By now, it’s clear that eating a diet that consists mostly of organic fruits and vegetables is most beneficial to our health, but what about caring for our largest organ and our first line of defense: our skin?
You may be washing your face every night, using moisturizer, eye cream and sunscreen and treating yourself to masks and exfoliants, but if the products you’re using are jam-packed with toxic chemicals and preservatives, you’re probably not doing yourself too many favors.
It turns out that ingredients such as sulfates, parabens and artificial fragrances that have commonly been used in skin-hair-and body-care products for decades are now being found to cause inflammatory skin reactions and are even suspected to cause some serious diseases, illnesses and hormonal issues with extended use. Other ingredients like additives and fillers simply suffocate the skin and are a waste of money.
Just like our bodies benefit from eating fresh, natural, unprocessed foods, our skin thrives when we treat it with the same quality ingredients. You’ll be surprised when you notice the effects that a natural treatment has on your skin after the first use. While there are some fabulous (and expensive!) all-natural skin-care products on the market, there’s no denying that making fresh products in your own home is more beneficial.
Here at Books for Better Living, we want to support you in taking a more natural approach when caring for your skin, so we’re sharing two beauty recipes: Brightening Citrus Toner and Skin-Smoothing Shaving Cream. Both are easy and fun—and will work wonders for your skin as well as your wallet.
Brightening Citrus Toner
Citrus is extremely invigorating, and the vitamin C it contains helps to brighten skin while fading discoloration. I love storing this toner in a spray bottle in the fridge and using it as a refreshing mist. Adding tangerine essential oil is also great because it adds to the citrusy fragrance, has antibacterial properties and creates a calming aura.
1 1/2 cups distilled water
Zest of 1 lemon
Zest of 1 orange
Juice of 1 lemon
3 drops tangerine essential oil (optional)
Bring water to a boil, remove from heat and combine in a glass jar with the lemon and orange zests. Let mixture steep overnight in the refrigerator. Strain out the zest, pour product into resealable container of your choice and squeeze in the fresh lemon juice. Add tangerine oil, if desired, and apply with a cotton ball or spray bottle.
Skin-Smoothing Shaving Cream
Shaving is a great way to achieve smooth skin. Obviously, it rids the body of excess hair, but it also lightly exfoliates, which allows lotions, creams or oils to penetrate the skin more easily. It prepares the skin for shaving and does half the work of your body lotion or oil.
2/3 cup cocoa butter
2/3 cup unrefined virgin coconut oil
1/4 cup jojoba oil
2 teaspoons baking soda
In a double boiler, melt cocoa butter and coconut oil over medium heat. Remove from heat and stir in jojoba oil. Let chill in the fridge until solidified. Remove from fridge, and let sit at room temperature for about 5 minutes. Stir in baking soda, and whip mixture with a hand mixer until liquefied. Transfer to a resealable container of your choice.
Adapted from Homemade Beauty by Annie Strole. © Annie Strole 2014. A Perigee Book, Penguin Group.
Photo Credit: Rido/Shutterstock