Fight Dry Skin Without Harming Your Bones With These 3 DIY Antioxidant-Rich Serums
Savers in the Northern Hemisphere are surely getting ready for cooler weather, and part of that preparation involves having plenty of moisturizer on hand. As temperatures drop and central heating systems get activated, air becomes moisture-deprived indoors and out, drying your skin.
If you take a look at the ingredients in a typical moisturizer, though, you’re in for a shock! With few exceptions, most contain toxic, bone-damaging ingredients that you should avoid.
The good news is that you can make your own bone-healthy, antioxidant-rich facial moisturizing serums right in your own home. The three serum recipes in today’s post contain nourishing, moisture-rich ingredients that you can use alone or as a hydrating booster underneath your regular moisturizer lotion or cream. And they’re really easy to prepare!
Fall And Winter Bring Dry Air
Indoor and outdoor air is much less humid in the wintertime than in the summer and spring. Inside, heating systems pull water out of the air, leaving your skin feeling irritated and dehydrated. Outdoors, freezing-cold air and wind can chap exposed skin, and if you live where there’s snow, the glare of sunlight reflected off the snow can cause further damage to your skin.
Because of this, applying moisturizers and lotions should become an everyday habit (sometimes multiple times a day). As mentioned earlier, the problem is that many commercial products contain substances that add to your body’s toxic load, thereby hampering your efforts to reverse bone loss and rebuild bone.
Here are some of the commonly used ingredients in average moisturizers.
This is petroleum jelly, which may contain traces of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) if it’s not highly refined by a special process. In addition, petrolatum seals skin and creates an impenetrable barrier. Without being able to “breathe,” skin can succumb to fungal and bacterial infections, not to mention clogged pores. Ironically, petrolatum also seals out moisture from the air, making it less effective as a moisturizer and skin softener.
Disodium EDTA is ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid. It is used as a preservative, chelating agent, and viscosity control. Its safety is dubious, but its ability to enhance absorption makes this ingredient a red flag. Disodium EDTA may increase the absorption of harmful chemicals that are also present in the product.
This is a pretty broad term, and that’s the problem. A large variety of substances come under this heading, including phthalates, a known endocrine disruptor.
This is another preservative, once used in wood primers and other industrial products. It is very toxic if inhaled, and can cause itching and irritation of the skin.
These are just a few of the ingredients you’ll find in an average bottle of lotion, which your body will then treat as though they’re toxins, taxing your liver and your kidneys. Of course, the ingredients used in today’s recipes are natural and bone-friendly! It’s best to store these formulas in a dark glass container, and to use a dropper to apply on your face.
1. Green Tea Moisturizing Serum
This gentle moisturizer combines the antioxidant properties of green tea with various bone-healthy, natural oils. This recipe makes about ¼ cup.
- Green tea (1 teabag or 1 rounded teaspoon crumbled green tea leaves – matcha also works well)
A well-known antioxidant, certain constituents in green tea have osteoblast-boosting properties. It is also anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial, and contains bone-healthy polyphenols. One of these polyphenols, epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), renews DNA synthesis in keratinocytes, which are skin cells predominant in the skin’s outer layer.1 This means that green tea rejuvenates skin, making it an excellent base for this moisturizer.
- Sweet almond oil (2 tablespoons)
Sweet almond oil, made from nutritious almonds (a Foundation Food) is gentle and easily absorbed into your skin. Animal studies reveal that almond oil can prevent “structural damage caused by UV radiation” and slows sun-induced, premature aging of the skin.2
- Avocado oil (2 tablespoons)
This is another oil made from a bone-nourishing Foundation Food. Avocados are rich in Vitamin E and healthful fats, and the oil is chock-full of antioxidants that soothe burned or irritated skin. Avocado oil is a natural humectant, which means it bonds with water molecules to hold moisture close to your skin.
- Lavender essential oil (2-4 drops)
I love the smell of lavender! It has antiseptic properties that account in large part for its ability to promote healing. It reduces inflammation and cleanses cuts, scrapes, and acne. Because it induces relaxation and calmness, lavender is often used by herbalists to soothe tension headaches. Applying this moisturizer to your face – especially your temples and forehead – can help relieve or prevent headaches.
- Rosemary essential oil (2-4 drops)
This is another one of my favorite scents. It’s very versatile, smelling slightly of pine and very compatible with lavender. Rosemary is a powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant that herbalists have been recommending as a dandruff treatment for decades. Because of rosemary’s use in aromatherapy, researchers sought to gain a better understanding of rosemary’s mood-influencing properties. Here’s what one study reported:
“…our results suggest the occurrence of the positive stimulatory effects of rosemary oil inhalation. These findings provide evidence that brain wave activities, autonomic nervous system responses, and mood states can all be modified with rosemary oil inhalation.”3
This marks another use for rosemary in bone health, because a positive mood is excellent for bones.
Here’s the method for making this healthful serum.
Place the oils in a small glass jar and heat gently in a pan of water. When the oils are very warm, like hot bathwater, stir in the green tea. Take the jar out of the water and allow it to cool. Steep this mixture for 24 hours (or longer).
Strain the oil through a coffee filter – allow it to drip through for several hours. Stir the essential oils into the strained oil and pour the finished product into a dark glass container. This will keep for several months at room temperature; the antioxidant properties of the essential oils preserve the serum well.
Apply a few drops to clean skin.
