Guest blogger Aminah Khan explains how you can create beauty remedies from the comfort of your own home
What does it take to get perfectly flawless skin? Often the answer appears to us in fancy packaging with a hefty price tag. But do we need to break the bank to tackle breakouts? Dr Josh Axe, a natural medicine and clinical nutritionist and bestselling author of the book Eat Dirt, notes on his website that 'the majority of store-bought, commercially-produced beauty products come packed with artificial colours, fragrances, preservatives and stabilisers that can easily be absorbed through the skin’s pores, potentially causing a range of negative long-term health effects.' Alternatively he notes that using natural skin remedies over time means antioxidants are absorbed into your skin which can enhance your skin’s UV resistance, and stimulate your immune system.' Over the years many people have tried home remedies that include a vast array of ingredients, from lemon juice to egg whites and turmeric to yoghurt. But do there work?
'At home' skin remedies are commonly used in the Middle East and South Asia, in countries like Pakistan and India. They’re passed down from mother to daughter and so forth. I remember my mother always telling me to use rose water and it’s something I’ve sworn by for a long time. So this got me thinking about how these simple skin tricks that my mum told me are now increasing in popularity everywhere. Celebrity makeup artist Kirin Bhatty, admitted that 'ever since I was very little, I remember my mother encouraging me to use natural things at home', to which I’m sure many of us can relate. Rose water for example is the perfect toner and it doesn’t feel like it’s stripping away the natural oils of my skin. It also makes you feel like a princess because it was what queens used a long time ago. A tip that I have picked up over the years is that if you put the rose water in the fridge overnight it will dramatically increase the soothing effect.
Over the years I too have tried at home skin remedies, but the at home mask that I will forever swear by is the turmeric mask. By using this mask, at least once a week, I’ve seen a new brightness to my skin and it even helped me clear any pimples on my face. Turmeric, sometimes referred to as the spice of life, has been used in a face mask for centuries in India; a tradition that is followed my many Indian brides to brighten up their skin. The reason why turmeric is such a hero ingredient when it comes to face masks is because it boasts many beneficial properties. It’s anti-inflammatory, anti-septic, anti-aging and antibacterial; not to mention you could probably find it in your kitchen cupboard. You might think turmeric is overrated because everybody uses it. Yet turmeric contains calcium, so if you have dry skin it will help heal this. If you’re worried about fine lines, which is something that everyone battles with as they age, the vitamin C will help build collagen and maintain elasticity. I never knew why my skin would feel glowing and appear brighter after using the mask, but it’s actually because of the magnesium that makes the skin appear radiant. When I’m usually making the mask I use a teaspoon of turmeric, a teaspoon of honey, two teaspoons of milk and some chickpea flour because the chickpea flour acts as a gentle exfoliator when you wash the mask off.
OLIVE & COCOUNUT OILS
Another favourite of mine is olive oil; you can use it for your cooking but you can also use it to cleanse your skin. But if you’re going to try this out make sure to use a high quality, raw, unprocessed extra-virgin olive oil. The antioxidants in the oil help the skin looking youthful. I usually use apply a thin layer of the oil to clean skin, before bed. I wouldn’t recommend doing this during the day because the olive oil does leave behind an oily sheen. But think of oils as your friend. It might not be skin care, but you might remember your mum running coconut oil through your hair every other week. When I was younger I would hate the feeling of oil in my hair, but now I still use it as a nourishing hair mask. Every other week I put coconut oil in my hair, comb it through and then let it soak in for about an hour before washing it out. By doing this I’ve been able maintain the shine and thickness of my hair.
It seems like for every skin care issue there’s a natural solution, but what about those pesky leg hairs, arm hair or facial hair. You can ditch the razer and opt for sugaring wax. I tried this and it can be quite a messy mixture, the first time you make it, but like with everything practice makes perfect. I have tried it a few more times and I’ve noticed slightly less sensitivity than with normal waxing. The popularity of sugaring is simply down to the fact that it is a lot gentler than other hair removal methods, personally I found that I can tolerate waxing a lot more than epilating. A similar technique to normal waxing is used but it hardly irritates the skin, so it’s good for those of you who have sensitive skin.
Yet when it comes skin care and hair removal, if you don’t feel comfortable with at home remedies it isn’t really a problem. If you still want something that feels natural, the next time you go to the drugstore look for products that include unprocessed ingredients or products that don’t contain anything artificial it it. Dr Axe ideally summarised that the idea is that 'the closer to the nature the natural skin product is, the more your skin will know what to do with its beneficial ingredients in order to improve your skin’s health.'
Aminah Khan, for more work like this follow her on Twitter @aminahkhan246