There are things where I sometimes can't quite decide which way to go. Boyfriend jeans or straight leg, Birkenstock or greek tan leather sandals, boiled eggs or poached eggs. I know, life can be tough. Anyway, the same goes for some of my cosmetic items. I try to use as many natural products as possible, but can't quite escape the lure of the supposedly magic results that some, ahem, chemical bombs promise. I'm not totally stupid and despite my lack of a chemistry degree, I do realise that most promises probably simply appeal to my vanity. As I don't wear layers upon layers of makeup, simply I want my skin to look as good as possible. And there's something else I can't resist: natural products which look and smell great.
A couple of weeks ago I went for a stroll on Greenwich Market - one of the things I like to do on weekends. I was battling my way through the hordes of tourists when I saw a stall that looked like exactly my kind of thing. After a thorough look at what was on offer, I decided to buy some beautifully packaged soaps (I'm a sucker for nice packaging) and a face mask for my dry skin. So, a few days later I wanted to pamper my skin a little and started mixing up the clay mask with some other natural ingredients for extra oomph. And now I thought I'd share some of the natural remedies for battered winter skin that I use when I want to feel pampered and relaxed. So, here's a small list of what each ingredient will do for your skin.
Honey: probably one of the best and most versatile 'skin savers', it can be used for hydrating masks, to cure chapped lips (just don't lick it all off!), and cleanse pores. It has anti-inflammatory properties which calm the skin. You can literally put the honey straight onto your faces, leave for around 15 minutes and then wash off with warm water.
Yogurt: a cooling and smoothing skin treat that can revive dull skin and moisturise at the same time. It's also a fantastic first-aid treatment for sunburns - not that these are much of an issue here in February. Yogurt also has anti-ageing properties which is a great bonus - yes, I'm a bit vain like that!
Camomile: a lovely tea but also a skin treatment with antiseptic and anti-inflammtory properties. It is useful for its skin healing abilities and can be used to help with problems like acne and eczema. I've brewed a tablespoon of camomile with half a cup of water and then mixed some of the tea with the clay for my mask and it seemed to really calm my skin.
Coconut oil: whip it in your mixer into a fluffy cream for a body moisturiser. Mix it with honey, some lemon juice and sea salt for a great scrub!
Bananas: yes, bananas. They can help to heal dry and dehydrated skin, have anti-ageing properties and even lighten dark spots. Mix half a mashed banana with a teaspoon of honey for a fab face mask that will help you glow in February.
Now, I'm not an expert and create my little mixes and potions in my kitchen until the consistency feels right. I'm therefore not really qualified to provide you with any reliable recipes here. However, I hope these basic tips will help your stressed out winter skin.