HEALTH & BALANCE

Helping you live a healthy happy life


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WHAT ARE THE KEY AMINO ACIDS FOR GLOWING SKIN

Amino-acidsAmino acids are the building blocks of protein and comprise joined together peptide bonds that form infinite protein structures. The structures resemble a chain and when protein is ingested, the secretion of hydrochloric acid and pepsin in the stomach unravels and chops these complex structures to facilitate their subsequent digestion and absorption by the body. There are two types of amino acids – essential (indispensable) and non-essential. The essential amino acids are needed for the cells’ daily functions and they can’t be synthesised by the body which requires their intake from dietary sources. Non-essential amino acids are manufactured by the body, using ingested protein and non-protein nutrients at a rate that meets the body’s demand for growth and repair. This explains why if you are exercising a lot or aiming to build muscle, your body will have higher demands for protein.

We derive amino acids from both animal and plant sources with the only difference being that plant sources do not give us a complete protein profile. A complete protein has all the amino acids in the correct proportions to maintain nitrogen balance and promote growth. Nitrogen balance is achieved when our protein intake meets the body’s requirements. Thus, a positive ration of nitrogen:protein means that tissue building is taking place while a negative relationship indicates encroachment on available amino acids – skeletal muscle is being broken down to provide energy for the body. This process is called catabolism and all efforts must be made to avoid it. When amino acids are absorbed by the body, they enter a ‘pool’ where the body starts using them to build tissues and repair cells – the process of anabolism. If that ‘pool’ does not have enough, then current structural tissues are sacrificed.

Each amino acid has vital functions in the body and in this and subsequent posts I will tell you more about their importance and specific relation to our health. Today we will cover skincare.

Natural-Skin_care

1. Lysine

Lysine is an essential amino acid that must be consumed in our diet for the body to absorb it. It is involved in protein biosynthesis, especially in building collagen in combination with the amino acids Proline and Glycine. Thus, the lack of lysine may lead to fragile nails, skin and hair problems. Lysine is also important for treating the herpes virus as it is believed to prevent the virus from processing L-arginine, another important amino acid. Both amino acids use the same transport system and thus in the incident of herpes infections, these two amino acids should be supplied to the body. Between 500mg and 1,500 mg og lysine are recommended for the prophylaxis of herpes simplex in combination with Zinc and Vitamin C.

There is also evidence that L-lysine can lower blood sugar in type 2 diabetes. Studies recommend a daily intake of 1,000mg in combination with L-arginine and L-carnitine to improve insulin resistance. An daily long-term dose of 3,000mg per day is considered safe in adults but since some evidence suggests a reduction of blood clotting with the supplementation of L-lysine, higher doses are not recommended during pregnancy or before surgery.

2. Cystine

Cystine can be synthesised in the liver, making it a non-essential amino acid. It is built from the essential amino acid L-methionin which requires the presence of this amino acid critical to the body’s supply of cystine. Protein-rich foods contain cystine but only in small amounts which requires a varied diet, complimented with dietary supplements to ensure sufficient amount in the body. Meat and soy products are best to cover the minimum daily recommendations of  1.400 mgPork and chicken are particularly high with 220 to 240 mg per 100 g, followed by raw salmon (219 mg/100 g) and chicken eggs (272 mg per 100 g).Vegetarians can rely on sunflower seeds (451 mg/100 g), walnuts (208 mg/100 g) and soybeans 655 mg/100 g. L-cysteine is water-soluble which means that when cooking the above foods, they should not be kept in water for too long to avoid washing out the amino acid.

Cysteine is a natural building block of the skin and nails and is also vital for hair growth. Another benefit for the skin lies in its properties to fight off free radicals, acting as a powerful antioxidant to help the body deal with oxidative stress and toxins. This is because cysteine supports the synthesis of Glutathione, another powerful antioxidant which plays an important role in detoxification. According to recent research studies, these two substances can slow down ageing and help prevent the development of dementia and multiple sclerosis, because both conditions are linked to an accumulation of toxins.

Although side effects are unknown, diabetics should consult their doctors because cysteine can reduce insulin concentration requiring an adjustment in the antidiabetic medicine.

free-radicals-damage-to-the-cell

3. Glycine

Glycine is the smallest and simplest non-essential amino acid, and it’s the second most widespread in the human enzymes and proteins. Glycine is synthesised in the liver from the amino acids, serine and threonine. In a solid form, it’s a sweet tasting crystalline substance and the principle amino acid within cane sugar. In our bodies, it’s found in the skin, tissues and muscles.

