Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com
Want radiant skin and healthy hair without spending thousands each year on costly over-the-counter beauty products? Especially when considering the overwhelming amount of chemicals found in these products, I know I do.
In exchange for expensive products and harmful toxins, I began to invest a little time and planning into making my own natural hair care and skincare products at home. Admittedly, I’m nowhere near using homemade beauty products exclusively, but I’m making strides to use DIY treatments about 80 percent of the time. This allows a few indulgences on my favorite organic, commercial products that I can’t replicate.
I simply love having complete control of what I use on my body and discovering the therapeutic qualities of these natural alternatives. So if you’re ready to tackle a multitude of skin and hair concerns, get your hands a little dirty and have some fun, here are a few natural, DIY beauty care essentials to get started.
1. Aloe Vera
I consider aloe my beauty plant because it works great as an oil-free facial moisturizer and as a leave-in serum for thick, dry hair or naturally curly locks. As a child, I was fascinated when my grandmom would cut off a piece to rub on my cuts and bruises. It felt like magic. What was even more remarkable was noticing how both my skin and the cut plant healed in a just few days. It’s no wonder this self-healing plant can do so much for skin and hair care.
Natural clay like bentonite, which is composed of volcanic ash, works like a sponge when activated with water to absorb toxins from the skin. In addition to applying clay on the skin to soothe inflammation and acne, the alkalizing effects on the body also make bentonite a great internal cleanse. It’s important to store clay in glass and mix with a plastic utensil, as contact with metal will reduce its effectiveness.
The natural antiseptic properties of raw honey are perfect for skin and hair treatments that eliminate breakouts and keep the scalp bacteria free. As a rich emollient, honey creates moisture for homemade beauty treatments. To enhance store-bought hair conditioner, add a few tablespoons of honey to the bottle and mix thoroughly.
Rich in vitamin C, lemons exfoliate the skin and promote the turnover of dead skin cells, revealing soft, glowing skin. A natural brightener for skin and hair, lemons are great for discoloration and scarring caused by blemishes and can function as hair highlights.
In addition to fresh lemon juice, I like to keep a good-quality lemon essential oil. Since it's highly acidic, be sure to do a skin patch test, and dilute the oil with water when applying to skin. For highlights, mix the essential oil with a carrier like jojoba oil.
Get the most out of your fresh lemons and save used rinds in the refrigerator for an evening facial mask. Take half of a rind and squeeze a little honey in the center, then massage onto the face, avoiding the eyes. Let rest for 15 minutes and rinse off.
Whole oats make the perfect all-natural skin exfoliant with anti-inflammatory properties that improve skin tone. When mixed with a variety of ingredients, oatmeal becomes a versatile scrub.
My favorite use is making honey oatmeal scrub. Just place 1/4 cup of whole oats in a bowl and pour in enough organic milk to cover. Allow the mixture to soak for 5 minutes. Squeeze out any excess milk and add 1 tablespoon of honey to the oats. Gently massage onto the face using circular motions, then rinse. It’s best to use a strainer to catch oats, so as not to clog your drain or rinse off in your kitchen sink using the stopper.
Other items to enhance your at-home beauty care regimen include a body brush with natural bristles for daily dry brushing, amber glass apothecary jars for recipe storage, labels and markers to identify and date your recipes, and (if you’re feeling super luxurious) a mini-fridge. No need for a special purchase, but if you already have one that's not in use, why not set it up in your bathroom or bedroom for easy access and eliminate trips to the kitchen? Using a dedicated refrigerator also reduces the risk of anyone misusing your beauty care items.
With these key natural beauty essentials in your skin and hair care arsenal, you can make easy, inexpensive recipes to get glowing skin and gorgeous hair. Quality, nutrient-dense, natural ingredients that are minimally processed are the foundations for both a healthy beauty diet and care regimen that radiates lasting beauty from the inside out.