Have been to Sephora several times since its opening. It seemed to be always packed with ladies (both young and old). Since it carries several lines of cosmetic/skin (+body) care products that you seldom find at other places, Sephora do have its competitive advantage. Looking at all these fancy-packaged products, it’s normal that you’ll end up buying lots of stuffs. And… here comes the result… a flattened purse/wallet OR a long credit card bill.
Sometimes I think it’s not really necessary to buy expensive cosmetics to do something beneficial to your skin. (Of course, some of them really work; you just have to research and try.) If you have time and want some fun, why not prepare some homemade treats for your skin? There are certain foods/plants can be used. It would be naive to expect dramatic results from such recipes, but most commercial cosmetic products do not produce dramatic changes either. Besides, you can ensure freshness of ingredients with DIY. Below are some home skin care recipes.
Before trying any of these recipes, it’s good to read some of the useful rules suggested by Boots.com
- Avoid facials if you have cold sores because it’s possible to spread the infection;
- Don’t use very hot water on your face as the heat can break tiny capillaries under the skin;
- Use an SPF15 if you use products containing alpha or beta hydroxy acids (AHAs or BHAs) as they make the skin extra sensitive to the sun.
- Do a patch test first on a small part of your neck to check that you aren’t allergic to any ingredients. Wait for 20 minutes before applying it to your face. If you have sensitive skin, avoid using citrus fruits, avocado and eucalyptus.
- Choose your recipe from the ones below according to your skin’s needs.
Some recipes from Boots.com:
Blend 1/2 tsp fresh lemon juice, 1 tsp dry black tea, 1 egg white and 1 tsp honey.
* For dry skin, add 1/2 avocado and 1 slice of fresh peach
* For oily skin, add 1/2 cup strawberries and 2 oz (about 60 g) grated raw pumpkin.
Leave on your skin for 10-15 minutes and rinse off with warm water.
Mix 2 tsp peeled, grated cucumber and 1tsp powdered milk.
Close your eyes and cover your eye area (including the lids) with the mixture. Rinse off after 10 minutes.
Stir together 1 tsp yeast and 1 tsp warm water into a paste.
Apply and allow to dry for 20 minutes. Rinse off.
Gentle Fruit Peel
Ingredients: 1 cup fresh pineapple; 1/2 cup fresh papaya; 2 tablespoons honey
This gentle peel is based on active substances found in pineapple and papaya. Pineapple contains bromelain and papaya contains papain. Both are proteases, natural enzymes that can break up proteins. When applied to the skin in small amounts (i.e. the amounts naturally found in pineapple and papaya), these enzymes help gently remove dead cells from skin surface producing mild peeling effect. Pineapple and papaya also contain modest amounts of alpha-hydroxy acids that provide additional benefits. Honey is added to increase moisturizing effect of the treatment.
Preparation: Puree pineapple and papaya (in a blender). Add honey and mix thoroughly.
Usage: Wash your face, apply the mixture to your skin, avoiding the eye area. Leave on for no more than 5 minutes (less if you have sensitive skin), then rinse with cool water. When done, apply a moisturizer. Don’t use more than once a week. Note: when using this peel for the first time, keep for only 1-2 minutes to make sure there is no skin irritation.
Ingredients: 2 tbsp. plain yogurt; 1 tbsp. oatmeal; 1 tbsp honey
Yogurt contains lactic acid (an alpha-hydroxy acid) and a number of nutrients that may mildly stimulate collagen production in the skin. Oatmeal and honey act as moisturizers.
Preparation: Mix ingredients together to form a paste. To avoid clumps, you may grind oatmeal into a powder (e.g. using a coffee grinder) before mixing it with other ingredients.
Usage: Wash your face. Massage face with the paste in a circular motion. Keep on for 1-2 minute then rinse off.
