmeal to make an exfoliating paste that soothes irritation.
Spread a thin layer of honey on each heel for an antimicrobial, antioxidant-rich home remedy that naturally speeds healing.
Massage your heels with cold-pressed coconut oil to moisturize skin and help prevent both bacterial and fungal infections.
You can leave most food-based home remedies on your feet overnight for faster symptom relief, but you may want to protect your bed and blankets with an extra sheet in case you lose your socks while you sleep. Your kitchen is full of home remedies for cracked heels, but other at-home treatments are available if you prefer a more traditional approach to healing.
Healing Pharmacy Finds
Liquid bandages are a must-have if cracked heels are painful. Use the liquid bandages according to the instructions on the package, and replace your socks at least twice a day to keep the area clean and dry. You also need to use a moisturizer to prevent the dry skin that causes cracked heels. Opt for heel balm that contains rich emollients like shea butter, or stick with petroleum jelly if you want reliable moisturizing power.
Paraffin wax is also a simple treatment option. Melt the paraffin wax with an equal amount of coconut oil, then apply the mixture to each heel to form a protective layer over the cracked areas. Wear socks and leave the mixture on overnight for a super-moisturizing home remedy that can provide dry skin relief in just one treatment.
Preventing Dry Skin
You can take steps to prevent the dry skin that causes cracked heels. Some simple preventative methods include wearing shoes that cover your heel and drinking plenty of water to keep your skin well-hydrated. To prevent stripping your skin of naturally protective oils, use warm, rather than hot, water for showers and baths.
Regularly soaking, exfoliating and moisturizing your feet is the most effective way to prevent cracked heels. Add Epsom salt to warm water for a healing foot soak that encourages good circulation in your feet, or add vinegar to your foot soak to prevent infections if you currently have cracked heels. Home remedies can provide lasting relief using natural products and ingredients, offering you a simpler, safer approach to healing.
Holistic Skin Care: Herbs and Spices to Try Out
When it comes to holistic skin care sometimes all a person has to do is look into their spice rack or if they grow their own herbs, their garden. Humans have known for millennia that different herbs can be astringent or can help the skin hold on to moisture. They can clear up breakouts and make skin glow with health. Here are some herbs and spices to consider for skin care:
Oat straw is the stem of the oat plant while it’s still green and its sap is milky. It is a great source of silica and calcium and has been used for hundreds of years for skin problems and to correct imbalances in the blood sugar. Oat straw is most often made into tea or extracts and added to food.
Horsetail, whose other name is shavegrass, used to be used as an exfoliant and probably still is in some place. An astringent, horsetail is full of silica that supports the suppleness of the skin. It can be drunk in tea but is often dried, powdered and made into a poultice to put on the skin. It can also be added to a warm bath.
The leaf and seeds of this plant are used for skin health. Alfalfa is full of carotene, which is converted to vitamin A in the body. Vitamin A is an anti-oxidant that is vital for the health of the skin, hair and nails. Alfalfa is also full of necessary trace minerals, vitamin K, chlorophyll and amino acids.
Nettle leaves are excellent when it comes to inflammatory skin diseases, especially in children. They clear up eczema and clean ulcers and wounds. When nettle leaves are used in a tea or tincture, their stinging hairs are neutralized.
This is the fruit of the rose plant. Extremely rich in vitamin C, it is an all purpose tonic. It can be taken as a tea, as capsules, as part of a mask or in a facial. It also makes an excellent jelly.
Turmeric is derived from the rhizome of a plant that resembles the ginger plant. In a compress, turmeric is used to heal injuries and skin lesions. When it is eaten, it cleanses the blood. This also contributes to the health of the skin.
Yes, this is carrageenan, that additive that thickens store-bought ice cream. When applied to the skin Irish moss acts as a demulcent, which means it soothes inflamed or irritated skin.
This herb can also be drunk as a tea or used as a compress for skin problems such as acne and eczema. It soothes boils, bruises, warts and canker sores.
This micro-algae is bought as a dried powder and can be sprinkled on food or mixed with drinks. It is a great source of chlorophyll, vitamins, minerals, amino acids and proteins. Its ability to cleanse the blood and help circulation promotes skin health.
