Homemade Beauty Products: Go Green

Everyone knows the old cucumbers on the eyes to reduce puffiness trick. But we’ll bet you’ve got the ingredients in your cupboards to do a whole spa treatment from home! Try out these recipes:

1. Make your own astringent #1: Start with an empty bottle (tip: use the astringent you have and when you run out, reuse the bottle to make your own). Fill the bottle about 60-70% with water. Fill the bottle the remainder of the way with apple cider or any other type of vinegar. OK, don’t use balsamic. Add five to seven drops of essential oil to the bottle. Good choices include sandalwood, sage, peppermint, tea tree, lavendar, rose and cucumber. You can add more drops once you’ve tested, to reach the desired scent. Place cap on the bottle and shake until mixed. Store the astringent in the fridge for a refreshing facial treat.

2. Make your own astringent #2: Combine one half cup chopped fresh mint (or two tablespoons dried), two tablespoons dried chamomile flowers, crushed and four cups of water in a small saucepan. Boil for 10 minutes, remove from heat and allow to steep for 5 minutes. Strain liquid into a jar, cover and refrigerate. Will keep 2 weeks refrigerated. Especially good for very oily skin.

3. Make your own astringent #3: Combine three teaspoons lemon extract , juice of one lime and one half cup rubbing alcohol in a small bowl. Transfer to a jar and shake well. Store in the refrigerator. Tightens your pores, refreshes your skin, and helps remove oils from skin.

4. Daily cleanser for all skin types: Mix one half cup plain yogurt, one tablespoon sunflower oil, and one and one half teaspoons fresh lemon juice together and place in a sealed container. Store in the refrigerator. Use one teaspoon morning and night to cleanse face.

5. Facial cleansing gel: Add 2 teaspoons flax seeds to a saucepan containing one and one half cups of distilled water or herbal infusion. Bring to the boil and simmer gently for 15 minutes, stirring to prevent sticking. Remove from heat and cool. The mixture should thicken into a gel. Strain. To use, add enough finely ground oatmeal to the gel to make a smooth paste. Rub over the face and neck, leave a few minutes, then rinse with warm water.

6. Yogurt-aloe masque: Mix one half-cup plain yogurt and two tablespoons aloe gel (you can also use an aloe leaf, removing the skin and mashing the pulp) to form a paste. The paste can be massaged into skin, left on for one or two minutes, the rinsed off. Why it works: Yogurt contains lactic acid and a number of nutrients that mildly stimulate collagen production in the skin. Aloe is a good moisturizer, and contains anti-inflammatory substances. This masque is good for irritated, sensitive skin.

7. Yogurt-oatmeal masque: Mix two tablespoons plain yogurt, one tablespoon oatmeal, and one tablespoon honey to form a paste. Follow instructions above to clean skin. Why it works: Oatmeal and honey act as moisturizers. It works as a natural face-lifting if you let the first layer dry completely and then apply another layer on top of it. Rinse after it has dried.

8. Banish that blemish: Mix a packet of yeast with enough tea tree oil to make a paste. Spread over emerging pimple and cover with a bandage overnight.

9. Refining lotion for oily skin: Peel three oranges and three lemons very thinly, being careful to get as little white pith on the peel as possible. Pack the peel and six cloves into a glass jar and cover with hot water. Leave the peel to steep overnight. The next day, strain and filter the liquid, add a few drops tincture of benzoin (as a preservative) and keep in the fridge (label carefully!). The benzoin tincture will turn the lotion milky. Apply 2 or 3 times per day and leave on. Improves the texture of oily skin and clears dingy, dull skin, and the essential oils from the peels help heal and prevent pimples.

10. Lemon-aide for the face: For those with oily complexions, take a fresh lemon and cut it in half. Grab a new or just-cleaned makeup brush and wipe it over the lemon until wet. Brush it over your face, concentrating on oily areas. Leave on for five minutes and rinse off. Do this just before bed, because the natural acid in the lemon may leave your skin a little red, but it helps control the oil.