Forget chemical peels, surgical face-lifts, Botox, or expensive hopes-in-a-jar. You can attain fresh, glowing skin by following a few simple directives and getting a little crafty around the kitchen.
When you've watched your budget plummet from Roquefort to Cheez Whiz, gone are the days when you can afford to keep a crack team of dermatologists and aestheticians on speed dial. (DIY sounds so much better than IOU, doesn't it?) You will be able to keep up with our nine tips for achieving a beautiful complexion, however, because they cost a grand total of absolutely nada.
1. Get your coffee fix
Don't toss out the coffee grounds that brewed up your morning pot of java. A handful of moist grounds (organic is preferable) makes a fantastic facial exfoliant or all-over body scrub. Not only do the grounds physically slough off dead skin cells with remarkable finesse, but the remaining caffeine also tightens and firms pores, resulting in impossibly smooth skin. For dry skin, add 1-2 tablespoons of cold-pressed extra-virgin olive oil.
2. Wash your makeup tools
Dirty makeup brushes and sponges are hotbeds of bacteria and grime. Allowing them to fester in their filth and then rubbing them all over your face is the quickest path to clogged pores, zit outbreaks, and the gnashing of teeth. Wash your tools at least once a week with a spot of shampoo and warm water to get them as good as new.
3. Find appeal in peels
For an instant, couldn't-be-easier moisturizer, says Donna Maria Coles Johnson, owner of Make Your Own Cosmetics, in the January 2008 issue of Natural Health, scrape off the inner peel of a banana, apply it to your face, and then rinse off after 15 minutes.
Other fruit and vegetable peelings to try (use the inner, fleshy part): Potatoes, which can help reduce puffiness; citrus (oranges, lemons, grapefruit) for its powerful astringent properties; avocado, for plumping up your complexion; and pineapple, to brighten skin instantly.
4. Give yourself a facial massage
Massaging your face increases circulation to your epidermis, improving the firmness of your skin while loosening muscles locked in habitual lines and wrinkles. When you're scrubbing your face, or even applying your usual toner or moisturizer, start at your chin and sweep your hands upward toward your cheeks, eye area, and forehead.
5. Get steamed
Stave off acne with a weekly steam facial open to pores, boost circulation, and flush out toxins. All you need is a pot of water, a stove, and a towel. (If you want to get fancy, you can throw in a handful of herbs like lavender, calendula, chamomile, or thyme.)
Bring the water to a boil, reduce the heat and let simmer for 5-10 minutes, then place the pot on a trivet on a kitchen table or countertop. Drape the towel over your head like a tent and lean your face over the steaming pot—but not so close that you scald yourself. Hold this position for 5 minutes, then rinse your face with cool water to close your pores.
6. Take shorter, cooler showers
Hot water whisks away the water-retentive fatty substances in your skin, leaving it dry—or in serious cases, cracked. If the idea of a cold one leaves you shivering, try a warm shower instead of a scalding one. (Bonus: You'll also save on heating bills.) Alternatively, lather up, rinse, and skedaddle out of there instead of staying longer than necessary.
7. Get moving
Although we no longer have to hunt wild game to put a rack of ribs on the table, our bodies weren't designed to sit behind a desk all the livelong day. Instead of parking your caboose in front of the PC or television, get outside and bust a few moves.
Keeping our muscles toned isn't just a matter of body-sculpting, it also helps the blood transport vital nutrients to cells in the body, while whisking away damaging toxins. Exercise can also dampen the testosterone-related hormones that result in those nerve-wracking breakouts.
8. Avoid sweets
For a sweeter-looking countenance, sidestep the sugar. Sugar and highly refined carbohydrates, like white bread, white rice, French fries, and sugary sodas, can speed up zit formation, as well as aging. The culprit? A chemical process known as glycation—a result of sugar breaking down and hooking up with protein molecules—that diminishes the elasticity of collagen in your skin.
9. Hydrate yourself
Our last tip is an oldie but goodie. Remember to drink plenty of water, around six to eight glasses a day, to rid your body of toxins. The smaller the chemical burden your body has to deal with (pesticides, synthetic chemicals, heavy metals), the more energy it has left for cellular renewal.
StickeeBra believes in always improving ourselves, healthy and happy living, as well as maintaining close relationships with our family, partner and friends. Without the support of our loved ones, there wouldn't be us here today.
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Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article intend to highlight alternative studies and induce conversation. They are the views of the (others) author(s) and do not necessarily represent the views of StickeeBra, and are for informational purposes only, even if and to the extent that it features the advice of physicians and medical practitioners. This article is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied upon for specific medical advice.
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