When you think about it DIY beauty isn’t so unusual. It’s only in recent years that endless beauty products have been at the tips of our fingers. Cleansers, exfoliators, wipes, masks, serums, oils, mists, moisturisers, balms, the list goes on. These are new inventions, new “must haves”. The 10-step beauty routine invaded the collective conscious and now beauty cupboards are overflowing. Think back to your grandma and it was more likely she used just a little olive oil each night. Michele Lamy at one point used burnt matchsticks as eyeliner. Even Natalie Portman tells of how on the set of Léon the Professional beetroot juice was used as a substitute for blush and lipstick.
So if DIY beauty is not so out of the box (and dare we suggest perhaps even better?) then what are the best ingredients to salvage from the depths of your kitchen pantry? Here are just a few ingredients you can turn into a DIY beauty routine and how best to use them.
Oats: The all rounder
Oats help to balance the skin’s pH levels, and soothe sensitive or irritated skin. Put oats in an old stocking or muslin cloth and pop into your bath as the water runs. You’ll end up with milky water but skin so soft because of it. Known to act as a gentle exfoliant when used as a scrub or moisturiser when used as a mask the humble oats have endless skin benefits. The zinc in oats is known to reduce inflammation and fight acne-causing bacterial build up on the skin’s surface.
Mix with avocado and honey to make a soothing mask. Or add to yoghurt, let sit to form a paste and apply as a mask to boost moisture levels.
The healing benefits of yogurt
Whilst slathering yoghurt on your face may seem counterintuitive, in reality is a powerhouse when it comes to skin benefits. Containing lactic acid, this will provide a gentle exfoliant, sloughing off dead skin cells and leaving skin smooth. Purported to moisturise, reduce blemishes, relieve sunburn, diminish discolouration and calm skin. This isn’t the time for your vanilla bean flavoured varieties. Instead opt for full fat, plain and unflavoured yogurt.
Apply to the face and neck on its own. Or stir through a tablespoon of honey. Mix in aloe vera if you have that growing in the garden or if you have rose water from that one baking recipe months ago that will work too.
Rock your body, with salt
Don’t forget about your body. Whilst regular rock salt or salt crystals are too harsh for the skin on your face (the crystal will do more scratching of your skin than exfoliating), they work wonders for the body and feet. Combine the salt with honey, or olive oil, or cocoa butter if that is something you keep around the house and massage in sweeping circles over the body. Start at your feet and massage in motions towards the heart. This will have the added benefit of aiding blood flow and circulation.
Your wake up call
Again we are talking body here. Drinking a morning coffee will certainly wake you up but applied topically coffee is also stimulating to the skin. Whilst your leftover granules from your morning roast won’t have the same benefits as coffee extract or oil the granules act as a perfect exfoliant to the skin. Said to reduce inflammation, contain antioxidants and have benefits like reducing cellulite there are more ways than one to enjoy your morning brew.
Much like the salt these can be mixed with pantry staples like olive or coconut oil and massaged into skin. Added bonus? You’ll be able to have that smell linger longer.