Natural Beauty Aids
They say that good health, balanced diets, regular exercise, good night’s sleep and a stress free and satisfying life are invaluable beauty aids. But cosmetics made from natural ingredients also help us look our best.
Most of the cosmetics we use now a days include chemicals which sometimes cause allergies and skin rash. Natural home remedies not only use ingredients that can be mostly found in our kitchens or chemists but we also have the satisfaction of knowing that none of these preparations have been tested on animals.
A double boiler has to be used to prepare some of these recipes, but a heatproof bowl placed over a pan of boiling water will work as well. Otherwise one needs only ordinary kitchen utensils and containers.
Mix together equal amounts of glycerine and rose water. It has been a favorite for long. In case of oily skin, one can reduce the glycerine amount and for dry skin, increase it a little. This is suitable for hands and face.
To make a moisturizing gel, dissolve a teaspoon of gelatin in 150 ml of hot water, then mix in a teaspoon of rose essential oil and 2 tablespoon of glycerine. One can also use orange, lavender or any other flower oil in place of rose.
 Facial cleansing cream
Finely pare about 6 tablespoons of beeswax (from a hardware or health shop) with a sharp kitchen knife or grater. Heat gently with 450ml of liquid paraffin in the top of a double boiler until melted. Allow to cool to 50 degree Celsius while separately heating 300 ml of water to the same temperature. When both are hot, slowly add the water to the wax and oil mixture until it begins to solidify, then pour it into storage jars.
 Cold cream
Using a blender, mix 1 tablespoon of Aloe Vera gel and 150 ml of corn oil or olive oil. Then in the top of a double boiler, melt 1 tablespoon of white beeswax and 1.5 table spoon of anhydrous (water free) lanolin. Slowly stir in the oil and aloe mix, remove from heat and add 1.5 tablespoon of rose, lavender or any other flower water and a few drops of any essential oil. Stir well until the mixture cools and thickens and then pour it into storage jars.
 Facial Toners
Sage is a wonderful natural beauty aid which tightens the skin, closes the pores and soothes any spots of inflammation.
To make the lotion, place 3 tablespoons of dried sage or 6 of the fresh herb into a clean jar and pour into it about 150 ml of vodka. Tightly shut the lid and leave it to stand. After a week strain off and discard the sage replacing it with a similar new measure of sage and leaving it for another week. The liquid should now have a strong herbal smell. Then strain the liquid into a clean bottle. Add 4 to 5 drops of tincture of benzoin, which is available at the chemists, shut the lid and shake well. Use the lotion after cleansing the skin and before applying any moisturizer.
 Skin Refresher
Papaya contains enzymes that help remove dead skin, leaving the face fresh and clean. Apply pulped fruit all over the face, leave for a few minutes and then wipe off. Splash with cool water and apply moisturizer, as papaya tends to dry the skin.
 Facial masks
These will cleanse and tone the skin, drawing out impurities and soothing the skin.
Oatmeal and ground almonds are good all purpose dry bases, suitable for any skin type; wheat germ and brewer’s yeast help in nourishing the skin; kaolin clay helps draw out the impurities, heals spots and improves circulation. Other clays can also be used: bentonite to soothe and heal, fuller’s earth to absorb excess oil and stimulate the skin. Sulfur is sometimes used to treat Acne and oily skins but it can cause allergies so should be tested first.
For an oily skin, the best liquids are witch hazel, beaten egg whites, yogurt, lemon juice or an infusion of agrimony and raspberry leaf. And for a dry skin, egg yolk, honey, sour cream, pulped bananas or avocado, rose water, almond oil or melon and carrot juice are said to be effective.
To make it, take 2 tablespoons of a suitable dry base with enough liquid to make a thick paste, choosing the right ingredients. Before applying, wash your face and steam it to open the pores. Spread the paste all over the face and the neck. Allow it to dry and wash it off with warm water.
 Herbal shampoos
It is important to choose the right kind of herbs. Sage to condition and enhance dark hair, chamomile to lighten and soften fair hair, parsley to thicken hair, southernwood to stimulate hair growth and kelp and yarrow to stop hair fall.
Into a heatproof jar, place 1 table spoon of the chosen herbs, 1 tablespoon of pure grade borax and 2 tablespoon of dried soapwort leaves or dried roots. Over it, pour about 450ml of boiling water and stir well, cover loosely and leave to cool. Allow the mixture to remain undisturbed for a day or two, shake it regularly then strain and use.
 Herbal hair oil
Place 9 tablespoon of suitable herbs in the top of a double boiler and add 300 ml of soya, peanut, corn, olive or sunflower oil. Heat for half an hour and then pour the mixture into a wide necked jar. Cover with a few layers of cheesecloth or muslin held by a rubber band. Leave in a warm place for about a week, stirring every day. Then strain and store in a clean container.
 Anti-Wrinkle treatment
Mix 2 tb spoon of cucumber with the white of 1 egg. Whisk it well. Then add a teaspoon lemon juice and a teaspoon of vodka. Mix it all together and apply on face, leave it for 10 minutes and wash. It can be used at least twice a week.
 Loose Skin
Take a jute pouch, or bath bag or a hollow loofah. Take about 5 teaspoon starch powder, 4 teaspoon rice powder and a handful of rose petals and aromatherapy oil of your choice . Mix them well and place it inside the pouch. Scrub onto wet skin.
 Dark Underarms
Take 2 teaspoon rice powder, 2 teaspoon almond (finely ground), 2 teaspoon sandalwood powder and mix it all with milk . Use it to scrub underarm and wash with mild soap. Can use it daily.
 Rough Elbows
Mix 2 teaspoon lemon juice, 2-3 teaspoon sugar and half a teaspoon of glycerin. Take half a lemon, dip into solution and rub on elbows. Leave it for 10 minutes and rinse. Repeat everyday for 4 days.
- Before applying anything, dab a little on the skin to test for allergies.
- Also because no preservatives are used, these creams and lotions willnot last as long as commercial products.
- Always store them in a cool, dry place and use a spatula or spoon to remove them rather than the fingers.
 Must Remember
- Drink at least 2 litre of water or about 8 glasses everyday. It helps to flush toxins out of the body and make the skin glow
- Avoid eating fried food and drinking aerated drinks. As much as possible have natural juices.
- Try and sleep for at least six to eight hours everyday.
- Include some form of physical activity in your life be it exercise, walking, swimming, yoga.
- Try to be a positive thinker. It reflects on the skin.
- Do-It-Yourself Aid for beauty by Diane parkins