We like to see weekends as serious pampering time. Two days where we can, unhurriedly, take care of ourselves, catch up on TV, grab a cheat day (filled with cupcakes) and refuel for the week. We also like to bust out the face masks, exfoliates and rich moisturizers for some skin-TLC. But, while cult products from serious brands (Caudalie, we love you) will always feature in our routines, we’ve been having conversations with other like-minded girlfriends about beauty of a more DIY nature.
There are a host of essential ingredients right in your kitchen or at your neighborhood grocer’s, which will help you create fabulous face masks and exfoliates, which you can create and apply fresh. Not only is this a far more natural and holistic approach, but it’s also interesting to be in control of what’s being fed to your skin. Sugar is common to most of these, so while a classic scrub can be created with equal parts brown sugar and any oil you like (almond, olive or coconut), we’re discussing other recipes.
Note: While these ingredients are natural, it’s always wise to do a patch test on your skin anyway. Scoop up some of the concoction and apply it onto a small section of your arm for five minutes. This checks whether you’ll have a negative reaction to the combination. If not, slather away!
The Major Coffee Scrub: to purify
A quarter cup ground coffee, a quarter cup brown sugar and two tablespoons of virgin olive oil is all you need. Coffee is a great purifier, the sugar works as an exfoliate and olive oil moisturizer. Switch things up with almond oil if your skin is on the drier side.
The Banana Exfoliate: to smoother
This works best with bananas that have oxidized and have a brown tinge on them. Grab two of these ripened bananas and mash them up with three tablespoons of granulated sugar and a drop or two of your favorite essential oil. It’s not a wet scrub, so go to town because the bananas and sugar will get rid of any abrasive bits without drying out the dermis.
The Coconut Cocktail: to moisturize
This one is so simple: half a cup of coconut cream or oil, half a cup of brown sugar and a drop or two of vanilla extract (for fragrance). The benefits of coconuts are widely known. We suggest you take thick layers of this, scrub your body and leave the mixture on for five minutes. That way, the coconut really gets to do its job, the first of which is to moisturize your skin beautifully.
The Rose-Almond Face Pack: to nourish
Two tablespoons of rose water should be mixed with two tablespoons of almond oil (if you’re looking for a pack-moisturizing hybrid) or with one tablespoon of ground almonds for a scrub. The almonds are an essential source of Vitamin E and rosewater is hydrating and soothing.
The Oatmeal Bowl: to tone
Throw in one tablespoon of whole oatmeal (not instant) with one teaspoon of lemon juice and two teaspoons of yogurt. Scrub your body and face, and then let the mixture sit on your skin for five minutes before rinsing. The balance of acidic and alkaline ingredients tones the skin thoroughly. The oats act like a natural exfoliate and they are also packed with vitamins and minerals that are good for you.
The Sea Salt Solution: clean-up
Chunky sea salt works best with this recipe. Mix three tablespoons with one-and-a-half tablespoons of your favourite oil; we’d suggest almond. Open two capsules of Vitamin E and empty the contents into this mixture. You can even add a drop or two of lavender essential oil for the lovely fragrance. Give it a good stir and get on with your scrubbing!