Part 2-Scrub a Dub Dub

Anyone remember Apri? It was the first over-the-counter facial scrub I can recall. This was back in the 80s, a time where my dermatologist had me sit under a sunlamp wearing goggles until I was burned. I'd go back to school looking like a raccoon. The concept was to get the skin to peel. This was pre-Retin A.

Back to Apri--imagine Queen Helene's apricot scrub with a lot rougher of a texture. Scrubs are good, but they should be fine, not the equivalent of rubbing gravel on your face.

A dear friend who is an esthetician turned me on to the wonders of baking soda. From what she told me, it was often used in treatments at the practice where she worked.

Baking soda is not only all natural, but it is cheap. I often can get a box for 50 cents. It can be used it as a facial scrub in several different ways:

1. Baking Soda and Water-Just pour about a tablespoon into your palm, put enough water in to make a paste and gently massage your entire face and neck.


2. Baking Soda and Olive Oil-Like above, mix a tablespoon or so of baking soda with enough EVOO to make a paste. Massage as above.

With both methods just rinse with warm water several times. If you don't rinse well, you'll feel a bit of grit on your face. But when you rinse properly, your face will not only feel silky soft, but you will glow. I have gotten many a complement when I have gone out post-scrub.

While you could put either mixture in a jar, I find it a lot easier to mix enough in my hand. I recommend doing this a couple of times a week. It has been a miracle for me when it comes to ridding my face of blackheads, something that I have battled my entire life. If you, like me, like to wield the comedone extractor, it will make your work a lot easier.

Also, both versions of the scrub work equally well on the entire body. I prefer to do the baking soda with water in the shower, and then afterwards, moisturize with EVOO or Baby Oil, as oil in a wet tub or shower is very dangerous.

Lastly, the baking soda and olive oil scrub is wonderful for DIY pedicures and manicures.


The Basics: Step 1, and There Aren't Many More

Olive Oil, from the fruit of peace.When we in the Western world think of olive oil, cooking is what comes to mind. Whether it is dribbled over salad greens or used to dunk some crusty bread, Olive oil is a staple in most modern kitchens, just as it was thousands of years ago.

It too, as it was in ancient times is a cleanser, a moisturizer, an all-purpose beauty liquid.

While it might seem counter intuitive to say, put oil on oily skin, on merely dirty skin, olive oil does quite the opposite. The oil helps whisk away impurities, dead skin cells and holds in valuable moisture without being greasy.

This is the basic cleanse.

All you need is one bottle of Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO). Decanting it into a plastic bottle is recommended for bathroom safety,unless you buy the kind in a large can. You don't have to have the top of the line EVOO, but a nice deep green fruity oil, from the first pressings can be found for under ten dollars. Virgin and Light can work, but while I am not a scientist, I do think using anything other than the EVOO is akin to fresh green beans vs. canned. The nutrients won't be all intact.

Put a dime to a quarter sized drop of the oil into your palm. Emulsify between both palms and gentle rub all over your face. It is a miracle makeup remover, especially for tough waterproof mascaras. Massage for a minute or so. You, if you're prone to blackheads like myself, feel some of them dislodge. Make sure to also get your neck (why have a pretty head balanced on a less attractive neck?)

At this point you can do one of two things:

A. If you have oily skin, or plan on wearing makeup
Wash off the oil with a warm washcloth


B. If you have dry skin and/or would like to hold some extra moisture in:
Wash off the oil with a soft, dry washcloth

If you're doing this in the morning, don't forget to use a sunscreen with a high SPF. All the work in the bathroom will be for naught if you expose your face to the primary source of wrinkles--the Sun.

A few times a week, when you have time, you can hold a warm washcloth over your face for a few minutes. It should help loosen a bit more of the impurities, and, if anything is relaxing.

From my personal experience, and from the feedback I have recieved from friend's I've turned on to the Olive Oil Clease, within a week their skin was softer, and clearer.

Skin Miracle Part 1

I have always been a sucker for good packaging. I would buy expensive facial care sometimes for something as petty as the way the glass bottle looked on my vanity, or because a celebrity I admired was purported to use some magical beauty elixir. Sad, but true. I knew often I was being had, or merely buying a false promise, but there was always something extremely satisfying about starting a new skin care regime. Like a clean notebook on the first day of school, a whole line of new washes, toners, lotions, and unguents gave me a sense of hope; new beginnings.

Beautiful skin.

Often I was disappointed, but there was always another regimen around the corner to try. That is when I was flush with cash.

I don't need to remind anyone, at least my readers in the US that times are rough. No longer can I, like many, justify buying a jar of purported beauty magic. Having to be thrifty made me rediscover what I've already had on hand, from my closet to my cupboards and yes, my medicine cabinet.

A few months into losing my job, I found myself scooping up the last remnants of the cleanser and moisturizers I had on hand. See, I never kept any of the products I didn't like. I either trashed them or gave them to a friend. It was winter time. My skin, normally quite oily and acne prone, had become tight and itchy around the perimeter of my face, and my t-zone was still quite shining and dappled with blackheads. "What am I going to do?" I thought to myself. "I can either get enough food for the next two weeks or starve myself and my pets, and buy more skin care." Well I love to eat, and I love my pets, so I brainstormed about what was already in my possession that I could re purpose into skin care. I scanned my kitchen cabinets and there right in front of me was a tall bottle of green gold.

Olive Oil.