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I am 31 years old, and just barely starting to think about how my skin and face will age. I am only now beginning to realize the damage that I did to my skin as a teenager and in my early 20's, and wishing I had used more sense. As we age, our collagen production starts to slow down, causing wrinkles and fine lines, but not only that, all of the cumulative damage we've done over the years, including sun damage, smoke, and harsh chemical products, can speed up the process and make it worse. It's not too late for some of us, using vitamin C, we can help to slow down the aging process and in many cases reverse some of the damage we've done to our skin!
30 Days of #GorgeousforGood by Sophie Uliano
Last month I was contacted by one of the coolest green beauty ladies I know, New York Times best-selling author and Hallmark Channel host, Sophie Uliano, to help her promote her new book, “Gorgeous for Good”. A “skin to soul” program that covers everything from healthy nutrition, natural skincare, and beauty, to exercise and meditation. This 30-day program is meant to detox your body from head to toe, bringing out your natural beauty and keeping it, as you age gracefully. (Tomorrow I will share with you more on my own journey as I am going through the program myself.) While reading her very inspiring and informative book, she reminded me of an important part of the facial routine, that I have not covered yet, vitamin C and skincare. While reading about the many benefits of vitamin C and skincare, I couldn't help but devise a recipe for a vitamin C serum you could make instead. Why shell out hundreds of dollars for a product you can easily make in your own home for much cheaper?
The powerhouse antioxidant that reverses damage and destroys wrinkles
Few ingredients in skin care have as much solid evidence as to their effectiveness, as Vitamin C. Proven to enhance collagen production, reduce the appearance of wrinkles, and tighten the skin, this powerful antioxidant is effective at healing sun damage & discoloration while inhibiting future damage caused by UV exposure. Applying vitamin C to your skin is 20 times more effective for your skin, than taking it internally. According to Sophie Uliano (Gorgeous for Good, 2015), vitamin C is a definite must because it:
- Protects your skin from UV damage
- Strengthens your skin's barrier response
- Reduces inflammation
- Builds collagen
- Lessens hyperpigmentation and sunspots
- Boosts efficacy of sunscreen actives
Hibiscus – the natural “botox plant” for younger looking skin
Known to many as the “botox plant”, hibiscus is rich in Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHA's or Vitamin-C). These acids can gently exfoliate your skin while also encouraging the replacement of dead and dull skin cells, with new ones. Hibiscus also has anti-aging properties capable of soothing, smoothing, and firming the skin. These AHA's not only increase moisture but they also improve flexibility and elasticity (the reason so many people call hibiscus the “botox plant”!) to the skin. Hibiscus also contains a large amount of antioxidants called, “anthocyanocides.” These antioxidants both protect the skin from free radical damage as well as have natural astringent properties. With antioxidants similar to those found in bilberry, cranberry, and red wine, it's no wonder hibiscus is used in so many anti-aging, moisturizing, and beautifying products.
DIY Hi-C Facial Serum
You could easily omit the hibiscus from this recipe if you don't have it on hand, but it really gives this recipe the “Hi” boost that your face is looking for! I prefer to use natural vitamin C powder because the whole foods source of berries that are used for my favorite natural Vitamin C powder, also have some other REALLY AMAZING anti-aging properties that are being hailed around the world at the moment. If using synthetic Vitamin C powder, do not increase the amount of powder as this can be too acidic for your skin. If you have sensitive skin and it feels like it's burning, you can dilute it with more aloe vera gel, to your liking! I personally find no stinging with the natural vitamin C powder.
- 1/4 cup aloe vera gel
- 1/2 Tbsp. dried Hibiscus flowers (or 1 Tbsp. fresh hibiscus petals)
- 2 tsp. natural vitamin c powder
- 1/4 tsp. vitamin E (optional – not only great in conjunction with vitamin C for skin care, also helps to keep the vitamin C from oxidizing as fast.)
- In your food processor or blender (it might be easier to double or quadruple this recipe if using a full-size blender) combine aloe vera gel and dried hibiscus. Pulse 5-10 times (until a nice pink color from the hibiscus) and let sit for 30 minutes, to cold steep.
- In a mesh or cloth strainer, strain hibiscus from aloe gel, squeezing all of the aloe out. I strained mine twice to be sure there were no hibiscus granules left in the aloe.
- Slowly stir the natural vitamin c powder (this is the powder that I love to use!) into the hibiscus aloe gel until totally dissolved. I like to sprinkle it as I stir, to avoid clumping.
- Store in a dark bottle (to keep the light out), in the fridge for up to 4 weeks. It is important to follow these instructions because Vitamin C breaks down very easily in sunlight and starts as soon as the liquid is mixed with the powder. To keep the Vitamin C as long as possible, refrigeration and a dark bottle are both needed. You can slow the oxidation of the Vitamin C with a few drops of vitamin e mixed in!
TO USE: Use BEFORE your moisturizer. After cleansing and toning your face, apply 8-10 drops of Hi-C Facial Serum, smoothing over your face, neck, and decollete'. Allow to dry and follow with your moisturizer.
All information on The Hippy Homemaker is meant for educational and informational purposes only. The statements on this website have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Products and/or information are not intended to diagnose, cure, treat, or prevent any disease. Readers are advised to do their own research and make decisions in partnership with their health care provider. If you are pregnant, nursing, have a medical condition or are taking any medication, please consult your physician.