Step out of the beauty aisle and into the kitchen. Some of the best formulas to treat tired runners’ feet and overworked hair can be whipped up at home. We interviewed five beauty experts to find their favorite DIY treatments. These simple, all-natural recipes rely on fresh ingredients and essential oils (no hard-to-pronounce chemical compounds allowed). After all, when it comes to beauty, Mother Nature knows best.
As director of the Spa at Rowes Wharf in the Boston Harbor Hotel, Wells and her staff make many of their own scrubs. You can whip up their recipes at home without the spa price tag.
3 cups sugar
1 Tbsp. coconut oil
2 Tbsp. almond oil
1 Tbsp. glycerin liquid (or all-natural liquid soap)
2 Tbsp. aloe vera
1 tsp. lavender oil
Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Scoop out a handful and use in the shower or bath, massaging in a circular motion to exfoliate body and feet.
Why it works: Sugar gently exfoliates as the natural oils moisturize skin. Glycerin cleanses, aloe vera soothes and lavender oil calms the skin and senses.
The on-air expert and founder of BeautySweetSpot.com creates at-home versions of her favorite professional treatments. Many of her simple solutions are inexpensive and easy to make, like her Tea Time Toner. “Facial sprays are all the rage, but they can be pricey,” Morris says. “To refresh your face without breaking the bank, try using peppermint tea.”
Tea Time Toner
1 peppermint tea bag
1 cup hot water
Brew a cup of peppermint tea, leaving the bag in until the water reaches room temperature. Pour the brew into a small spray bottle and spritz away! For an added skin-toning benefit, keep your spray in the fridge for a cooling burst.
Why it works: Peppermint’s, cooling properties soothe and invigorate irritated skin.
The founder of TheBeautyBean.com has been called the “female beauty MacGyver” due to her expertise in at-home help for skin and hair. Wolfer’s secret ingredient? Watermelon. She says, “Watermelon is a great skin saver for almost any skin condition, from sun damage to blemishes and everything in between!”
1/4 cup watermelon, cubed
1 tsp. avocado, mashed
Puree watermelon in a blender until smooth. Mix 2 tsp. of watermelon juice with the avocado, saving the remaining juice for another use. Apply to your face and let sit for 20 minutes before rinsing with warm water.
Why it works: Vitamins A, B6 and C, all found in watermelon, not only hydrate your skin but also repair and protect it. Avocado is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which help plump the skin.
The president and formulator of Suki Skincare (sukiskincare.com) began her successful skincare company by experimenting with her own blender and stovetop. Kramer’s favorite beauty recipes include items from the produce aisle.
Soup to Nuts Facial Scrub
1/2 cup cucumber, chopped
1 tsp. pineapple juice
1 Tbsp. baking soda
2 Tbsp. yogurt
2⁄3 cup almonds, finely ground
Puree cucumber in a food processor until smooth. Add remaining ingredients and mix on medium-low speed for 1 minute. Dampen your face with warm water. Apply the mixture and rub into skin, using a gentle, circular motion. Rinse thoroughly.
Why it works: Cucumbers, pineapple and almonds work as natural exfoliants. The egg white draws out impurities and the yolk moisturizes to help diminish wrinkles. Yogurt hydrates and delivers a probiotic punch, while baking soda balances your skin’s pH.
Revitalizing Hair Oil
1 tsp. grapeseed oil
1 tsp. evening primrose oil
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. coconut oil
1 tsp. rosemary extract
1 Tbsp. light sesame oil
1 tsp. avocado oil
3⁄4 tsp honey
Mix all ingredients except honey in a saucepan on low heat until combined. Let mixture cool, then add honey. Massage mixture evenly from scalp to hair ends. Wrap your head with a warm towel and wait 15 to 20 minutes. Wash and rinse with your preferred shampoo and conditioner.
Why it works: Natural heat-shielding properties enable grapeseed oil to strengthen and protect each strand. Avocado works as a conditioner, and coconut oil can actually penetrate the hair shaft. Rosemary and honey help soften and silken strands.
Beauty blogger and author of Bonding Over Beauty: A Mother-Daughter Guide to Self-Esteem, Confidence and Trust, Katz is a strong believer in natural hair and skin solutions. You can find more of her recipes at bondingoverbeauty.com.
Hydrating Hair Mask
1 cup mayonnaise
1 Tbsp. olive oil
Mix all ingredients into a smooth paste. Work the mixture through damp hair. Thoroughly wet a hand towel with warm water. Wring out excess water and wrap the damp towel around hair. Leave on for at least 20 minutes. Rinse out, then shampoo and condition as normal.
Why it works: This high-calorie snack for your strands uses three moisturizing ingredients. The fat in mayo, avocado and olive oil nourishes and conditions to supports hair’s strength and elasticity.
Peppermint Muscle Soak
2 cups Epsom salts
2 Tbsp. sea salt
5 drops rose oil
3 drops rose water
3 drops peppermint oil
Stir all ingredients together. Add to your bath as the water is running. Soak for as long as you like. Store any remaining salts in a jar for future use.
Why it works: Peppermint soothes achy muscles, and Epsom salts contain loads of magnesium, which helps promote the healing of torn muscles. Rose water softens skin. ■