Fed up of shelling out for expensive lotions and potions? We unearth some cheap, easy and natural concoctions for boosting looks
Organic and all-natural beauty treatments made with real fruits and vegetables are sprouting up like weeds. But most serums, lotions and potions still contain extra ingredients (preservatives and dyes) that we could live without. We consulted Whole Foods’ Whole Body senior global co-ordinator Jeremiah McElwee to find out how to whip up our own beauty remedies, using food products from the supermarket.
These DIY concoctions are designed for dry, oily or normal skin types. The apple cider vinegar acts as a natural astringent; the olive oil helps remove dirt; the lactic acid in the yogurt helps remove dead skin cells; and the lemon juice tightens pores.
Dry Skin 1 cup plain yogurt 1/2 mashed banana or avocado 1/4 tsp apple cider vinegar 1 tsp olive oil
Oily Skin 1 cup plain yoghurt 1/2 tsp olive oil 1/4 tsp lemon juice
Normal Skin 1 cup plain yoghurt 1 tsp olive oil 1/4 tsp apple cider vinegar
Combine all ingredients (ideally with a pessel and mortar. Scoop out 1/4 cup and gently rub all over your face using a circular motion, for at least one minute. Rinse with cool (not cold) water. Pat skin dry with a soft cloth. Store unused cleanser in the refrigerator for up to seven days.
Skin scrubs and polishes
Scrubs exfoliate the skin, removing dull, dead cells. Sloughing off layers helps stimulate blood circulation, remove toxins, clean pores and reveal softer, glowing skin. It can also help prevent ingrown hairs.
Peppermint Sugar Scrub 2 cups brown sugar, packed 1/2 cup sea salt 1/2 cup sweet almond oil 1/2 cup apricot oil 10 drops peppermint essential oil 10 drops vanilla essential oil
Mix dry ingredients together and blend well. Add oils to the mixture and blend thoroughly. To use, stand in the shower or tub and gently rub a handful of the scrub into your skin in a circular motion. Start with your feet and work toward the heart. Do not use on face or delicate areas. Be careful since the oils can make your shower or tub slippery. Store in a tightly sealed container in the refrigerator and use within four to six weeks. You may safely exfoliate once or twice weekly. Sweet Body Polish 3/4 cup sea salt 3/4 cup brown sugar 1/4 cup grapeseed oil 3 drops rose geranium essential oil 10 drops vanilla essential oil 1 drop neroli essential oil
In a glass or stainless steel bowl, mix the sea salt and brown sugar, breaking apart any lumps. In a glass measuring cup, combine all four oils. Slowly add the oil to the dry mixture and combine well. Use more or less oil to achieve desired consistency. When ready to use, briskly rub onto skin, especially calves, knees, hands and elbows. Rinse off with warm water.
A note about scrubs
Cooling mint is a great addition to any scrub, as it increases blood flow and reduces muscle tension. Mint-infused vapours can also soothe the nasal passages and help alleviate allergies. Salt versus sugar Sea salt is coarser with more exfoliating power, while sugar is gentle and a better choice for more sensitive skin. Modify proportions to avoid irritating your skin.
How to use a scrub Using gentle pressure, rub in a circular motion upward, toward the heart. This will help stimulate lymphatic flow.
When to use a scrub:
For a more even colour application use before applying self-tanner, and before shaving or waxing to help prevent ingrown hairs. Online extra: Information on natural salves For each condition listed below, read about the natural ingredients that may help alleviate it.
Oily skin and visible pores Look for: Astringent ingredients to penetrate skin quickly and accelerate the healing of skin blemishes. Active ingredients: Witch hazel, jojoba oil, rosemary
Results: Skin looks refreshed without adding extra oils. Great under make-up
Recommended ingredients: Rose petals, witch hazel, citrus fruits, rosemary
Sun damage and signs of aging Look for: Natural antioxidants, which help protect and nourish, skin cells
Active ingredients: Vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin E
Results: Helps protect skin cells from the drying effects of the sun. Perfect for the UAE’s hot climate
Recommended ingredients: Lavender, acai and goji berries, blueberries, cucumber
Dry, stressed skin Look for: Natural plant oils containing nutrients such as vitamins A and E, and are readily absorbed
Active ingredients: Olive, almond, avocado, borage oils
Results: Improvement in moisture retention of the skin. Expect skin to look more glowing
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Barrow Feb 21, 2010 02:46 pm
Where in Dubai can i find witch hazel? Please provide the store name and location.
naela Abou Hantash Dec 18, 2008 05:56 am
Nimisha Kapil Dec 18, 2008 05:20 am
Thank You for sharing this wonderful piece of information. I am indeed fed up spending on expensive cosmetics which are of no good. Now that i have got hold of some herbal products, i will surely try it out.
Amy Dec 10, 2008 01:09 pm
All nice ideas, but who has time to make all of this stuff. Salt scrub sounds easy enough though, I might try that.