Approximately one third of collagen is made of glycine. Collagen is the essential protein that keeps the connective tissue and skin flexible and firm. In the absence of glycine, damaged tissues can’t be repaired. Research has shown that glycine helps to protect the body against shock as a result of blood loss, along with preventing free radical formation.

Although the body can manufacture glycine, this amino acid can be found in high-protein foods, such as fish, meat and dairy while vegetarians can use soybeans, spinach, kale, cauliflower, cabbage, pumpkin, banana, kiwi fruit, cucumber and beans. Glycine deficiencies are rare but can occur in people suffering from cancer and AIDS.

These are the main skin-loving amino acids and I hope this information helps you when choosing skincare supplements and trying to improve your diet for a better skin complexion.

In Health & Balance,

Maya xxx

 


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LITTLE KNOWN WAYS TO NATURALLY CLEANSE YOUR SKIN

Flower waters are great for cleansing and refreshing the skin, leaving you feel energised and often ‘uplifted’ due to the therapeutic properties of their aroma. They are suitable to use as a tonic after make-up removal or when preparing the skin for your daily moisturiser. I have been using them for years and I believe this is one of the best natural ways to refresh my skin. Here is the list with my favourites.

1. Organic Lavender Water

Organic Lavender WaterLavender is one of the most recognised scents in the world and has long been used to relieve stress, muscle pain and act as an aphrodisiac. The German Commission E commended lavender for treating insomnia, nervous stomach, and anxiety. The British Herbal Pharmacopoeia lists lavender as a treatment for flatulence, colic, and depressive headaches, and many modern herbal practitioners use the herb to treat migraines in menopause. In Spain, lavender is added to teas to treat diabetes and insulin resistance.”

Lavender Flower Water is the by-product of the steam distillation process for making essential oils, also known as Lavender Hydrosol, hydrolats, or hydroflorates. When the Lavender flowers are processed with the steam the essential oil is captured to make pure Lavender oil. Not all of the oil is recaptured so the residual water and essential oil mixture is the hydrosol or flower water.

Perhaps, one of the most versatile skincare oils of all because it has excellent antiseptic properties and is mild enough to be used directly to the skin. It also has great wound-healing properties and promotes tissue regeneration while also preventing scarring when used to treat damaged or injured skin. It also inhibits the bacteria which causes skin infections , such as acne as well as soothing the skin and helping to balance the oversecretion of sebum.

When the oil is used as water, it has the additional benefits of plant acids that result from the making process. A slightly acid ph to the skin is anti-inflammatory and antiseptic because bacteria do not like to live in acid environments which helps to control blemishes and breakouts.

Thus Lavender is suited to:

  • Oily and blemished skin
  • Acne
  • Burns
  • Dermatitis
  • Eczema
  • Inflammation
  • Psoriasis
  • Sunburn

The one I use is produced by Alteya Bulgaria and can be purchased here or on Amazon.

2. Organic Rose water (Bulgarian Rose Damascena)organic rose waterKnown as the finest rose oil or ‘rose otto’ in the world, the Bulgarian rose oil has been distilled for over 300 years. It is the olderst cultivated European plant in America and it’s been called the Queen of Flower all over the world. It is one of the most useful skincare flowers because apart from its rich feminine scent, it has great wound-healing properties which help in the daily process of skin repair. Rose is especially valuable for use as a solution for broken capillaries, or thread veins, due to its astringent effect on the capillaries, which helps to diminish the redness.

It is also believed to help with emotional strength as its unique scent empowers the mind and assists in decision making. It is regarded as a mild sedative and anti-depressant that helps with stress management.

For general skincare, rose is suited to:

  • All types of complexion
  • Broken capillaries
  • Wrinkles
  • Conjunctivitis
  • Dry skin
  • Eczema
  • Herpes
  • Maturing and sensitised skin

3. Organic Chamomile waterorganic chamomile waterChamomile is a well-known soothing remedy, and because of its sedative and relaxant properties it is particularly good for all skin complaints that have nervous or stress-related elements. The properties of chamomile and lavender often overlap so it is useful to remember that as an analgesic, chamomile is better for dull aches and pains whiles lavender may be better for sharp, piercing pain and inflammation.

The water is great for baby’s sensitive skin and creates a nice calming environment around them.

For general skincare it is suited to:

  • Acne
  • Boils
  • Burns
  • Cuts
  • Eczema
  • Inflammation and allergies
  • Sensitised skin

My advice is to give each a try and use as evening and morning toners. You can also just spray them during the day for a nice calming aroma.

