The largest organ of the body, with a total area of about 20 square feet. The skin protects us from microbes and the elements, helps regulate body temperature, and permits the sensations of touch, heat, and cold. Skin has three layers:
- The epidermis, the outermost layer of skin, provides a waterproof barrier and creates our skin tone.
- The dermis, beneath the epidermis, contains tough connective tissue, hair follicles, and sweat glands.
- The deeper subcutaneous tissue (hypodermis) is made of fat and connective tissue.
The skin’s color is created by special cells called melanocytes, which produce the pigment melanin. Melanocytes are located in the epidermis.
Your skin’s the barrier between the outside world and the rest of you. It constantly renews itself and produces sebum (oil) to ward off contaminants, pollutants, and microbes. Alas, sometimes it goes under or overboard and you end up with clogged pores that can harbor bacteria and lead to breakouts and infections.
Dry Skin and Infection
To restore your skin to good health, you must actively replenish the moisture down to the deeper layers, not just cover the skin. Moisturized, intact skin is your body’s best defense against bacteria and viruses because it is a natural barrier that keeps moisture in and infectious agents out.
Mother Jai’s Skin Care Recommendations:
- Skip the glycerin soap when it comes to cleaning your face – all facial cleansers should be glycerin-free.
- Avoid petroleum based ‘moisturizers’, they only trap moisture, they do not nourish or provide moisture to the skin.
- Breathing, sweating and most of your other bodily processes remove water from your cells. That is why it is so important to drink at least a half-gallon (2 liters) of water every day.
- Essential fatty acids are crucial to keeping your skin looking healthy. Omega-6 – poultry, grains, cooking oils; Omega-3 – cold-water fish (salmon, sardines), kidney beans, walnuts, and spinach Gamma linolenic acid – plant oils.
- Beneficial to both your body and skin, antioxidants are crucial for healthy skin cells. Antioxidants fight free radicals, which can otherwise damage healthy cells.
- Eat a healthy, well-balanced diet. Findings from a few studies suggest that eating plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables may help prevent damage that leads to premature skin aging. Findings from research studies also suggest that a diet containing lots of sugar or other refined carbohydrates can accelerate aging.
- Drink less alcohol. Alcohol is rough on the skin. It dehydrates the skin, and in time, damages the skin. This can make us look older.
- If you smoke, stop. Smoking greatly speeds up how quickly skin ages. It causes wrinkles and a dull, sallow complexion.
- Exercise most days of the week. Moving the body and stretching the skin regularly tones and strengthens it, improving tone and tightening wrinkles. Findings from a few studies suggest that moderate exercise can improve circulation and boost the immune system. This, in turn, may give the skin a more-youthful appearance.
- Wash your face once a day and after sweating heavily. Perspiration, especially when wearing a hat or helmet, irritates the skin, so you want to wash your skin as soon as possible after sweating.
- Apply a natural facial moisturizer every day. Moisturizers provides moisture to our skin, giving it a more youthful appearance.
- Stop using skin care products that sting or burn. When your skin burns or stings, it means your skin is irritated. Irritating your skin can make it look older.
- Exfoliating is essential for skin strength and elasticity. Removing dead skin cells on a regular basis stimulates regeneration of healthy tissue below. It prevents clogged pores, rough and scaly skin, and helps moisturizers absorb more effectively.
- Get some sun every day if possible. The sun in moderation does not cause cancer. Too many sunburns and overuse of sunscreen cause skin cancer.
Natural Make-Up Remover
Microfiber actually works great for this too and removes even mascara without soap or oils. Plain olive or coconut oil will also remove mascara (even waterproof) and will remove other make-up as well but isn’t as ideal if you have oily skin. For oily skin- Liquid Castille soap in water will remove makeup without adding oils to the skin or stripping the natural ones.
Mother Jai’s Coconut Oil Soap – only organic coconut oil, distilled water and sodium hydroxide. Just like the good ole days! Truly natural and nourishing soap. Great for oily skin types.
Mother Jai’s Skin Cleanser/Toner – yes it does both. Made of distilled organic witch hazel, organic apple cider vinegar, everclear, distilled water, and essential oils.
Lotions and Moisturizers
For most people, pure coconut oil is all that is needed for moisturizing the face. It is naturally full of collagen supporting lauric acid and is easily absorbed by the skin. Even for oily and acne prone skin, coconut oil’s natural anti-bacterial properties make it a great option. Sunflower oil can be a less greasy and less expensive option.
