Queen's University — Since 1873
11th March 2011

Homemade beauty remedies

Natural remedies like olive oil, oatmeal and eggs can do wonders for dry skin and dull hair.
Natural remedies like olive oil, oatmeal and eggs can do wonders for dry skin and dull hair. (Asad Chishti)

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Let’s face it: by now, winter is beginning to really take its toll on the majority of us. The lack of sun, bitter cold and dry, dry air is not only taxing on our minds, but also our bodies. Dry skin, lacklustre complexions, chapped lips and dull hair getting you down? Here are some homemade remedies to get your bodies in prime shape come spring.

Problem areas:Dry Heels, Knees and Elbows
The remedy: Oranges
Directions: Mix half the juice of one orange in a bowl alongside ¼ cup granulated sugar and ¼ cup olive oil. Rub the exposed half of the orange over dry heels, knees and elbows. Next, rub in the sugar mixture. Rinse with warm water and pat to dry. The fruit acid will remove dead skin cells and the olive oil will moisturize leaving those winter rough spots soft and supple.

Problem areas:Dry, Irritated Complexion
The remedy: Oatmeal
Directions: Place a handful of oats in a clean face cloth and secure it with a rubber band. Immerse it in a sink of warm water and squeeze it four or five times until the sink is cloudy. Splash some of the oatmeal water on your face and air dry. The oatmeal is a soothing anti-inflammatory that contains beta glucan, which will create a thin moisture retaining film on the surface of the skin. This will quench your dry, weathered face leaving you with soft, youthful cheeks for the sun to kiss when it finally arrives.

Problem areas:Flat, Dull Hair
The remedy: Beer
Directions: After shampooing your hair, pour a bottle of beer over your head while in the shower. Rinse briefly with water to ensure you get the benefits of the ale without smelling like you just stumbled out of the bar. The yeast in the beer will help to swell the hair shaft and plump the cuticle, adding volume while the acidity of the beer will remove residue, leaving hair shiny.

Problem areas:Damaged, Weak Hair
The remedy: Eggs
Directions: Whisk together one egg with two tablespoons of coconut oil and two tablespoons sesame oil. Apply the mixture to dry hair and wrap with a warm, moist towel. Leave for five to 10 minutes and then massage in a handful of shampoo without wetting the hair. Rinse and condition. Rubbing raw eggs in your hair may seem a little unusual, but the high protein content will restore resilience and shine to tired, wintry locks and the oils will add even more moisture.

Problem areas:Pimples
The remedy: Aspirin
Directions: Crush two aspirins in a small bowl with a little water to make a paste. Spread the paste on the pimple. The salicylic acid in the Aspirin will dry out the pore and kill the bacteria, minimizing those unwanted zits.

Problem areas:Dull Nails
The remedy: Lemon Juice
Directions: Soak your finger or toenails in a bowl of lemon juice to whiten those tips instantly. No need for a French manicure when your nails are looking this white!

Problem areas:Dry Hands
The remedy: Olive Oil
Directions: Fill a bowl with lukewarm water and add four tablespoons of olive oil. Soak your hands in the bowl for ten to fifteen minutes and rinse with tepid water. Let your hands dry and apply your regular hand lotion for added moisture.

Problem areas:Tired, Puffy Eyes
The remedy: Cucumbers
Directions: Simply place thinly sliced cucumbers over your eyes or even cheeks. Cucumbers contain a mild astringent, which can help refresh those sleep-deprived eyes. They’re also an anti-inflammatory so they keep the puffiness down. Regular treatments will keep you looking refreshed from now until spring.

Problem areas:Chapped Lips
The remedy: Honey and Vaseline
Directions: Apply a bit of honey to the lips and let dry, then apply a thin layer of Vaseline on top of it and let dry for fifteen minutes. Remove the coating using a cotton swab soaked in hot water. Honey is one of nature’s best moisturizers. That’s why it’s no surprise it’s used in many of today’s most popular lip balms. Repeat this treatment for four to five days to see your lips transform from dry to divine. Always ensure you coat your lips with your favourite balm before going outside to protect your kissers from the cold.

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