The discoloration of the skin also known as liver spots or hyperpigmentation, occurs as a result of the aging process. I am personally experienced in using aromatherapy for age spots, as I spend much of my time in the high desert sun, working outdoors. Causal factors of this condition include sun exposure, dietary choices, and our personal constitutional profile. To treat it successfully, one must become aware of certain health habits, and be willing to apply focused attention over time.
That said, it is a simple process (though not always easy) to achieve great improvement in a short time, without resorting to drastic skin treatments.
Hyperpigmentation is characterized by flat, round, non-carcinogenic brown or reddish brown spots that develop on the hands, arms, face, shoulders, feet and legs. This usually occurs with increasing age.
Hyperpigmentation is the result of melanin accumulation in the epidermal or dermal layer of the skin. Causal factors include advancing age, sun exposure, pregnancy, birth control pills, hormone therapy, injury, chicken pox, shingles, acne scars and hereditary factors.
Chloasma gravidarum (pregnancy mask) is a brownish pigmentation on the face and neck, due to hormonal shifts and sun sensitivity.
Age spots or liver spots (lentigines) are usually caused by accumulated sun damage, and customarily appear after age 30.
Sun freckles are hereditary and usually disappear when there is no excessive exposure to the sun.
To prevent the formation of liver spots, avoid over-exposure to sun, detoxify the liver, and eat foods that promote liver and skin health (including drinking plenty of water).
Avoiding the sun: Our bodies need the sun light to stay healthy! Vitamin D is deficient in a huge percentage of people in the USA. So it makes sense to question our heavy reliance on commercial sunscreen as the best route to take. I am not telling you to throw it away, especially if your doctor has recommended it to you. However, I am encouraging you to explore other options, do some research, and try other methods, using sunscreen as a last resort.
Most sunscreen products on the market contain Oxybenzone (a hormone disruptor) and other known cancer causing ingredients. A great article that reflects my own opinion about sunscreen is here, on Wellness Mama. It also offers a simple recipe for home made sunscreen, that contains none of the chemicals in question.
Detoxifying the Liver: I have become very familiar with numerous liver cleanses over my 63 years of living with a constitutionally delicate liver. I can assure you that dietary and lifestyle changes can make all the difference in your skin, with liver detoxification being the most important one.
Before using any kind of cleanse, if you are on medications or have chronic health issues, check with your doctor first. There are many people who should not cleanse at all in this category—make sure you get your doctor’s approval.
If you have never cleansed before, or it has been a long time; or if you believe your body is moderately toxic, begin with this light and easy liver cleanse. You can use it for just a few days, or the full 10 days to 2 weeks suggested, depending on how you feel as you go through it. You can repeat it again in a couple of months if needed.
After liver cleansing, it is imperative to support the liver in regenerating to a higher level of health. Consider using a daily tea containing dandelion, milk thistle, bupleurum, schisandra berry, artichoke leaf, and pau d’arco, for 8 to 10 weeks for this purpose. Following the dietary guidelines for liver health will restore the liver and maintain a greater level of health. Not only will your skin get clearer, but you will notice other benefits as well.
Dietary Guidelines for Evenly Glowing Skin
Eat more green salads! Greens are the liver’s natural medicine. Lettuces, mustard greens, beet greens, chard, spinach, kale, onions, garlic, watercress, asparagus, cabbage, etc. Add more vegetables including cauliflower, broccoli, Brussel sprouts, beets, taro root, water chestnuts, artichokes, carrots, celery, cucumbers, and all kinds of sprouts. Eat herbs such as turmeric, basil, mint, horseradish, pepper, cardamon, cumin, fennel, dill, parsley, ginger; and fruits such as berries, kumquats, tangerines, lemon, and grapefruit. Drinks include lemon water, fresh juices (especially carrot and celery), and fruit smoothies.
Just as important as what you eat, is what you avoid. Avoid foods that tax the liver and hinder its ability to heal; such as refined grains and carbohydrates, alcohol, coffee, refined snack foods (replace them with raw nuts or seeds), artificial sweeteners, added sugars, soft drinks, fatty foods such as margarine, mayonnaise, refined oils, bacon, sausages. Limit red meat, opting for fish or poultry in moderate amounts; and limit dairy food consumption (plain probiotic unpasteurized yogurt is beneficial in moderation).
