Cool it down: Plant waters to soothe the skin
SEXY FOOD THERAPY CONTRIBUTOR: KRISTEN MA
According to Ayurveda, our skin and bodies are influenced by the energetic composition of the environment surrounding us. So, in the thick of the hot summer season, our skin becomes prone to heat breakouts and inflammation. One way to combat this is by incorporating all-natural floral waters into your skincare regime. Also known as “hydrosols” these waters, extracted from plants, can be used as a natural, alcohol-free toner, or hydrating complexion mist. On especially scorching hot days they can be kept in your refrigerator, making for a cooling, skin refresher or calming compress. Here are some of the
best plant waters that soothe the most sensitive skin types.
Healing Immortelle – Also known as Helichryse, the Immortelle flower is excellent for treating redness, blemishes and sun-damage because of its powerful anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties. A compress with this plant water can treat cystic pustules and rosacea flare ups. Immortelle has been traditionally used after tattooing and body piercing for its disinfecting and healing actions and helps with skin rejuvenation, wound repair and scar prevention.
Clarifying Peppermint – During the summertime, many of us break out from sun, sweat and internal heat. This is because acne is not only a result of complexion impurities but also of inflammation. While it is important to purify the skin, using dehydrating alcohol-based astringents will strip it and lead to increased inflammation. Peppermint water is a good alternative as it both cools and clarifies. Misting the face and body with this hydrosol after exercise helps prevent breakouts. And, because of its soothing and anti-microbial properties, Peppermint water also makes a great men’s aftershave.
Refreshing Rose – Rose is one of the most commonly used ingredients in natural beautycare as it is known for its regenerating and anti-aging capabilities. Rose water calms and tones the skin, while infusing it with hydration. This is important because healthy moisture content in the skin makes it more resilient against inflammation. However, Rose is an expensive cosmetic ingredients so many brands replace it with diluted or synthetic versions. Look for organic rose and avoid rose absolute for a higher quality rose water.
Kristen Ma is an esthetician and Ayurvedic practitioner who co-owns Pure + Simple Inc., an independent chain of holistic spas in Toronto. She has also authored the book Beauty: Pure + Simple – A Holistic Guide to Natural Beauty. Check out her blog on natural, Ayurveda-inspired beauty at www.holisticvanity.com – or www.pureandsimple.ca for more info on organic beautycare and spa services.