Monday, April 23, 2012

Homemade Beauty

 I am a fan of beauty products that come from the kitchen.  The chemicals and what-not in most tubes and jars kind of freak me out, and my skin is on the sensitive side, so it's prone to freaking out, too.  A lot of my homemade stuff I learned from my mom.  And, actually, I'm not sure if it even qualifies as homemade, since there is no making involved.  For example, an egg yolk face mask is just that--beat an egg yolk and apply it to your face.  It seems to tighten pores and smooth skin.  I also like adding a teaspoon of baking soda to my hair in the shower once a month.  I keep a small Mason jar in the shower, toss in the baking soda, swirl in some water so that it's somewhat paste-like and work into my hair.  Rinse, then wash and condition as usual.  This strips out any product build-up and makes my hair super soft.

Homemade stuff usually also has the added benefit of being cheap--usually, I already have this stuff hanging around.  The other day, I needed a body scrub, so that I could apply sunless tanner.  I had seen a few recipes online, and decided to mix some stuff together and see what I got.  Here is my recipe:

2-4 tsp. brown sugar
2-4 tsp. white sugar
1 tsp. honey
1 tsp. olive oil
1 tsp. coconut oil
1 tsp. lemon juice

I mixed it all together in a small, clean jar that once held diced pimentos (see, recycling!).  Honestly, the results were amazing.  I tend to have dry, eczema-ish skin, and this stuff made it super smooth and soft.  If you are not familiar with coconut oil, check it out.  It is about the consistency of Crisco, a white solid at room temperature, but melts when you rub it in.  I use it for so many things, including a substitute for after-shower lotion, face moisturizer in the winter, lip balm, and I smooth some onto dried hair to tame frizz.  I got an enormous jar from a health-food store something like two years ago, but I have seen it now at Wal-Mart with other cooking oils.
Bolstered by my confidence in kitchen beauty, I decided to try another experiment: homemade hair lightener.  I have light-medium brown hair that I actually rather like.  I think the color looks a bit like oak wood, because I have very subtle streaks of lighter blonde throughout.  I was completely blonde as a toddler, and even after my hair turned brown around age five, it would still bleach out to a bright blonde in the sun during the summer when I was a kid.  I don't want to dye my hair--like I said, I like the color.  But, I would like to intensify the highlights that are already there.  So, this is what I mixed up:

1 cup strong chamomile tea (steeped approx. 30 minutes)
1 tsp. honey (dissolved in tea)
1/2 to 1/3 cup lemon juice
1/2 oz. John Frieda Go Blonder Lightening Conditioner

I let the tea and honey cool a bit, added the lemon juice and whisked in the conditioner (which should keep my hair from getting too dried out).  I poured it all into a spray bottle.  I tested it out during a long run last week, spraying mostly the front layers and the top of my head until my hair was fairly saturated.  I was out in the sun during my run for about 40 minutes, and when I got back my highlights were definitely more noticeable.  It wasn't a drastic change--I think the process is a gradual one--but my highlights were definitely blonder.  I keep this concoction in the fridge--I'm not sure if the ingredients go bad, but I don't want to spray moldy liquid onto my head. 

So, there you are: homemade kitchen beauty.  I can't guarantee the results, but if you try these, let me know how they work out for you.  And let me know if you have any favorite homemade beauty recipes.

No comments: