Did you know that in many top of the range cosmetics, most of the price is actually tied up in the packaging and in the advertising campaigns? And in many of those extremely overpriced cosmetics, you will pay extra for “natural herbal extracts” and other so-called wonder ingredients that sound like the things on your shopping list. How about trying your hand at making your own cosmetics? While the feel and look of home-made cosmetics (and, to a certain extent, the smell) isn’t like those of the bought stuff, you can be certain that you can avoid anything that gives you allergies and you will probably have fun doing it.
The easiest home made cosmetic of all is a face-mask. One that works a treat for dry skin and improves skin tone is… honey. Just plain honey spread over your face (avoid the eye area) and leave it for however long you want, then wash off with plain water. If the honey is not very runny, then soften it with milk or water to apply it. Honey is good for chapped lips – but it’s hard not to lick it off.
For skin that needs a bit of tightening, you can mix egg white with the honey and let it dry. Don’t leave this one for too long, as overdoing it can dry your skin. To prevent this happening, add a little olive oil or almond oil (or any other vegetable based oil of your choice – they all work well to prevent skin drying.
For oily skins, the classic face mask is porridge. Instead of throwing out that last little spoonful at the bottom of the saucepan after breakfast (or feeding it to the dog), keep it in the fridge and use it as a face mask or as a face scrub. Adding sugar (white or brown, as long as it’s grainy rather than powdery) can turn the porridge into an exfoliating scrub.
The very first moisturiser was cold cream, invented by Greek philosopher and doctor Galen. You will need a double-boiler for this. In the business part of the double boiler, melt about 30g beeswax. Add 100 ml olive oil and stir it in thoroughly. Add 30ml soft water – rosewater is best, but plain distilled water is OK – and stir it in drop by drop thoroughly. This bit takes time and patience to get the consistency right. When all the water is mixed in thoroughly, add in some essential oil of your choice.
Another good exfoliant scrub is a paste made of ground almonds. This can be mixed to the right consistency with milk, water or oil, although oil should be avoided by people with oily skins.
Other good mask ingredients include those listed below. Mix and match according to your needs and what you have available.
* Milk powder – contains mild exfoliant acids and is moisturising
* Avocado pulp – rich and moisturising (the skins, turned inside out, make a good scrub); rich in Vitamin E.
* Kiwifruit – contains an enzyme that eats dead protein. This is the real original chemical peel. Don’t leave it on too long or put it on your lips. To get rid of hardened, flaky skin on your feet, spread a paste of mashed kiwifruit over your feet last thing at night, put on socks (two pairs, possibly) and wash them off in the morning.
* Papaya – another fruit with a chemical exfoliant principle.
* Pineapple (fresh, not canned) – still another fruit that dissolves dead protein.
* Yoghurt – contains a mild acid for exfoliation, plus natural moisturisers.
* Cucumber – moisturising and cooling
* Egg yolk – rich in all sorts of goodies – proteins, moisturisers, Vitamin E…
Essential oils are lovely for home made face masks, scrubs, creams and domestic cleaning London products. However, take care with the type of essential oil, as some are too strong to be used directly on the skin (but tea-tree oil can be used directly on the skin for pimples and acne). Read all warnings on the packet carefully.
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