This probably won’t come as much of a surprise, but when it comes to topics like beauty, I’m a huge believer in simplicity. Maintaining a youthful look should never send you deep into debt. Yet, many of us behave as though looking and feeling good requires taking an hour each night to douse our faces in a dozen age-defying chemicals, and spending far more than we can afford.
Deep down, don’t we all know that none of this is sustainable — and even more importantly, that it’s unlikely to make us happy? These simple shifts are aimed at boosting your radiance and confidence, in the hopes that everything else will take care of itself.
MAKE YOUR OWN
The shift: Make beauty products at home from natural ingredients in your cupboards and refrigerator. After all, some people suggest that because you absorb whatever you put on your body, you shouldn’t apply anything to your skin that you wouldn’t eat.
Save $$: Up to $500 per year or more.
Save the planet: Save the resources used to produce, transport and package skin care products, as well as the waste that is eventually generated when the empty plastic or glass containers are disposed of.
Good for you: Most conventional skin care products use chemicals that are potentially harmful to your health. By making your own concoctions from the ingredients you might put in a smoothie, you know you’re doing your body good.
RECIPES FOR GREAT SKIN
Your skin is your body's largest organ. And it happens to be very porous. This means that what goes on the outside of your skin is eventually absorbed into your body. Check out these recipes for gorgeous skin and huge savings — up to $350 per year or more compared to buying equivalent boutique-branded products containing natural or organic ingredients.
Make this yummy, grainy body exfoliator in a cereal bowl. Pour about a cup of Kosher salt into the bowl. Add just enough cold-pressed sweet almond oil to allow the salt to form moist clumps. It should stick together and be easy to pick up with your fingers. Add up to 20 drops of rosemary essential oil to scent the mix and invigorate the skin. (You can switch the rosemary essential for whatever you like best.) Store the scrub in a mason jar wide enough to fit your hand in, and massage over your whole body — but not your face — in a warm shower.
Savings: Up to $160 or more per year compared to an organic exfoliant. Exchange salt rubs with a friend or partner and save an additional $90 compared to a salt scrub spa treatment.
Grind 16 whole unbleached almonds and 4 tablespoons of oats in your blender, food processor, or coffee grinder. Don’t blitz it for too long — you want bits big enough to slough off rough skin. Then mix with the grit with two tablespoons of honey and about four teaspoons of yogurt or water — enough to create a loose paste — and gently pat into a clean face. Leave on for 10 minutes. Wet your hands to gently massage it into your skin. Splash your face with tepid water to remove. Use no more than twice per week and remember to follow it up with a moisturizer.
Savings: Up to $80 or more per year over a boutique-branded face scrub featuring almonds and oats.
Puree one avocado, 2 teaspoons of plain yogurt, and 2 teaspoons of honey in the blender, or mash in a bowl. Apply to just-washed skin. Avocado has healing qualities: It rejuvenates skin, soothes sunburn, and delivers a dose of antioxidants. Yogurt relieves sunburn and redness, and the lactic acid it contains helps hydrate and smooth. Honey soothes, heals and nourishes, and some say it has anti-microbial, skin-clearing properties.
Savings: Up to $20 or more per year over a commercial organic facial mask.
Combine 1 oz. jojoba oil with 1 oz. grapeseed oil. Add 1 vitamin E capsule, and a few drops of lavender and neroli essential oils. Both grapeseed and jojoba oils are great for troubled skin types — neither will aggravate acne, but both are highly moisturizing. Apply after cleansing to moisturize skin.
Savings: Up to $50 or more per year compared to commercial blends made from essential oils.
If you have food allergies, please talk to your doctor before you try these recipes. Chances are, if it irritates the inside of your body, it will bother the outside as well.