AND MAKING OLD SKIN YOUNGER
Wrinkles, if left untreated, will only grow worse and spread.
What was that? “IF. LEFT. UNTREATED?” Wrinkles can be treated?
I didn’t know this until my early 30’s, but yes, they actually can. I had been frowning a lot in those days, and it seemed that I really did have much to frown over. But it was taking its toll. Several deep creases crossed my forehead, making me feel much older. And, since I was unhappy about the situation, much more likely to frown.
Some frowners choose Botox. But I don’t consider that a good solution. In the first place, I consider frowning one of the social graces. There are many occasions in which we cannot freely speak our minds. Especially to strangers. However, in those situations, a well-timed frown may be just the thing. For that reason alone, I wouldn’t want to give up my ability to frown for all the Botox in the world. Besides the obvious caveat of not being able to freely express yourself, I have some cautions about the safety of the Botox and treatments like it. And we haven’t even considered the expense.
Olive Oil to the Rescue!
Without Botox, what is a young-at-heart woman to do? Did you guess head to the kitchen for some olive oil? Or did anyone else flash back to that Bible verse (Psalm 104:15) that says something about oil to make the face shine? There is a very good reason for that. For the woman wanting to keep a youthful appearance, olive oil becomes one of her new best friends. At night, when your face is still moist from washing, 4-5 drops of olive oil can be spread over your face and neck to help skin regenerate itself overnight. I’d like to tell you that I have done this so regularly that all my wrinkles have disappeared altogether, but that would not be true. While my skin looks much younger than it used to, I have become a bit lackadaisical in the last couple of years. I’ve started to fall off the wagon and need to become more diligent. Feel free to pray for me!
Olive oil presents two problems that should be considered: It may stain bedding. This problem can be reduced by applying the olive oil an hour before retiring, thus allowing it to penetrate deeper into the tissues before coming into contact with the bedding. The second problem is that while wearing it, a woman will smell dangerously like OLIVE OIL! For married women, all I can say is this: try to give your husband what he needs early in the day so that your overnight olive oil treatment won’t interfere with your private times. Or, you could just do the treatment, which works very well, but slowly, only every other night. Wrinkle-free college girls might consider using the olive oil as a preventative measure one night per week until wrinkles arrive and need more aggressive measures.
I have a sneaking suspicion that the better quality olive oil one uses, the better will be the results. However, being a bit on the cheap side, I have used whatever olive oil I could find on sale, and the results have still been encouraging enough to continue.
But won’t all that excess oil lead to acne? Well, girls, it might. That’s why you need to follow up with a face mask in the morning. Did you know that anything you can eat you may be able to safely apply to your face? Conversely, if something is not safe to eat, if may not be good to put on your skin. This is not a mirror-image hard and fast rule; so, use caution.
Anything edible that is blue or red will stain your skin permanently for about 2 weeks if left on for longer than five minutes. Set your timers and use caution. How do I know this? Years ago, my toddlers used to help themselves to blueberries from the freezer. We had a refrigerator that had the freezer on the bottom, thereby making it easier for my kids to help themselves than to ask me to help their independent little selves. The dog also loved this arrangement because inevitably a few blueberries would escape and she could gobble them up off the floor. Being a mostly black-colored dog, she could eat blueberries all she wanted without leaving an evidence trail. But my children, having lighter skin, went to church and any number of places with blueberry stains on their faces that I had tried unsuccessfully to scrub off several days earlier. The good news is that they were too young to care, and since no one said anything about it….But you are old enough for this to matter, so if you decide to use the last drops of your blueberry breakfast smoothie (or any breakfast smoothie) as a face mask, which actually feels amazing, please set your timer for exactly five minutes and wash it right off with an old rag you don’t care about staining. Just sayin’.
The Honey/Citrus Face Mask
One of the best morning face masks to use after an overnight olive oil treatment is the honey/citrus combo. I use a sake cup for portion control because leftovers here don’t work as well, could spill, etc. Plus, you want that enzymatic action you get from the freshly-squeezed-just-five-minutes-earlier juice. Here’s what to do: combine about 1 teaspoon of raw honey with a few drops of whatever citrus fruit you happen to be eating that morning: orange, tangerine, lemon. Doesn’t matter. There is always extra juice. Just 4-5 drops may be enough, and may even be too much in some cases, if you want a thicker mask. I leave this mask on from anywhere from 5-30 minutes, depending on how much time I have available. You can either wash your face afterward before applying moisturizer, or you can just be extra careful not to leave hidden smudges of the mask on before moisturizing. I find bits of mask hiding along the side of my nose, or sometimes along my hairline if I’m not careful. If you want to, you can also add a small (very small) amount of cinnamon, powdered oatmeal, or cornmeal to your mask, depending on what you have on hand.
