Natural Beauty Remedies
Before there was a product for every imaginable beauty woe (lash conditioner, cuticle softener, lip buffer), women took a simpler approach to hair and skin care. Dry skin might merit a slathering of olive oil, while puffy eyes called for cucumber slices. Now it seems grandma was ahead of her time: Many of today’s top spa treatments take their cues from old-fashioned home remedies, and there’s science to back up the ingredients’ effectiveness.
Use it to calm and soften skin
Why it works: Soothing and anti-inflammatory, oatmeal contains beta glucan, a soluble fiber that creates a thin, moisture-retaining film on the surface of the skin.
How-to: Close suggests placing a handful of whole oats in a clean washcloth and using a rubber band to secure it. Next, immerse it in a sinkful of warm water and squeeze the bag 4 or 5 times. Once the water is cloudy, splash it on your face and then air-dry. (If you must towel dry, pat as gently as possible.)
Use it to repair dry, sensitive skin
Why it works: Avocado oil’s abundant fatty acids help balance skin’s moisture levels, and the antioxidant vitamins A, C, and E protect skin from further damage.
How-to: Combine equal parts avocado oil and evening-primrose oil (which supports collagen synthesis with its gamma linoleic acid) in a sealable bottle and shake to blend, advises Close. Massage 5 or 6 drops into clean skin, and then cover your face with a warm washcloth for a minute to help the oils sink in.
Use it to exfoliate hands and feet
Why it works: Rich in oil, walnuts make for extra-gentle sloughing.
How-to: Perillo likes to blend 1/4 cup shelled walnuts, 1/2 cup olive oil (for extra emollients), and a tablespoon of honey (to seal moisture into your skin) in a food processor set on a slow speed, creating a fine-particle scrub. Standing in the shower (if you’re scrubbing your feet) or over a sink (if it’s for your hands), work the mixture thoroughly over your skin for a couple of minutes. Rinse with warm water.
Use it to: Slough dry skin off heels, knees, and elbows
Why it works: The fruit acid loosens dead skin cells.
How-to: Cut a fresh orange in half and squeeze the juice of one half into a bowl. Add 1/4 cup granulated sugar and 1/4 cup olive oil and then blend into a moisture-rich scrub. Next, rub the exposed side of the other half of the orange over knees, elbows, heels, and any other dry spots. Last, rub in the sugar mixture to slough off dead skin. Rinse with warm water and pat skin dry.