Most conventional beauty care products contain harsh chemical ingredients that can harm our bodies and the environment. We can replace them with simple, natural products that can be made in our own home! Working with beneficial herbs and the natural products found in our kitchen pantry and bathroom closet, we can create powerful beauty serums for skin and hair.
Natural Hair Care
There are many natural ways to wake up dull, dry hair. One simple method is to shampoo and condition less. Washing and conditioning hair every day destroys our own natural oils, leaving hair dull and lifeless. Replace one or two washes a week with a simple vinegar rinse. Use 1 cup white or apple cider vinegar in lieu of shampoo and conditioner. Simply pour it over your hair, massage into your scalp and rinse. Adding baking soda makes this rinse invigorating. You may also add essential oils to your vinegar rinse. Rosemary, lavender or rose geranium essential oils leave hair moisturized, brilliant and balanced. Bi-weekly hot oil treatments restore vitality to damaged hair. Simply warm up ½ a cup of olive oil, add any of the aforementioned essential oils, and massage into your scalp. Shampoo with a mild soap following the treatment and watch your hair glow!
Natural Skin Care
Due to their complex and minute molecular makeup, essential oils are powerfully active in repairing damaged skin. Products infused with essential oils penetrate deeply to the dermal skin layer, where wrinkles and other environmental damage have their roots. Few essential oils can be applied “neat,” or directly onto the skin. While oils derived from lavender, tea tree, rose, German chamomile and sandalwood can be applied “neat,” you should always test them first by applying a small amount to the inside of your wrist, then waiting to see how your skin reacts. Combining essential oils with other ingredients to make skin care products will dilute them, which delivers their potent curative properties and dilutes some of their intensity.
Restore Ph Balance
Our skin craves Ph balance, and this balance is thrown off by cleansing. Herbal toners help our skin to reach a healthy balance between acidic and alkaline. Again, vinegar is our ally here. A powerful beauty serum is made by taking several curative herbs, and infusing their properties into vinegar. Fill a mason jar with any or all of the following herbs: chamomile, calendula, lemon balm, lavender, sage, comfrey leaf or red clover blossoms. Be sure to leave about one inch of space at the top. Cover the herbs completely with white wine vinegar, and allow the mixture to sit at room temperature, in a dark place for two weeks. Strain the herbs from the vinegar with cheese cloth, and mix the resulting serum with witch hazel extract-1 part serum to 1 part witch hazel. Add lavender or chamomile essential oil to make this amazing beauty potion even better. Apply this serum after washing your face to restore Ph balance, renew and invigorate the skin of your face. This is also a beautifying rinse for dark hair when diluted with water.
Moisturize a lot!
As our skin ages, moisturizing becomes even more important. Oils that nourish our skin like jojoba, and olive oil have their powers increased when combined with essential oils, or infused with herbs. Chamomile and calendula flowers are incredibly nourishing to our skin. Cover a handful of these dried flowers with jojoba or olive oil, and warm in a double boiler on low heat for 30 minutes. Allow the mixture to cool, then strain out the flowers, and you will have a sweet smelling, powerful moisturizing oil. Or, simply add the essential oils of these flowers to the base oil, and apply to problem areas twice a day. Carry a hydrosol with you in your purse. Spritz your face with the hydrosol regularly to moisturize and freshen makeup.
When caring for our beauty naturally, we are taking care of ourselves and the earth! Simple practices go a long way. And remember the basics: good water, plenty of rest, a positive outlook and not squinting too much! All of these methods will lead to natural beauty.