As I become more aware of the kinds of harsh chemicals and mystery ingredients in today’s food and beauty products I’m turning into a modern day kitchen magician, whipping up concoctions at home and road testing on semi-willing family members. In the skin and hair department I’ve created my own deep conditioners, face masks and facial scrubs with varying degrees of success. I have no desire to become the next Carol’s Daughter (and she can relax, because it’ll never happen) but the idea that Propylene Glycol, which is used in brake fluid, is also used in my face cream, creeps me out. So, here are five quick, easy, all-natural (brake fluid free) beauty treatments you can make at home.
1. Honey & Oatmeal Mask – The benefits of oatmeal have been touted for years, but did you know that it also makes for a great facial? Best applied at night, this oatmeal and honey mask is safe for almost all skin types. Mix ½ cup fast cooking oatmeal and ½ cup water and cook. Let the oatmeal cool about 5-7 minutes, then add ¼ cup honey. Mix well into a paste. Apply this ‘mask’ to cleansed skin, and let dry. Rinse after about 15 minutes. I found this recipe at Diva Village, click here for more great info from their site.
2. Coffee anyone? – When you’re done with your morning cup of Joe, don’t dump those coffee grounds, use them to exfoliate. Mix 1/4 cup used coffee grounds and one egg white. Massage onto face, let it dry and then rinse with warm water. Caffeinated coffee grounds can also be used to help relieve cellulite and remove common kitchen odors. Check out additional uses and recipes here.
3. To lighten dark circles under eyes wrap a grated raw potato in cheesecloth and apply to eyelids for 15-20 minutes. Wipe off residue and apply an eye cream (see #5). For more homemade beauty recipes, visit healthrecipes.com.
4. Banana & Yogurt, and no, it’s not a smoothie! – For all you naturally curly/kinky ladies, the combination of banana, yogurt and coconut cream results in a treatment that adds much needed moisture and softness to overstressed tresses. I found a pretty good recipe at A Girl Can Mac, and great discussion threads at Naturallycurly.com. Check out the conversation and tweak the recipe for your specific needs.
5. Vitamin E – A friend,who looks ten years younger than she is, attributes her radiant skin to good genes and Vitamin E. She buys natural Vitamin E oil at her local health food store, or when time or budget doesn’t permit, buys vitamin E capsules, breaks them and applies the oil directly to her face. When I do it consistently I find that my skin is smoother, softer and more moisturized, particularly in the winter months.
As with all products – homemade or not – everyone’s experience will be a bit different. Be mindful of allergies (citrus oils make me look like Will Smith pre-Benadryl in Hitch), and experiment with the recipes and ingredients until you find the combination that’s right for you. If you’ve got any tried and true natural beauty recipes that work for you, share them with the WAF community in the comment section or on our Facebook fan page.