The aromatic leaves of this herb tones the skin and is especially good for the hair. It stimulates hair follicles and is said to put off the graying of the hair and baldness when used as a shampoo.
This herb is famous for its gel, which is used to heal minor burns. Its promotion of rapid cell regeneration helps to heal wounds, rashes, fungal infections and all types of skin problems. Aloe vera can be made into a juice drink.
Yellow Dock Root
Drunk as a tea or taken in capsule form, this mildly astringent root is rich in iron and can build and cleanse the blood. This makes it a good choice for skin conditions. Yellow dock root is also used in formulas to treat psoriasis and eczema.
Use the oil of this root externally to heal skin conditions that feature itching and scaling such as eczema and psoriasis. It also is used to treat ringworm, athlete’s foot, acne and other inflammatory skin conditions.
All About Natural Sunscreen
Depending on your skin type, your body will produce between 1,000 and 10,000 international units (IUs) of vitamin D when exposed to 30 minutes of the mid-day sun. This is important because vitamin D deficiency has been linked to weak bones, insomnia, mood disorders, hormonal imbalances and more. But too much of anything can be bad, and sun exposure is no exception.
Sun Exposure and Skin Cancer
According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), skin cancer is the single most common type of cancer, with roughly one in five Americans developing it at some point during their life. A leading contributing factor of skin cancer is sun exposure. Sunlight contains ultraviolet (UV) rays that penetrate the skin and promote abnormal cell growth. Statistics show that up to 90 percent of all non-melanoma skin cancers involve prolonged exposure to the sun.
Sunlight is actually a form of radiation. The Earth's geomagnetic field filters some of this radiation but not all of it. As a result, some solar radiation penetrates through the atmosphere while exposing us and everything else on this planet to UV light. There are ways to protect your sun from solar radiation, however, including the use of natural sunscreen lotion.
Choose Your Sunscreen Lotion Carefully
It may sound contradictory, but some sunscreen lotions may actually increase your risk of skin cancer. Many store-bought sunscreen products, for instance, contain nano particles of zinc oxide. Zinc oxide itself isn't necessarily bad; it's actually an effective compound for blocking solar radiation. When processed for sunscreen lotion, though, companies often create a fine chalk-like powder of zinc oxide consisting of 100nm or smaller particles. The zinc oxide particles are so small that they absorb into your skin.
The precise effects of nano-sized zinc oxide remains unknown, but some health experts believe it's a contributing factor in skin cancer. Once absorbed by the body, they disturb cellular growth and function. This has prompted many health-conscious individuals to seek a safer alternative form of sun protection.
What Is Natural Sunscreen Lotion?
Natural sunscreen lotion is made using safe, natural ingredients. Coconut oil, for example, is a common ingredient found in natural sunscreen lotion. Extracted from mature coconuts, this all-natural ingredient contains a sun protection factor (SPF) of 5. It also contains antioxidants to strengthen the skin and protect against oxidative stress. Furthermore, coconut oil has anti-inflammatory properties, making it particularly beneficial for people suffering from chronic inflammatory skin conditions like eczema.
Shea butter is another common ingredient used in natural sunscreen lotion. Extracted from the nuts of the shea tree, it contains high concentrations of fatty acids, including oleic acid, stearic acid and palmitic acid. The high fat content of shea butter makes it an excellent moisturizing cream or lotion. Additionally, shea butter has natural sun-blocking properties, keeping your skin safe from UV rays.
Some natural sunscreen lotions also contain zinc oxide but in larger particles. Zinc oxide is found in the Earth's crust. Normally, it doesn't pose any risk to our health. If it's processed into nano-sized particles, though, some experts believe it increases the risk of skin cancer.
When choosing a natural sunscreen lotion, consider the types of UV light it blocks. All sunscreen lotion is designed to block the sun's UV rays. With that said, there are two specific types of UV sunlight: UVA and UVB. UVA rays are primarily responsible for sunburns whereas UVB rays are responsible for skin aging, wrinkles and fine lines. Additionally, they are both associated with an increased risk of skin cancer.