”Aromas are surer than sounds to make your heartstrings crack”, Rudyard Kipling

With health & balance,

Maya xxx

 


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TOP HEALTH BENEFITS OF BAMBOO

the benefits of green bamboo The highest grass on Earth…grows a meter per day…heavily used in the production of furniture, buildings, clothes, bed sheets, cosmetics…panda’s favourite food…and many more. It looks like everything can be made of bamboo…from a house to a pillow. This little gem plant caught my attention this week and I decided to dig deep and reveal the healthy benefits of bamboo and how we can take advantage of this good grass.

In the East, people believe that the plant represents the path toward the sky and knowledge. With bamboo knives people used to cut baby’s umbilical cord, along with leaving bamboo sticks in people’s coffins. The plant is considered a symbol of health, longevity, agility and honesty. Bamboo bents, but never break. People believe in its miraculous power and energy giving properties – it grows high as it acts as a bridge between the sky and the earth. Bamboo also diverts evil and is believed to protect the whole family from troubles.skin benefits of bambooHowever, bamboo also fights dry and damaged hair. It is rich in vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin B, calcium, iron, cellulose, silicon and protein. It is widely used in hair cosmetics as it hydrates and softens the scalp. Due to its protein content, it helps maintain hair’s own moisture, repairing damaged cells. Bamboo also stimulates the production of collagen, making the hair look healthier, softer with a nice volume texture. It enhances the cleaning of the scalp as the protein, silicon and natural occurring oils penetrate underneath to recover the level of mineral salts that give elasticity and strength to even the most damaged hair. Bamboo hair therapies are very popular in the beauty saloons today so make sure you inquire about them next time you visit your hairdresser.

Its miraculous power extends to the skin as well. Its anti-aging properties come from the high content of silicon, which stimulates the production of hyaluronan and skin fibres that replenish the skin’s elasticity, speeding the healing of any wounds. As a bonus bamboo containing creames also strengthen the nails. The bamboo extract is vital for skin hydration while its antibacterial and antioxidant properties can refresh the tired skin and improve the blood circulation. Thus, having bamboo in your skincare products will ensure that your skin is protected from free radicals and the harmful environmental damage.the massage benefits of bambooAnother popular application is the bamboo massage. In China, people use bamboo sticks to release stress and relax the body. The sticks are very gentle to the skin and the massage involves rolling the sticks down the back or using them to create vacuum which resembles the cupping therapy from the Chinese ancient medicine. This improves blood circulation and its very effective against cellulite and feet problems. The massage also improves the metabolism and the detoxification of the body. According to the Chinese, this is the best way to replenish energy, recover the muscles and lose weight. It’s not recommended only for pregnant women.

bamboo plant

That’s the brief story of this powerful plant. It seems like having it at home will do you much good, so next time you are out shopping for your hair and skincare products, look for bamboo extracts. Many shops sell the plant itself, so why not growing it at home too – what a privilege to possess the bridge between the sky and the earth?! The symbol of health and longevity?! At least all the evil will stay away from your home:).

With health & balance,

Maya xxx

 


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HOW TO CHOOSE YOUR SPF AND AFTER SUN SKINCARE

how to choose sun protection factorSkin exfoliated, the right tan-loving foods bought…and it feels like the long-awaited sun-kissed look has fallen into the trap…there is no way of missing it this season. Unfortunately, there are two more ‘tricks’ left to do before you can rest assured that this summer holiday will get you into a ‘bronzing’ shape –  choosing the right SPF for your skin type and ensuring a careful after sun care.

1. Which is my SPF?spf factorsSunscreens prevent the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) radiation from reaching the skin. The UVB sun rays are responsible for sunburns while the UVA penetrate the skin more deeply and are related to premature aging and skin cancer. Unfortunately, the majority of sun-protection products only prevent the UVB radiation. Even though UVA rays do not cause sunburns, they cause wrinkles and according to the Environmental Protection Agency, up to 90% of skin changes associated with aging come from a lifetime’s exposure to UVA rays. Thus you’ll need a sunscreen with a broad-spectrum or multi-spectrum protection for both UVB and UVA rays. The best way to be sure in the presence of this protection is to check the ingredient list for the following names: benzophenones (oxybenzone), cinnamates (octylmethyl cinnamate and cinoxate), sulisobenzone, salicylates, titanium dioxide, zinc oxide, avobenzone (Parsol 1789) and ecamsule (Mexoryl SX).