Now that you know how to clear up age spots and prevent them in the future, we can look at some great recipes for fading spots that already exist on the surface.
Several mask options are listed here. Experiment and find which ones work best on your skin!
Aromatherapy for age spots and uneven complexion, involves a three step process of daily skin maintenance, and a weekly (or more often) extra step. Every day, use this regimen to help restore glowing spot free skin.
Step 1: Remove make up using a cleanser or aloe vera and cotton pads.
Step 2: Rinse face with pure water and lightly pat dry.
Use this regimen morning and night. If you are applying make-up, use a cotton pad to blot excess oil after allowing it to sit for at least 5 minutes. If you are going to bed afterward, leave the serum on overnight.
Once or twice each week, apply a mask to fade the spots. Use one of the recipes below, apply the mask to cover spotty or discolored areas, and allow it to set or dry. After 15 minutes or longer, rinse the mask off and apply the serum or facial oil.
My Favorite Super Easy Age Spot Mask Recipe
1 Tbsp plain yogurt
2 tsp grated potato
4 tsp fresh lemon juice
Mix all ingredients. Apply to the spotted areas and allow it to dry. After 10 to 15 minutes, wash it off and apply a facial serum or oil such as Kalahari melon, jojoba, macadamia, or raspberry seed oil. Store remainder in the fridge for later. Apply every other day until you reach desired skin tone.
Green Papaya Mask
Green papaya grated or mashed
This is used to even out the skin tone and fade brown spots. Apply before retiring for the night. Let it sit for 10 to 15 minutes, then rinse off. Apply a serum or oil before bedtime.
Age Spot Cranberry Mask
Apply the juice of crushed fresh cranberries to age spots, and let them dry overnight. Wash off in the morning and note the lighter skin tone.
I WANT IT GONE NOW Spot Treatment
I have not tried this one, as it seems a bit harsh to put baking soda on my face. But others tell me that it works great! Be sure to put it only on the spots directly, unlike a mask that can be spread over the entire area.
Mix a little bicarbonate of soda (baking soda) with a 50:50 solution of hydrogen peroxide and water, to form a gritty paste. Dab onto age spots, allow to dry, then rinse off and pat skin dry. Be sure to use a moisturizing oil or serum after this treatment.
Macadamia facial serum recipes are made with macadamia nut oil, which has been shown to slow the signs of aging. It contains Palmitoleic acid (Omega 7) which declines in our skin as we grow older. The Omega 7 in macadamia nut oil increases the skin’s youthful appearance, soothing wrinkles and lines. This makes it an excellent oil for maintaining glowing youthful skin!
It also has been used to improve the appearance of scars, sunburn, and other minor skin irritations. The following recipes are excellent for moisturizing skin, helping to even out skin tone. and fading scars and patches. For more moisturizing facial serum recipes, go here. For hydrating facial serum recipes, go here. To read about the difference between hydration and moisturizing, go here.
Serums can be moisturizing or hydrating. To learn more about the difference between them, see this link. For moisturizing serum recipes, go here.
Natural hydrating serums must contain hydrating ingredients such as honey, or Hyaluronic acid, and/or other water based ingredients such as hydrosols or aloe vera juice in an emulsion.
Hydrating serum recipes are often a bit more complex to make than moisturizing ones. Moisturizing serums contain only oil based ingredients, which will seal moisture in the skin. They make wonderful overnight skin treatments, and work well for daily applications.
When using a multi step skin program, you will want to apply hydrating serums right after washing your face, and right before applying an emollient oil such as Kalahari seed oil or Raspberry seed oil, or an occlusive such as shea butter or cocoa butter.
After some years in Arizona’s high desert north of Grand Canyon, I found that moisturizing oils alone were no longer doing the job for my skin. I began using this serum recipe, and immediately (I mean right after the first application!) I noticed that my skin looked younger, smoother, and less leathery. I was sold.
