Clear skin should feel soft and supple, but summer can bring dryness and irritation to even the best of skin. My motto is 'less is best' when it comes to any beauty regimen. With that in mind, I've decided to share a few of my dirty tricks to help keep skin glowing, youthful, and full of vibrant energy.
HoneyHead down to your local farmer's market and pick up some organic, raw honey. Apply a thin layer on your face and breathe in some relaxation for 15 minutes or more. The honey has anti-bacterial properties that can help minor blemishes, softens the skin, and has no harmful ingredients (honey is honey, people!). Check out these other medicinal properties of honey.
I have an insane love of caffeine: both drinking it (bad!) and applying it topically (good!). I figure that cancels everything out, and I'm healthier for it. Here is my favorite beauty tip:
- Mix coffee grinds with grape seed oil or olive oil. I usually do half of grinds and half oil. Apply to areas of cellulite, like upper thighs, buttock, or your favorite hated spot. The caffeine is supposed to help reduce the appearance of cellulite. This doesn't come without some work, however. Add a little elbow grease by rubbing vigorously and keep a routine of doing this every day to really see good results.
- Green tea bags can be used to get rid of bags under the eyes. Simply make your green tea and cool, then soak a washcloth (use an old cloth; it will stain!) in the tea. Squeeze out any excess water and apply to your closed eyes for five minutes. Do this no more than five minutes or your eyes will dilate. This simple trick will immediately reduce bags under the eyes.
- Treat a sunburn. A summer sunburn can be brutal. Treat it naturally with green tea. Just do the same technique as above for your eyes, except add some ice to the tea and leave the washcloth on the affected area until it has warmed up then reapply.
With all the styling, combing, dyeing, and keratin treatments, it is a good idea from time to time to do a "reset." Get all the gunk out and reset your pH levels naturally with this simple process. Wash hair in a mixture of 1 tablespoon baking powder to 2 cups hot water. Slowly pour in your hair in small batches, or sections, and scrub gently. Baking powder can be very abrasive so don't scrub like a maniac. Also, there will be no suds so you must be very aware of what areas of hair you have washed. Rinse hair thoroughly with apple cider vinegar. This adds shine, strength, and new vitality to hair. Follow up by rinsing your hair with water; you will have to rinse hair quite a bit longer than you are used to because baking powder can be hard to get out. After about a week of this, your pH balance is reset, the gunk and products that build-up (yes, even the argan oils everyone's crazy about) is gone and your hair will be less oily, style better, and will look 10 times healthier.
What are your beauty secrets? Tell us in the comments section below!
Mel B. is a writer of all things beauty, educator, and brand manager for HAI Styling Tools, and CoFounder of www.AskASalon.com, where Beauty Pro's connect, network, and answer questions for savvy women wanting the best beauty information. When she's not working, you'll find her hanging with her family in Encinitas, CA, or just contemplating life with walks along the beach, typically with a coffee in hand. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.