Magic night face lotion (very cheap)
This uses apple cider vinegar, which has a great reputation for curing everything that ails you. It is more of a face lotion than a cream in texture, but it is really lovely to use.
½ cup cold-pressed olive oil (extra virgin if possible)
3 tsp apple cider vinegar
Approximately 1 tbsp water
3 drops lavender essential oil (optional)
Mix olive oil with apple cider vinegar. Add water slowly, mixing all the while, until a smooth white lotion forms. If you don’t want to smell like a salad dressing, add the lavender oil. You will also need to shake it each night before applying as it settles.
*Try substituting the olive oil with cold-pressed flaxseed oil if you have skin problems.
I love this recipe because it is so damn old. It was invented 2000 years ago by the Greek doctor and philosopher Galen. It’s great for removing dirt and keeps the skin soft and smooth. You’ll find many versions of this recipe on the net, but I like Elizabeth Francke’s from her book Make your Own Cosmetics and Fragrances New Zealand.
84 ml olive oil (extra virgin if possible)
28 g beeswax
28 ml rose-water
10–20 drops rose essential oil (optional)
Put the oil and wax in a jar and stand it in a pan of hot water on the stove. Warm until the wax is just melted. Warm the rose-water and then stir slowly into the oil/wax mixture. Remove jar from hot water and stir until it cools.
I like to add rose essential oil to make it really rosy.
There is nothing quite like sinking into a hot bath with your hair tied back and some gunk on your face. Here are some of my favourite concoctions:
Simply mash one up and plonk it on. It is really nourishing for sensitive and dry skin and is a great use for an avocado which might have passed its usefulness in the fruit bowl. Spread on the face and leave as long as you like, then rinse off.
Or try mixing 4 tbsp avocado, 2 tsp honey and 8 drops cider vinegar together. Leave on for 15 minutes and rinse off for soft skin.
Mash it up with a little honey and put it on. This is a great cleansing mask if your skin is feeling a little lifeless. Spread on your face, leave for 15 minutes and rinse off.
Oats are the best thing for skin, in my opinion. This mask leaves your face incredibly soft, and when you rinse it off into the bath it makes the rest of your body soft also. Oats are great for treating dry, itchy skin.
Mix one egg, ½ cup cooked oatmeal (leftover from breakfast) and 1 tsp olive oil together. Spread on your face and leave for 15 minutes.
Or combine all three of the above with a little unsweetened natural yoghurt for a luxury face mask. You won’t regret it.
If you are in a hurry, you can simply grab your jar of mayonnaise from the fridge and put it on as a mask. It contains egg yolks, vinegar and oil – all great conditioners for the face.
If you make a lot of hummus you’ll have a jar of tahini in the fridge. Use some as a mask and feel how soft and moisturised your skin is.
Quick and easy make-up remover
There’s no excuse for smudged mascara when there’s a potato in the house. Peel it first – or you’ll get mud in your eyes – then slice thinly and wipe away. You’ll be amazed at how good this is. Wipe off excess potato juice with a tissue.
Apricot Kernel Oil
I once met a woman in her 80s who looked no older than 60. Her secret? Apricot kernel oil every night before she went to bed.
Simple night treatments
Vitamin E oil has long been heralded as a great anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory and skin tissue healer. So why not treat your face to some every night, especially if you have older, drier skin? It works out at about 40 cents a night or $12 a month, which is cheaper than commercial night treatments. Simply buy a bottle of capsules, making sure they are derived from a natural source (it should say ‘tocopherol’ in the ingredients). Prick a hole in the capsule with a pin and rub on your face and neck. I love the simplicity of it, and it never feels too greasy.