You will need a stick blender to make the emulsion combining watery and oily ingredients. I like this one, but I am sure that many others would work too. It is a bit more complex, but so very worth it to know how clean and pure this serum is. No hidden ingredients, no “filler” ingredients, no missing ingredients, just the ones that you put in!
2 drops Leucidal(a natural preservative made from fermented radishes, approved by Eco-cert and approved for use in Whole Foods products)
2 drops Linatural (a combination of 3 ingredients, made from non-GMO corn, also approved by Eco-cert as a natural preservative)
1/8 tsp. ascorbic acid
Once the serum is complete, and since this is a recipe (and not a formula measured in grams), I always test for the best ph and adjust if necessary. If the ph is too high, you can add a bit more citric or ascorbic acid. If it is too low, you can add a tiny amount of natural sea salt, (only 1/32nd of a teaspoon to start with), or sodium lactate. The final ph should register at 4 to 6 for most serums. Vitamin C serums (with ascorbic acid or citric acid) should measure between 3 to 4.5. To easily test ph values of your home made products, get these!
Add all ingredients into the stick blender cup. Blend until smooth and well mixed. Place in light blocking bottles and store unused portion in the refrigerator.
Even though Hyaluronic acid is a natural substance that is also made by the human body, it should be used with awareness. Do not use it for children or infants, or during pregnancy, unless approved by a health care professional.
Disclaimer: None of our products are recognized or approved by the FDA. They are not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure any disease. This information is anecdotal, and is provided for educational purposes only. It is not meant to be taken as medical advice. See a health care professional for medical advice.
You might think hydration is something that only people with dry or dehydrated skin need to worry about. But hydrating your skin is just like hydrating your body. Your body needs hydration to look and feel its best. And no matter what skin type you have, so does your skin.
With so many different products claiming to give you the hydrated skin you desire, including oils, serums, creams and gels, how do you choose one that actually gives your skin the right dose of moisture it needs?
Hydrator vs. Moisturizer: What’s the difference?
“Moisturizer” is an umbrella term for various types of moisturizing ingredients such as Emollients (includes fats and oils), Squalene (an olive oil extract), Humectants, and Occlusives.
But in the world of marketing, the terminology is not the same. “Hydrator” and “Moisturizer” are marketing terms which can be defined by the branding companies in almost any way that they want. Even though there is no standard for what defines a hydrator and a moisturizer, for the most part, the industry uses these terms to differentiate how your skin gets the moisture it needs.
How About Water?
Water alone will not keep your skin moisturized from the outside. It is likely that, once applied, it has evaporated away by the time you leave the bathroom. And it has taken along with it, much of your skin’s natural oil (sebum).
In fact, the more you wash your skin without applying a moisturizer or hydrator, the more likely your skin will dry out, as the acid mantle and sebum are washed away, leaving your skin with no protection against dryness.
What are Some Other Moisturizers?
Occlusive agents, (such as petrolatum or mineral oil—both of which I can not recommend that you put on your skin!) are substances that create a water and air tight barrier. This does a good job of keeping the moisture in your skin. The most common occlusive agents that you will find in skin products include petrolatum, petroleum jelly, and mineral oil. They are inexpensive and do the job intended. But the large size of their molecules means that they are difficult to penetrate the skin, and tend to build up in the skin’s outer layer.
Over many months or even years, this build-up will inhibit the skin’s natural respiration. I have seen evidence of this myself when working with people who, for chronic health issues, are doing intense herbal cleanses. At a certain point in the cleansing process, people who have applied mineral products over a long period of time, will have a few days of greasy yellowish discharge coming out of their skin, as the body releases this build-up. If you have ever seen it, you will avoid these ingredients like the plague in all of your skin and cosmetic products!
Some of the natural occlusive ingredients that are plant based and do not build up in the skin, are cocoa butter, jojoba (a plant wax), andshea butter.
