And here I was thinking my son’s leftover oatmeal was only good for the garbage can. Think again! My latest “from home” beauty project has been facials, and I’ve found some cool ingredients and methods for applying them.
I loooove experimenting with home ingredients, so try these out with me. (And hey, if they don’t work out, at least you have lunch!)
From-Home Ingredients, What They Do, and How to Use Them
I know, I didn’t think sugar was very “good for you” in any way either. I know some families that don’t even keep white sugar in the house. On my better days I pretend to be one of them but hey, anything for my beautiful moms out there — so in the name of transparency I’ll just say: pick up some sugar, and make yourself a great face scrub.
Sugar softens slightly but doesn’t lose its granular consistency when added to warm water. This means it gives just enough exfoliation to really clean out pores and remove older skin cells without tearing or irritating the skin (as some products, such as larger-kernel apricot scrubs, can do).
To make your scrub, simply add a couple tablespoons of warm water to one tablespoon of white sugar. Stir and wait five minutes, then apply to your face. Rub in gentle circles. Rinse with water. You don’t need to follow up with a cleanser, but if you do, make sure it’s very gentle and non-stripping, as the sugar scrub will have lifted most of the oils from the surface of your skin already.
Yum! Papaya is one of my favorite fruits (luckily, it’s my middle son’s favorite too, which gives me an excuse to buy it without the guilt — yeah, I have issues). Amazingly, it is apparently also good as a skin cleanser and “brightener,” adding a glow to the face.
According to my research, papaya’s anti-sun damage and sun spot activity is due to the active enzymes in its peel (and to a lesser extent, throughout the fruit).
To get the full benefits of these actions, you’ll need to use a papaya face mask once to twice per week. Simply peel the papaya. Turn the peel inside-out and rub its inside over your entire face. You’ll feel some of the “stickiness” transferring onto your skin. Wait 15-20 minutes, just until you begin to feel a tightening effect (this means it has dried). Rinse. Add a gentle cleanser and do a second rinse.
This one wasn’t as much a surprise to me. My mother recommended oatmeal scrubs when I was an oily teenager. Now that I’ve grown into an oily adult, I still use the occasional oatmeal mask to help combat blemishes and to tone my skin overall.
Oatmeal has slightly astringent, drying properties, so this ingredient isn’t recommended for dry skin. For oily or combination skin, it’s great. This one is an actual recipe, as follows:
1/4 c. steel-cut oats (uncooked)
2 tbsp. plain, full-fat yogurt
Grind the oats in a grinder or food processor until fine. Mix it into the other two ingredients. Place on the skin of your face as a mask. Allow it to sit for 10 minutes. Rinse thoroughly.
I did just mention yogurt, so let me go into a little more detail about this wonder ingredient. Yogurt moisturizes the skin, yet it’s also anti-bacterial, which is why it’s so great for any type of skin (oily, dry, normal or combination). Its acids also help to fade sun spots, a really amazing feature out of a home product.
I have seen many yogurt home recipes that include lemon juice. I do not recommend this. Lemon can be overdrying even in combination with other ingredients. And if it’s used in too large a concentration, it can sting and even leave a chemical burn-like rash on the face (ask me how I know this).
Luckily, yogurt stands on its own as a great facial mask product. You can also use it as a spot treatment for acne; simply dab it on your breakouts. Do not wash off until your regular cleansing time (morning or evening).
The oil of the avocado is remarkably like the natural oils your skin produces. This makes it an ideal moisturizer; it absorbs readily and does the job without clogging your pores.
Mash avocado well with a fork or in your food processor. While it’s processing, wet a washcloth with warm (not hot) water. When the avocado is ready, smear it on your face. Lie back and place the washcloth gently over your face. You only need to do this for 2-5 minutes. When you’re done, wipe off GENTLY (don’t rinse). Follow with your daily makeup routine.
Hope you found these ideas as delicious as I did, my beauties. If you try these ingredients, please let me know how you make out. I love to hear from you!