By Veronica Saroli (ArtSci ’14)
It’s February, it’s cold, and you’re stuck in a beauty routine rut. Why not look to your kitchen for a cost-effective solution that packs a punch when it comes to nutrients, versatility and rejuvenation? Chances are that you’ve got a beauty gold mine (otherwise known as groceries) sitting in your kitchen just waiting to be put to use.
Egg whites are great for tightening pores. Combine an egg white with one tablespoon of oatmeal for a soothing facemask, or use the juice from a half a lemon for a tightening and clarifying mask.
Save the yoke and use it for a hair mask, especially if you bleach or dye your hair; the protein from the yoke will restore dull, dry and frizzy strands (mayonnaise also works well for this). Mix the yoke with one tablespoon of oil, such as olive or avocado and apply to just-washed hair. Leave on for five minutes then rinse out with cool water so as not to cook the egg while still in your hair.
Vinegar clarifies hair and keeps it shiny; the acid removes build up and residue left from alkaline in shampoo and the pH in vinegar seals the hair cuticle, making it smoother and shinier .Vinegar also helps preserve and prolong the colour for those of you that dye your hair. Pour about one cup on your roots and let it coat your strands down to the ends; follow up with conditioner.
Note: Stick to white or cider vinegar.
Olive, avocado, almond and virgin coconut oils are all worthwhile, multi-purpose beauty remedies. These oils are chock-full of key moisturizing vitamins such as A, E and D which lead to better skin health and cell renewal. I personally favour coconut oil for the lovely scent and because it’s also great for baking.
Coconut oil can be used for essentially anything. Try using it as a face and body moisturizer; put some on a cotton ball for a natural make-up remover; dab it on your cheeks for a dewy finish or put a towel on your pillow before bed, coat your strands with oil and wake up the next morning with sleek, shiny locks (albeit locks that will need a shower).
If you have inflamed or red skin from rosacea or sunburn, soak a washcloth in milk and set on irritated skin to soothe it. Another option is to add a few cups of milk to a bath for baby-soft skin; the lactic acid dissolves the bonds that keep dead skin together.
Create a mask tailored to your skins needs by adding fatty-oil and vitamin rich avocado or mashed strawberries with exfoliating enzymes to honey, milk or oatmeal; leave on for 15 minutes.
You can also add sugar or coarse sea salt and turn it into a body scrub. Finish off the treatment by using clarifying rosewater as a toner. Feel free to use your own judgment when putting concoctions together — chances are if its good for your body it’s good for your skin and the need for precise measurement is trivial.
Aspirin is a pimple-zapper that rivals acne-fighting ingredients like benzoyl peroxide with added anti-inflammatory properties to reduce redness. Add a few drops of water to crushed pills to form a paste and apply as a spot treatment or a mask and leave on for five to 15 minutes.
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