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Winter Skin Hydration </P> 'Tis the season for chestnuts and roasting fires, when the cold winter weather encourages some people to spend more time in indoor pursuits.

Winter Skin Hydration

'Tis the season for chestnuts and roasting fires, when the cold winter weather encourages some people to spend more time in indoor pursuits. But all that indoor heating can soon make your skin feel dry as parchment paper.

Hydration is a key component of any health and beauty regimen, but when you're busy at this time of year, it's all too easy to forget about drinking the recommended eight glasses of water of day. Carry a refillable water bottle with you in your bag so that when you do feel the urge to sip, you can just grab and guzzle. Skip the soft drink and invest a few dollars in a small insulating thermos for hot or cold beverages. In the morning before you go out, make a pot of herbal tea or a batch of fresh juice to take with you. A favourite natural drink is a simple apple-carrot cocktail. Juice together four apples, four carrots and a handful of parsley. This recipe makes about two cups and will give you a good boost of energy.

Fine Line Eraser

Fine lines can appear on the skin as a result of excessive sun exposure, excessive alcohol consumption and smoking-or just plain old aging. Try this simple mask to naturally exfoliate and hydrate your skin. You will need:

  • 1 Tbsp (15 ml) honey
  • 1/2 cup (125 ml) mashed papaya

Mix together ingredients in a bowl and set aside. Cleanse skin with a natural cleanser, then gently open pores by placing a warm, wet washcloth over your face for a couple of minutes. Apply mask to face, avoiding eye area, and relax for 10 minutes. Rinse with cool water to close and tighten pores. The result: smooth, glowing skin!

Nail Bites

They may be popular fashion accessories, but those long nails, artificial or otherwise, can transmit bacteria. To prevent disease-causing bacteria from spreading to patients, the New York Presbyterian Hospital has recently banned health-care workers from wearing artificial nails, and has limited the length of natural nails to no longer than one-eight of an inch (three millimetres) past the fingertips.

Artificial nails in particular can increase the risk of bacterial or fungal infections. Chipped nail polish is also a no-no because it can also harbour disease-causing microbes. For those who are able to keep long nails, it's important to wash your hands thoroughly, paying special attention to under the nails--although, studies show, this does not entirely eliminate bacteria.
--mercola.com; American Journal of Infection Control, June 2002

Winter Essentials

Feeling a little like hibernating now that the days are getting shorter and the nights are getting longer? Essential oils work on both body and mind. Try these pick-me-ups to put a little sunshine in your life.

Citrus refresher
Keep a bottle of lemon, orange or grapefruit oil (whatever you like best) handy in your shower. Before stepping in, sprinkle a few drops on the back of the tub where the spray won't hit it directly. The citrus scent will rise with the mist to uplift you. You can also add some rosemary oil to your shampoo and work it into your roots for a scalp-tingling lift.

Skin soother
Keep this relaxing blend handy whenever your skin feels dry or you need something refreshing to lift you out of the winter doldrums.

Add to a 60-ml bottle of purified water:

  • 6 drops orange
  • 5 drops lavender
  • 5 drops chamomile
  • 4 drops geranium

Orange is always uplifting, like sunshine in a bottle. Lavender and geranium are the great balancers of essentials oils, whether for emotions or an overly dry or oily skin. Chamomile is soothing and calming, and will help diminish red, inflamed skin or broken capillaries.

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