Just Peachy Facial Mask (normal skin)
Ingredients: 1 medium peach; 1 tbps honey; oatmeal
Peaches, plums and nectarines contain large amounts of alpha-hydroxy acids, or AHAs. AHAs are a buzzword in the world of exfoliants. Like most ‘discoveries’ AHAs, in one form or another, have actually been used for centuries. The gentle exfoliation of fruit peels speeds up cell renewal, leading to healthier skin tone. The AHAs in these fruits help soften wrinkles, sun spots, age spots, blemishes and can even unclog pores
Oatmeal is highly absorptive, hypoallergenic, and helps to soften skin. Oats have the best amino acid balance of all the cereal grains (amino acids work as water-binding agents in skin care products). Oats have also been clinically shown to help heal dry, itchy skin. Oat grains and straw appear in shampoos, dusting powders, moisturizers, and cleansing bars and more
Preparation: Cook peach until its oft, mash with a fork, add honey and oatmeal until it??s a thick consistency. Apply to skin. Let sit for 10 minutes, rinse well with cool water.
Carrot Top Facial Mask (normal ?V oily skin)
Ingredients: 2-3 large carrots ; 4 1/2 tablespoons honey
Carrots grow in the wild and are more commonly known as Queen Ann’s Lace. They are very high in vitamin A and a source of vitamin C, folacin and potassium.
Honey is primarily composed of fructose, glucose and water. It also contains other sugars as well trace enzymes, minerals, vitamins and amino acids.
Preparation: Cook carrots, then mash. Mix with honey. Apply gently to the skin, wait 10 minutes. Rinse off with cool water.
Sweet Strawberry Facial Mask (oily skin)
Ingredients: 8-9 whole strawberries; 3 tbps. Honey
Preparation: Mash strawberries into a pulp, add honey. Mix. Don??t over blend or it will be runny. Apply directly to the skin, let sit for a few minutes then rinse off.
Apple Zinger Facial Mask (oily ?V acne prone skin)
Ingredients: 1 medium size apple (grated); 5 tablespoons of honey
Preparation: Mix the grated apple and mix with honey to make a mask. Smooth over skin then let sit for 10 minutes, rinse off with cool water.
Bay Clay Facial Mask (acne prone skin)
Ingredients: 4 tbps French clay; 5 dried bay leaves; 1 cup distilled water
French Clay has excellent absorbent powers that work to remove oils and toxins from your skin. It stimulates the skin, revitalises the complexion and tightens your pores. French Clay is excellent for problem skin.
Fresh bay leaves are very strongly aromatic, but also quite bitter. High-quality bay leaves are easily recognized not only by their strong aroma, but also by their bright green color. The greener the color, the better the quality. The essential oil from Bay leaves (0.8 to 3%) contains mostly 1,8 cineol (50%); furthermore, eugenol, acetyl eugenol, methyl eugenol, a- and ?-pinene, phellandrene, linalool, geraniol and terpineol are found.
Preparation: Place the bay leaves into a cup of boiled water, let cool. Strain but keep the liquid. Slowly add the bay liquid to the clay until it is a fairly thick mixture. Dab onto your skin then allow to dry for about 15 – 20 minutes. Rinse off with warm water.
Banana Supreme Facial Mask (dry skin)
Ingredients: 2 medium bananas; *honey optional
Preparation: Mash bananas with a fork; don??t over mash or it will be too runny. Add honey * if desired. Smooth over skin, let sit for 10 minutes. Rinse off with cool water.
Yogurt-aloe Healing Masque (irritated, sensitive skin)
Ingredients: 1/2 cup plain yogurt; 2 tbsp aloe gel (or a fresh aloe leaf)
Yogurt contains lactic acid (an alpha-hydroxy acid) and a number of nutrients that may mildly stimulate collagen production in the skin. Aloe is a good moisturizer, and contains anti-inflammatory substances.
Preparation: Mix ingredients together to form a paste. (Aloe gel can be purchased in a health food store. OR take a fresh aloe leaf, remove the skin and mash the pulp.
Usage: Wash your face. Massage face with the paste in a circular motion. Keep on for a minute or two then rinse off
Banana Bread Masque
Ingredients: 1/2 really ripe mashed banana ?V moisturizing; 2 Tbsp. ground oats ?V soothing; milk or cream, add as necessary ?V softening; pinch nutmeg ?V antiseptic; 2 Tbsp. whole wheat flour ?V antioxidant
Oatmeal is highly absorptive, hypoallergenic, and helps to soften skin. Oats have the best amino acid balance of all the cereal grains (amino acids work as water-binding agents in skin care products). Oats have also been clinically shown to help heal dry, itchy skin. Oat grains and straw appear in shampoos, dusting powders, moisturizers, and cleansing bars and more.
