Natural beauty is having a major moment right now. If you don't fancy splurging hundreds of pounds on the latest lotions and potions and feel like getting creative in the kitchen, Sophie Thompson, founder of Sister & Co, has shared some exclusive recipes with GLAMOUR so you can whip up some beauty remedies at home.
The recipes, which feature in her new book, Skin Food, teach beauty buffs how to make luxurious skincare products from scratch, so you can fill those beautiful glass pots sitting in your bathroom with incredible scrubs, butters and salts. How chic.
Did you know massaging coconut oil into your skin will dissolve a day’s worth of bacteria, dirt and debris gathered in the oil in your pores?
Were you aware that apple cider vinegar contains acetic acid, which combats bacteria and helps to even out skin tone, as well as working to restore the skin’s natural pH balance?
Five genius ways to banish acne using products from your kitchen cupboard
And did you realise that avocados are as nourishing for your skin on the outside as they are for you on the inside, full of vitamins and skin-beneficial fats including lecithin, helpful in boosting collagen? Us neither.
If you're intrigued by the power of all things natural and how they can boost your beauty regime, we've shared three beauty food recipes to get you started.
CHAMOMILE TEA & OAT CLEANSING PASTE
This gentle exfoliating cleanser is great for all skin types, especially sensitive skin. Oatmeal nourishes as it gently removes dry skin cells, surface dirt and bacteria. Coconut oil hydrates and softens, and also helps dissolve impurities (coconut oil can be replaced with olive or sunflower oil, which also work well for sensitive skin). Chamomile tea soothes skin while delivering a high concentration of antioxidants, which help fight skin-damaging free radicals, replenish and rejuvenate. You can easily buy fine oatmeal, or make your own by grinding oats in a food processor until finely ground. If you don’t have oatmeal or oats to hand, you can increase the quantity of chamomile tea or alternatively use ground almonds or dark or light soft brown sugar instead.
1 chamomile tea bag
1 tablespoon fine oatmeal
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 tablespoon water
Cut open the tea bag and empty the tea into a small bowl. Add the remaining ingredients and mix well until a grainy paste is formed. There is no need to melt the coconut oil beforehand if it’s solid – just mix firmly with a spoon and you will find that it softens easily.
Use the first application immediately after making, then store the remainder in an airtight container in the refrigerator and use within 3 days.
Place a warm, damp face cloth on your face for 20–30 seconds to open up your pores, then pat dry with a towel. Gently massage the paste into your face with your fingertips, avoiding the eye area. Rinse clean with warm water.
DAILY OIL-PULLING CUBES
Oil pulling is an oral detoxification procedure that has its roots in traditional Ayurveda. The concept involves swilling up to a tablespoon of oil around your mouth for up to 20 minutes and takes some getting used to, but it is a wonderful all-round treatment for oral health.
I tried swilling coconut oil in my mouth for whiter teeth and couldn't believe what happened
460g (1lb) solid coconut oil or
500ml (18fl oz) liquid
optional: 20 drops peppermint
You will also need a standardsized
If your coconut oil is solid, melt the oil in a bainmarie over a gentle heat (see page 11). Remove from the heat and leave to cool for 10–15 minutes, then stir in the peppermint essential oil, if using. Pour into your ice-cube tray and refrigerate for about 1–2 hours or until the oil has solidified. Pop the cubes out of the ice-cube tray and cut each
cube in half. Store the cubes in an airtight container in the refrigerator. They will keep for up to 1 month.
In Ayurveda, it is believed that oil pulling is best done on an empty stomach first thing in the morning. Pop the cube in your mouth (it will turn to liquid on ) and swill the oil around and throughout your mouth and between your teeth for close as you can get to 20 minutes. You may find you can only manage 5 minutes at first, but it gets easier! A tip is to oil pull when you’re doing something else so that you have a distraction, such as taking a shower. When you’re done, spit the oil out into the bin, not the sink, as the oil can clog drainpipes when it solidifies.
COCONUT SHAVE BALM
Another string to its bow, coconut oil makes a fantastic shaving balm.
Your razor will glide through the oil, giving a smooth shave while leaving
legs, underarms or your bikini line super-hydrated and soft. It is also
much less likely to irritate your skin in the way that a synthetic shaving
foam can, which is essentially just a cocktail of chemicals. Peppermint
essential oil adds freshness, with its analgesic and anti-inflammatory
properties making it extra soothing. You won’t need to follow with a moisturiser because the oil will provide long-lasting nourishment.
2 tablespoons coconut oil
up to 6 drops peppermint
essential oil (see page 14);
eucalyptus, spearmint or tea
tree also work well here
The coconut oil works better for this purpose when it’s solid, so if your oil has turned liquid in warmer temperatures, chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes before using. Transfer the coconut oil to a small bowl, add the essential oil and mix them together using a clean fork. Cover and chill the mixture in the refrigerator for 30 minutes before using. But if you want to store or make a larger batch for future use, it will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.
Massage the coconut oil mixture in its solid form into damp skin, and shave, rinsing the razor under warm water every couple of strokes. Rinse with clean, warm water, and dab off any excess with a clean towel.