Saturday, April 30, 2011

How To: DIY Beauty Products

Image courtesy of Keeper of the Home, where there is a fantastic article on why and how you should be making your own beauty products.

It is rare these days that anything we buy is actually worth the money we pay for it, and while that’s what makes it special sometimes to splurge on something pretty or useful, it is always nice to be left with some spare change at the end of the day. I have long been a fan of do it yourself, home made beauty products for both financial and health reasons, and I thought I’d share my top ten favourite finds with you today. 

Oh praise to you the lord our Honey! Honey is packed with nutrients that are great for the skin when applied topically, and while very moisturising, is a fantastic treatment for blemishes as well.
It’s a very common misconception that oily skin needs to be ‘dried out’ and not moisturised, something which will actually exacerbate the problem far more as the dried skin becomes irritated, the sebum glands go crazy trying to rehydrate the skin and blemishes fail to heal over properly. The beauty of honey is that, while moisturising, it won’t leave any coating or heavy residue to make you worry about blocking pores or causing breakouts. 

It is important to try and use raw honey, the heating techniques used to process honey can wipe out a lot of the nutrients. Manuka honey, if you can get your hands on it, is particularly great for skin. To apply either simply dab the honey on singular spots and leave to work overnight, or spread on thinly as a facemask, leave for ten to twenty minutes and then remove with warm water. If you want to get really serious, while using the honey mask hold your face over steaming water for a few minutes to really allow the honey’s nutrients to sink into the pores. 

Egg Whites
Looking for the perfect face mask to leave you looking bright and perky before a big night out? Look no further than the egg carton in your fridge. 

Beaten egg whites spread on the face and left for ten to fifteen minutes will tighten the skin, toning and brightening for a picture perfect finished look. You really won’t use more than one white, so while it might be tempting to whip up a bowlful in the name of decadence, remember the thrifty element to this exercise. If you want, use the left over egg yolk as a conditioning mask for your hair. 

The very first piece of advice I would give anybody having difficulties with oily skin, blocked pores and acne is to steam, steam, steam! Steaming allows the pores to open, which in turn allows the other products you are using to work even better. Keep in mind that acne is not just a surface problem; the toxins rising out through your skin and the infections they cause start in the deep layers of your skin. Rectifying the problem will be made a much quicker process if you can have some access to the root problems, which is where steam comes in handy!

Steaming is incredibly simple. Firstly boil some water (if you’re worried about the steam being too hot, especially if your skin is sensitive or drier then don’t quite boil), pour it into a basin or bowl and place your face over the top. For bonus points cover your head and the bowl with a towel. I like to steam twice a week for three to five minutes if I can, and when I stick to this routine my skin is much much clearer, brighter and healthier looking. 

Perhaps my very favourite on the list is this scrub, the original recipe for which I found on Skye's Princess Portal (now The Lost Princess). It’s a sugar based scrub, and while I normally use white sugar, I have found that brown sugar creates a much softer scrub perhaps more suited to those with drier skin.

For the scrub simply combine a couple of tablespoons of sugar with one to two teaspoons of rosemary (I usually use dried, but fresh would of course be better!) and one clove of crushed garlic. I prefer to use the mince garlic you can buy in supermarkets in tubes for this, as it’s a little less intense and easier to work with. I find that fresh garlic can be a little burny on my face.
The garlic in this recipe is very antibacterial and so great if you’ve got any blemishes you’d like clearing up. Also, it just adds a nice cleansing property to the exfoliation of the sugar. The rosemary promotes circulation and leaves my skin glowing. 

The Oils

Olive Oil!!
Olive oil, you are my hero. Did you know that one of the best ways to clean away oil is with oil? In fact some oils, such as castor oil, can do such a good job that they actually dry out not very oily skin! In the past I have used olive oil simply as a cleanser, which involved massaging the oil onto my face and wiping off with a warm facewasher. I mainly use olive oil as a short mask after steaming, when it can seep right down into my pores and really moisturise.

I also love to use olive oil on my hair. I’ll usually use it at night time when I know I’ll be washing my hair the next morning. I apply it by simply putting a tiny amount on my hands and running it through my hair like any regular serum or conditioning cream. After a thorough wash out the next morning my hair feels incredibly soft. 

Jojoba Oil
There are people out there who swear by using jojoba and nothing else as a moisturiser and when I finish up with my current (and devastatingly discontinued) Lush face serum, this is the direction I’ll be heading in next. Jojoba is scientifically proven to be just about as close to the actual sebum our skin produces as you can get, and so is great for moisturising and toning the skin. 

I’ve found it pays with oils like jojoba to sometimes pay a slightly higher price for a higher market product. I’m not sure why or how, but there can definitely be a difference in essential oils depending on how much you fork out. 

Rosehip Oil
Rosehip oil is great for a multitude of skin ailments, from dry patches to uneven colouring to eczema and other inflammatory issues. Apply rosehip oil to the areas you think need attention and watch it work its soothing magic. 

Tea Tree Oil
Searching for a spot cure to curb the mess that all the Easter chocolate is going to make on your face? You need not pay loads, all you simply need is to buy a bottle of tea tree oil. Tea tree is usually the main ingredient in any spot treatment anyway, so why not go straight to the source and get all of the tea tree benefits undiluted and free from preservatives and toxins? Dab tea tree onto any spots, cuts or scrapes as antiseptic healer. 

Peppermint Oil
I’m currently big into using peppermint oil as my ‘cure all’ for mild ailments. This week I’ve added a few drops to some steamy water to create a breathable (and much better for you) cough lozenge and nasal decongestant. Also, one tiny drop massaged onto the temples will cure a headache perhaps bought on by stressed out, over tight muscles and make you smell like a candy cane. 

Sleep, water, diet, lemons, green tea
We end on that tired old note, that while given time and again, it seems everyone just wants to ignore. The best way to look amazing on the outside is to treat your body amazingly both inside and out, which includes getting plenty of sleep and rest, curbing stress, drinking as much water as you possibly can (I’m still a huge believer in adding lemon juice) and watching your diet for an overload of sugar and icky preservatives. I have also found that drinking green tea has done absolute wonders for my skin.

So there you have it, my list of easy at home beauty tricks that will hopefully have you feeling and looking bright and beautiful. If you’re looking to really blow out, my favourite combination of these is beginning with a steamy face steam, then massaging olive oil into my skin (you can add some to you hair here too), followed by an invigorating sugar scrub and finished off with a honey mask, cup of tea and bed time.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...