DIY Cosmetics With Ingredients You Already Have
There’s nothing like that sinking feeling when you’ve run out of your favorite face scrub (or mask, or astringent, or moisturizer) that isn’t sold in drugstores and won’t arrive at your doorstep for another few days. Don't worry though, because in those in-between times when you're waiting for your next Kinder Beauty subscription box to arrive at your doorstep, you might be able to find exactly what you need at your grocery store. Check out this guide to creating your own all-natural homemade cosmetics, cooked up in your very own kitchen.
Body and facial scrubs help slough off old skin and achieve that glowing complexion we crave. For facial scrubs, though, it’s important not to use ingredients that are too harsh. Sugar is face-friendly and can be procured in any grocery store, or even at the corner bodega. All you have to do to make your scrub is mix the sweet stuff with virgin organic coconut oil. Combine two parts sugar (brown, organic cane, or white will do) with one part coconut oil and keep it refrigerated in your favorite jar. If the coconut oil is solid (which it often is), don’t be intimidated! Use your hands, or a spoon, to combine the ingredients. For a little pizazz, add a few drops of lavender essential oil. Then pop it in the fridge as soon as you’ve mixed it up to prevent the sugar from sinking to the bottom. Be sure not to heat your scrub up on a stove or in the microwave once you’ve made it. Otherwise the sugar will melt and lose its exfoliating properties.
The best things in life are avocados
We already knew that avocado is the perfect food, but did you know that your skin loves it, too? The next time you’re shopping for groceries, pick up an extra avocado ... for your face. Avocado not only moisturizes, but it also reduces inflammation and helps to heal acne. Scoop out and mash up your gorgeous (ripe) avocado as if you were making guacamole, and then smear it all over your cold-weather-weary visage. It will perk it right up. Optional: add rolled oats (½ c. cooled cooked oats to ½ ripe avocado ratio) and exfoliate by massaging the mask into your skin for a minute before rinsing with lukewarm water. Leave your mask on for a total of 10-15 minutes before taking it off to soak up all of the benefits.
Astringents help us get rid of excess oils and clean away traces of makeup that are left after washing. It couldn’t be easier to improvise your own produce-aisle version of this skincare regimen must. All you need is a cucumber and a cutting board. Just take a few fresh cut slices and rub them on your face before rinsing with water. Another easy-peasy astringent option is to mix equal parts of lemon juice and distilled water. High in Vitamin C and citric acid, lemon may help get rid of dead skin cells and prevent acne, but is not recommended for sensitive skin. Apply with a cotton ball or environment-friendly reusable round. Just be sure to avoid the eyes! Then rinse with water.
Moisturizer in minutes
We’re supposed to moisturize every day, right? But once in a while that pesky bottom of the jar sneaks up on us and we find ourselves without our magical potion. It’s going to be OK, because all you need are three simple things from the grocery store to make your own moisturizer: virgin organic coconut oil, green tea, and cheesecloth. Green tea is full of antioxidants, making it a super-healthy ingredient for both your inner and outer health. It is an anti-inflammatory that has been used to treat skin ailments including psoriasis, eczema, and rosacea. To make your moisturizer, you’ll just need two tablespoons of green tea (pro tip: you can just tear open two teabags), and a cup of coconut oil. First, you’ll want to heat up the coconut oil. You can use a double boiler, or a pyrex bowl/measuring cup placed in a saucepan. Pour water in the saucepan so that it is about two inches up the outside of the pyrex. Turn the burner on to medium heat, and when it begins to get hot, place 1 cup of coconut oil in the pyrex container. Once the oil has melted, stir in the tea leaves. Cover, and simmer the water (not the oil) on the lowest heat setting for 30 minutes. Strain the tea out with the cheesecloth and then let the mixture sit and cool so that it solidifies (or place in the refrigerator if you live in a hot climate). Once it cools, use a little elbow grease and a wire whisk to whip the mixture to a creamy texture. Then voilà, you have moisturizer. To be sure the coconut oil doesn’t melt, you’ll want to keep it away from heat, in a cool place like the fridge.
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Maya Gottfried is the author of books for children and adults, including Our Farm: By the Animals of Farm Sanctuary and Vegan Love: Dating and Partnering for the Cruelty-Free Gal.
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