I'm unashamed to say that I know my local branch of Whole Foods (shoutout TriBeCa) like the back of my hand, and recently, have reacquainted myself with the classic finds jostling for space within its epically curated aisles. I'm talking about the run-of-the-mill products that you may have forgotten about—the treasure trove of beauty booty begging to be smashed, mixed, and smeared all over you.
Yes, Whole Foods is chock-full of 100 percent natural items that work wonders for your skin and hair. And I should know. I spend an inordinate amount of time in there playing with luxurious oils, eating cashews, and figuring out what would fare best in a DIY lip scrub.
Who doesn't love making all-natural formulas you can rustle up with just a few items? While chemistry wasn't my forte at school, these days, I've come up with my own formulations (in part due to my studies at NYIOA) and have become a mixing fiend of note. Why? Making things by hand that I use on myself feels nurturing, the equivalent of sitting by a fire with a hot chocolate, or putting on warm socks and dry clothes after a rainstorm.
I guess you could say these five recipes are the equivalent of Potions 101 (thank you Hermione Granger). Everything on the body does a little better when you wrap it in nourishing products.
I can't wait to hear how you get on!
Skin-Sloughing Almond & Orange Sea Salt Scrub
A body scrub is my shower essential and a DIY one makes me feel crafty and mighty. This one smells like sunshine (much needed right now thanks to the fresh orange juice and lemon essential oil), doesn't 'tear' sensitive skin, and I like to think I'm the softest person alive for days when I use it. Run a hot shower to make you feel relaxed and to soften the skin for better exfoliation, but fyi, it’s not great to do a scrub before you shave your legs (guilty) because you can irritate the skin, which creates a very stinging sensation. I store this mix in a mason jar and leave it in the shower, and then wash it all off with Dr. Bronner's. No extra moisturizer necessary.
- 1 cup coarse sea salt
- ½ cup raw sugar
- ½ cup olive oil
- 10 drops grapefruit essential oil
- the juice of 2 oranges
- 5 drops lemon essential oil
- Combine the sea salt and sugar in a small jar.
- Pour coconut oil, essential oils and orange juice into mixture over the sea salt and sugar mixture.
- Apply to body and massage into skin for a few minutes.
Anti-Inflammatory Turmeric & Yogurt Probiotic Face Mask
The lactic acid in yoghurt is a natural softener and will remedy any irritated skin. Plus, if you suffer from redness, this will imbue your face with just enough moisture to soothe, but not too much to create more problems in the wake of old ones. When it comes to getting your face glowing, turmeric is your best friend—it makes a great spot treatment too. The only catch is that it's bright yellow and can stain the skin, so less is most definitely more. If you're panicked and feel a bit like a sci-fi character after you've removed it, good old fashioned brown sugar mixed with water will take any sunflower-hued tinges away.
- 1 tablespoon plain organic yogurt
- 1 capsule Renew Life Probiotics
- ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
- Mix yogurt, probiotics, and turmeric powder.
- Apply to face in small circles.
- Leave on for 10 minutes.
- Wash off with warm water and pat dry.
Deep Moisturizing Avocado & Banana Hair Mask
This hair mask will mess your pillows, but it's so good, you won't mind. Firstly it's unbelievably visually gratifying, is thick and creamy to touch (essential to any beauty DIY psychology), and pretty much works on every hair texture or color. Oh, and it's the ultimate detangler. Note: Like all good recipes this one is best done by feel rather than by a measuring cup. Adjust at your fancy.
- 1 avocado
- 1 banana
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon castor oil
- Blend all the ingredients in a blender if you have one. If not, by hand is fine!
- Work hair mask into damp hair.
- Make sure all of your hair and scalp is saturated with the mask; be generous.
- Cover hair with a plastic cap or bag and leave on for 1 hour or more. Alternatively, leave on overnight for maximum moisture benefits.
- Wash out with a sulphate-free shampoo.
Teeth Whitening Strawberry & Baking Soda Toothpaste
Smearing red mush all over your teeth to whiten them certainly seems counterintuitive. But strawberries are full of vitamin C, which gets rid of plaque, and helps remove stains. I leave this mixture on for five minutes once a week, smile as much as I can, and lay off the black coffee.
- 2 strawberries
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- Mash the strawberries and mix with the baking soda.
- Place the mixture on your toothbrush, and brush for a few minutes.
- Follow by brushing your teeth with your regular toothpaste and flossing.
Cayenne, Honey & Ginger Achy Muscle Rub
What do you do when you get out of the shower? After I twirl my hair up in a towel so it looks like a seashell, I get busy with soothing my limbs and de-stressing my mind. If you've got a case of the seasonal blahs, this rub is almost shocking because it works so well. Apply to sore muscles, stiff shoulders or cranky necks, and feel the pain dissipate. It also helps with bruising, turning angry purple marks into faded amethyst inkblots. With the added benefit of application massage, this rub is a simple, unfussy version of Tiger Balm that has coconut oil for added moisture. P.S. Avoid the cayenne powder if you're sensitive.
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 1 tablespoon arnica oil
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon ground cayenne
- 2 tablespoons shea butter
- 5 drops each: eucalyptus, peppermint, and clove essential oils
- A cheesecloth
- Mix coconut and arnica oils in a glass measuring cup or jar.
- Add the ground ginger and cayenne. Let stand for 30 to 60 minutes in a warm place.
- Strain the cayenne and ginger-infused oil through a cheesecloth.
- Add shea butter, and stir well.
- Add essential oils.
- Transfer to a jar with a tight-fitting lid.