Feature

Skin spring clean

G Magazine

After the dry, sluggish months of winter, give your skin the detox it needs, working from the inside out for glowing results.

Skin spring

Credit: iStockphoto

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As you shake off those cold weather cobwebs and pack away the winter woollens, it's time to give your skin a spring clean. A radiant glow is the ultimate accessory for the warmer months. Here's how to look and feel your best, inside and out.

On the outside

A lean skin care routine rich in natural and organic ingredients will help your skin make the seasonal transition with ease. A gentle cleanser (see our recipe) and a light moisturiser will do the trick.
■ Our skin generally becomes much oilier in the warmer weather, requiring products with less oil and more water. Rather than disposing of your heavier winter facial moisturiser, simply dispense a little cream onto the palm of your hand and add some water to create a light lotion.
■ Exfoliating on a weekly basis in spring helps to remove the build-up of dead skin cells that have ccumulated over the stagnant winter months, and also promotes skin hydration and cell renewal. Rubbing papaya flesh on your face regularly is very beneficial. Not only does it infuse many skin-loving nutrients into the skin, but it also contains an enzyme that helps break down dead cells.
■ Dry body brushing is very effective for kickstarting the lymphatic system and facilitating the removal of toxins from the body. This helps with smoothing out skin on the body – especially around the thighs and buttocks.
A simple body scrub made of ½ cup rice bran oil and 1 cup of medium granule sugar or salt can also help to slough off the results of those tasty winter pies on your cushiony bits.

On the inside

While topical skin care is important, an internal cleanse through good nutrition and drinking plenty of water is just as critical in getting that healthy glow. (It’s also a wiser investment than acquiring an arsenal of expensive skin care products with dubious anti-ageing claims.) You don’t have to go to extremes to see the benefits of a detox. Try this simple plan:
■ Switch from the heavy foods that we sway towards in winter to a lighter diet. Opt for young spring plants such as peas, broccoli, beans and asparagus, leafy greens, sweet pungent vegies such as daikon, sprouts, cereal grasses and herbs including basil, fennel, rosemary and marjoram.
■ Hoe into sweet, starchy beets and carrots and up your intake of grains such as quinoa, barley, oats, spelt and brown rice as they contain plenty of water-soluble fibre, which aids the detoxification process.
■ At the beginning of spring, it’s still too chilly for raw vegetables, so lightly steamed vegetables are preferable. Lighten your diet gradually over three to four weeks.
■ Avoid alcohol along with all refined, processed and sugar-laden foods.
■ On waking, drink some lemon juice squeezed into water to cleanse your system and improve digestion. Replace coffee and black tea with dandelion tea. It tastes lovely, especially with a dash of honey, and is very detoxifying for the body and, of course, the skin!

Herb & honey exfoliating facial cleanser:

A brilliant skin purifier that can be used every day or whenever you feel your skin needs it. Kept in the fridge,
it should last up to two weeks.
 
4 tablespoons fine oatmeal
2 tablespoons runny honey
3 teaspoons distilled witch hazel
2 teaspoons dried and finely ground herbs and flowers (sage, fennel peppermint, rosemary, lavender, chamomile, hops)
 
Mix all ingredients to form a paste. Do a patch test on your arm before applying to the face. If using as an exfoliant, rub paste onto dampened face and rinse off. Or leave on as a mask for 10 min before rinsing off.