Dermabrasion with Honey and Cinnamon
For those of you with facial scarring, as I have had from chicken pox back when I was eight, you may want to use a mask with honey and cinnamon. Years ago, The Bulk Herb Store (www.bulkherbstore.com) mailed a monthly newsletter containing the following cure for acne:
3 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Combine these into an airtight container, and apply overnight for 14 days to pull acne to the surface then heal it at the source. While all this is going on, scars are being buffed gently away. That was an unexpected bonus for me as I can no longer find the one bigger-than-life chicken pox scar that used to slap me in the mirror every single morning.
Cocoa Butter in the Tube
Years ago, my best friend and I used to buy cocoa butter in the tube from our local drugstore for a very reasonable price. It has gotten harder to find there now, and I am now forced to look for it at the health store, for slightly more than double what I used to pay. Even so, the price is still pretty reasonable. On the nights when olive oil is out of the question, you may very gently (“gently” being the operative word here – you don’t want to create more wrinkles!) move the cocoa butter over your wrinkles, especially around the eye.
The cocoa butter is solid at room temperature but will melt slightly as you move it over your skin. While it may be possible to heat small amounts on the stove or in the microwave (which microwaving I wouldn’t recommend because microwaving changes the molecular structure of whatever is microwaved), because the cocoa butter is so hard to find and keep on hand, you will waste less if you just exercise patience. It really does melt enough to do the job if you will let yourself not be in a hurry. Or, if you are in a hurry, you can break or cut off a small piece, place this into the palm of your hand, close your hand for a minute or so, and let it melt.
I love using cocoa butter around my eyes because it never gets in my eyes and burns like olive oil has a tendency to do. Follow with a brief face mask in the morning.
Wrinkle Mask from a book by Carlson Wade
The esteemed and revered Mr. Wade was a public health researcher who managed to find unexpected cures for almost everything. He has since stepped into eternity, and I’m not sure his books are in print anymore. If you find any of them, hang on to them for dear life. Some of the information you will find there is simply priceless. I stumbled onto one of his books for the first time at a library book sale, and only looked at it because the title, Inner Cleansing, hinted at getting my spiritual life in order. So, when I first opened the book, having wrong expectations, I was deeply disappointed. That didn’t last long.
One of the things I learned from Mr. Wade was a truly remarkable wrinkle-busting face mask. But in the proportions he gave, the mask was not only fabulously expensive, making it inaccessible to most of us for daily use, it also dripped dangerously onto my clothes, the floor, the furniture—everything! So, I have taken the liberty of adjusting the proportions here for just enough for a single application, which, because of enzymatic action, should be made fresh daily rather than over-produced and saved.
Approximately equal ½ teaspoon proportions of the following:
(You’ll just have to eyeball it, but you can do it! Be fearless!)
Freshly-squeezed lemon or lime juice
I do the following when I do this:
Blend a large portion of oatmeal into a dry powder that can be stored indefinitely in an old vitamin jar. A two-pound box of oats blends into a surprisingly small amount of powder. If you want and have the extra vitamin jars, you can share with friends.
Save the rest of the egg (about 80-90 percent) for scrambled eggs later, or if you are in a hurry, just put it into the dog, who will sing your praises, wrinkled or not, immediately, and will have a lovely glossy coat in the very near future.
Squeeze a few drops of lemon or lime juice into the other ingredients.
As far as lemons or limes go, at my house, we just go with whatever is on sale. Except for when we are making guacamole. You need a lime-not-lemon flavoring for that. For everything else, lemons and limes seem pretty much interchangeable.
You will want to paint your face with this mask (which amounts to something less or equal to 2 teaspoons of product) all over your face and leave it on until it dries. You will feel your skin tightening. For maximum efficacy, try not to eat, smile, frown, or talk while this mask is on. After the mask dries, splash it off carefully. You may be amazed at the difference immediately. Follow up with a moisturizer.
These are just a few ways that for just a few pennies per day, you can enjoy younger-looking skin, while at the same time knowing exactly what you are using. I hope these help. There may be others out there to that I don’t know about. Feel free to share them here. Thank you for your consideration.