Saturday, September 11, 2010

Beauty wonders in your kitchen.

While spa visits are worthy a splurge sometimes, you don't need a lot of high-tech concoctions to achieve lustrous locks and a clear complexion. Well, with a little effort...

Easy, all-natural solutions abound, and you can find them right at the grocery store. Achieve a quick, affordable glow with these one-ingredient problem solvers.

Sour Cream
Treatment: Moisturizing mask and gentle exfoliant

What it does: Its lactic acid (an alpha-hydroxy acid) helps speed cell turnover, brightening dull complexions. Natural fats restore skin's moisture.

How to use it: Using your fingers, smooth 1 to 2 tablespoons of cool, full-fat sour cream in a thin layer over your clean face and neck, avoiding the eye and lip areas. Wait 7 to 10 minutes, then remove the mask with a wet washcloth. Splash skin with warm water and pat dry.

Chamomile Tea
Treatment: Calming compress

What it does: A natural anti-inflammatory, chamomile reduces redness and puffiness around the eyes. It also soothes irritated complexions.

How to use it: Soak a clean washcloth in cool chamomile tea steeped to a golden yellow and apply to the skin as a compress. (To treat puffy eyes only, roll the washcloth to create an eye pillow.) Rest the compress on your skin for at least 10 minutes before rinsing and drying.

Almond Oil
Treatment: Ha
nd moisturizer

What it does: With a light texture and loads of vitamin E, almond oil quickly penetrates dry skin and protects hands and nails from environmental damage.

How to use it: Rub 1 teaspoon of oil into hands and cuticles. Wrap each hand in a small towel, and allow the oil to penetrate for at least 5 minutes. Wipe the excess oil off hands, but don't rinse them; any remaining oil will be absorbed over the next few minutes. Follow with a rich hand cream.

ment: Foot rub

What it does: Bromelain, an enzyme present in pineapple flesh, breaks down protein bonds and facilitates the sloughing of dead skin cells. It's especially good at softening the callused skin on feet.

How to use it: Puree 1 cup of fresh pineapple in a food processor until smooth. Sitting with feet in a washbasin, massage the puree into soles, heels, and between toes (you may feel some tingling). After 7 to 10 minutes, rinse feet with warm water and dry.

Treatment: Facial scrub

What it does: Its high vitamin C levels fight free-radical damage and even out skin texture. When scrubbed on the face, the seeds act as tiny exfoliators, leaving skin smooth.

How to use it: Peel and slice a ripe kiwi, then mash the flesh thoroughly with a fork. With circular motions, work the kiwi paste onto a damp, clean complexion, avoiding the eye and lip areas. After 30 to 60 seconds of scrubbing, rinse skin with warm water and pat dry.

Olive Oil
Treatment: Hair conditioner

What it does: Rich in vitamin E and fatty acids, olive oil is a Mediterranean-inspired favorite for moisturizing brittle and overstyled hair.

How to use it: Before showering, comb several tablespoons of "light" olive oil (it will say so on the label) through hair, working from roots to ends. Cover hair with a shower cap. After showering for 5 to 7 minutes, remove the cap. Shampoo, rinse, and condition as usual. Hair will feel super soft.

Now, go raid your refrigerator and beautify yourself.....

There is more to come! :-)

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