Do it yourself beauty tips

Given the exorbitant costs of aesthetic products, Alina Hardcastle explores ways to bypass conventional beauty products by transforming your pantry into a secondary, budget-friendly vanity closet.

Although the home remedies can be lighter on the pocket and chemical free (depending on what you put in them, of course), they still come with their own risks as no two skins are alike. Dermalogica’s national education manger, Diana Van Sittert warns, “Natural products have been used for centuries with great and not so great success stories. What we need to ensure is that when we use natural ingredients, we are comfortable with the fact that allergic reactions may be possible.”

But this all depends on you and what you are comfortable with. Liza-Marie Prinsloo, product educator of Poise Brands and the exclusive distributor of Juliette Armand, Mio and Mama Mio skincare in South Africa and sub-Saharan Africa adds: “There are various factors that will determine the level of your skincare routine. Some individuals require a more advanced skincare routine based on skin type, skin concerns, and preferences.”

Beauty tip suggestions

Facial skin treatments can be pricy but it’s possible to rejuvenate your face with the ingredients you have in your kitchen cupboard. Prinsloo sheds light on a few at home skin and hair care remedies that might just work for you:

Egg white purifying and tightening mask

What to do: Separate the white from the yolks of two eggs and whisk the whites until frothy. Apply the froth in an upward motion onto the face, applying generously. Allow this to dry for about 15 to 20 minutes and then rinse off with warm water.

The benefits: Prinsloo says that egg whites are high in protein and great for the skin. She states, ”It will have an immediate tightening effect on the skin and will last for about an hour after removal.” She also adds that egg white froth deeply cleanses the pores by drawing out excess oil and dirt resulting in the skin feeling soft and subtle.

Charcoal detoxifying clay masks

What to do: Mix 0.2 grams of powdered activated charcoal, half a teaspoon of bentonite clay and one and a half teaspoons of water together. Apply the mixture to the surface of the skin. Remove the charcoal from the skin after 10 minutes with a dampened cloth for smooth skin that is free of impurities.

The benefits: Prinsloo highlights that activated charcoal has proven to be a health and beauty benefit when used safely and properly. She adds, “It is an excellent key ingredient to balance oil production on the skin; however, it is not advised for dry skin as it will further dry out the skin leaving it feeling tight and more susceptible to signs of aging.”

Hair repair hot oil treatment

What to do: Mix three tablespoons of olive and coconut oil together. Massage this mixture into a damp scalp. Wrap the scalp with a warm compressed towel and leave for 20 minutes, and then rinse and shampoo. This treatment can be repeated once or more, depending on the condition of your hair.

The benefits: Coconut oil contains lauric acid, which has a great affinity to hair protein and is able to penetrate deeply into the root of the hair. Prinsloo adds, “It promotes the scalp health fighting against such problems as insect bites, lice and dandruff. It also adds lustre, shine and softness to the hair.”

Hydrating yoghurt mask

What to do: Add a tablespoon of olive and avocado oil to three tablespoons of pure plain yoghurt and stir into a paste. Smooth in the mixture in an upward motion onto the face, applying liberally. Leave the mask on for 15 to 20 minutes and then rinse off with warm water.

The benefit: Avocado oil is high in proteins and omega 3 fatty acids, these properties help nourish and feed the skin leaving it with a supply and moisturised feeling.  Yogurt consists of calcium, vitamin D and probiotics. Olive oil is rich in vitamin A, E and antioxidants, protecting the skin from environmental damage, aging and UV rays.

Detoxifying rooibos steam facial

What to do:  Add four to five cups of freshly boiled clean water to a large facial bowl. Add two to three loose rooibos teabags to the water and allow this to seep and cool for ten minutes. Drape a towel over your head and create a tent enclosing the steam. Allow the steam to come into contact with your freshly cleansed skin for ten minutes. The steam must not be uncomfortably hot and your face needs to be ten inches away from the tea. Keep your eyes closed and breathe deeply. After ten minutes you can gently cleanse your skin with lukewarm water, tone and apply moisturisers.

The benefit: The alpha hydroxyl acid and zinc content of Rooibos tea are very good for the skin. Prinsloo says, “These actives have a gentle exfoliating effect on the skin. It fights premature aging and slows down the natural aging process in the skin.”

Final tip

Sittert advises that you should not self-prescribe if there a bigger concerns that you consistently deal with. She says, “A professional skin therapist should do a thorough skin analysis prior to any product being used [or else] you may find yourself ending up at a skin centre with a skin concern far worse than the one you started with.”