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.
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.
I have been working with this recipe for several years now, and I have actually seen it work wonders for some people. It can help the following conditions. It is not a miracle cure–and like everything, it does not work for everyone.
Even so, this recipe offers improvement for most, great improvement for many, and seems to halt or slow progression for some. It is definitely worth a try for those who want to try a natural method before going for surgery or other eye corrections.
Conditions that I have experienced or witnessed improvement with this recipe, include:
Lack of focussing ability
Wearing glasses or lens correction
Eyestrain caused by computer or over use
Red or irritated eyes
Eyebright herb 1/4 tsp.
Golden seal herb 1/8 tsp.
Raspberry leaf herb 1/4 tsp.
Cayenne powder herb (not essential oil!) 1 drop (1/64 tsp.)
Simmer in 2 cups distilled water for 10 minutes. Cool to room temperature.
1/16 tsp. N-Acetyl-L-Carnosine (No other form of carnosine will absorb into the tissues of the eye to dissolve calcium, a primary concern with cataracts.)
1-1/2 cups distilled water.
Combine and stir until completely dissolved.
Add 22 drops of Part 1 into all of Part 2. Store excess of Part 1 in fridge for up to 3 months. Fill Eyedropper Bottles and store out of direct sunlight.
Use daily, or up to 3 times daily for extreme cases. It generally takes 3 months of very consistent usage to see an improvement. It may take 6 months or longer to reach optimum results.
How to Support Eyes and Vision Restoration–The Rest of the Picture
There is much more that one can do to support eye health and recover from vision loss, cataracts, or even wearing glasses. Not everyone can restore vision, and not every condition can be corrected, but many issues can be resolved over time with an eye friendly diet.
Macular degeneration, cloudy vision, and cataracts, can all be improved or resolved by adding certain key nutrients to our diet. Lutein, astaxanthin, and zeaxanthin are anti-oxidants that the eyes must have in our daily diet to maintain health. Most Americans do not get enough of these vital vision nutrients, which results in macular degeneration and deterioration of our vision.
Omega-3 fats, proper calcium ratios, retinol, and B vitamins all play critical roles in keeping the health of our eyes, even more so as we grow older. And simply supplementing nutrients such as lutein and zeaxanthin, may not give us the results we are looking for. This is because supplementation of some of these nutrients can cause toxicity. In many cases, the form of nutrients taken as a supplement is not the same as the nutrients found in our foods. Often, they are cheaper versions, or synthetic versions, prone to be less absorbable and less effective.
So how do we get enough of these critical nutrients in our diets? One simple answer is, by drinking a daily smoothie with all of the nutrients needed to restore your vision, regenerate your body, and eliminate aging signs.
I have been “sudsing shampoo free” for years. One day I just got tired of putting chemicals on my head, and I began a long journey of exploring my options.
I found that so many “natural” shampoos were still laden with chemicals, glycerine, phthalates, and a multitude of other chemicals. I found several non-sudsing shampoos on the market, but none of them worked for me long term.
Finally I resorted to using the coconut shampoo bar from Chagrin Valley. It worked very well, but sometimes I would feel like the soap was leaving a build up on my hair, so I would switch back and forth with my own suds-free shampoo recipe and the soap.
This has worked beautifully for me over some years now, but every now and then I wish for a really truly natural sudsing shampoo base that I could use once in awhile.
Recently we found a source who is producing clean, certified organic body care bases. We tried a sample of the simple, one-ingredient shampoo base, and I fell in love with it immediately. We now offer it online for our customers. (UPDATE: We have found an even better, softer and more skin friendly single ingredient called Decyl Glucoside–and we love it! We will be offering it in our collection very soon. We still use the Laurel Glucoside for making our own laundry detergent, bathroom cleansers, dishwashing, etc.)
I have already experimented with a couple of my own shampoo recipes, and I am sharing them now for you to experiment with too.
Natural Sudsing Shampoo Recipe
1/4 cup Shampoo Base (laurel glucoside) (we now suggest Decyl Glucoside)
If you need extra conditioning, add 1/2 teaspoon protein powder. You can experiment with using soy protein powder, dried whey powder, hemp powder, etc. Any type of protein powder is a candidate for nourishing and conditioning the hair.
If you want to add essential oils for therapeutic reasons or for scenting, add just a few drops to see how the formula handles it. Every oil addition will affect the sudsing quality of the base. You must find the balance between oils for conditioning and detergent (shampoo base) for sudsing.
Essential Oils for Hair Loss
If you are experiencing hair loss, you may want to try these essential oils or a combination of several. These are the most recommended oils for restoring hair and stimulating the scalp.
This is my favorite recipe for skin lotion. It is a bit lighter than salves and some of the other lotions that use beeswax to emulsify the fat with water. And the Aloe has a wonderful tightening effect on skin, wonderful for skin that is flabbier aging, or for people who have recently lost weight and have excess skin.
It does create a bit of shine on your skin when applied. I often apply it at night before going to sleep, and allow it to work deep into my skin over night. I have been so happy with the results that I could not wait to share it with everyone.
This lotion is a little more challenging to make than the simple 4 ingredient salve, but it is definitely lighter than any salves made with oils and beeswax only.
Aloe Vera Skin Lotion Recipe
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon beeswax (chunk or shavings)
Place beeswax, almond oil, and seabuckthorn extract in a pint mason jar. Put the open jar into a saucepan. Fill the pan with water, up to 2 or 3 inches up the side of the jar.
Heat pan over low heat. Stir frequently with a plastic or wood spoon or fork. Do not leave utensil in the wax & oil mix, remove each time after stirring.
When the beeswax has completely melted, turn off the heat and remove the jar from the saucepan. Place it on a trivet or hot pad to cool.
If you want to add optional essential oils, now is the time to add them and stir them in well. About 15 drops total is a good amount to add.
Allow mix (also called fat phase), to cool to room temperature. It should just begin to harden sightly around the edges. This will insure that it emulsifies correctly.
You can use a fork, whip, or an immersion blender for this step. Start blending vigorously, and add aloe vera gradually, just a little at a time. Stir after each addition until fully incorporated, then add more and repeat.
Wipe the jar sides down with a spatula and re-blend a couple of times after the mix is fully incorporated.
This Aloe Vera Skin Lotion recipe will store in a glass jar for up to 6 weeks. You may extend the shelf life of this product by adding essential oils.