Emollients (such as plant oils) also work by creating a lighter seal on the surface of skin which prevents water from escaping. They make the skin feel smoother and less dry. Generally they do not inhibit the respiration of the skin. And since their molecules are smaller than occlusives, they do not build up in the outer layer of the skin, but are absorbed and removed over time.
Hydrators are also called humectants. These ingredients absorb water from the atmosphere or from deeper layers of your skin, and hold it on the surface of your skin. They make your skin feel smooth and moist—but beware! They are also pulling water out of the deeper layers of your skin, sort of robbing Peter to pay Paul. They can easily contribute to further dehydration of the skin. They do insure that you will need to apply more and more skin lotion, as the dehydration leads to the need for more moisturizer. Sounds like product security to me!
These ingredients include glycerine, lactic acid, citric acid, and hyaluronic acid. A very small amount of these ingredients in some products may be okay for certain skin types, especially in the case of hyaluronic acid. Hyaluronic acid is naturally found in the eyes, skin, joints, and connective tissue of the human body.
Natural hydrators that are less likely to draw out moisture, include raw honey and aloe vera. These hydrators have a more gentle action, and don’t tend to create the same level of dehydration of the deeper skin layers.
It’s important to recognize that these ingredients work very differently from each other. The success you have in getting to your goal of better skin hydration depends on your selection of ingredients based on your skin type.
What is Best for Your Skin Type?
There are a lot of different products on the market, including balms, oils, creams, gels, ointments, salves, and hydrators. Most skin lotions and other moisturizing products will contain occlusive and emollient ingredients, as well as humectant ingredients.
The best way to find out what works for you is to read the ingredients of your skin products and experiment. Your skin might do better with only a moisturizer or hydrator, not both. By learning exactly how your skin likes to drink, you maximize your way to hydrated skin.
Dry Skin Types Respond to a Thick Emollient or Occlusive
If your skin is naturally dry year-round and tends to flake or peel, it is likely not weather-related dehydration that’s causing your dryness. Your skin just has a hard time retaining moisture.
You will need to moisturize to create a protective seal on the surface to lock in moisture. A thick, emollient moisturizer will help prevent water from leaving your skin. Natural choices include shea butter and cocoa butter. Nut oils like coconut oil, and jojoba are other ingredients to try.
Dehydrated Skin Types Respond to a Hydrating Serum
If your skin is dehydrated, you need to actively add water back into the skin. Look for a hydrating serum with ingredients such as honey,aloe vera, or hyaluronic acid, (which retains 1,000 times its weight in water). Your goal is to add a healthy dose of hydration back into the skin.
Hydrate From the Inside Out
The state of the skin is an indicator for the rest of the body. If your skin is dehydrated, one of the most important pieces of the solution is to regularly drink plenty of water. A good goal is at least half of your body weight in ounces of water every day. So, if you weigh 150 pounds, shoot for 75 ounces of water per day.
But water is often not enough. In my own experience, I was drinking substantially more than that of pure water every day, yet I still had dehydrated skin, and other symptoms of mild dehydration. I felt like my body was simply not absorbing water as it should, and water was going through me but not making its way into my cells and tissues. After trying different types and brands of water with no substantial improvement, I began to drink fresh fruit & vegetable juices daily. The nutrients, minerals, and enzymes in the fresh juices regenerated the tissues and cells of my body. In just a few weeks of regular juicing, my skin was beginning to look smoother, younger, and more hydrated.
Adding water rich foods such as watermelon, strawberries, and cucumber, makes a difference. These can help give the skin and body the hydration they need to look and feel their best. Also eliminating carbonated drinks, drinks containing alcohol, artificial sweeteners, or sugar, which all contribute to dehydration; and replacing them with water and fresh juices, will begin to change the health of your body on a cellular level, and improve hydration very quickly. This will all benefit the hydration of your skin.
Oily Skin Types Respond to Hydrators and Moisturizers
If you have an oily skin type, it type doesn’t mean your skin isn’t dehydrated. If your skin is dehydrated, it can actually exacerbate excess oil issues.
People with oily skin often have compromised barrier function, which makes it hard for their skin to retain moisture. As moisture leaves the skin, it becomes dehydrated, causing the skin to produce more oil.
