I’ve recently been starting to look at more natural ways to care for my skin. Part of this is so I can reduce my exposure to some of the toxins in modern beauty products, but mostly its because I’m skint and can’t afford to be spending a bloody fortune on the latest organic skin cream! Amazingly, I have found that many cheap store cupboard ingredients can also be used in your skin care and beauty regime. They also offer double value – eating these foods will support your skin from the inside out!
Use olive oil as a cleanser and make up remover. Just pour a small amount into your palm, warm between your hands and massage into your face. Soak a face cloth in warm water and gently remove the oil. Your skin will be clean and glowing! I know it may seem counter intuitive to use oil on your skin if you suffer from acne or greasy skin, but often issues with over production of oil can be linked to the stripping effect of harsh chemicals. Give it a try and see how it works for you. Use the olive oil in salad dressings (mixed with some of the apple cider vinegar below) to get the benefits of its healthy fats in your diet.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple Cider Vinegar or ACV can be used as a toner. Just dilute with 1 part ACV to 5 parts filtered water and then use as you would your regular toner. It does stink a bit, but you get used to it! If not you can add a drop of essential oil – lemon is my favourite. ACV as part of your diet is excellent for your skin. Look out for the kind that is raw and therefore contains the good bacteria which when ingested will support your digestion and in turn improve your skin.
Honey makes an excellent face mask. Just slap it on, run a bath, chill out and then remove it with warm water and a face cloth. Honey is antimicrobial so is great for tackling any spots or skin infections (but be careful about using it on broken skin). It is also great for locking moisture into dry skin. Honey is also packed with antioxidants which some believe can help prevent skin damage from the sun, and its antimicrobial properties work internally too, fighting off infections. Just add some to sweeten a berry smoothie (a skin supporting snack right there) or use to sweeten herbal teas.
Coconut oil is an amazing product. Used as a moisturiser for face or body it is easy absorbed and leaves the skin supple and soft. It also has antimicrobial properties so it is good for treating any fungal skin infections. It is excellent used for cooking as it can be heated to a high temperature and does not break down into dangerous free radicals (as some oils can). Try roasting veggies in it or using it for stir fries or curry’s. It is high in saturated fat, which in itself is not a bad thing (more research is emerging challenging the belief that saturated fat is bad for us) but this fat is in the form of medium chain fatty acids which have been shown to lower harmful fats in the blood. It is also high in lauric acid – a substance found in human breast milk which is very nourishing and can help to bolster the immune system. I often blend some coconut oil with warm coffee for a coconutty frothy drink or scramble eggs in it for breakfast.
I love that I can get more bang for my buck by using these products to support my skin both from the outside and the inside. Even if you’re not skint, you can get amazing results with these natural products and then use the money you’ve saved on something else!
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