Modern beauty products certainly cover all the bases –radiance, exfoliating, whitening, and many other magical benefits. However, off-the-shelf cosmetics tend to be on the pricey side, with nasty chemicals churned into it that will likely do us more harm than good.
Radiant, supple skin needs not come at a high, costly price. Take a look around you – we’re surrounded by a plethora of natural produce. With a little love and effort, nature’s goodness can be transformed into lovely beauty solutions that both your skin and Mother Earth will thank you for.
Aside from being good breakfast food, it’s also super great for skincare too! Oats are able to relieve sunburn pains, and the itchiness caused by pesky bugs, poisonous plants like poison ivy, and even eczema. Due to its moisturising properties, oats are also particularly effective when it comes to improving dry skin. Lots of lotions found on the market actually utilise oats in their formulas due to this. Oats can also be used as a natural yet gentle cleanser that isn’t harsh on sensitive skin.
Take an Oat Bath
If you’re currently experiencing dry and itchy skin, take a warm bath with crushed oats to cleanse yourself. The oats are able to restore the skin’s regular pH levels while locking in moisture, thus soothing signs of inflammation.
2. Wild Honey
The soothing medicinal efficacy of honey has been acknowledged since ancient times. In the olden days, honey was used in wounds to speed up the natural healing process due to its anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial effects. Honey is also rich in vitamins, minerals and amino acids, and its inherent moisturising properties have made it a favourite among those wanting nourished, supple skin. Unpasteurised and wild honey contains more phytonutrients and active enzymes that are good for us.
Honey Facial Mask
Mix a tablespoon of honey with two tablespoons of coconut oil until they form a paste. Slather the paste onto clean skin and rub it evenly with circular motions, avoiding the corners of the eyes. Use warm water to rinse it off.
The enzymes found in honey keep our skin, especially the pores, clean and free of nasty gunk. Both honey and coconut oil have anti-bacterial properties, which help reduce clogged pores and other skin problems caused by bacterial activity, such as acne.
3. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is extremely versatile; you can just gulp it down, or use it as a beauty trick! Its natural AHA (alpha-hydroxy acid) and acetic acid stimulate blood circulation while reducing the size of our pores. Combine a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar with two cups of water for a solution that is able to firm skin up. Filtered apple cider vinegar can also be used as a foot soak to eliminate toxins and any unpleasant smells. If you’re facing a pimple problem, soak some cotton pads with apple cider and dab it across the face. It will help minimise pores while killing bacteria on the skin’s surface. There’s no need for a wash after – the vinegar smell will soon dissipate.
Apple Cider Vinegar & Oat Facial Mask
Combine three teaspoons of oat powder with ¼ cup of apple cider vinegar until it reaches a paste-like consistency. Add in ½ a tablespoon of brown sugar and stir. After giving your face a wash, place the paste on your face and leave for 5-10 minutes. Using circular motions, gently massage your face to stimulate blood circulation before rinsing off with warm water. The AHA found in apple cider vinegar is able to balance the skin’s pH levels, while the saponins found in oats act as a natural cleanser, scrubbing away the dirt, oil and grime on the skin.
Papaya is found all year long in tropical countries, and is an economical but highly effective natural beauty ingredient. The papain found in papaya is able to eliminate dead skin cells and has a whitening effect as well. Papaya also has firming and anti-ageing properties, as it is also packed with beta-carotene, a natural antioxidant. Raw, green papaya has more papain than its riper counterpart. For people with sensitive skin, it’s always advised to do a patch test before you use papaya.
Papaya and Egg White Firming Mask
Mash ¼ ripe papaya. Beat an egg white until it has a thick, cloudy consistency, and combine the two together. Slather the mixture onto your face and leave for 15 minutes. Rinse off with warm water and then a quick wash with cold water to close your pores.
This mask is suitable for those with oily skin types, as the egg white can get rid of excess sebum production while minimising pores. If you are of a dry skin type, you may replace the egg white with egg yolk instead.
Banana is known as the ‘happy fruit’ because it’s able to brighten people’s moods upon consumption! It has an equally brightening effect on the skin too. Chock-full of vitamin A, banana is touted to be able to lighten dark spots. The vitamin B found within banana is able to prevent ageing while improving the skin’s appearance; while vitamin E, an antioxidant, is able to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
Banana hair mask
Blend two ripe bananas and an avocado. Add in yoghurt until it reaches a good consistency. Leave it on the scalp for 20 minutes before washing it off. This banana hair mask is able to regulate the scalp’s sebum production, hence leaving behind a healthy head of hair.
Cucumber is rich in vitamin C, an antioxidant; while Vitamin K & A help lighten dark spots and freckles.
Cucumber Juice For Your Face
Grind a whole cucumber, skin included, before filtering out the juice. Dab the juice across the face. Rinse after 15 minutes. Cucumber juice has whitening abilities, whilst leaving skin soft and radiant. If extended exposure to sunlight has caused sunburn damage, the cooling juice is able to soothe irritated skin and rehydrate it as well.
Known as the ‘butter fruit’, avocado is not only nutrient-dense, it is a wonderful natural beauty ingredient to use. High in Vitamin C, E & K, these vitamins lend avocado its superb anti-ageing capabilities. The flesh contains high quantities of ‘good fat’- monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, that are able to provide deep-skin moisturising and rehydration.
Avocado & Wild Honey Face Mask
Mash ½ freshly ripe avocado. Add in two tablespoons of wild honey and combine well. Apply to the face. After 10 minutes, use a wet cloth to gently wipe the residue off before rinsing the face with clean water. Avocado rehydrates the skin while honey stimulates cell regeneration, is antibacterial, and cleanses.
Say goodbye to using environmentally-harmful microbeads to exfoliate, and hello to plain everyday sugar! Microbeads are unable to dissolve when they’re washed down the drain, thus wreaking havoc to our ecosystems. Use sugar as an exfoliator instead. The coarseness and size of sugar is able to help remove dead skin cells in an all-natural way that will not irritate skin.
Lip Sugar Scrub
Mix a teaspoon of brown sugar, a teaspoon of white sugar, a teaspoon of wild honey, and ½ a teaspoon of olive oil together. After applying on the lips, gently rub it in for 20 minutes and wash off. It’ll leave you with soft, luscious lips!
Yoghurt contains lactic acid, which is able to soften the epidermal layer of skin and get rid of dead skin cells at the same time. It’ll not only have your skin glowing, yoghurt is also able to prevent breakouts and minimise the appearance of wrinkles, while softening the skin. If used long-term, yoghurt also whitens skin.
The zinc inside yoghurt is brilliant for soothing sunburnt skin. Try adding a few drops of chamomile essential oil to yoghurt and apply to the affected areas. Rinse off after 15 minutes.
10. Cold-Pressed Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Both beauticians and nutritionists alike can’t stop raving about olive oil, ‘the edible beauty trick’. Olive oil contains vitamins A, D, E & K and unsaturated fatty acids, which can be easily absorbed by the skin. Pure olive oil can be applied on skin and hair, and has moisturising and anti-ageing properties.
Shiny and Sleek Hair
Olive oil can be used as a hair conditioner, and is especially good for those experiencing dry, frizzy hair due to bleaching, colouring or perming. After your regular shampoo, use a small amount of olive oil to apply onto your locks. Wrap your hair up with a hot towel for 20 minutes, and rinse off after. After drying your hair, use a few drops of olive oil to comb through the strands, leaving behind manageable hair with a healthy sheen.