Natural beauty ingredients

In the days before there was a product for every imaginable beauty problem, we took a simpler approach to hair and skin care. Dry skin could be slathered in olive oil, while puffy eyes called for cucumber slices. Now it seems that grandma really was ahead of her time with many of today’s top spa treatment taking their cues from old-fashioned home remedies.

Oatmeal - to calm and soften skin

Why it works: Soothing and anti-inflammatory, oatmeal contains beta glucan, a soluble fibre that creates a thin, moisture-retaining film on the surface of the skin.

How to: Place a handful of whole oats in a clean washcloth using a rubber band to secure it. Next, immerse it in a sink full of warm water and squeeze the bag 4-5 times. Once the water is cloudy splash it on your face and then air-dry. (If you must towel dry, pat as gently as possible.)

Walnuts - to exfoliate hands and feet

Why it works: Rich in oil, walnuts make for extra gentle exfoliating.

How-to: Blend ½ cup shelled walnuts, ¼ cup olive oil, and a tablespoon of honey (to seal moisture into your skin) in a food processor set on a slow speed, creating a fine-particle scrub. Work the mixture thoroughly over your skin for a couple of minutes and rinse with warm water.

Avocado Oil - to repair dry, sensitive skin

Why it works: Avocado oil is abundant in fatty acids that help balance the skin’s moisture levels, it also contains the antioxidant vitamins A, C, and E, to protect skin from further damage.

How to: Combine equal parts avocado oil and evening-primrose oil (which supports collagen synthesis with its gamma linoleic acid) in a sealable bottle and shake to blend. Massage 5 or 6 drops into clean skin and then cover your face with a warm washcloth for a minute or two to help the oil sink in.

Eggs - to add strength to damaged, weakened hair

Why it works: Eggs’ high protein content helps improve hair’s strength and shine.

How to: Mix together 1 egg, 2 tablespoon coconut oil (rich in moisturising fats), and 2 tablespoon of sesame oil. Apply the mixture to dry hair and wrap a hot, moist towel around your head. Relax for 5 to 10 minutes. Without wetting hair first, work in a handful of shampoo before rinsing. Follow with conditioner.

Orange - to slough dry skin off heels, knees and elbows

Why it works: The fruit acid loosens dead skin cells.

How to: Halve a fresh orange. Squeeze the juice into a bowl and add ½ cup granulated sugar and ¼ cup olive oil. Blend into a moisture-rich scrub. Next, rub the exposed side of the other half of the orange over knees, elbows, heels and any other dry spots. Then rub in the sugar mixture to slough off dead skin. Rinse with water and pat dry.

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