Did you know that the key to great skin may not always be onsale at the department store beauty counter but readily available in your own kitchen instead? As a move towards ‘natural’ and ‘organic’ skincare gains momentum many people are spending an awful of of money on specialist ‘all natural’ products. But in many cases they really don’t need to, as there are some excellent alternatives to be found at the grocery store. Here are just a few of the most effective (not to mention inexpensive) to make use of them.
Yogurt and Lemon Whitening Mask
Many of the skin lighteners you can find at the beauty counter contain an active ingredient called hydroquinone, a substance which literally kills off melanin producing cells in order to achieve the desired effect, something that is a pretty drastic measure.
Some also contain mercury, a throwback to the Middle Ages when they literally used to cover their faces with the stuff to achieve a whiter look (and often killed themselves in the process) and even a trace amount of mercury absorbed through the skin can used long term can cause health problems.
This tasty sounding mask can do the trick without all of that nastiness and can be particularly effective to correct larger discolorations and even ‘blur’ fine lines and wrinkles as it contains both AHAs and Vitamin C, both of which are common ingredients in anti aging serums.
All you need to do is mix the juice from one lemon with a small (6oz) cartoon of plain yogurt in a bowl, apply to the face and leave on for 10-15 minutes. Repeat the process every 3-4 days and the discolorations will begin to fade noticeably in just a few weeks.
‘Magic’ Acne Spot Treatment
You may have seen little bottles of ‘spot acne treatment’ at the beauty counter that are designed to zap a zit fast. And they usually work, but they are also rather expensive. An alternative that is just as effective is to make a paste using brewers yeast, a squeeze of fresh lemon juice and water. Mix it to a relatively thick consistency, dab on the pimple you want gone and leave on for 15 minutes before rinsing off.
Sugar Almond Facial Scrub
Exfoliation is a must for glowing skin, but you don’t actually need to spend a fortune to do so effectively. This gentler than most scrub can be whipped up in minutes in your kitchen with the bonus that it smells pretty wonderful as well!
3 tablespoons of fresh cream
1 cup of white sugar
1/2 cup of brown sugar
1/2 cup of ground almonds
2 tablespoons olive oil
Mix of the ingredients together in a bowl until well combines. Apply the paste to dry skin in a gentle circular motion and massage gently. Rinse off with lukewarm (never hot) water and store any leftover mixture in the fridge for later use.
Gelatin Blackhead Buster
You know those little Biore pore strips that admittedly do a great job of removing nasty blackheads with no squeezing? This mask can do the same thing and leave your skin feeling super smooth to boot!
Unflavored gelatin-1 packet
Fresh fruit juice- ½ cup
Choose the juice as per your skin type:
Normal to Dry: Apple, Peach or Strawberry
Oily/Acne Prone: Carrot or Grapefruit
In a small saucepan combine juice and gelatin and begin warming over a low heat. Once the gelatin is totally dissolved remove from the heat and transfer mixture to a bowl. Refrigerate for 10 minutes to firm the mixture up but do not allow it to set completely. Apply the chilled mixture to the face and neck with CLEAN fingers and allow to dry for 20-25 minutes.
Once dry you will find that the mask has become a peel off, just like the fancy ones on stores. Peel it off in an upward motion (while marveling at all the blackheads it has removed) and then rinse your face well with lukewarm water.)