Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Need a facial? Don't spend any money; just open your pantry!

I've been trying out beauty product recipes that I've found online and have come up with some basic guidelines:

  • Olive oil is a fantastic skin and hair moisturizer. Yes, it will make you smell like an Italian restaurant, but you can use it at night and wash the smell out in the morning.
  • Regular granulated sugar makes a fabulous exfoliant. Simply add it to your face or body cleanser for a very effective scrub. Salt works, too, but I prefer sugar because salt will sting if it gets into an open wound or is rubbed over dry, delicate skin.
  • A handful of oatmeal, mixed with just enough water to make a thick paste, makes a wonderfully gentle exfoliating scrub.
  • Honey has anti-microbial properties, so it works great as a masque to avoid getting pimples, especially after a good exfoliation.
  • To scent your oil-based beauty products, just buy a little bottle of an essential oil that you like and add one drop at a time. Be careful, though. A tiny bit goes a long way and too much can severely irritate your skin.
  • Many oils also have anti-microbial properties, making them good for acne-prevention, too.
  • Coffee grounds mixed with oil or chocolate syrup makes a lovely-smelling, very coarse scrub. It's great for waking up in the morning, but is probably too coarse for sensitive or delicate skin. Not good for facial skin!
...and some things to be careful of:
  • Petroleum jelly (Vaseline®) may seem like a great base for a scrub or skin masque, but it can dehydrate delicate skin, so I wouldn't recommend it, unless you're making lip products.
  • Do an allergen test on a small patch of skin several hours before you use anything new. You don't want to spread something all over your face, only to find out it gives you hives!
  • Keep all of this stuff - especially the essential oils - away from your eyes. If it accidentally gets into your eyes, call your doctor immediately for instructions.

I've started using my own facial scrub a couple of times a week, consisting of 2 tbsp of granulated sugar, enough olive oil to saturate and cover the sugar, one drop of lavender oil and one drop of clove oil. I get dry patches on my face and this really seems to help, without causing acne like the store-bought deep moisturizers can. I've just had to try them out to see what works for me. Let us know what works for you! :-)

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