All right, I’ll be honest. I’m a girl. And I like some girly things. But I what I don’t like is strange people touching me. One of my good friends took me out for a spa facial for the first time last year. It was the weirdest thing ever. I’m all about skin care, don’t get me wrong. In fact, I’m probably more obsessed about my skin than one would assume. I drink 9-10 glasses of water a day. I eat a diet full of vitamins A, C and E. I wear sunscreen although not nearly as often as I probably should. I shower in lukewarm water, moisturize daily and exfoliate often. I inspect myself regularly for spots and bumps. I take care of my feet. I’m all about soft, healthy on every part of the body.
I know you’re wondering, “Yeah, it’s great that you’re a skin freak. Why are you telling me this? Where are the pictures of the food?” There is a point. I promise.
So what does a girl do when she wants a skin treatment but is iffy about having random people touching her face, feet and hands? And “in this economy” (I think it’s a mandatory rule that every person in America use that phrase at least once this year), spa treatments and skin care products can be expensive luxuries. So how do you treat your skin nice without breaking the bank or subjecting yourself to the prods of strangers?
Well, food obviously.
In the words of Home Simpson, it is the cause of and answer to all of life’s problems.
I am a big fan of do-it-yourself facials and pedicures, and because I’ve developed a dislike of adding chemicals to my body over the past few years (or should I say, my body has developed a dislike of me adding chemicals to it over the past few years), I’ve found a few good natural ways of softening and smoothing skin. And cheaper too.
For your whole body
- Fill a jar with honey and a few tablespoons of brown sugar; keep in the shower and use as moisturizing body scrub.
- Create a full-body exfoliant by pulverizing a handful of almonds, one orange peel and a cup of grapeseed oil in a blender.
- Mix 1/2 c. sugar, 2 tbsp olive oil and 1 tbsp of any fragrant extract (vanilla, mint, etc) and mix together. In the shower, get wet and massage the scrub into your skin and rinse. The sugar exfoliates and the oil helps you stay soft.
- Another body scrub: 2 tsp olive oil, 2 tsp sweet almond oil, 1/2 c. sugar, 1-3 drops lavender essential oil. Whisk together and store in a container with an air-tight lid. Use a few dollops a couple times a week, scrub and rinse. The olive oil moisturizes while the lavender helps heal damaged skin, particularly cuts and burns. You can also replace half the sugar with 1/4 c. unused fine-ground coffee grinds. It’ll also help wake you up.
For your face
- Squeeze 2 lemons into a half cup of water then splash over face and rinse to help dissolve dead skin and fight bacteria.
- Treat a breakout by crushing an aspirin and mixing it with enough water to form a paste and then apply it to the pimple and leave it on for 10 minutes. Rinse. This will help shrink the pimple.
- Mix 2 tsps canned pumpkin, half a teaspoon of honey, and a quarter teaspoon of milk (or soymilk). Apply to face and leave on for 15 minutes before rinsing. The pumpkin will help remove dead skin cells.
- Brush your teeth with 1 ripe strawberry, crushed, and 1/2 tsp baking soda. Leave the mix on your teeth for 5 minutes and then brush with toothpaste. The mix will help whiten your teeth.
For your feet
- Slice a lemon and dip slices in sugar; rub over calluses to exfoliate. Next, soak your feet in white vinegar to remove stains from nails, then moisturize with olive oil. Finish by wrapping your feet in wet, warm towels. (BTW, I do this one on a regular basis. Lemons are cheap, I always have sugar, it smells fantastic and it works like a charm.)
- 2 tsp olive oil, 2 tsp sweet almond oil, 1/2 c. salt, 1-3 drops lavender essential oil. Whisk together and store in a container with an air-tight lid. Use a couple dollops weekly to scrub your feet.
These are some of my favorite tips. If anyone has any more, send them my way! I’ve found they’re cheaper and often better than store-bought products, and I can sit at home and listen to music while pampering myself a bit without feeling guilty or awkward.