This becomes a vicious cycle, and the only way to break it is to give skin the proper hydration and moisture it needs. Look for water-based, non-comedogenic hydrators and moisturizers. Water-based products will feel lighter on the skin and won’t clog your pores.
Many natural ingredients are on this list, including Almond oil, Avocado oil, Beeswax, Coconut oil, Flaxseed oil, Grape seed oil, Olive oil, Sesame oil, Wheat germ oil, to name a few. And just one comedogenic ingredient in a blend can cause more break-outs, so it is important to check your formulas against this list.
Sunflower, safflower, jojoba, and all essential oils are acne-safe. While most oils are comedogenic, these were all found to be non-comedogenic.
Formulating Your Own Natural Skin Products
It is helpful to use both a moisturizer and hydrator in many formulas. If you are using a multi-step process, use hydrating products containing aloe vera, honey, or hyaluronic acid first, then follow up with an occlusive like shea butter or plant oils to lock it in.
Or, if you want to keep things simple, look for a product that contains both types of ingredients.
If you want a healthy , hydrated complexion all year round, you may need to change your formulas with changing conditions and seasons. For some conditions, like the winter season, you are likely to need to hydrate and moisturize. If you move from a dry climate to an area of high humidity, you may find that your skin does better with oil based products containing only moisturizers rather than hydrators.
Allergy season is here! Are you confining yourself to the indoors, avoiding the Great Outdoors, because of allergies? Allergies can be debilitating, and contribute to depression, anxiety, and stress. If you have allergies, try these allergy season recipes for the aromatic tools that you need to beat them and set yourself free again!
For Frontline Support
When you are already under attack, and need help now—try dabbing a drop of Allergy Freedom Essential Oil under your nose, or placing a drop on a tissue and putting it in your nostril. It can also be diluted and applied to the lymph glands before getting into a shower.
For skin allergies, rashes, and irritations; try spraying Allergy Freedom Spray on skin.
For extra heavy duty clearing, you can spray it into the back of your throat, and inhale it into your nostrils, to relieve the itching, and decrease mucus production.
In order to get a long term protective effect, remember to drink nettles tea beginning about a month BEFORE allergy season starts. You can build immunity before hand to have a different experience of the season altogether. Simply steep the dried stinging nettles in water to make a tea, taking one cup daily until allergy season is over.
For a ready made herbal supplement that can neutralize allergic symptoms, try our One Source Allergy Relief with Jade Elixir, available online.
Moroccan Chamomile is a powerful anti-histamine. It is one of the strongest anti-allergenic essential oils known. It works by inhibiting the original release of histamine, so the whole cascade of inflammatory processes is not initiated.
Peppermint helps to clear the sinuses. It is cooling and comforting.
Goldenrod has anti-allergenic properties, and is especially helpful for reducing the reaction to animal dander, dust mites, and other respiratory system irritants.
St Johnswort is highly anti-inflammatory, slightly sedating, and acts as a tonic for the liver, endocrine & immune systems. It is especially good for rebuilding the immune system.
Cypress is relaxing, soothes pain, opens bronchial tubes, and clears congestion.
As one who eats very few animal products, I am often looking for creative ways to add protein into my diet. This Mocha Protein Nut Bars recipe qualifies for raw, gluten free, free of added sugar, vegan, and high protein all in one.
Spread the topping over bars just before serving. This is a rich and flavorful dessert or snack that everyone will enjoy.
Vegan substitution: Instead of using yogurt, substitute 2 cups of coconut cream, or culinary coconut milk that has been refrigerated for at least 1 hour. The vegan version will be a little thinner, but still delicious!
There are several types of hernias, and not all of them are conducive to healing with natural remedies. Hernias can be serious and should be examined by a health professional.
Inguinal hernias (groin area), umbilical hernias (near the naval), and incisional hernias (following surgery) are the most likely to improve or heal with herbal remedies. Other types may improve, but should be evaluated before beginning an herbal treatment.
This is a three part method that will support hernia recovery in 3 different ways. It begins with taking an internal herbal remedy formula.
