Natural beauty expert Hayley Mac divulges her at-home remedies. Her golden rule? If you won’t put it in your mouth, don’t put it on your skin
Most really expensive beauty potions boast about their natural ingredients but keep quiet about the preservatives and alcohols they contain (which often include nasty-sounding parabens, sodium lauryl sulfate and propylene glycol). Dubai-based natural beauty expert Hayley Mac, the entrepreneur behind organic lifestyle brand Be Super Natural, explains the importance of organic beauty. ‘I firmly believe that if you won’t eat it, you shouldn’t put it on your skin. Why? Well, skin is your largest organ of elimination (detox), therefore it’s also your largest organ of assimilation (absorption), so anything that goes on your skin will make its way into your bloodstream.’
Would we drink petroleum jelly tea? Er – no. Would we drink papaya juice? Yes. That’s the philosophy behind Hayley’s approach, as demonstrated by these at-home remedies. The best bit? While scrubbing and buffing, you’re encouraged to open wide and lick your lips, because the ingredients will have many of the same effects when eaten. Yum!
The skin feeder Time taken: 40 minutes Ingredients: One avocado; two tablespoons of freshly squeezed orange juice; one tablespoon of coconut, hemp, grape seed or olive oil (optional) Directions: Blend the ingredients together and apply to face and neck (you may want to stand over the sink when you do this). Leave for 20 to 30 minutes, then rinse with warm, filtered water. Results: Beautifully toned and moisturised skin. Avocado is full of healthy fats and has been used topically on the skin for centuries (it can even be used to treat the irritation caused by eczema). Orange is also a natural toner, exfoliant and powerful antioxidant.
The clarifier Time taken: 10 minutes Ingredients: A ripe organic papaya Directions: Chop up the papaya and rub it into your skin – if the papaya
is not ripe and soft enough, avoid the area around your eyes and lips, as the enzymes can burn. Leave for 10 minutes, then rinse. Results: Papaya contains an enzyme called papain, which exfoliates the skin and removes oil and dirt.
The protector Time taken: 10 minutes every day Ingredients: A jar of organic,
cold-pressed coconut oil (try the raw Coconut Oil, Dhs30 at Neal’s Yard at Wafi, 04 324 5141) Directions: Rub it everywhere, from your feet to your face. You can use it to repair damaged hair, and can even rub it on your gums and lips. Results: Coconut oil contains
anti-viral lauric acid and is also anti-bacterial, and therefore especially useful for acne-prone skin. We tend to wash away our skin’s own protective oils with most beauty products, but coconut oil will help them prosper. It will also keep connective tissue strong and help maintain that suntan.
The oil eliminator Time taken: 30 minutes Ingredients: Organic cucumber Directions: Grate the cucumber and place it on your skin (you’ll obviously need to lie down to do this) and just relax for around
30 minutes – it can be less if you’re short on time. You can also juice fresh cucumbers and use the juice as a natural toner. Results: Removes excess oils and tones the skin without being as harsh or drying as most store bought toners.
The natural deodorant Time taken: A few minutes Ingredients: One organic mango Directions: Peel the mango, get in the shower and rub it all over you body (use it in place of soap or shower gel). Results: Mango contains selenium, vitamin E and vitamin A and produces betacarotene. This fantastic fruit is like nature’s internal deodorant: it contains antioxidants that eliminate odour-causing bacteria. Magic! (Warning: you may have to unblock your drain after this treatment).
The relaxant Time taken: A few minutes Ingredients: Rooibos teabags or tea Directions: Make yourself a cup of herbal Rooibos tea (the traditional South African drink is often called Redbush) and pop the teabags in the fridge; once chilled, place them on your eyes. Alternatively, you can use the chilled tea as a rinse. Results: This antioxidant-fuelled tea is full of magnesium and is great for relaxing and soothing sensitive skin. Say goodbye to puffy eyes.
All of these recipes can help to pep up your skin, but remember that covering yourself in mango won’t do much good if you’ve just devoured a quarter pounder with fries. If you’re serious about following a natural beauty regime, a good diet is the key ingredient. As Hayley points out, ‘beauty truly does come from within’. A cliché, maybe, but it’s true. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to join Hayley’s all-natural mailing list