Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Mercredi: The Art of Beauty

These days we hear a lot about the correction of a skin condition known as rosacea.  This disease causes red patches on the face that tend to follow a “butterfly” pattern covering the nose and both cheeks, although chin and forehead can also be affected.  The redness can very from bright prink to crimson.  Of course exertion increases the effect as do some foods and alcohol, particularly red wines, dark beers or ales and hard liquor.  Unfortunately, the problem is often a source of embarrassment for those afflicted

Our modern obsession with reducing redness is particularly amusing in my view as the classic pattern of rosacea used to be a sign of youth and vigorous health.  When did you ever see a Fragonard or Boilly painting whose buxom heroine had not a spot of red on her face?  All the same it seems that skin now should be a blank canvas that is only made to “blush” with the help of manufactured powders and creams.

Most people treat rosacea over-the-counter but the products, even without a prescription, can be cost prohibitive.  As a sufferer myself, I generally eschew the drugstore cure in favor of a calming mask that features, of all things, potatoes.  Raw potatoes actually have both a calming and anti-inflammatory property when used on skin.  While cucumbers are the vegetable of choice at spas and in commercials to relieve puffiness around the eyes, slices of plain old potato work better and faster.  Elizabeth Taylor allegedly relaxed for five minutes every morning with potato slices over her eyes.

You will also need pure clay, which is an excellent skin softener and deep cleanser.  This can easily be found on beauty supply sites around the web.  My favorite is Living Clay Company who sells clay powder and does not test on animals.  Keep in mind that pure clay does not have preservatives in it, so you should make only enough of this mask for one treatment and remake a new batch every two weeks or so.

¼ cup pure clay
1 tbsp potato very thinly grated
1/8 tsp powdered marjoram
4 drops tea tree oil

Mix the clay as per the directions with a small amount of water to form a paste.  When you are satisfied with the texture, add the other three ingredients and mix thoroughly.  The mixture should be quite stiff but feel free to add a little more water if it becomes too thick.

Keeping very clear of eyes and lips, rub the mask over your entire face.  Relax for ten to fifteen minutes and then remove with a cloth soaked in warm water followed by a thorough rinse.  Complete the treatment with your favorite moisturizer.  A votre sant√© ~

Header: The Swing by Jean Honore Fragonard c 1767


Timmy! said...

If it was good enough for Liz...

Pauline said...

I have to agree. Something was working there.