Monday, April 29, 2013

Fade Dark Spots - Do It Yourself Formulas

Ever wish you could fade those dark spots that appear on your face, chest, shoulders, and hands? Some of the best remedies can be done at home with inexpensive ingredients.

One of the most effective dark spot removers is buttermilk. Women used buttermilk 200 years ago before fade creams and cosmetic procedures existed. And it really works!

Buttermilk Solution - Using a cotton ball or pad, rub buttermilk on your face or other affected area and let it dry. Rinse with tepid water. Moisturize well afterward because milk is a natural exfoliant.

Lemons - Cut a fresh cold lemon into slices. Dab the skin with the lemon and let dry. Rinse and moisturize. Put the rest of the lemon slices in a ziplock bag and refrigerate. This method takes about 3 weeks using every day to see results.

All Natural Pre-mix Solution - This remedy has more ingredients, but it works great! In a small tupperware container, mix together:

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon milk
1 teaspoon hydrogen peroxide
2 tablespoons aloe vera gel
1 teaspoon cocoa powder

Stir and smooth on the face or other spotty area once per day for a week. (The recipe above should be about enough for a week if used every day.) As always, rinse and moisturize after each use.

Do you have a DIY remedy for dark spots that has worked well for you? Please include your recipe in the comments section for others to try!

Make Your Own Pore Strips

Have you ever used Biore Pore strips? They get the "gunk" out of your pores and leave your face feeling great. Well, here is how you can make your own pore cleansing solution without having to purchase the strips for your nose, forehead and chin.

Have you ever looked at the ingredients in those pricey Biore strips?

Polyquaternium-37, silica, water, glycerin, polysilicone-13, peg-12 dimethicone, titanium dioxide, hamamelis virginiana (witch hazel) extract, butylene glycol, stearyl glycyrrhetinate, methylparaben. Huh? The only ingredients here that I even recognize are water and witch hazel.

You don't need the fabric-like backing that comes on the strips. You just need the solution that actually soaks up the dirt and oil in your pores so you can peel it out. All you need is unflavored/uncolored gelatin and milk. That's it. Here's the recipe:

2 tablespoon of milk
1 tablespoon of gelatin

Be ready to apply immediately because it dries very fast. Clean your face and don't moisturize yet. Mix the solution in a disposable cup or bowl. It will have the consistency of chunky, wet sand. Microwave the mixed solution for about 10 seconds.

Quickly smear the milk and gelatin solution on your face using a popcicle stick. (Or just use your finger.) Let it dry. Depending on how thick you spread it on, this will take about 15 minutes.

Now just peel it off. See all that stuff that your Biore strips used to get out? After you've peeled it off, rinse your face well with tepid water. You can wash your face now too but you don't really need to. Moisturize as usual.

I use this simple DIY pore cleansing about once per week. That way, the dirt and oil never get the chance to form blackheads, and your pores will thank you by staying much smaller.

No harsh chemicals, no over drying, and very inexpensive because you made it yourself!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Stretch Marks Remedies - DIY

There are plenty of remedies for stretch marks and products that can help prevent stretch marks. But there are some simple DIY tips you can use with inexpensive products at home.

First, the best cure for stretch marks is prevention. In some cases, like pregnancy, rapid weight gain can produce stretch marks not only on your abdomen but on your hips, thighs, and breasts too.

So what can you do to help keep them to a minimum if not avoid them completely? Keeping the "danger areas" moisturized is key. Some moisturizers work better than others for keeping the skin elasticized. Here are some that work well:

1. Cocoa Butter - Lotions with cocoa butter are great for everyday moisturizing, but pure cocoa butter is better for areas that could develop stretch marks. One of the best we've found is very inexpensive and easy to apply. Queen Helene makes a cocoa butter stick and you can buy it at discount stores for under $2.

2. Vitamin E Oil - Just like cocoa butter, vitamin E is great as an ingredient in body lotion, but use pure vitamin E oil on stretch mark zones. Massage well into the skin on your belly, breasts, hips, and thighs twice per day.

3. Aloe Vera Butter - Aloe Vera has long been a known remedy for sunburn pain and many other skin ailments. Aloe Vera butter is highly concentrated (unlike aloe gel that you may use for sunburn.) The butter is highly emollient and very effective for adding elasticity to the skin.

All three of these will help prevent or at least minimize stretch marks. They also work very well if you already have stretch marks and want to minimize their appearance. If you already have stretch marks, whether they are still red/purple or have faded to a silvery white, you can also use gentle skin recovery treatments to lessen their appearance.

At home microderm abrasion treatments can be pricey, but they can work wonders on older stretch marks.

Skin renewal treatments that contain alpha-hydroxy, glycolic acid, retinoic acid, or peptides can be effective in boosting collagen production so that your skin can recover from the stress of rapid weight gain.

Do you have other tips that have worked well on stretch marks? Please include your ideas in the comments!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Remedy for Dry Cracked Feet

Getting a professional pedicure is great, but you can achieve spa results at home with this DIY foot treatment.

Especially in the summer when you want to wear those cute strappy sandals or comfy flip-flops, you want your feet to look nice. This simple home remedy for dry, cracked heels and feet works wonders and it works FAST!

If you have a foot spa soaker, that's great but you don't need one. A large bowl or a bucket will work fine. Fill whatever container you have on hand with warmish-to-hot water. Pour in 1/2 cup of white vinegar and 1/4 cup of Listerine. (Store brand works fine.)

By the time you mix and stir, the water should have cooled off enough to immerse your feet. Soak for 10 to 15 minutes. Have an old towel handy and a pumice stone. Don't dry your feet one the towel. The towel is used to collect all the 'ick" that the pumice stone removes from your feet. Scrub, but don't over scrub the rough skin. For heavy hard skin build-up, you will want to remove it more gradually, usually about 3 or 4 treatments over 2 weeks or so. Otherwise, you could scrub down too far an leave raw, painful skin.