Mother Jai’s Soy Lotion – soy wax, coconut oil and sunflower oil gently warmed and blended together for a non-greasy and deeply moisturizing lotion without any water or preservatives.
A sugar/oil scrub is great for most skin types when extra exfoliation is needed. Just mix equal parts oil (coconut, olive, sunflower, etc.) and sugar (white or brown) or Epsom salt and use as a whole-body exfoliator. For more oily skin, plain baking soda can be used to exfoliate skin and remove blackheads or dirt.
Mother Jai’s Coffee Scrub – coffee grounds, raw cane sugar, distilled water and Everclear come together to exfoliate and tone skin naturally.
Mother Jai’s Charcoal Mudd Mask – activated charcoal, arrowroot powder, and baking soda blended with water and/or honey for an amazing toning, clearing, and antibacterial mask.
Mother Jai’s Mineral Milk Bath – buttermilk, Epsom salt, oatmeal and baking soda blended for exfoliation and nourishment. Use as a body scrub or soak in the tub.
There are a ton of anti-aging products available, but the best options are the ones you take internally. All of the collagen products that are supposed to firm up skin don’t take into account that collagen must be produced internally and is too large to absorb through the skin. To promote natural collagen production use coconut or sunflower oil as a moisturizer and take Gelatin or Arrowroot, Fermented Cod Liver Oil/Butter Blend or eat Sardines, and Vitamin C or eat oranges to support natural Collagen production internally.
Mother Jai’s Face Serum – deeply nourishing to skin with safflower and sunflower oils. Use after cleansing and toning to hydrate and protect skin.
Free Radical and Antioxidants
Free radicals are atoms or molecules with one missing electron. They can be caused by exposure to pollutants/contaminants or created naturally by our bodies over time. Over time, they can cause a wide range of damage (including heart disease and cancer) by “stealing” electrons from important cellular structures.
Antioxidants are substances which can freely, safely ‘donate’ an electron. They make atoms/molecules stable again by neutralizing the free radical.
Vitamin C: It’s vital in maintaining healthy skin. It’s an important part of collagen production and has antioxidant properties that can limit/reduce damage caused by excess sun exposure. Collagen is part of your skin’s support structure and, when it’s healthy, prevents and reduces wrinkles.
Vitamin E: Sunflower oil is one of the best natural oils for skin care because it’s especially rich in Vitamin E, and Vitamin E’s a top antioxidant. It’s also been shown to help reduce inflammation and moisturize dry or sunburned skin, lessening premature signs of aging.
Vitamin K: This vitamin plays a critical role in a variety of systems, from blood to bones. In skin care, vitamin K plays a major role in wrinkle reduction by preventing the hardening of elastin, the stretchy protein that gives healthy skin its soft, springy texture.
Omega-3, 6 & 9 (Essential Fatty Acids): In addition to Omega-3 and Omega-6, high-oleic sunflower oil contains Omega-9. All three of these monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs) help prevent and reduce skin inflammation, protect against infection, and reduce signs of aging caused by sun exposure.
Amino Acids: These are the building blocks of the proteins you need to survive. High-oleic sunflower oil contains a lot of them, and cold-pressing helps preserve them (they’re easily rendered unusable by heat). Think of amino acids as fuel for your skin’s natural renewal process: as cells divide to produce collagen, elastin, new skin cells, and other components of healthy skin, they need enough amino acids “in the tank” to continue functioning properly.
Natural Skin Care
Macadamia nut oil (majestic macadamia trees originated in Australia and are now grown worldwide) is a light, non-greasy healing and regenerative, stable oil. Macadamia nut oil delivers omega-7 and vitamins A and E, and is a protein-rich ultra-moisturizing elixir. This plant oil easily absorbs into skin, scalp and hair due to its uncanny ability to mimic the body’s own natural oils and its high palmitoleic acid content. Other major benefits include UV barrier protection from excessive heat, wind, hair color oxidation and sun and chemical damage. Use generously as a body cream for all skin types; it’s especially beneficial for mature, aging, dry complexions. Renew scalp and hair by massaging in one tablespoon, wrap with a warm towel and shower cap for 15 minutes. Follow with a light shampoo and cool rinse.
Coconut oil is often referred to as “the healthiest oil on earth.” Its essential proteins and capric and lauric acids fight wrinkles, and tone and tighten skin while nourishing healthy hair. As nature’s richest source of MCFAs (medium-chain fatty acids) coconut oil is easily absorbed by the body, strengthening your skin’s connective tissues therefore also promoting a healthy scalp, and reinforcing lackluster hair strands caused by sun, heat and chemical damage. For a special scalp and hair treatment, massage in one tablespoon and then wrap with a warm towel and shower cap for 15 minutes. Follow with light shampoo and cool rinse.
