|Honey: Yummy and Good for Skin|
After the jump, see my top five homemade beauty picks!
Facial Exfoliants: there's this myth out there that harsh exfoliants are actually GOOD for your skin. They really really aren't. Facial skin is delicate and needs lots of love and TLC so scrubbing it with apricot pits or sand or other harsh products is no good. There's also a debate as to exfoliation's necessity (and health) but if you enjoy the feeling as much as I do, it can be hard to NOT indulge ;) I love the Zia Skin Basics Bamboo Exfoliant and the Weleda Birch Body Scrub for their gentleness, naturalness, and the great results I get. They are both pretty pricey, however. I go homemade these days. For my face, I either mix sugar or cornmeal with honey, lemon juice, and cinnamon. Honey is moisturizing and naturally antibacterial, cinnamon is anti-inflammatory, and lemon juice is brightening and tightening. Use gently. Don't scrub or scrape. Massage. Be sure to wash your face and moisturize too -this is not a cleanser.
Body Exfoliants: For a good hand and foot scrub, try salt and olive oil. Combine the two to make a thick paste and massage all over your feet. Your hands get in on the action too. I like to moisturize afterwards since my feet and hands are pretty dry. You might not need to. For the rest of me, I just use a loofah and some natural soap.
Hair Treatments: I like to swim, but my hair doesn't. When it gets too dry and crackly (eeew) I do a nice leave-in conditioner treatment. I rub gobs of coconut oil through my hair, focusing on the roots, until it's saturated. I then tie it up in a loose ponytail and wait for a couple of hours. Some people say to wait overnight, but an hour or two is enough for me. Afterwards I jump in the shower and shampoo twice very thoroughly. My hair returns to it's naturally soft and smooth and shiny and healthy state.
Moisturizers: coconut oil was my go-to winter body moisturizer. I used it from my face (including my lips) to my toes. Just the smell is an issue. My skin does not seem to absorb oils very well, even right out of the shower. For that reason, and the richness, I can't use it regularly in the summer. It is extremely soothing on a sunburn or on chapped skin, so I keep a container on hand for that or DIY hair treatments. There's a bunch of blogs out there (understandably) singing them praises of coconut oil. It can be used 1000 different ways from cooking and baking to beauty and internal/external medicinal uses. Check it out!
Hair Removal: I usually shave, but when it's just too much trouble (or I'm going away and don't want to pack my razor) I wax with sugaring paste. I've used this tutorial for literally years. It is gentle, cheap, effective, and very simple to make. Just make sure that you wash whatever you're going to wax both before and after the treatment. Afterwards put some vinegar or lemon juice on the area and moisturize thoroughly.