Welcome to our newest series. In “Friday Favorites,” our team will share a handful of favorite items. These can range from clothes to beauty products to recipes to books and anything in between.
Swapping store bought beauty products for natural products not only saves on plastic – it is also way cheaper and better for your skin! You know exactly what you are putting on it by making it yourself.
I have never been one of those women who spends a load of money on beauty products, though I have friends who do. If I am being brutally honest, I find the whole beautifying process so mind-numbingly boring. I don’t enjoy epilating my legs or plucking my eyebrows; my feet are a constant source of horror; feeling sticky or slippery with cream or oils irritates me. Generally I try and take the quickest short cut as humanly possible.
But the pandemic world changed me a bit. I know that sounds absurd when I see hundreds of memes and GIFs of people being in their pyjamas for days on end with no bra in sight. The irony hasn’t passed me by.
Over the years, I have swapped out store bought products for homemade and natural ones. Don’t get me wrong, I still use cream for my laughter lines and in the summer, I still gravitate toward products that insist they banish cellulite. You know…just in case they actually do what it says on the tin!
Yogurt and Honey Face Mask
One of my most vivid memories as a teenager was coming back from boarding school for the holidays and my Mum presenting this natural face mask one morning. We never used to go get our nails or hair done together or go to the spa, so I suppose it was a lovely surprise having an unexpected little pamper session together. The first face mask below was the one she made, and I now make it for my own daughters.
Yogurt has lactic acid in it that will gently remove dead skin from your face which will brighten your complexion. If you buy a probiotic yogurt then this will further aid healing any blemishes. The addition of honey has both anti-microbial properties and is rich in antioxidants. Using honey for beauty and health is steeped in rich history. It was used regularly by the Ancient Egyptians for medicinal purposes.
Yogurt, Oat and Honey
Oats – ground
Instructions: Grind up your oats into a powder (optional, but will make application easier), mix a couple of tablespoons of yogurt in with the oat powder. With a warm spoon, add a couple of teaspoons of honey in and mix until combined.
Tip: Before you put on any face mask, boil the kettle and fill a bowl with boiling water. Place your head above it as the steam rises (watching not to burn yourself) and cover your head with a towel. The steam will help with opening your pours, which will then be in the perfect state to apply your face mask.
Lemon and Honey Face Mask
Again, use the tip above. Here is another recipe!
Lemon and Honey
Instructions: Mix lemon juice with some honey and gently rub into your face. They are a powerful combination of ingredients. The lemon being filled with Vitamin C and will remove dead skin cells and help clear blackheads, acne and any dark spots. Meanwhile the honey, as mentioned above, is an antioxidant and an antibacterial.
Rose Water Toner
I have used rose water as a toner on my face for as long as I can remember, to the point that when my husband smells it, it reminds him of me. I apply it in the mornings after I have washed my face and in the evenings before I get into bed. It is extremely soothing on the skin. Rose is very nourishing and hydrating on the skin, so is great for drier skin types. It’s also said to hold anti-aging properties so what is not to love! Most Mediterranean stores will sell glass bottles of rose water.
Coffee Body Scrub
First up make your coffee and drink it! You can use the grounds for this easy body scrub.
½ cup Coffee grounds
½ Brown Sugar
½ cup Coconut oil
Instructions: Use your coffee grounds and mix with the sugar. Melt your coconut oil and mix that in. Now you can use it as a body scrub. Coffee makes a wonderful scrub, especially if you are looking for a natural cellulite banisher. It is widely known that caffeine has a tightening effect and matched with the sugar, it will further exfoliate and remove your dead skin cells and leave behind lovely smooth skin.
Tea Bags for Eye Brightening
Applying cool tea bags to your eyes when they are puffy or have dark circles is an affordable method to try. It is said that for the best results, try to use tea bags that are high in caffeine and tannins. Simply boil the kettle and cover them. Leave them to steep, squeeze the water out of them, and place in the fridge. When they are cold enough, place them on your closed eyes for 10-15 minutes. You should see an immediate difference!
Coconut Oil Hair Mask
I use coconut oil regularly on my hair as I have a lot of thick hair and it quickly gets absorbed. I use it to tame frizz, but my favourite way to use it is as a mask before bed the night before hair wash day. I’ll do it about once a month when my hair is looking sorry for itself.
Simply warm up the oil in your hands if it is hard (it will firm up if it is not heated). Work it through your hair from roots to ends. When it is worked the whole way through, wrap your hair up with a warm towel in a turban for 10 minutes. Before you go to sleep, place a towel over your pillowcases so not to ruin them and sleep with it on your hair. In the morning, wash it all out and feel how silky smooth your hair will be. Make sure to wash it all out though, otherwise it will go greasy. This may take up to two to three washes.