Women have used cosmetics almost since the dawn of time. Before sodium lauryl sulfate, parabens, and injectable beauty treatments, women turned to their own backyards (so to speak) for their beauty needs. Those products discovered to be good for the skin back in those days are still just as good for us today, and even more easily found, thanks to grocery stores, mass merchandisers, and even health food stores.
Make your own exfoliating scrub using brown sugar and oil. Mix equal parts of brown sugar with olive oil (almond will also work), and scrub into your skin prior to entering the shower. Rinse off well, but do not soap up. The oil will deeply penetrate your skin with the heat of the shower; soap would simply strip it away. If you would like to add an essential oil for extra fragrance, consult an expert to determine which are safe to use on your skin – lavender is probably the best choice, but tea tree oil is also good for those with body acne problems
For a cellulite treatment similar to those you’ll find in a bottle, use a coffee scrub. ¼ cup used coffee grounds mixed with a tablespoon of olive oil smoothed into your thighs and derriere leave your skin smooth and clear. The caffeine temporarily tightens and tones your skin. This may also be used on your face, but if your skin is oily, you may prefer to use diluted tea tree oil instead of olive oil.
For a skin-softening, stress-relieving luxurious bath, add a quart of milk (powdered milk works fine, just rehydrate first) along with 2 tablespoons of honey to your bath water. If a milk bath kept Cleopatra lovely, it can do the same for you.
Steaming your face to open pores and remove impurities may well be the simplest and least expensive of them all. Simply fill a large bowl with hot water, add a few drops of essential oil, then place your face over the bowl (not IN the bowl), and tent a towel over your head to keep the steam in. After about 5 minutes, splash cool water onto your face to tighten pores and bring brightness to your skin.
This gentle facial scrub is perfect for acne-prone skin – the honey moisturizes, but also contains antimicrobial properties that fight against acne-causing bacteria! Put two tablespoons of oatmeal in the blender and blend until coarse. Add a teaspoon of honey and one tablespoon of milk and mix into a thick paste. Apply to your skin, smooth in small circles using only middle and ring fingers. You may then rinse it off or leave it on for 15 minutes as a mask.
Use plain, unsweetened yogurt directly on your skin for a moisturizing AHA mask. Mix with honey and/or banana for extra hydrating and anti-microbial benefits.
For pimples, try applying a paste made of a crushed aspirin tablet (salicylic acid) and distilled water and leaving on overnight. A dab of tea tree oil also works well, as does paste toothpaste. For a natural toner, try witch hazel either alone, or mixed with tea tree oil (for oily skin), cucumber (for dry skin), or chamomile tea (for sensitive skin). As with any DIY product, keep refrigerated, and only make small amounts that you can use up within about a week’s time, since there are no artificial preservatives.
Natural hydrators can be made or bought. Cocoa butter is a thick, rich moisturizer that can be applied all over your body and face, including your lips. Olive and coconut oil can also be applied body-wide, face and lips. Hydrating from the inside out is also a good idea, drinking plenty of water and other liquids throughout the day.