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Moisturise your body

By Denise Elliot

There are so many options out there for your body. But to really nourish your skin, mineral oil is not the ideal choice, especially while there are so many other goodies to choose from.

To help retain moisture and enhance your skin function you might want to consider the following:

Shea butter from the nut of the African Shea Tree (Vitellaria paradoxa), is known as the “ Tree of Life” because of the oil it produces for cooking, skin and hair care products. The tree nut looks like a plum. The flesh is peeled away and the kernel is washed, dried, roasted then kneaded and broken down into a semi-solid product. The Shea nut contains different fractions in the kernel which provide not only moisturising but also healing properties.

Thousands of years ago, Cleopatra, Queen of Egypt knew of its healing properties and caravans brought it to her to trade. Now it is exported worldwide for use in cosmetics and body and hair moisturising products.

Cocoa butter, which is also known as theobroma oil, is an edible fat extracted from the cocoa bean, grown throughout Central and South America. The bean is prepared by cleaning, roasting and pressing. It is an excellent hydrator and moisturiser of our skin and provides antioxidants that offer a mild anti-inflammatory action.

Coconut oil is the “in” natural product currently, with articles on ingesting it for Alzheimers through to cleaning your teeth. Coconut oil from the nut of the coconut palm provides a type of fat called medium chain triglycerides, including lauric acid, capric and caprylic acid. These may offer an anti-fungal and anti-bacterial action.

You only need to visit the Cook Islands and see the women with long luxurious hair and clear shining skin, which speaks for itself as they only use coconut oil.

There are many that believe in the positive quality of life changes with ingesting coconut oil and some believe that it may also help with mental clarity. However, you would be best advised to check with your health professional before using any dramatic dosing levels for internal use.

We all need to take care of our skin and allow it to age gracefully. A well moisturised skin, is a strong functioning skin. A dried out skin is more likely to break or tear, dramatically increasing the risk of infection. Broken or torn skin in advanced years can be extremely problematic as it takes so much longer to heal.