Spa brands and celebrities alike are extolling the virtues of natural ingredients of the culinary variety in our skincare routines – Temple Spa use natural yoghurt, mint and honey, and Jennifer Aniston reportedly smears mashed bananas on her face to achieve a glow more natural than we had anticipated. So in the spirit of science, beauty, clear pores and post-recession frugality (they say beauty is pain, but it’s your pockets that bear the inevitable brunt) the Spabreaks.com team used the contents of their fridges to deliver the verdict on a few home skincare recipes …
Yogurt Cleanser and Lemon Juice Toner
Who tried it? Product Manager Sarah Hill
What do you need? A teaspoon of plain yoghurt and a teaspoon of baking soda for the cleanser; lemon juice for the toner – simple!
What do you do? Mix the baking soda and yoghurt, smooth over your face and leave it for two minutes before gently massaging it into the skin; then rinse with warm water. To tone, pour fresh lemon juice onto a cotton wool pad and just wipe over the skin!
What did Sarah think?
Apart from the slightly alarming reactionary fixing of ingredients, the cleanser was easy to make and was refreshingly cold when you first put it on, if a little difficult to make even across the face. It was a very gentle exfoliator which is great as I have sensitive skin, and my pores were noticeably clearer afterwards. The down sides are that the taste of baking soda seems to get into your mouth which isn’t pleasant, and it is quite tricky to wash off so I kept finding bits of it later on – nice!
The lemon juice toner was also really easy (pips aside) – and smells very fresh! I had a bit of a cold, and it really stung where my nose was sore but other than that it left my skin feeling extremely soft and a bit of moisturiser seemed to get rid of the stickiness from the juice!
Oat and Honey Facial Scrub
Who tried it? Online Supply Manager, Vicky Benning
What do you need? One egg white, a spoonful of runny honey, a dash of lemon juice, and a small handful of oats.
What do you do? Mix it all together in a bowel and smooth over your face! If you want you can leave it on for five to ten minutes as a mask, then gently massage to exfoliate and rinse off with water!
What did Vicky think? My mum has sworn by this recipe for years and plays with the quantities depending on what she wants out of it. I only left it on for a few minutes as I didn’t particularly like the thought of having egg on my face – literally – and it is quite messy to wash off. However, it does leave your skin with a healthy glow and unlike more aggressive facials it didn’t bring me out in spots – always a plus! It’s very much a quick boost rather than a long term solution, and my top tip would be to make the mixture without the oats the night before and stick it in the fridge so that it has a more substantial consistency, then add the oats just before you use it!
Vegetable Oil Hair Mask and Salt Body Scrub
Who tried it? Editor, Bonnie Friend
What do you need? Lots of oil essentially – for the hair mask you need about half a cup of vegetable oil and a warm damp towel; for the scrub you need a couple of spoons of olive oil, a couple of spoons of Epsom salts and if you are feeling flush a few drops of your favourite essential oil.
What do you do? For the hair mask simply work the oil from the scalp through your hair then wrap it in the damp towel and read a book for an hour while it works its magic – then shampoo and condition as usual. For the scrub, mix the oil and salt together and then massage into the skin!
What did Bonnie think? I have really dry skin and hair, and the hair mask actually made a big difference leaving my hair softer and my scalp somewhat placated. I was a bit paranoid about getting oil all over the bathroom so I prepared the towel first and put it in the airing cupboard to keep warm which seemed to work. I also ran the shower over my hair beforehand and towel dried it to make it easier to get the oil through. The sitting back and waiting part I could handle!
The scrub was easy enough to put together, although it does separate so you have to keep mixing it as you’re using it. Olive oil is amazing for everything, but it doesn’t smell great and I did spend the better half of the morning feeling like a half dressed salad. It also gets all over the bath so you have to be careful not to slip and also need to clean it afterwards which detracts from the experience. However, as someone who usually has to cake themselves in moisturiser after washing I didn’t need to use any, and happily did not smell of oven chips either … in fact I felt rather smug and wholesome about the experience!
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