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Natural Awakenings Greater Boston - Rhode Island

Maximizing Your Skin Care Products and Routine

Apr 30, 2011 01:31AM ● By Olga Goldberger

Taking great care of the skin means using the most natural ingredients and applying them in the most effective way.

Try these tips for radiant skin:

1. Go natural.
Look for products with herbal extracts, plant butters, oils and vitamins. Herbal extracts like ginseng, gotu kola and echinacea have rejuvenating properties, while chamomile, plantain, and dandelion all offer anti-inflammatory benefits. Butters like cocoa, mango and virgin coconut oil are excellent skin emollients. My favorite oils are evening primrose, sea buckthorn, borage and avocado.

2. Choose products that penetrate the skin.
Products with liposomes (also listed as lecithin phospholipids and soy liposomes) allow active ingredients to penetrate more deeply to the dermis level.

3. Cleanse and tone.
Clean the face with lukewarm (not hot) water. Use gentle cleansers and avoid soaps, which can dry skin. Follow with a non-alcohol-based toner to remove whatever is left of the cleanser and return the skin’s pH to a slightly acidic range.

4. Use a mask.
One alternative to toner is a three-minute lotion mask, as recommended by Chizu Saeki, in The Japanese Skin Care Revolution. My company created a rose-calendula moisturizing lotion to use in this routine, or try mixing 1 cup of chamomile tea with 2 tablespoons of avocado or extra virgin olive oil and three drops of lavender essential oil. Squeeze 2 capsules of vitamin E into the mixture and blend well. Wet a cotton wipe or cloth (available in beauty supply stores) with lukewarm water and squeeze the liquid out. Spray the cloth with the lotion on both sides, unfold and place on face, covering forehead, eyes, cheeks and lips (tear an opening at the nostrils for breathing). Leave on face, relax for three minutes, and remove. For a “steam bath” effect, place a piece of plastic wrap or a disposable shower cap over the cloth and leave on for up to five minutes. Apply a warm towel for one minute. Skin will be moist, clean and glowing.

5. Moisturize and exfoliate.
When using a serum, apply it while the skin is still slightly moist (for better penetration) using outward, upward motions from the chin towards the ears. Use a moisturizing cream on top of serum for dry skin. Each week, use a gentle scrub to remove dry, dead skin cells. Use humidifiers during the winter months.

Olga Goldberger is the owner of Arboretum Skincare. For more information, call 617-413-8548 or visit