The next step is to choose the right SPF for your skin type. Here is how it works.

1. sun protection for sensitive skinUltra Sensitive

   – red hair or blonde hair

   – spreckles

   – very light skin

   – quickly burned without protection after 5-10 minutes

Ideal factor: Very high (50+)

2. Sensitive skin

  – light skin

  – blonde or blonde-brown hair, blue, green or hazel eyes

  – some spreckles

  – burned without protection after 10-20 minutes

Ideal factor: High (30)sunprotection for medium skin3. Between sensitive and resistant

 – blonde-brown to dark hair

 – almost no spreckels with light to medium olive skin tone

 – tans easily

 – burned without protection after 40-50 minutes

Ideal factor: medium (15-25)4. Sun-resistant

 – dark hair and eyes

 – naturally Mediterranean skin

 – tans very quick

 – without protection lightly burned after 1 to 3 hours

Ideal factor: (low (6-15)

Application

20-30 minutes before sun exposure to give the skin time to absorb the ingredients and activate their protective shield. Always reapply 2 hours later and after swimming. Even the water-resistant products require it.best oils for sun protectionThe trick to attract the sun toward you is to use oils rather than lotions. My natural secret is to apply carrot or coconut oil on top of the sunscreen lotion to enhance the tanning process. In fact, coconut oil is believed to naturally protect the skin from the sun. And don’t forget to always try and buy natural sunscreen products. If impossible, add my natural trick:).

These SPF guidelines only apply during the first few days of tanning providing that you have no previous tan. If you have some tan left from your last holiday you must assess your skin tone and start with a lower protection. Additionally, after a few days of sunbathing your skin will start to go darker which will require a lower SPF. For example, if you start with 30, make sure you move to 15 in a few days. In terms of the face protection, I always apply 30 or 50 as this is the most sensitive area and I am sure none of you want the appearance of wrinkles or red cheeks and nose:). Worse case scenario, your face might be slightly lighter but with some make-up the difference can easily be disguised. Finally, make sure that you only sunbathe during the sun-loving hours of the day: 9-11 and after 1630 o’clock. There is a smaller risk of sunburns and even heat strokes as the sun won’t be that strong, making the sunbathing a bit more enjoyable.

Aftercare after-sun-care

The final step is the tan-locking care. Since sun exposure dries out the skin, it is vital to ensure its constant hydration. It’s best to use moisturising oils, such as almond, olive or coconut. On the other hand, your skin will feel quite sensitive and ‘burning’ after the sun which will require a lotion with a ‘cooling down’ effect. It’s best to choose something with aloe vera or best buy the aloe vera gel itself. I get mine from Holland and Barrett which I apply before the oil.

If you choose to follow my tips, you will surely get a flawless, healthy looking, sun-kissed tan. And don’t forget that to get the most out of sun, you don’t have to sunbathe still like an ancient Greek statue. Keep moving, play beach volley, rackets, swim and stay active as these  will make sunbathing a truly more exciting process:)

With health & balance,

Maya xxx


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5 HEALTHY FOODS TO HELP YOU TAN

Summer Holiday in MaltaThe holiday month is here and with the majority of us choosing sunny destinations for our long-awaited summer breaks, it’s vital to know the necessary measures to keep the sun-kissed look for longer. Being among the tan enthusiasts myself, I have been using a few natural tricks to get a quick tan without harsh damage to the  skin. In this posts, I will share these ‘tried and tested’ methods that will help you achieve a healthy-looking bronzing tan.

While the exfoliation process I discussed in the previous summertime post prepares your skin for the sun exposure, eating the right food can enhance the tanning pigments of the skin and help you get darker quicker. Moreover, if you keep these nutrients in your diet during and after tanning, your bronze look will last for longer. My advice is to start consuming  the tan-loving food a week before sun exposure and keep this for about a month.

1. Carrotstanning-foodsThis rabbit-favourite vegetable is rich in carotenoids – powerful antioxidants that absorb skin-damaging compounds caused by daily stress. Along with skin protection, carotenoids also provide skin coloration. According to Joan Salge Blake, a clinical associate professor of nutrition at Boston University and a spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association, “ eating carotenoid-rich produce can give you the colour you crave without the wrinkles.” The resulting condition is called carotenemia and gives the skin an orange glow which in combination with sun exposure enhances the skin new bronze tan. I personally recommend eating 3 to 4 medium size raw carrots, either in salads or freshly squeezed. The juice over ice works best for me as it helps me deal with the heat while sunbathing.

