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Natural skin health

By Jackie O'Neil

According to Prescription For Natural healing (Avery) by Phyllis and James F. Balch, the benefits of herbs have been widely known about for centuries. Historical records of Native American, Roman, Greek, Egyptian and Hebrew cultures indicate that herbs were commonly used to cure just about every illness.  With regard to phytomedicinals, Dr. Balch wrote: "Ancient cultures had no idea how herbs worked – they simply knew that certain plants produced certain desired results."

essential oils

For some time, there has been a fresh, new interest in the healing properties of herbs, and particularly in terms of skin and body care.  This is evident even in the mass marketed products one can find on any drugstore shelf.  One wonders about the quality of the herbs and ingredients used in the formulas, however.  

For this article, I interviewed Jennifer Urezzio of Blooming Grove to get clarity on the benefits of essential oils.  According to Dr. Balch,, essential oils are highly concentrated extracts derived from steam distillation or cold pressing of flowers, leaves, roots, berries etc.

Blooming Grove specializes in custom formulated facial scrubs and cleansers which contain essential oils. One anti-aging cleanser and mask contains sandalwood – an aid in cell regeneration.  The basic ingredients in the cleanser and scrub are oatmeal, lavender, and peppermint (in cases of oily skin).  The essential oil of lavender is popular in aromatherapy and is know to relieve stress, depression and also is beneficial to the skin. Lavender is known to relax the facial muscles as well, thereby removing any tenseness in the face that adds to the development of lines.

Blooming Grove's products are cost-effective and beneficial, but if you want a Do-it-yourself option using ingredients you may already have on hand, I suggest the following preparations:

  • Fresh strawberries may be crushed and applied to the face between layers of gauze for a stimulating mask.  Bananas may also be sliced or crushed and applied to the face. They are rich in vitamins and potassium, calcium and leave the skin with a smooth, soft texture.
  • Avocados may be crushed and applied to the face. They are rich in essential oils and vitamins.  This type of mask is beneficial to dry or sensitive skin
  • Honey can be used for a toning and hydrating effect.
  • Thinly sliced or grated white potatoes can be used to ward off oily or blemished skin, but the slices must be applied between layers of gauze.

For more information, visit: 

Jackie O'Neal is a contributing writer for, learn more abut Jackie by visiting her blog 

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