I have never been one to have an extensive beauty routine. Occasionally, I will spend an evening pampering myself with face masks and body scrubs but most of the time I stick with simple, natural products which are quick to apply and produce great results.
Apple cider vinegar
Every night I apply this using cotton wool pads. I have found it effectively reduces the appearance of spots, as well as making my skin feel soft. Apple cider vinegar is also one of the few natural remedies recommended for chalazions, which I have stuggled with for two and a half years, that actually has some positive impact; it helped to reduce the size of my chalazions as well as the surrounding inflammation.
In order to reap the benefits of ACV, go for one containing “the mother”, which contains living enzymes, nutrients and probiotics. I have tried various brands but prefer the organic, raw and unfiltered apple cider vinegar by Raw Health.
Coconut oil / avocado oil
Every other night I use one of these oils on my skin. By simply applying it about half an hour before I go to bed, it has time to start being absorbed by the skin so I’m not left with oily-marked pillows. As these oils aren’t too thick, there is no need to wipe off any excess, making them a great product to use if you don’t have much time in the evenings. Apply a couple of drops of lavender oil when using coconut oil for additional benefits and relaxation.
Castor oil and honey face mask
Once a week, this face mask provides a deeper cleanse for my skin. I mix two teaspoons of castor oil with a couple of teaspoons of active Manuka Honey and leave this on my face for at least half an hour, ideally longer. Manuka honey also greatly reduced the inflammation caused by my chalazions due to its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties.
Castor oil and charcoal face mask
Be warned, this can get messy so don’t be wearing your fluffy white dressing gown when you apply it. I mix two teaspoons of castor oil with the contents of a capsule of activated charcoal in a ramekin. The charcoal helps to clear blocked pores so when you wipe your face clean, expect clearer skin.
I have tried various natural toothpastes sold in health food shops and whilst some gave good results, they still contained ingredients which I was not happy using. So, I scoured the internet and found a few recipes for homemade toothpastes. In my first attempt I used too much baking soda which resulted in a very salty tasting paste. It’s worth trying out different quantities of ingredients and finding what suits your mouth best.
These quantities work well for me:
- 5 tablespoons coconut oil
- 1 tablespoon hardwood birch xylitol
- ½ tablespoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon edible peppermint oil (if you are pregnant or are breast-feeding, please consult a holistic practitioner or doctor before using essential oils)
- 1 capsule activated charcoal (optional)
- Simply start by softening the coconut oil in a small pan until you are able to gently mash it with a spoon.
- Remove from the heat and place into a bowl. Add in the xylitol, baking soda, peppermint oil and charcoal , if using, and mix until they are well-combined and evenly distributed. At this point I recommend you taste the toothpaste and make any necessary adjustments.
- Transfer the mixture to a screw-top jar and voila!
Top tip: Run the hot tap whilst you are brushing your teeth so that the coconut oil does not solidify and clog up your pipes.