I am a bit of a sucker of lotions and potions promising eternal youth or thicker hair. I am, in some respects, very lucky. My skin is combination (oily and dry depending on the time of the month) and my hair is fine but fairly manageable. However, as like many people, I am always striving for thicker hair and smaller pores. Over the past few years I have let my beauty routine go to hell. Partly because of Toby and not having time to pamper myself and partly because I simply couldn’t justify the cost.
I used to spend a fortune on hair products in particular. My hair is fine and it grows very slowly. Any potion promising thickness and growth I was certain to splash out on. Someone even recommend I try a horse shampoo once…I mean, c’mon. Seriously? None of it ever worked.
There’s part of me now that has come to terms with my flat hair and my porous skin but every so often I want to preen myself a little. However, the more I look at the cost of pampering products and the crap that’s in them, the more I shy away from them. I wanted to find a way to feel like I was doing something a bit special, something that would make my skin or hair look or feel different but wouldn’t cost loads of money. I have tried some fairly wacky things in the past (avocado hair mask, honey face packs etc) but there are a few that I come back to time and time again and I can honestly say work for my skin and hair type.
Coconut oil is my absolute favourite beauty product. I use it all year round. It’s my go-to daily moisturiser and is great in the summer after you’ve been out the sun a little too long, do not use it before you sunbathe though! Oils and sun do not mix well.
Coffee and coconut face and body scrub (for dry/dull winter skin)
My absolute favourite natural and homemade pampering treatment is a simple coffee and coconut oil scrub. You can use this all over your body but I would use in a shower rather than a bath because it’s rather messy!! It smells incredible though.
- 1tbsp organic coconut oil (cold – keep it in your fridge as it will go liquid at around 24 degrees celsius)
- 1tsp fresh coffee grounds (I use unused coffee grounds)
(This will give you enough for a one-use face scrub so multiply this recipe 3x for a full body scrub)
Mix the two together. Slather onto your face, massaging gently in small circles. Leave on for 10 minutes and rinse. Pat dry.
This scrub will leave you feeling moisturised and soft. I wouldn’t recommend this if you have oily skin.
Bicarbonate of soda (baking soda) is my other brilliant pamper product. I use this for loads of things in my beauty regime. I mix a ¼ teaspoon with my usual toothpaste once a week to help keep my teeth white. I also use it as facepack when my skin is greasy and as a hair thickener.
Bicarbonate of soda face pack (for greasy skin days)
- 1tbsp bicarbonate of soda
- 4 or 5 drops of cooled boiled water (enough to make a paste)
Add the water slowly to the bicarbonate of soda so you get the right consistency. Too much and it will all just wash away. When you have a thickish paste apply to your face with a very gentle massage. Leave for 15 mins, rinse, pat dry.
Thickening/cleansing shampoo (for greasy hair or if you use a lot of hair product)
This is a potent hair cleanser. I would advise doing this once a week only but is fantastic if you have fine, greasy hair.
- 1tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 1 tbsp your usual shampoo
Mix the two together and shampoo as normal (if you use conditioner I would condition your hair BEFORE you shampoo for the best results)
Your hair may feel dry and tangled at this stage, do not fret. If you’re feeling like your hair is far too dry apply a little conditioner to the ends of your hair only and rinse again. Use a wide toothed comb to detangle and then dry and style as usual.
I love the way my hair feels and looks after this treatment.
Congestion clearing detox bath
For some reason I have really suffered this winter with a string of horrible colds. I feel like I have spent the last month sniffing! I have always enjoyed the benefits of eucalyptus oil when I am really congested but my most recent cold called for a long hot detox bath. Whilst I won’t claim that this cured my cold by any stretch it felt wonderful to sink into a softening and congestion clearing steam!
- 300g Himalayan salts/Epsom salt
- 160g Bicarbonate of soda
- 5 drops Eucalyptus oil
- 5 drops Peppermint oil
- 1 heaped tbsp coconut oil (optional)
Throw the whole lot into a hot bath and soak for as long as you fancy. The bicarb will help soften the water and stop you drying out too much but if you do have dry skin you can throw in a tablespoon of coconut oil too.
If you do want to try some of these recipes always make sure that you patch test. My skin is pretty hardy so I don’t know how these recipes will affect those with sensitive skin conditions.
Always ask your GP before using essential oils if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.