So, it’s mid-January now, and the luxury of Christmas spending seems all too far away. However, the chilly and unforgiving weather certainly isn’t, and if you’re getting less enchanted with your Nivea gift set by the day it might seem tough to think about how to look after your skin. So, what’s to be done when you’ve got a wind-chapped face and an empty bank account? Well, you’d be surprised at what you can do with turning to the kitchen instead. Behold, the delights of home-made skincare! It’s cheap, it’s fun, and you get to feel like the sort of domestic goddess who wears Fairtrade cotton trousers and bottles her own kombucha.
Facemasks tend to be the first thing a lot of people think of when you mention DIY skincare. There’s endless combinations of what you can do with regular kitchen and home ingredients. Did you know that yoghurt is a natural acne remedy?
Fruit has endless benefits for your skin as well. Bananas will moisturise and enzymic fruit such as pineapples or papayas will give you a natural chemical peel. (In fact, the enzymes of pineapples and papayas can be so effective it’s best to do a skin test first, to check they don’t upset your skin! They also shouldn’t be left on your skin for longer than five minutes) Lemons and other citrus fruit with have a brightening effect on tired, dull skin – but like pineapples, make sure you test your skin first and don’t apply without a little bit of dilution in yoghurt or another carrier substance as citrus fruit is extremely acidic. Here’s a delicious recipe to get you started!
Simple Yoghurt Mask
- Take two tablespoons of plain, live yoghurt. Mix with one crushed strawberry and a teaspoon of fresh lemon juice
- Apply to a clean face and relax for twenty minutes
- Wash your face with warm water and enjoy your smooth skin!
Is there anything more satisfying than unscrewing the top on a mason jar of a home-made face scrub? Unfortunately, a lot of recipes seem to recommend granulated sugar and or salt, which skin specialists have deemed unnecessarily harsh for your skin.
However, there’s something deeply enjoyable about scrub-scrubbing away dead skin cells, so if you want some serious but softer natural exfoliation, why not try oats? Oats are filled with lovely vitamins that are good for your skin, and considerably more gentle than most exfoliants on the market. Like oats, ground almonds are also a lovely alternative to harsher cleansers but tend to be a little pricier.
For the simplest of scrubs, mix a handful of oats with some olive oil to make a paste and rub it all over your face. Thoroughly rinse off and admire your smooth skin!
Baths are a true joy in life (yes we hear you, shower people, but have you ever tried to read a book in the shower?) Why not jazz up a bath and make it a real treat with some home-made additions? For a delightfully simple soak that’s perfect for moisturising dry or irritated skin, check out this recipe below.
Oaty Bath Soak
- Take a handkerchief-sized square of muslin cloth (you can find muslin in most homeware stores – it’s often used in jam-making)
- Add a cup of oats and any extras you might enjoy, such as lavender flowers, or even chamomile teabags!
- Tie the cloth into a little bag and drop it in a hot bath for a sweetly-scented, milky soak
Just make sure you rinse out the bath afterwards, and be careful of slippery residue if you’re using oils or plant butters!
DIY skincare is endlessly interesting, cheap and fun – just remember to do a skin test if it’s an ingredient you’ve never tried before, and have fun!
Words by: Morgaine Das Varma