Preparation: Whip ingredients together, adding cream or oat flour as necessary to get a smooth, paste-like consistency. Spread on clean face and leave for 5-10 minutes, then rinse thoroughly and pat dry..
Ground Oats: use rolled oats and a clean coffee grinder or blender to grind the flakes to a fine powder
Summer Fruit Facial
Ingredients: strawberries; fresh nectarine; fresh papaya; 1 egg white; 1/2 an English cucumber
Preparation: Puree all in a blender, apply to face and relax with a good book for 15 minutes. If there is any stinging sensation, remove the mask immediately. This reaction will alert you to the fact that you have a sensitivity to one of the ingredients.
Gentle Facial Cleanser
Ingredients: 1/2 cup oatmeal or cornmeal; plain yogurt (add enough yogurt to form a paste)
Preparation: For a gentle facial cleanser mix ingredients, smooth over entire face avoiding eye area. Wash off with warm water.
Yogurt Walnut Scrub
Ingredients: 1/4 cup plain yogurt; 1/4 cup walnuts (very finely grounded)
Preparation: Mix ingredients together. Wet your face then gently work the scrub into your skin. Rinse off with warm water.
Storage: Most recipes require refrigeration since they don’t contain preservatives. Shelf life is approximately 1 week.
Strawberry Almond Scrub
Ingredients: 2 tsp baking soda; 1 tsp ground almond; 1 ripe strawberry (if fresh strawberries aren’t available, it’s ok to use thawed, frozen berries)
Strawberries have natural astringent properties that tighten your pores, and leave your face feeling toned and fresh.
Preparation: Mix the almonds and soda together in a small dish. Slice the strawberry into the bowl and mash it all together to make a smooth paste. First splash your face with warm water (never hot). Scoop the scrub onto your fingers and work it all over your face using gentle circular motions. Never press hard or tug on your skin. Avoid your eye area. Rinse your face with warm water then pat it dry with a clean, soft towel.
Other Homemade Facial Scrubs and Masks
- Make a paste from a little oatmeal and water. Apply to face and allow to dry. Gently wipe off with a damp wash cloth.
- Two tablespoons of cornmeal mixed with enough water to make a thick paste makes a great inexpensive facial mask. Gently apply to face and wash off.
- In a food processor or blender, combine 1/2 cucumber, 1 tbsp yogurt, a few strawberries, and 1 teaspoon honey. Apply to face and allow to dry. Gently wipe off with a damp wash cloth.
- Grind 1 tablespoon almonds into a fine meal in a blender or food processor. Mix almond meal together with 1 tbsp honey and 1 egg white. Apply to face and let set for about 15 minutes. Gently wipe off with a damp wash cloth.
- To loosen blackheads, combine equal parts baking soda and water in your hand and rub gently on your skin for 2 to 3 minutes. Rinse with warm water.
- Mash half of an avocado and apply to entire face. Let set for about 20 minutes and then gently wipe off with a damp wash cloth.
- Soak 1 cup dried apricots in water until softened. Puree in blender or food processor with 2 tablespoons skim milk powder. Apply to face and let set about 15 minutes. Gently wipe off with a damp wash cloth.
- Puree 1/2 peeled, sliced cucumber in a blender or food processor and add 1 tbsp yogurt. Apply to face and let set about 20 minutes. Gently wipe off with a damp wash cloth.
- Crush a handful of strawberries and mix well with 1 tsp honey. Apply to face and let set for about 15 minutes. Gently wipe off with a damp wash cloth.
- Mix 1-1/2 tsps honey, the juice from 1/2 of a lemon, and 1 small carton plain yogurt. Stir in 1 whipped egg white. Apply to face and let set about 15 minutes. Gently wipe off with a damp wash cloth.
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