If you are concerned about the presence of chemicals and preservatives in your skincare products, you’re not alone. More and more people are turning to natural products that are free from parabens and sulphates, which have been linked to increased irritation and sensitivity of the skin.1
What better place to turn for wholesome and natural ingredients than your very own kitchen? You might be surprised to learn how effective these natural skincare ingredients can be.
1. Sea salt and olive oil body scrub
Forget pricey scrubs that are often full of unnecessary chemicals, and make this simple but effective homemade version instead. Mix two tablespoons of sea salt with two tablespoons of olive oil, or until you have a consistency that is grainy and not too wet. In the shower, massage the mixture in upwards circular motions over your body. This will leave your skin smooth and invigorated. Rinse the shower well after use, as it can make the tub slippery.
2. Tea tree oil for spots
The potent antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties of tea tree oil2 will fight the occasional pimple just as well as a shop-bought spot formula. Mix one drop of tea tree oil to one tablespoon of base oil. Then using a cotton bud, dab a tiny amount directly onto spots, and then leave to dry. Never put tea tree oil all over your face, or add it to moisturiser, as it is quite strong and can irritate or even burn if over-used.
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3. Coconut oil as a makeup remover
Coconut oil is a very effective as a makeup remover. In its pure form, it is 100% natural and free from the chemicals that are usually included in commercial makeup removing products. The best and gentlest way to use it is by massaging into your face for a few moments before rinsing with lukewarm water.
4. Honey as a face mask
Honey is antibacterial and antifungal, and can help with the removal of the dead cells that can hang around on the surface of your skin. This means that not only does it help prevent pimples and blemishes, but it can have a brightening effect too. It is also anti-inflammatory and can help relieve the symptoms of acre flare-ups. You can apply Manuka honey directly onto a clean face, and rinse after 15 minutes. Remember to tie your hair back if it’s long, as this can get sticky.
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5. Rosehip oil as a moisturiser
If your skin is dry, dull or prone to tightness even after using a moisturiser, then you should give rosehip oil a try instead. Rosehip oil is rich in omega 3 and omega 6 oils, as well as vitamin A, which have natural soothing and hydrating properties. Choose an organic, cold-pressed version and gently massage into your face every evening in place of your night cream.
6. Oats for soothing itchy skin
Oats are well-known for their skin-soothing properties. Traditional oats (rather than instant or flavoured varieties) are hypoallergenic and can help soothe the symptoms of itchy skin conditions such as eczema or insect bites. Studies have shown that oats have a direct antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effect when applied topically to the skin,3 so they should have a place in your routine if you feel as though your skin could use a little TLC. Oats can be added to your bath in a cloth bag to infuse the water without clogging your plughole.
Remember that these homemade formulas usually don’t keep for very long as they are free from preservatives that enable your shop-bought formulas last for months on your shelf! It is best to use them freshly prepared, or keep in the fridge for up to three days before throwing away.
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Advice is for information only and should not replace medical care. Please check with your GP before trying any remedies.
1. [Online] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24305662.
2. [Online] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22998411.
3. [Online] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25607907.