I’m happy for people who can afford weekly facials, manicures, pedicures, hair salon treatments, microdermabrasion, and membership to that super trendy gym downtown. I really am.
The fact is, however, that most of us don’t have the budget for that kind of self-indulgence or the time to make those appointments. This doesn’t mean that we can’t do things to make us feel like we just got back from the salon, though. Here’s how.
Quit the Gym Membership
You’re not going as often as you’d like to, anyway, and that just amounts to money down the drain. Although a gym can be a motivator for some people (in which case a frequently used membership may be beneficial), most of us can enjoy working out without dropping loads of cash. The trick is to find something active we enjoy doing. Instead of watching reality shows while on the treadmill, take the dog for a run outside. If it’s too cold, rent a workout DVD from your local library. Play ball with the kids or enjoy some alone time with yoga. Change up your activities, since boredom is the bane of all workout routines.
Stress can be incredibly damaging to your skin. When you freak out about something, hormones in your body called cortisol rise and cause your skin to produce more oil, which often means acne or an oil slick BP would be proud of. More water is also lost through your skin during this period, which makes the healing process slow. Stress also accounts for hair loss and bitten or dry, brittle nails.
Not stressing is easier said than done, especially if your stress is perpetuated by an acne flare-up. One way to de-stress is exercise, which releases endorphins in the body. Drink one to two cups of freshly brewed green tea in the morning and early afternoon to rejuvenate and get those powerful antioxidants working. Don’t forget to drink lots of water, too. Keep water interesting by cutting up a lemon, orange, or some other fruit and tossing them (or even just the skin, as long as it’s organic) into a pitcher of water.
Rather than dropping hundreds of dollars on salon treatments, most beauty regimens can be done cheaper with stuff that we already have in our kitchens. Here are some recipes to try out the next time you feel like you could use a pick-me-up.
You have two options here. You can add a teaspoon of baking soda to your facial soap to turn it into a scrub (since baking soda is not abrasive; moreover, most store-bought scrubs contain microbeads, which don’t dissolve in the water and pile up in the ocean, killing fish and polluting our earth).
You can also make a yogurt face scrub. Yogurt is high in vitamin B6, and honey has antibacterial properties to keep acne at bay; it’s also a humectant, which means it won’t dry out your skin. Concoct this recipe and use it immediately, let it sit on your face for a few minutes, and then rinse thoroughly.
- 2 teaspoons plain organic yogurt
- 2 teaspoons almond meal
- 1 teaspoon honey (Manuka or organic filtered, as unfiltered varieties can clog your pores)
Combine the following in a glass bottle and keep in a refrigerator for one month. Apple cider vinegar and the salicylic acid in aspirin exfoliate and clear away old scars.
- ½ oz organic apple cider vinegar
- 3 oz mineral water
- 5 plain aspirin tablets, uncoated
Dilute the vinegar in the water and add the aspirin. When the aspirin dissolves, apply the toner sparingly to your face using organic cotton pads if you suffer from acne, rough skin, or enlarged pores.
Winter can wreak havoc on sensitive hands, but all you need to do is mix the following ingredients into a thick paste and rub a heaping teaspoon over your dry, cracked hands for a couple of minutes before rinsing. The ground almonds get rid of dead skin cells and honey will leave your hands soft and smooth.
- 1 oz ground almonds
- 1 tsp honey
- 2 tsp walnut or sunflower oil (olive oil works, too)
- 1 tsp lemon juice
Anti-Dandruff Hair Care
Mix ½ cup of apple cider vinegar with one quart of water. Apply to scalp after shampooing twice weekly. The acids in apple cider vinegar which add shine to your hair also kill dandruff-causing yeast. Don’t worry; the smell goes away as soon as you rinse it out, and you can’t detect it when your hair is dry.
More DIY Beauty Recipes to Try:
Bio: Lisa Shoreland is currently a resident blogger at Go college, where recently she’s been researching Grants For College and blogging about student life. In her spare time, she enjoys creative writing and hogging her boyfriend’s PlayStation 3. To keep her sanity she enjoys practicing martial arts and bringing home abandon animals.