Once both feet are scrubbed, rinse with tepid water.

Apply a generous amount of Vaseline (again, store brand works great). Put on cotton socks and allow the Vaseline to penetrate for at least one hour. Or, sleep in the socks and wake up to very smooth, sandal-ready feet.

Here is another remedy we like for healing dry skin on your feet

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

DIY Face Scrub - All Natural

Do you just love the way your face feels after scrubbing with an exfoliator? Now you can make your own all natural scrub at home with ingredients you already have.

Here is the simple recipe for a DIY facial scrub that exfoliates beautifully at a fraction of the cost.

Here's what you'll need:

Olive Oil

That's it! It's all natural and if you are worried about putting olive oil on your face, don't. It won't clog your pores or cause breakouts. It might get into your hairline though, so I recommend exfoliating right before your shower.

Mix together 1/2 cup of granulated sugar, 3 tablespoons of olive oil, and 2 tablespoons of honey. Stir it well to eliminate lumps.You will have some left over so save it in an air tight container and it will last about 3 weeks.

Wet your face with warm water and begin with about a tablespoon of scrub. Rub gently in a circular motion. Don't get too close to your eyes. Because this is an all natural scrub, remember to scrub your lips too for soft and supple lips. Scrub your eyebrows too since they collect dirt, makeup, and dead skin cells.

Rinse with warm water or just step into the shower and rinse. Don't soap your face after exfoliating because it could cause irritation.

Pat dry and moisturize as usual. Exfoliating once or twice a week is usually plenty. Even with the olive oil and honey to treat dry skin, over exfoliating can actually dry your skin.

Mask For Dry Skin - DIY

You can make your own facial mask to relieve dry skin if you know the right ingredients to use. Here is how to make one of the best facial masks we've ever tried. Packed with Vitamin A, B, and D!

These are the ingredients you'll need for this DIY face mask:

1 ripe avocado halved
1 tablespoon plain Greek yogurt
2 teaspoons calcium bentonite clay (you can find this at natural or whole food stores)

Make sure that your avocado is soft when squeezed lightly. Scoop out the meat from one half of your avocado. (Eat the other half or save it for later) With the back of a mixing spoon, mash the avocado in a medium sized mixing bowl.

Add the yogurt and clay to the avocado and mix well until there are few or no lumps. Apply to your clean, dry face evenly - getting close to the under eye area as possible without getting it in your eyes. Don't apply to eyelids.

Leave the mask on your face for 15 minutes. You might feel some tingling, but that is just the clay drawing impurities from your skin. The mask will become sticky and brown.

Rinse with warm water. Rinse again with cold water. Apply your favorite moisturizer as usual. (If you've never tried Clinique Youth Surge, we highly recommend it.)

Do you have a DIY moisturizing facial treatment? We'd love to hear from you! Be sure to include ingredients and measures, and if your recipe calls for something other than a typical grocery store item, be sure to tell us where to get it.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Common Sense Guide for Dry Skin

Sometimes the remedy for dry, itchy skin is simple common sense. That's not to say that you shouldn't use your favorite skin care products, but adding some easy tricks to your daily regimen can help too.

Here are some easy, common sense ideas to help banish dry skin for good, no matter what the season.

1. Use moisturizer every day. Sounds simple enough, but you'd be surprised how many people don't practice this daily ritual on a regular basis. When you apply is important too. Right after your shower or after washing your face while the pores are open, and before the skin completely dries ensures that your skin absorbs the benefits of your favorite moisturizer.

2. You've heard "drink plenty of water" all of your life, and besides it's other health benefits, keeping the body hydrated also keeps your skin hydrated from within.

3. Speaking of hydrating... look into getting a humidifier. There are plenty of options - a whole house humidifier which can cost upwards of $600 depending on the type of heat and air conditioning your home has. A room humidifier is a lower cost option and you may need more than one if you spend a lot of time in a certain area of your home. One in your bedroom is most important. (Your houseplants and wood furniture also benefit from higher humidity in the air!)

4. Don't over peel or over exfoliate. Both treatments can strip the skin of natural oils and can leave skin drier. When you do use a peel or exfoliate, moisturize your skin about twice as often for a few days afterward. Adding a few drops of olive oil to your moisturizer can keep your skin hydrated.

5. A hot shower feels great but remember that the warmer the water, the more natural oils in the skin are stripped away. Wash your face with tepid water and keep your shower warm enough to be comfortable but not hot.

6. Shaving, plucking, and waxing can also dry your skin. Use the olive oil trick afterwards to avoid over drying.

When considering what type of moisturizer to use for your face and body, consider your own skin type. Oil based moisturizers typically work best for dry, flaky skin. Water based works well with skin that is prone to breakouts.

You should also avoid toners with alcohol, peroxide, or witch hazel. All of these can make your skin more prone to drying.

Do you have some tips and tricks that work well? Please include them in the comments so others can benefit from your experience!

Home Remedy For Dry Cracked Skin

Here is a great home remedy for dry cracked skin on your fingertips, elbows or feet. You can easily whip this up at home and get some quick relief.

Here's how to cure this type of flaky skin quickly:

Dry Cracked Skin Natural Home Remedy - Honey and Lemon Juice with Oil:
  • Mix 1 teaspoon oil with 1 teaspoon lemon juice and 1 teaspoon of honey.
  • Apply and rub this mixture over knuckles, crusty elbows and other hardened areas. 
  • Keep rubbing the area for 8-10 minutes and then rinse or wipe off. 
This natural remedy will nourish your skin and will keep it soft. Repeat daily as needed until the skin heals completely.