Sweet almond oil, containing vitamins A, B1, B2, B6 and E, is an all-natural beauty treatment for all skin, scalp and hair types. Its anti-aging properties naturally and visibly plump, fill and moisturize your skin. While its B6 benefits are known to promote healthy hair growth – therefore stimulating and rejuvenating the scalp – its fatty acids and mineral content of magnesium, iron and unsaturated triglycerides provides nourishment to the hair.
Jojoba oil (grown in Northwestern Mexico, California, and Arizona) contains micro-elements such as zinc, copper, silicon, iodine, chromium, and vitamins E and B. It closely resembles your own skin sebum and your skin’s own lubricating medium, giving jojoba a natural affinity to the skin and scalp. It easily absorbs without making the skin feel greasy or tacky and it does not clog pores. Jojoba oil has exceptional skin-softening properties, as well as the ability to minimize fine lines and wrinkles, promoting suppleness and rejuvenation. Try adding a few drops of jojoba oil to your anti-aging creams, body lotions and conditioners, but the oil also stands well on its own for skin, hair and nail care.
Grapeseed oil (derived from the seeds of a grape) is a very light non-greasy antioxidant that protects skin from free radicals and premature aging. It is loaded with EFAs, proanthocyanidins (known as OPCs) and flavonoid complexes that are known to play a role in the enhancement of collagen and the maintenance of elastin. Grapeseed oil is a great conditioner for the scalp, hair and nails. Use a few drops and massage into desired area for its moisture-retentive properties.
Apricot kernel oil is rich in potent antioxidants and protective fatty acids. The kernel of the apricot has even been studied for its anti-cancer properties after a particular nutrient called laetrile or vitamin B 17 was found to play a powerful role in killing cancer cells. The kernels also possess antimicrobial properties, which extend the shelf life of this oil to about 6-9 months. This oil is prized for its ultra-light and easily absorbed molecular structure. It is one of the least pore-clogging natural oils and is a great choice for those with oily or acne prone skin as well as those who do not like a greasy after feel. Its anti-inflammatory properties also make it a good choice for those who suffer from acne or rosacea.
Hazel nut oil is healing to the scalp and can help promote re-growth of hair. A few drops massaged into the scalp and allowed to absorb in before a light shampoo and cool rinse. Its benefits are increased twice over when combined with rosemary leaves or essential oil.
Applying Oils to the Skin – When applying a single oil or oil blend to the skin, fill the palm with a teaspoon of oil at a time and always start at the bottom of the application area and spread the oil in an upward motion.
Making Your Own Natural Skin Care Products
The first step in making your own skincare is to choose the right ingredients. There are so many wholesome foods and other all-natural ingredients to choose from that make excellent skincare products.
Avocado has amazing moisturizing properties, which makes it especially excellent for dry skin. The healthy fats and other beneficial nutrients in avocado help to prevent premature wrinkling and reduce inflammation. In addition, many facial care experts recommend using avocado oil, since it closely resembles our skin’s own natural oils.
Baking Soda works well as a natural means for exfoliating dead skin cells, leaving your face smooth and clean. In addition, baking soda’s slightly antiseptic properties can help alleviate breakouts.
Egg Whites help to tighten skin, giving your face a healthy glow while diminishing the look of fine lines. Egg whites also help to remove dead skin cells and draw excess oil from the pores while tightening them.
Fresh Fruits often are used in facial products because they’re rich in nutrients that aid in healthy skin. For example, papaya helps to moisturize and even-out skin tone. Strawberries function as a mild alpha hydroxyl acid helping to exfoliate skin, and the antioxidants in blueberries help to hydrate and repair dry damaged skin.
Honey is a wonderful friend to your skin. Its soothing anti-inflammatory properties are perfect for any skin type. Full of B vitamins and polyphenols, honey protects skin from damaging free radicals which helps to reduce wrinkles and encourages the formation of new skin cells. In addition, the antibacterial and antimicrobial properties of honey naturally help acne-prone skin to heal and clear.
Yogurt is a common ingredient used in homemade facial masks. It helps to absorb excess oil and makes your skin feel tighter and smoother. It also helps even out skin tone and has anti-aging properties that help fight free radicals.