Internal Formula–Herbal Remedies for Hernia
These herbal remedies for hernia are derived from traditional Chinese formulas used for centuries to heal hernias and other abdominal issues. I have offered here 2 different choices, for those who may have a challenge locating some of the herbs. Both of these formulas are effective.
Hernia Formula One
Hawthorn berry-2 parts (Chinese hawthorn berry)
Fennel seed-1/2 part
Grapefruit seed-1/2 part
Litchi seed-1/2 part
Mix the herbs together in a blender or Vita-mix. Mix on high until a coarse powder is formed. Put the powder into size 00 capsules, and take 1 to 2 capsules 2 times daily.
Alternatively, the powder can be made into a tea. Use 1 teaspoon of ground herbs in 2 cups of water. Simmer for 5 to 8 minutes and strain. Sweeten with honey or stevia if desired. Drink 1 cup daily.
Or, use the following formula instead.
Hernia Formula Two
Hawthorn berry–2 parts
Dioscorea (wild yam)–1 part
Marshmallow root–1 part
Ginger root–1/2 part
Licorice root–1/2 part
Use the same methods as described above. You may use it as a tea or in capsules.
Plan on taking your herbal formula consistently for at least 3 months. Herbs often take weeks to show results, as they rebuild organs and tissues on a slow, gradual basis. It is necessary to use them every day to get the desired results.
To support your recovery, you will also benefit from applying a poultice to the local area where the hernia is located.
Comfrey powder (or crushed leaf)–6 parts
Colloidal silver–1 part
Terebinthine pine essential oil–several drops
Cypress essential oil–several drops
Costus root essential oil–several drops
Distilled water–as needed
Combine all ingredients. Add only as much distilled water as necessary to moisten all of the ingredients and help them stick together. Apply enough of the poultice to lightly cover the hernia area. If possible, wrap it with saran wrap to hold it against the skin without drying it out. Leave it on for a few hours, or overnight if possible.
Apply it every day for the best results.
The final piece of the puzzle for healing hernias, involves exercise. It is important to exercise very consciously–being certain to do no harm! Targeted gentle exercises to strengthen core muscles can be found on you tube. Always begin gently with just a few repetitions, and never continue if there is pain with any exercise.
These dietary changes can also help support hernia recovery. Eat plain, unsweetened yogurt with live cultures (not the sweetened dessert kind), several tablespoons daily. My favorite brand to recommend is Mountain High, but the best is the one you make yourself with un-homogenized cow or goat milk. One tablespoon of home made yogurt contains more live probiotic cultures than a whole bottle of encapsulated probiotics!
Also eat smaller meals more often throughout the day. Avoid having any bloating or acid reflux, or even indigestion, by taking Ginger Drops remedy or Herbal Digestive Bittersas soon as any of these symptoms appear.
Essential oils can not only help us heal our bodies. They are also very handy in gardening, as a pest deterrent. We have used this recipe to discourage cabbage worms from eating our broccoli, cabbage, kale, and other plants.
It also works against many types of caterpillars, and does not seem to discourage Lady bugs or the Preying Mantis–both of which are beneficial pest eating bugs for your garden.
I found this recipe through dowsing, and it seems to work very well. I sprayed it twice in one week, after finding a large infestation of cabbage worms in several areas of our high tunnel garden.
By the second spraying, the infestation was down to just a few worms where there had been many.
The following week I sprayed again, even though we were not finding worms on 90% of our crops. It seems they have relocated, although we are prepared to spray again if they reappear. This formula does not seem to kill the caterpillars, but does make them go elsewhere quickly!
How to Tell That You Have Cabbage Worms
Small to medium sized green caterpillars on the underside of leaves, especially broccoli, cabbage, eggplant, kale. Possibly other plants too.
Large holes in leaves, begin to make the leaf look like lace.
Small black droppings on leaves.
Occasional cocoons on the underside of leaves.
May see small grayish moths.
Recipe for Cabbage Worm Spray
1 gallon of water
2 tablespoons Dr. Bronner’s soap (or other castille soap)