Feb 01, 2022

Do It Better: Natural DIY Beauty Remedies

By Joyce Venezia Suss

It’s easy to find all kinds of beauty products for sale: creams for dry skin, products to exfoliate flaking skin, lotions that promise to reduce wrinkles and fade age spots – and much more. Most contain ingredients that sound more like a chemistry lab list.

Even if products contain natural ingredients like coconut oil or avocado, they probably have preservatives or alcohol to lengthen the shelf life and expiration dates. Also, many store-bought products are mostly water.

One way to find all-natural beauty treatments and remedies is to make them yourself, using fresh ingredients easily found in your local market – or perhaps already in your refrigerator or pantry.

Important: Even though these ingredients are natural, do a skin patch test to check for allergic reactions or skin irritation. Mix a sample of your homemade product and rub it on a small area, such as your inner arm or the side of your neck. If you see any sign of a reaction within 24 hours, do not use it, or consult with a dermatologist.

Here are some easy, all-natural skin treatments to try:

Sweet Feet

With bare feet, sit on the edge of your tub facing the faucet, or sit outside on a warm day with a shallow basin of water nearby. Pour about two tablespoons of olive oil or coconut oil into your palm, then add the same amount of granulated sugar. Rub your hands together to combine, then scrub all over one foot to exfoliate the dry, flaky skin. The mixture is also a great moisturizer. Rinse the sugary foot in warm water, and repeat with other foot.

Foot Soaks

To comfort tired, achy – and perhaps smelly – feet, try an all-natural foot soak. Fill a foot bath or large basin with warm water and add one of the following mixtures:

• ¼ cup white vinegar and a handful of Epsom salt or sea salt

• ¼ cup baking soda and juice of one lemon. The mixture will fizz as it combines.

• A cup of colloidal oatmeal (found in drug stores, or blend a cup of dry oats in a food processor until it becomes a powder.)

If desired, add one drop of lavender or lemon essential oil. Soak feet for about 15 minutes, then rinse thoroughly.

Hair Conditioning

Here are two easy “recipes” for conditioning dry or damaged hair.

• Beat one raw egg yolk until frothy. Add ½ teaspoon olive oil, then slowly beat in ¾ cup warm water. Work into freshly shampooed hair, let sit for a few minutes, then rinse with warm water.

• Mash either a banana or avocado with any of these: olive oil, coconut oil, mayonnaise, yogurt or a beaten egg. Massage the mixture into wet hair, then wrap hair in an old towel and let it condition for 15 to 20 minutes before rinsing hair well.

Bathing Beauty

Buttermilk has lactic acid that is a gentle exfoliant for dry skin. Fill a bathtub with warm water and add two cups of buttermilk. If you are allergic to dairy products, try adding one of these for a relaxing bath: several green tea bags, a sprig of dried lavender, a half cup of apple cider vinegar, a cup of Epsom salts, some honey mixed with olive oil or two cups of colloidal oatmeal.

Hand Creams

Many natural ingredients are excellent for moisturizing. Rub dry hands with a bit of coconut oil or cocoa butter and don a pair of cotton gloves to let it absorb into the skin, ideally while you sleep.

Soothing Eye Mask

Grate a cold cucumber over a sturdy paper towel placed on a dinner plate. Wrap the paper towel into a long tube, and gently squeeze to remove excess moisture. Place the tube on top of your closed eyes to calm puffiness.

Age Spots

To help fade brown age spots, dab on buttermilk, yogurt or honey. Leave on for 20 minutes, then wash off. Repeat daily.