I'm convinced that it's been January for nine years now. And STILL it persists.
The weather is trying to kill us all, nobody has any money, and we all secretly wish it was still Christmas. Add to this the fact that we're not allowed to eat any nice things, but we do have telltale skin that shows just how many nice things we ate over Christmas. The end result is that this may well be the crappiest month of the year.
But don't fear!
At Beaut.ie, we don't stop obsessing about skincare when the budget gets tight. Oh no, we just plumb the depths of our MacGyver style beauty knowledge, and we come up with some home made alternatives that will help to get your skin in good fettle on a budget. And it's January, so I mean a SERIOUS budget...
I'm always wittering on about enzyme masks and how they're great exfoliators. But they're seriously expensive. So if you've got yourself some dull New Year skin, never fear - my pineapple enzyme mask is just the thing. If you like to eat raw pineapple, you'll notice that after a few minutes it can make your mouth feel tender and swollen. This is because the active enzyme in pineapple (bromelain) is literally digesting the inside of your mouth! It sounds quite scary, but it's great for your skin. So here's what you'll need to do:
- Grab yourself a fresh pineapple. It has to be fresh for the enzymes to be active and the mask to be effective.
- Cut off a wedge approximately an inch thick.
- Peel your pineapple chunk, and put it in a blender for about a minute.
- Add 2 tablespoons of honey to soothe the irritating effects of the pineapple and boost the antibacterial action of the mask.
- Apply the mask to a cleansed, dry face for ten minutes.
- Remove with a damp flannel, then cleanse thoroughly with your normal cleanser and follow up with your normal moisturising routine.
I wouldn't exceed the recommended time - pineapple can be potent and you could end up with a red face! And yes, the mask looks gross, feels gross, and is very sticky, but it's cheap, it works, and you can put the leftovers in a smoothie! Win win.
It goes without saying that you shouldn't try this if you're allergic to pineapple!
We're demons for neglecting the skin on our bodies in winter. The fact that people can't see our crispy legs doesn't mean we should stop looking after them. An easy homemade scrub of whatever oil you have in the cupboard (olive, grapeseed and almond oils are great) combined with a handful of granulated sugar makes a great body scrub for the shower. Just use it to slough away all that dry, dead skin, then use your normal body wash and take advantage of your newly porous skin to moisturise after your shower!
If you have red scars or red stretch marks, swap the sugar for a good quality rock salt. It helps with scarring and still makes a great exfoliant. Just remember to moisturise afterwards or your skin will get dry.
I know that diet is really important to skin, and my own skincare routine is pretty full-on. I know some people who are very intense about diet and skin. To be honest, I'm not one of them. My diet is pretty balanced, I don't drink alcohol and I make sure to take fish oils, but I ingest as much sugar and junk food as everyone else.
So instead of wagging my finger at you like a hypocrite and saying that you should cut things out of your diet, I'm recommending that you add something - coconut oil.
Many of us apply coconut oil to the skin, and it is a great moisturiser. However, adding two tablespoons to your diet daily can really improve your skin. Coconut oil is the richest natural source of lauric acid. When we ingest coconut oil, the lauric acid is converted to monolaurin, which is an amazing antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal compound. So it benefits your general health (by reducing the amount of infections and viruses you're prone to catching) as well as nourishing your skin and hair. It's also proven to boost the metabolism. So you really can't lose. It's a great thing to sneak into kids' food too - it doesn't taste bad and it's great for them!
Do note though that many of the benefits are lost if you cook the oil - it's best to eat it raw.
Will you be trying some home made goodies to improve your January skin? Or does it all just sound too icky?