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Getting your glow back

Winter shows its face after Christmas. This year especially, January and February have brought gales, storms and ice to harden the earth and chill the bones. But we still have to brave it: on the farm, we take hay to feed the animals outside, in town you’ll walk to the car, the tube, the school bus; we need to get out for our children, our animals, ourselves.

All this wind and cold, and then the swift change back into the dry heat of houses or offices, takes its toll on our skin. Loss of moisture through exposure leads to dry, sensitive skin, especially on our hands and faces.

So how do we get our glow back? Or if not a glow, simply skin that isn’t chapped and cracked, or tight and uncomfortable? The answer is to treat it gently, with skin friendly products and a little care. A good moisturiser is so important, and a rich, nourishing cream full of skin friendly ingredients left on at night a couple of times a week will do wonders. You could also start a new skin care routine, incorporating a bit of self-care into your day with a three-step, spa-inspired mask, cleanse and moisturise.

Face masks are easy to make at home and a great way to treat your skin. I would incorporate honey, for its humectant and skin-brightening properties; clay, as a gentle cleanser; a rich oil for nourishment and water to blend. Homemade masks are best made in small quantities for single use: they don’t contain preservatives, so they don’t keep.

I use two types of clay in my soaps: French green clay (in the Lavender and Camomile bar) and Rose clay (in the Rose Clay bar). You can use either of these two in a face mask.

French green clay boosts circulation, while pulling excess oil and impurities from the skin. Its colour comes from iron oxide and decomposed kelp and algae, which also contribute to a unique blend of minerals, including dolomite, manganese, silica and copper, which balance and detoxify.

Pink Rose Clay is a type of kaolin clay, with a fine texture that is gentle on sensitive skin. It contains a variety of minerals, including silica, which help to restore and replenish the skin. It is known to reduce irritation and inflammation, and for its purifying and soothing properties.

If you’d like to make a brightening, nourishing mask at home, you could try this recipe.

Brightening face mask:

1 teaspoons honey

1 teaspoons oil – avocado, rose hip, sweet almond or olive oil

2 – 4 teaspoons clay

2 teaspoon distilled water

1 drops essential oil – lavender, frankincense, or rose

In an egg cup or small bowl, mix the honey and oil thoroughly with a teaspoon or small whisk. Add the clay a little at a time, mixing well. Add the essential oils, less is best, and a little water, until you have reached your desired consistency.

 Put your hair up!

 Remember to lightly dampen your (clean) face before application and avoid the skin around your eyes and lips.

 You don’t have to let your mask dry completely – clay is naturally drying, so to not

compromise on its nourishing benefits, rinse after five or ten minutes and before it starts to

tighten on your face.

 To remove, you could place a clean facecloth soaked in hand-hot water over your face to

soften the mask, and work gently to loosen and rinse off.

 Finish with a flower water rinse and moisturise.

 Feel amazing!

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