Archive for June, 2011

Dry Skin Relief

Author: Dr. Larita
June 9, 2011

Are you confused about whether to use an ointment, a lotion or a cream to relieve your dry skin? These terms describe the way skin care products are prepared. Ointments are prepared using oil and may stay on your skin longer but many people don’t like them because they are  greasy and don’t soak into the skin. Creams are less oily than ointments and can be made from natural products so they do soak into the skin easily. Lotions are water-based and get absorbed into the skin quickly, causing instant, but not long-lasting, relief. For longer-lasting relief, choose ointments or creams.

If you have dry or itchy skin, avoid using too much soap, antiperspirants,  hot baths or anything else that removes your natural oils. Skin dryness and itchiness is worse when the humidity is low and you should definitely avoid stress, too much exposure to the sun, and smoking or secondhand smoke.


Another name for shea butter is “women’s gold” because the job of  extracting the butter from shea nuts gives employment and income to many rural African village women. Shea butter is used in foods and cooking as well as soaps and beauty products because it is so safe and beneficial. It also contains natural ingredients that protect skin from the sun.

African women and healers have known about and used shea butter for thousands of years. Its properties are so amazing it is almost magical in its healing effects on burns, skin conditions, ulcerated skin, stretch marks, and dryness. The vegetable fats in shea butter promote cell regeneration and circulation making it a superb revitalizer for troubled or aging skin. I have been using it for years and no one believes me when I tell them how old I am.


Shea Butter?

Author: Dr. Larita
June 6, 2011

Shea butter is a yellowish or ivory colored natural fat that comes from the seed of the African shea tree. Extracting shea butter from the seed is a social activity for African women elders and young girls who crush and boil the seeds by hand.  Shea butter is used in Africa for cooking oil, as a water proofing wax, for hairdressing, for candle-making, and also as an ingredient of medicinal ointments.

The main industrial use of shea butter outside Africa is in cosmetics, such as moisturizer creams and emulsions, and in hair conditioners for dry and brittle hair. This versatile cream can be used to correct many skin conditions which we’ll discuss in a later post.


Blocked sebum become blackheads (medically known as a comedo or comedones) when the surface cells develop sulphides which, in turn contact  oxygen, causing  the cells to turn black. Blackheads are unsightly and can easily become infected. When you remove them and the opening just fills up again with more sebum; this condition is related to seborrhea, overproduction of the sebaceous glands. Even people with dry skin can develop blackheads, especially on the nose or chin but blackheads can develop practically anywhere on the body, as well as on the face. Wherever they develop, the treatment for blackheads is the same, they need to be removed.

To remove blackheads, get a bowl of steaming hot water with 2 tablespoons of cider vinegar added, put 1 drop of lavender essential oil on the water and cover your head with a towel, being sure to close off the sides too and steam your face for 10 minutes. Rinse the face with 1 teaspoon of cider vinegar mixed in a bowl of hot (but not boiling) water. If the blackheads are loose, squeeze gently taking care not to damage the skin. Then splash the face with a mixture of 2 ounces of mineral water, 2 teaspoons cider vinegar – I like Bragg‘s Natural Apple Cider brand, 1 teaspoon witch hazel, 2 drops each of bergamot and cypress essential oils.

After patting the skin dry, massage the following oils into the skin. This will help to prevent blackheads from coming back and also loosen the ones that are already there:

  • Lemongrass – 8 drops
  • Lavender – 5 drops
  • Clary-sage – 2 drops
  • Thyme – 5 drops
  • Jojoba oil – 5 drops

Use this massage mixture morning and night. When you wash your face, take care to use a pure natural soap. You can use eye makeup if you like but avoid face makeup and powder.


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