“Mom, your dancing is weird, but I still think you’re pretty.”
Out of the mouths of babes, am I right? That’s what I heard from my little 4-year-old recently as I was fixing breakfast (and preparing my daily joe)
to the tune of Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker. She’s my diplomatic child. Always sweetening the facts of life. Apparently, my old high school show choir moves just aren’t cutting it anymore. (My oldest princess said something similar about my super cool moves last week: Upside Down and Sideways. What gives?)
But she still thinks I am pretty. Whew! Perhaps I’m doing something right…
I used to think I had sensitive skin. But once I became aware of all the chemicals that I was using on my skin (face wash, moisturizers, lotions, shampoo, conditioner, etc.), I realized that perhaps I was instigating my own skin problems.
After doing a little research, I found some super (and simple!) alternatives that were better for my skin than many expensive serums and potions and get this… infinitely cheaper! (And who isn’t trying save a buck these days?) Most of the ingredients can be found in my own kitchen at any given time and my skin has never looked or felt better (My Sadie agrees, so it must be true.)
Here are a few of the essentials in my beauty regimen:
Puffy Eye Potion
Drink 1 – 2 cups of coffee each day! (There is a method to my madness… and yes, I had to go there.)
Caffeine from coffee is considered to be a blood vessel constrictor. It reduces dark eye circles and puffy eyes. No joke. It’s also believed to aid in rosacea!
Gentle Facial Scrub
1/2 c. powdered goat’s milk (Available at most health food stores or online. I use the Meyenberg brand.)
1/2 c. baby oatmeal (I like to use organic.) or 1/2 c. oatmeal
If using regular oatmeal, process in a blender or food processor until very fine. I like to use the baby oatmeal because I can skip a step! Store in an airtight container (recycled glass jars are pretty and perfect!).
To cleanse face, sprinkle a small amount of powder into the palm of your hand and mix into a paste with warm water. Massage onto face and rinse.
Goat’s milk and the extra fat it contains is great for your skin. (Probably the only time you will ever hear that extra fat is a good thing.) Most powdered cow’s milk is fat-free so it is not as nourishing for your skin. This is a natural, gentle exfoliant and perfect moisturizer.
Apply 1 – 2 drops of honey onto a wet palm and massage onto face. Do not rinse. Pat dry.
I love the way this makes my skin glow! It’s not as bad as it sounds. If your fingers and palm are wet, your face will not be sticky. Honey helps fight aging and plumps up fine lines. Can’t argue with that!
Honey is also a great treatment for razor burn!
A baby food jar is perfect for storing the right amount in your bathroom.
Olive Oil Moisturizer & Eye Makeup Remover
Place 2 – 3 drops of extra-virgin, organic olive oil onto your palm. Rub palms together and pat face gently.
Don’t worry! You won’t feel greasy… if you do, use less the next time. I dip 2 fingers into the oil and gently massage into my fingers on both hands before patting onto my face.
Can be used as a rich cuticle oil and to moisturize hands, too!
Olive oil is also the perfect, natural way to remove eye makeup. Apply with a cotton ball. It’s that simple.
Olive oil is packed with nutrients that moisturize the skin without blocking pores and also fights premature aging.
A baby food jar is also a great way to store olive oil in your bathroom.
Baking Soda Exfoliator
To exfoliate the face, place a quarter-size amount of baking soda in the palm of your hand. Add just enough warm water to make a paste. Gently apply all over face and rinse. Use 1 – 2 times each week for a youthful glow.
1 c. olive oil or almond oil (Jojoba or grapeseed work well, too.)
1/2 c. sea or kosher salt (You can also use sugar, which is gentler for sensitive skin.)
5 – 15 drops of essential oils (I like lavendar & vanilla or peppermint & orange.)
Add salt or sugar first, then mix in the oil. The mixture should be moist enough to clump together, but not overly oily. Then add essential oils. Its fun to experiment with new combinations! Store in a plastic or glass jar. Use all over 1 – 2 times a week in the shower.
This scrub improves circulation and exfoliates, leaving skin soft and smooth.
Nourishing Hair Care
To shampoo and cleanse the hair:
Add about 1 tablespoon baking soda and stir mix in about 1 cup warm water. You can tweak the measurements to your own preference. Those with curly or thick hair might need a bit more baking soda. Fine, straight hair might need less.
Apply to wet hair, starting at the scalp and working throughout hair. After a few minutes, rinse.
Baking soda is very gentle, has a weak alkaline and clarifies without building up.
To condition and detangle:
Add 1 tablespoon to once cup water and mix well. Apply to hair focusing on the ends. Leave in for about a minute and rinse.
Apple cider vinegar detangles, seals the hair cuticles, and balances the the hair’s ph level.
I admit that I was not brave enough to try this for a long time, but once I did I was astonished at the results. This treatment is also great for color-treated hair. I have found that it keeps my highlights looking vibrant and fresh.
Give the Gift of Natural Beauty
When prettied up in an attractive container or jar, these recipes make fabulous gifts. I have given the scrubs and facial care many times for Christmas and birthdays! I like to make personalized labels or tags and embellish with ribbons, raffia, and vintage buttons. So many possibilities!
Back to the coffee… and working on my puffy tired eyes for the rest of the day.
“Your beauty, within and without, is absolute, dear lover, close companion.”
Song of Solomon 7.6 (MSG)