10 homemade natural beauty and spa treatments found right in your kitchen
BY JANUARY THOMAS For Sun-Times Media
Forever searching for the Fountain of Youth, many people may find themselves spending hundreds, even thousands, of dollars on beauty products, salons and spa treatments each year hoping to achieve the latest and greatest skin, hair and body.
You'd be amazed to find many natural and low-cost ingredients found right in your kitchen cupboard that produces amazing results and often work better than the expensive brands. Refrigerator of Youth, anyone?
Brown Sugar Lemony Body Scrub
This particular scrub has lemon, which works as a natural disinfectant. It will open up and cleanse clogged pores. The oils from the mixture will leave you with soft, healthy glowing skin.
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sea salt
2 tbsp coconut oil or olive oil
1 tbsp of honey
2 tbsp of freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tbsp of your favorite essential oil (I recommend bergamot for energy, eucalyptus or spearmint for stress relief and lavender or jasmine for something more relaxing.)
Mix all the ingredients in a bowl until it turns into a paste. Apply to moist skin in circular motion using your fingertips to help skin cells slough off faster. Rinse off with warm water. Apply your favorite moisturizer. Results: smooth, soft glowing skin.
Milk Foot Soak
Add 4 cups of warmed whole milk, 2 tablespoons of Epsom Salt and 6 drops of your favorite essential oil such as lemon, sandalwood or lavender to warm footbath. Soak for 20 minutes. Use the Brown Sugar Lemony Body Scrub to remove dead skin on feet.
Invigorating Coffee Scrub
Coffee contains Magnesium and Vitamin E. It also acts as an antibacterial, exfoliating and stimulating agent. Brew a fresh pot of coffee. Use 3 tablespoons of the fresh grounds and 1 tablespoon of salt and mix in a bowl. Scrub mixture over body within 20 minutes of brewing before oxidation occurs.
Avocado Conditioning Mask
Mash an avocado (two for long hair) in a bowl with a fork until it is a thick, rich paste. Add a couple of drops of your favorite essential oil for fragrance (optional.) Spread the paste on the hair from the root to the ends. Leave on for 20 minutes; then shampoo out and rinse out. Results: shiny, smooth stronger, moisturized hair and added vitality to dull, dry hair.
Olive Oil Deep Hair Conditioning Mask
This is an excellent treatment if you swim in a chlorinated pool on a regular basis. Beat two eggs (three for long hair) and add in three tablespoons of olive oil. Add your favorite essential oils for fragrance (optional.) Apply a liberal amount to hair from root to tip. Wrap hair in warm towel and rest for about 30 minutes. After you rinse, you will notice how soft, shiny and manageable your hair will be. Do once a month (twice for dry hair).
Natural Blonde Highlights
For natural blonde highlights that are worthy of the finest salons, add 1/4-cup lemon juice to 3/4-cup water and rinse your hair with the mixture. Lemon juice acts as natural bleach. Apply a small amount of leave-in conditioner to hair to moisturize. Sit in the sun until your hair dries. Remember to moisturize with sunscreen before lying out. To maximize the effect, repeat once daily for up to a week.
Strawberry Bleach Mask
Celebrities, such as Catherine Zeta-Jones, swear by this. This natural mixture will remove any stains and discoloration on your teeth. Crush one ripe strawberry and mix 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda. Apply the mixture on teeth with toothbrush and let it set for 5 minutes; then brush with your regular toothpaste. Repeat once a week.
Honey Oats Face Scrub
Combine 1 tablespoon honey, 1 tablespoon finely ground almonds, 2 tablespoons dry oatmeal and some lemon juice or yogurt to a luxurious and exfoliating facial scrub. Massage mixture gently onto face; then rinse with warm water. Use favorite moisturizer afterward.
Yogurt & Honey Mask
Mix 1-part plain yogurt and 1-part honey and apply to clean, moist face. Let it set for 10-15 minutes and rinse well with warm water. The mixture moisturizes, hydrates and soothes the skin. Honey can be used as a minor acne treatment.
Banana Facial Cream
Mash 1/2 of a ripe banana until creamy. Apply on face and leave for 15-20 minutes. Rinse with warm water and cold water to close pores. Pat dry.