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</P> Give your skin cells a boost. In the battle against aging skin, alpha lipoic acid is being recognized as a powerful antioxidant that can help keep those wrinkles at bay. According to Dr.

Alpha Lipoic Acid

Give your skin cells a boost.

In the battle against aging skin, alpha lipoic acid is being recognized as a powerful antioxidant that can help keep those wrinkles at bay. According to Dr. Nicholas Perricone, author of The Wrinkle Cure (Warner Books, 2001), wrinkles can result from inflammation and free radical damage that occurs from too much sun as well as the toxins we ingest from the air we breathe, the water we drink and the foods we eat.

But alpha lipoic acid is a powerful antioxidant that can provide your skin with the protection it needs. Part of a natural enzyme complex that increases energy production in aging skin cells, it helps repair cellular damage and expel waste products. For added anti-inflammatory and cell-protective powers, it's often combined with vitamins C and E. Look for these ingredients on the labels of the natural skin care products you purchase.

Trudy's Beauty Basics

Easy recipes for glowing winter skin.

Lemony Hand and Body Cream
With both outdoor elements and indoor air conditioning conspiring to dry your skin, moisturizing is essential for preventing cracking and chapping. You will need:

3 Tbsp (45 ml) juice from one lemon
3 Tbsp (45 ml) sweet almond oil
1 tsp (5 ml) beeswax
3 drops essential lemon oil

Strain the lemon juice through a cheesecloth into a heatproof measuring cup. Add almond oil, then place cup in a small saucepan of water. Add beeswax and heat gently over medium heat for about 30 seconds, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. The trick is not to burn the wax, so once it's completely melted, remove from heat. Keep stirring until it's cool, then mix in the lemon oil. Store in a closed jar or bottle, and give it a shake every once in a while until it cools completely. Apply whenever you feel the need for a real moisture surge and a boost of vitamin C.

Baby-Your-Lips Balm
Cold air can chap your lips faster than saying "Brrrr." To keep your lips moisturized, prepare your own mint-scented balm with:

3 tsp (15 ml) almond oil
1 tsp (5 ml) beeswax
3 drops peppermint essential oil

Using same method as for the body cream, stir almond oil and beeswax over gentle heat, then remove and add peppermint oil. Store in a palm-sized metal tin. Extracted from the kernels of ripe almonds, almond oil is a soothing emollient that thickens when mixed with the beeswax.
--Trudy Peskett

Natural Rx for Dandruff

Snowdrifts belong on ski hills, not on your shoulders. But what to do when you have dandruff? Look at your diet first, says Nicola Dexter, a clinical herbal medicine practitioner in North Vancouver, BC. She suggests the following remedies to soothe and heal the scalp.

  • Examine your diet for allergens and excess tea, alcohol, coffee, junk food and hot spices. Avoid them if they cause irritation.

  • Take an essential fatty acid (EFA) blend. Hemp seed oil is particularly effective because it contains a complete balance of EFAs. Take three to six tablespoons daily, or four capsules of the oil three times a day.

  • Make a daily herbal hair rinse by simmering one tablespoon of marshmallow root in one litre of water for an hour. Remove from heat and add one tablespoon each of the dried herbs plantain, chickweed and horsetail. Let steep overnight, then strain and bottle for use.

  • You can make a homemade shampoo using the same infusion as above. Grate one small bar of Castile soap into one litre of the strained, hot tea so that the gratings melt. Put in squeeze-top bottle and shampoo as usual.

--Wendy Bone

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