Get back to nature with great beauty products from your kitchen
By P. A. Shenberger
Some of the best beauty products don't require a stop at the cosmetics counter or a trip down the drugstore aisle. Indeed, you don't have to look any further than your kitchen or your own backyard for some of nature's finest ingredients. We've compiled recipes for simple, yet effective, moisturizers, face masks and cleansers that you can make at home.
But before you take the plunge, remember that we each react differently to even the most natural of ingredients. To avoid a possible allergic reaction, perform a skin test before you use your new creations. Apply a small amount on the inside of your arm, and wait 24 hours to see if a reaction occurs. If you do get an allergic reaction, discontinue use immediately.
So take time out to pamper yourself this Spring by stirring up some concoctions, relaxing with a face mask or luxurious shampoo treatment, and letting nature take its course.
Brewer's Yeast Face Mask
Yeast is rich in B complex vitamins, which have been shown to improve blood circulation. Mix two teaspoons brewer's yeast with a few teaspoons of water to form a soft paste. Smooth the mixture over your face, avoiding your eye area. Allow to dry, then rinse with tepid water and pat your face gently to dry. Use once or twice a week.
Rich in Vitamins A and B, peaches also have a high water content, which adds extra moisture to your skin.
Blend a peeled ripe peach into one cup of heavy whipping cream to make a soft mixture. Rub into your skin daily. Store the mixture in refrigerator and discard after a week.
Papaya Skin Peel
Papayas contain protein, as well as an enzyme that helps to promote flaking of dead skin.
Smooth the pulp of a fresh papaya over your face. Let sit five minutes, then wipe off with a damp washcloth. Follow with cool water patted gently onto your skin to close your pores. Use no more than once each week. Because papaya is a natural drying agent, if you use it too often, your skin may become too dry.
Mint & Ice Face Freshener
Mint has is both stimulating and soothing. After a long day, blend a few sprigs of mint into a cup of finely crushed ice. Smooth across your face for a fast pick-me-up. Use a towel to pat your face dry.
Rum & Egg Shampoo
Eggs contain nature's most perfect protein, and they're loaded with Vitamin D, minerals and iron. This shampoo is great for oily hair.
Mix three well-beaten eggs with 3/4-cup rum and 3/4-cup water. Massage the mixture into your scalp and hair. Rinse with vinegar if your natural hair color is dark, or with the juice of a lemon if you're fair-haired.
Lemon - Orange Acne Buster
Both lemons and oranges have a high acid content, making them natural drying agents. The acidity helps to remove the extra oil from your pores.
In a blender, finely puree 1/2-cup lemon peel, 1/2-cup orange peel and one cup plain yogurt. Smooth the paste over your acne-prone areas. Leave it on for 15 minutes, then follow with a cool water rinse.
Pear Eye De-Puffer
Soak cotton pads or balls in 1/3-cup ice-cold milk, and apply as compresses to your eye area. Repeat until puffiness subsides. Follow with two slices of peeled pear placed over each eyelid for ten minutes.
Honey Lip Balm
Oatmeal is a natural abrasive. When combined with milk and honey, it creates a safe, yet gentle balm.
Mix 1/4-teaspoon honey, two teaspoons milk and 1/2-teaspoon dry oatmeal until a paste forms. Massage the mixture into your lips and wait five minutes. Rinse your lips with warm water. Any dead skin will flake off and your lips will feel smooth.
Avocado Cuticle Cream
Avocados have a high fat content, and when combined with oil, they transform into a rich natural cream.
Mash 1/4 of an avocado and mix with one teaspoon olive oil. Massage into your cuticles and wait 20 minutes. Rinse off with warm water.
The egg protein mayonnaise creates a rich conditioning agent.
After shampooing, thoroughly massage 1/2-cup mayonnaise into your hair. Wait a half-hour, then rinse with warm water.
Yogurt for Dandruff Control
An hour before shampooing, work a liberal amount of plain yogurt into your hair. Then shampoo and rinse thoroughly.
Herbs have been used as beauty aids for centuries. When combined with other ingredients or mixed into water, the herbs release their essence.Adding herbs to your bath water provides a soothing and fragrant alternative to showers.
Tie herbs in a muslin or cheesecloth bag. Let the bag hang from the water faucet while you fill the tub.
Added to your bath water, oatmeal - natural abrasive - softens and moisturizes your skin, providing a soothing, non-irritating soak. Toss in a handful of oatmeal, lay back and relax. (Be careful upon entering and exiting the tub, as the oatmeal may make the surface of your tub slippery.)
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