I love looking after my skin. I have been plagued with very dry skin from a young age and have always had to have quite a strict beauty regime. Even as a school girl, I had to use cleanser, toner and moisturiser, sometimes even prescribed by a dermatologist. My skin hates soap. I makes me feel like I have had a face lift gone wrong. My lips are constantly chapped and my house is dotted with lip balms. I have lip balm in every jacket I wear, every bag I use and in every room.
As a result I have always been interested in skincare products. I have spent hours browsing aisles and hundreds of euros on buying products. Some have worked, some haven't, some my skin could take, others make me break out in rashes and blotches. My skin is so unpredictable that even some pharmacy bought, hypoallergenic, gentle as water products are not compatible with me.
I have also always believed that you don't have to spend thousands on your beauty regime and,to this day, I hate spending too much on it. I had 2 facials in a beauty salon in my lifetime and as much as I found them great and relaxing and enjoyed being pampered, they were a gift and I wouldn't pay for them myself. Same goes for waxing etc. However, society dictates that we should all have nice, spot free, hair free, clear, radiant and plump skin. So, how can I achieve that without spending an insane amount of money.
Easy! I turn to the tried and tested methods of the ancients. Now, before you take me for some kind of lunatic who bathes in donkey's milk like Cleopatra or uses camel urine to make my hair shine, please be assured I am not (where the hell would I find a camel in Ireland anyway? It was proven on the Apprentice last year, you simply can't find one). But there are ingredients that we can all use (unless you're already allergic to them of course!).
Since I have become pregnant, my skin has been playing up big time. I have broken out in spots and rashes, it has been drier than usual and I have been far from glowing for the past couple of weeks. So I decided to take advantage of a few Noelie free days (yippie! although I did miss her) to put a stop to it. So on went the homemade face masks.
One of my favourites is the egg white face mask. All you need to do is mix one egg white and a couple of spoonfuls of yoghurt (or fresh cream) and apply to your (clean) face. Leave for about 15 minutes and then rinse off. I know it doesn't sound as glamorous as getting a facial in a salon, but seriously, it works. My skin was much brighter, felt much more comfortable and looked tighter and younger. You can also add a few drops of essential oils if you know your way around them, but this time around, I chose not too as some of them are not recommended when you are pregnant.
Another one of the homemade face masks I love is a yoghurt (or fresh cream) and honey one. A similar recipe to the one above, just mix a couple of spoonfuls of honey with a couple of spoonfuls of yoghurt and apply to your (clean) face and leave on for about 15 minutes. Wash off with lukewarm water. Once again, it made my skin look a lot brighter, smooth and glowing. (or you can also try half a banana or half an avocado & a few spoonfuls of yoghurt). And while you relax with your face mask on, you can even eat the other half!
To get rid of those old skin cells, I use either sugar or salt mixed with olive oil and create my own body scrub (you can even add essential oils, a drop of food colouring, put it in a lovely glass jar, add a pretty ribbon and homemade label and, hey, presto, you have a lovely homemade Mother's day present!). The skin on my face doesn't like being scrubbed with this though as it is a bit harsh. However, it does love porridge oats mixed with a bit of yoghurt for a lovely gentle face scrub.
And when I feel ready for a bit of decadence in the bath, I put some porridge oats and couple of spoons of dried milk and some dried lavender flowers in a muslin cloth. Close tightly and drop it in next time you run a bath. You can use the muslin to scrub off those dead skin cells. The milk will also make your skin all smooth.
Who said you have to pay over the odds for your beauty regime! All you need to do is raid your fridge, spend a couple of minutes mixing and off you go to relax. Have you ever tried any 'natural' beauty treatments?