2. Beta-carotene foodsFoods rich in beta-caroteneThis vital nutrient is also found in green, yellow and leafy vegetables that you can enjoy sparingly during the summer. Whenever possible choose the organic version of the leafy vegetables as they easily absorb harmful chemicals and pesticides used to accelerate their growth.  The best from the group include romaine lettuce, bell peppers, kale, red lettuce, spinach, turnips, pumpkin, cabbage and sweet potatoes. Do not eat more than 100 g of pumpkin and sweet potatoes as they have a high in glycaemic index and might affect your summer body.

3. Vitamin AFoods high in vitamin AWhen exposed to the sun, our body produces a pigment, called melanin to protect the skin from burning, giving it a darker colour. Vitamin A speeds up the body’s natural production of melanin and eating foods rich in this nutrient will in turn speed up the tanning process.

It is found in beetroot, broccoli, tomatoes, apricots, peaches, melons and lemons. Tomatoes are particularly important as they contain lycopene which is a powerful anti-cancer red caratonede.

4. Vitamin E and Omega 3foods high in omega 3Vitamin E protects the skin from wrinkles which are often the high price to pay when sunbathing. It also aids skin replenishment and hydration which are vital processes to prevent the tanned skin from peeling. It is found in eggs, corn, tomatoes, avocado and white cheeses. 

Omega 3 is a crucial additive to the caroten-rich foods as it helps their absorption by the body. It’s best to get it from extra virgin olive oil by seasoning your summer salads.

Fish, almonds and hazelnuts also contain omega 3 while shrimps, liver and blue fish (tuna, swordfish, mackerel, herrings) contain Vitamin PP which can heal sunburns.

5. Eggs and DairyWhat to eat for better tanTyrosine is an essential amino acid that is needed for melanin production. It is found in soy products, chicken, turkey, fish, peanuts, avocados, bananas, milk, cheese, yoghurt, cottage cheese, and pumpkin seeds.

Anti-tan foods

Along with what is best to consume to enhance the skin-tanning process, there are certain foods that should be avoided as they contain vitamin C which can delay tan. These include all citrus fruits as well as parsley and watercress. Also limit foods high in salt, as they can lead to water retention which not only dehydrates the skin but also slows fat metabolism – the worst enemies to your summer body:).

As you can see the tan-loving foods are varied and are usually found in abundance during the summer. Thus make the most of this season and fill your diet with them. Not only will your immune system stalk up on important disease-fighting vitamins for the winter season but your skin will also enjoy a long-lasting sun-kissed look. Give it a try for an enjoyable and healthy sunbathing experience.

With health & balance,

Maya xxx

 


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HOW TO PREPARE FOR THE PERFECT TAN ON HOLIDAY

Sunkissed tanSummer has arrived and we can already feel its warmth, especially here in the UK with a record third week of sunshine. Everyone is using every free minute to grasp a dose of free vitamin D, not to mention the production of serotonin, the hormone of happiness. Along with ‘inner beauty’ the sun can also give us an outer shine – a bronzing tan for the perfect summer look. However, to achieve a sun-kissed lasting glow, you need more than just the sun. It requires careful preparation of your skin before sun exposure, along with proper after sun care. Even eating the right food can help. Thus, in this post I will give you my tips on how to best prepare your skin for sunbathing.

Getting Ready

The most important step to a healthy tan is exfoliation. You need to remove the dead skin cells as they reflect light and can’t tan. Removing them will increase your circulation and create an even base tone for the new tanned skin. Here you need to remember to start the process a week before sunbathing, preferably three times a week and stop once you get exposed to the sun. Exfoliation is an enemy number 1 to skin which is starting to tan.

For best results, you can try these easy homemade exfoliating scrubs,Homemade Banana Scrub1. Banana-Split

  • 1 ripe banana

  • 3 tbsp granulated brown sugar

  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract or jasmine essential oil

Mix the ingredients in a bowl and smash with a fork until you get medium-sized chunks – they shouldn’t be too thin. Massage gently in the shower and leave for a 3 minutes before you rinse off with warm water.

Homemade coffee scrub

2. Coffee Blend

  • 3 tbsp ground coffee and raw brown sugar

  • 1 tbsp almond or olive oil

  • 2 tbsp coconut oil

  • 1 tbsp sea salt

Coffee works well not just for your morning wake up but also for your skin rejuvination. It has the added bonus of not just exfoliating the skin but also reducing the appearance of cellulite.Caffeine is actually a main ingredient in the majority of mainstream cosmetics treating this skin condition. Give this blend a go and your skin will love it.