Vitamin C Serum
This recipe makes about ¼ cup of serum. It smells like fresh oranges.
- Distilled water (2 tablespoons)
I’m quite sure just about every Saver will have this on hand. Distilled water is the purest form of water available, and it’s recommended in the Osteoporosis Reversal Program as the predominant beverage for bone health. It’s also perfect for use on your skin.
- Vegetable glycerin (2 tablespoons)
The moisturizing benefits of vegetable glycerin are well known. It’s a clear, viscous liquid made by hydrolyzing plant oils. This involves a combination of pressure, water, and a high enough temperature to break the molecular bonds of the oils, forcing them to mingle with the water. The resulting substance is then distilled and purified, producing a clear, odorless, humectant liquid. An additional benefit of vegetable glycerine in this recipe is its ability to increase ingredient absorption.
- Vitamin C powder (250 to 500 mg )
You can use any type of Vitamin C to make this serum, but if you’d like to go the extra mile, I suggest you get camu-camu powder, made from dried, ground camu-camu berries.
Vitamin C, a Foundation Supplement, is essential for the health and integrity of connective tissue and skin, and camu-camu is naturally rich in Vitamin C. Plus it also contains the powerful antioxidants lutein, beta-carotene and zeaxanthin.
Vitamin C, including camu-camu, is available in capsules and powder. If you use capsules, simply open them up and add the powder to your serum.
- Orange essential oil (2-4 drops)
While it doesn’t contain much Vitamin C (essential oils are manufactured using steam distillation and heat, which do not preserve the Vitamin C present in the source), orange essential oil is anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, and lifts your mood.
In a small bowl, stir the Vitamin C powder together with the distilled water until the it is (mostly) dissolved. Stir in the glycerin and pour the mixture into a dark glass bottle or small jar. This will keep for at least a month, and even longer in the refrigerator. Shake before using.
To use, spread a few drops over clean skin.
Vitamin E Serum
This serum contains the powerful antioxidant Vitamin E. This recipe will yield about 2 tablespoons of serum.
- Jojoba oil (2 tablespoons)
Jojoba oil is known for its similarities with human body oils. This waxy, golden oil is produced from the seeds of the Jojoba shrub, and it’s been used by Native Americans as a healing balm for centuries. It absorbs easily into skin, so it doesn’t leave behind an oily film.
- Vitamin E (1/4 teaspoon)
You can pierce Vitamin E capsules with a pin and squeeze the oil out for use in this recipe. This vitamin is fat soluble, so it can readily pass across cell membranes to stave off free radical damage. Vitamin E also helps to repair cell membranes and enhances healing. While alpha tocopherol is the most common form found in supplements, it’s best to use a mixed tocopherol formula.
- Frankincense, Myrrh, and Lavender essential oils (2 drops each)
You may recognize the first two essential oils from the gifts of the magi recounted in the biblical Christmas story. Frankincense and myrrh are often used and referred to together, but they are different substances.
Frankincense has a bright, piney scent that is quite complex. It is actually a resin made by various species of Boswellia trees, which is collected, dried, and steamed to produce frankincense essential oil. It is strongly antimicrobial, which accounts in part for its ancient use in anointing bodies in preparation for burial.
Ancient Egyptians used this oil to make facial masks that were said to rejuvenate and enliven the skin. Given its anti-bacterial characteristics, frankincense is an excellent choice for acne-prone skin.
Myrrh is also a fragrant resin, but it is collected from Commiphora trees. Its scent is entirely different from frankincense – myrrh has a musky, earthy scent. Myrrh is also a very ancient oil, having been used for skin care in the Middle East for millennia.
In a dark glass bottle or jar, place the jojoba oil and Vitamin E. Drop in the essential oils and stir or gently shake to combine. Apply this serum as the other ones, just a few drops spread over freshly-washed skin.
Finally! Moisturizers You (And Your Bones) Can Feel Good About
Many Savers have sent me e-mails over the years, asking about a bone-healthy way to combat dry skin. I love these do-it-yourself options because they contain healing, bone-nourishing ingredients that augment your detoxification efforts.
Removing as many toxins as possible from your environment and your body is an important step in growing and rejuvenating youthful bone. If you’re already detoxing with OsteoCleanse™, The 7 Day Bone Building Accelerator, make sure you ditch toxic, commercial beauty products. After all, what’s the point of a food-based cleanse if you’re still applying toxic substances to your skin that get absorbed into your bloodstream?
Healing, nourishing moisturizers boost the cleansing power of OsteoCleanse™ and leave your skin feeling smoother and younger – the perfect complement to younger, stronger bones and increased energy, which are both benefits of OsteoCleanse™.
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Till next time,
1 Hsu, Stephen, et al. “Green Tea Polyphenols Induce Differentiation and Prolliferation in Epidermal Keratinocytes.” Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics. 306. 1. (2003). Web. October 7, 2016. http://jpet.aspetjournals.org/content/306/1/29.abstract
2 Sultana, Y., et al. “Effect of pre-treatment of almond oil on ultraviolet B-induced cutaneous photoaging in mice.” J Cosmet Dermatol. 6. 1. (2007): 14-9. Web. October 7, 2016. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17348990
3 Sayorwan, Winai, et al. “Effects of Inhaled Rosemary Oil on Subjective Feelings and Activities of the Nervous System.” Sci Pharm. 81. 2. (2013): 531-542. Web. October 8, 2016. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3700080/