As we’re stripping back our eating habits and removing processed foods from our diets, we’re thinking more about what goes on our bodies as well as in them. Using natural products on our skin not only ensures we’re protecting it from chemicals, but we can also save money. Here are our top five must haves for a natural skincare regime.
With its antibacterial and antifungal properties, coconut oil is a valued addition to the natural skin care kit. Used as an moisturiser on the skin, it is also effective as a deep conditioner for your hair; dollop it on, comb it through and wrap a towel around it for a while – you could even sleep in it and wash it out in the morning. Coconut oil also removes waterproof mascara gently, as well as other make-up, and can also be used in place of shaving foam on your legs. Aside from all that; you’ll smell fantastic!
This hugely underrated ingredient is a cornerstone in chemical-free skincare, with the ability to cleanse, tone and moisturise, and its anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties make it ideal to use on sensitive or irritated skin. Used alone on oily skin, or mixed with milk for dry skin, rosewater will cleanse and tone your skin, removing oil and stopping the growth of bacteria, helping to prevent spots. Mix coconut oil, glycerine and rosewater (3:1:1 ration) to moisturise and hydrate the skin. If you happen to get sunburnt, rosewater can also be chilled and sprayed on the affected area to give relief. Just make sure the rosewater you buy does not have added chemicals.
If like many of us, your freshly brewed coffee is a crucial part of your morning routine, don’t throw away the coffee grounds. Even a small amount makes a fabulous exfoliator which will not only remove the dead skin cells, but if your coffee is caffeinated it will also tighten the skin and pores. For very dry skin, add a slug of extra-virgin olive oil.
When life gives you lemons, add them to your skincare line-up! Lemons are naturally antibacterial and can be useful in the treatment of acne and blackheads. Simply take a slice of lemon and squeeze the juice on to the area you want to treat. Lemon juice also has a bleaching effect; if you have skin which is darker in places, rub it with half a lemon. If you fancy some natural highlights, apply lemon juice directly to hair before going out in the sunshine. Mix lemon juice with baking soda and apply to your teeth with a cotton-tip and then brush and rinse as usual for a cheap whitener.
Tea Tree Oil
This essential oil is native to Australia and is recognised for its anti-viral and anti-fungal benefits; it’s even given to the Australian army in their first aid kits! Use it directly on the skin for acne, add it to a carrier oil and apply to the skin after a shower, or add it to shampoo to treat dandruff and prevent head lice (essential is you are near school-age children!). It’s also very good on insect bites and prevents infections on minor cuts and grazes. An essential item for the skincare kit.