Some sunscreen products only protect against UVB rays, leaving your skin susceptible to UVA. A broad-spectrum sunscreen lotion, however, is formulated to protect against both types of solar radiation.
Other Tips to Protect Your Skin from Sun Damage
Wearing natural sunscreen lotion is just one way to protect your skin from sun damage. You can also cover your skin and limit the time you spend outdoors. By following some simple steps, you'll promote healthier, more youthful skin.
8 Ways to Use Apple Cider Vinegar for Skin
Apple cider vinegar has many skincare uses. It can be a potent weapon in the fight against acne, and it can help soothe sunburned skin. Ahead, learn some of the best ways to use apple cider vinegar in your skincare regimen.
Get Rid of Razor Bumps
Apple cider vinegar has anti-inflammatory properties. This makes it an effective remedy against razor bumps. When dealing with aggravated razor bumps, put a few drops of apple cider vinegar on a cotton swap. Then apply the vinegar to the affected area. The anti-inflammatory effects will minimize signs of razor burn, and vinegar's acid levels will soften the skin, helping to prevent ingrown hairs.
Toner for Acne-Prone Skin
Instead of purchasing pricy facial toners, simply use apple cider vinegar as the first step in your post-cleanse skincare regimen. When undiluted, apple cider vinegar is too strong for the facial skin. To make it a suitable toner, combine one cup of water with ½ tablespoon of apple cider vinegar. Then apply it to the face with a cotton ball. Make sure to mix the toner thoroughly before every application. Because apple cider vinegar contains natural alpha-hydroxy-acids, this toner will help to exfoliate the skin and tighten the pores. This minimizes breakouts and get rid of existing blemishes.
Get Rid of Athlete's Foot
Apple cider vinegar has anti-fungal properties. When dealing with athlete's foot and other fungal infections, try using a footbath filled with an apple cider vinegar mixture. For best results, combine one cup of vinegar with four cups of water. Soak feet in the mixture for 20 to 30 minutes, and then rinse them in water. Because apple cider vinegar has antiseptic properties, this remedy also helps to deodorize feet.
ACV Bath for Eczema
Many people find that ACV (apple cider vinegar) is an effective remedy for eczema and itchy skin. Because it contains everything from acetic acid to mineral salts, apple cider vinegar can reduce eczema-related inflammation and restore the skin's pH levels. This helps to soothe eczema-prone skin. To use vinegar as an eczema remedy, add two cups to a warm bath. Soak in the mixture for 30 minutes or more, and then apply an eczema emollient to the skin afterwards.
Get Rid of Dandruff
Dandruff is often caused by fungal growth and damage to the scalp's acid mantle. Apple cider vinegar can help to mitigate both of those problems. To use it as a dandruff treatment, mix equal parts water and apple cider vinegar. Rub it into the scalp before you take a shower. Let it sit there for about ten minutes, and then shampoo the hair and scalp as usual. Do this several times a week until the dandruff is gone.
Apple Cider Vinegar for Sunburn
The acetic acid in apple cider vinegar helps to balance the pH level of skin. When you apply it to sunburned skin, it helps restore the damaged skin to the appropriate level of acidity, which minimizes blistering and peeling. To use apple cider vinegar as a sunburn relief, mix one cup of vinegar with four cups of water. Then apply the mixture to the affected areas of the skin using a warm washcloth.
Bug Bite Remedy
Apple cider vinegar is an effective anti-itch treatment for eczema and rashes. It's no wonder, then, that it's also a great way to treat bug bites. Simply apply undiluted apple cider vinegar to an inflamed mosquito bite. It will speed healing, minimize itchiness, and reduce swelling.
Apple Cider Vinegar Clay Mask for Acne
Many people combine apple cider vinegar with bentonite clay to create a blemish-banishing facial mask. Bentonite clay has healing properties, and it goes deep into the pores to get rid of impurities and blemishes. Apple cider vinegar reduces inflammation and irritation. For a powerful at-home facial, combine equal parts vinegar and clay. The mixture should have the consistency of a paste. Apply it to the face, and leave it on the skin until it dries. Then gently rinse it off with warm water. You will immediately notice that your pores look tighter, your skin looks clearer, and that your face feels refreshed.