Homemade Lemon Honey Scrub

3. Citrus Sensation

  • 1/2 cup sea salt

  • 2 tbsp of olive or almond oil

  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1 teaspoon citrus zest (lemon, lime, orange, grapefruit or a mix)

This is a great refreshing mix, perfect for the morning showers or after a good workout. It leaves the skin feeling soft and energised.

As you can see the recipes are easy to make and don’t require much investment. Far better than buying something with ingredients you can’t trust:). Give them a go this week and in the next ‘Summertime’ post I will tell you the best tan-loving foods and how to choose the right sun-protection lotion.

With health & balance,

Maya xxx


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NATURAL HOMEMADE FACE MASKS FOR GLOWING SKIN

Cleopatra beauty secretsIn ancient times when the term mainstream cosmetics never existed, the beauty of the skin was preserved through natural facial masks. In Asia, China, Japan, and Egypt, for example, fresh herbs, fruits, and flower extracts were considered vital skin care ingredients while in Europe, precious stones and gems, like Gold and Tourmaline were used by royalties for a glowing skin complexion. As a result of this natural skin care, some of the most world-known beauties lived at the time with women from all nations aspiring to achieve their gorgeous looks. Today thousands of people look for skincare products, containing these miraculous ingredients which has prompted manufacturers to use this as a powerful promotional technique to attract consumers. Unfortunately, the majority of companies only include tiny amounts of these ‘natural gems’ which most of the time are in their refined form with all the benefits harshly removed.

 

Thus I believe the best way to ensure that we get the full benefits of the skincare treatments of the ancient beauties, like Cleopatra and Nefertiti is to go back to basics and make our own skincare products. Driven by this mentality I have dedicated this post to some ‘skin-loving’ face masks that you can easily do at home and feel the caring touch of Mother Nature straight away.Natural face masksHomemade facial masks provide essential nutrients to dry, lifeless, and aging skin by using ingredients easily available at home. By providing the crucial moisture necessary to fight aging, homemade masks can unclog pores in addition to some also being able to exfoliate and cleanse the skin. They work by drawing blood to the skin surface, stimulating circulation and helping to replace moisture to achieve a beautiful skin tone and cell renewal.

Making a homemade facial mask is extremely easy and the only danger comes from the taste – sometimes the mix smells so divine that you almost feel like eating it all.  They vary by skin type and this is how I will present them today.

  1. Anti-aging mix for normal to dry skin

Mix in a bowl 2-3 eggs whites and spread them all over your face. Let this dry for 20 minutes and wash it with cold water. Before applying prepare the skin by opening the pores with placing your face against some steaming hot water or just gently touching it with a damp, warm towel. This is Cleopatra’s favourite treatment to tone the skin and tighten its look.

2. Spots-fighting and exfoliating delight for oily skin

Mix 2-3 table spoons of yoghurt with ½ teaspoon of freshly squeezed lemon juice. Leave it on for 15 minutes then rinse with warm water. This removes the excess oil on your face, and opens the pores.

Take a teaspoon of honey and ½ cup of oats. Spread the mix over your face and let sit for 15 minutes. Rinse with cold water and apply for daily moisturiser. The oatmeal absorbs water which allows the grain to suck up all skin problems – oil, dirt, dead skin and even bacteria – perfect exfoliation. Honey is a natural antibiotic which protects the skin, leaving it feel fresh and hydrated.

  1. Yummy nourishing delight for dry skin

Mash 1/4 banana with a tea spoon of honey and 1/4 cup of yoghurt. Spread over the face and leave it for 20 minutes. Rinse with cold water and you will feel the hydration effect straight away.

  1. Moisturising Mix for normal to combination skinHoney Face MaskBlend 2 table spoons of avocado with 1 slice of orange and 2 slices of banana. The mixture should look like dough so you can easily apply it. Leave it for 20 minutes and rinse again with warm water. You will feel your face moisturised immediately because the avocado contains essential oils, anti aging amino acids , vitamin E and many other antioxidants and minerals. The orange contains vitamin C while the banana has vitamin B and is rich with minerals like potassium.

As you can see these recipes are easy to prepare at home and you can turn this 20 minutes into a mini spa treat for your skin, relaxing with some music and scented candles. Give it a try and feel the caring touch of Mother Nature.

With health & balance,

Maya xxx