London - Could a few bits and bobs from your kitchen cupboard be more effective than luxurious and lucrative lotions and potions?
One beauty blogger, who swears by the power of all things natural, thinks so – one look at her glowing skin and the results speak for themselves.
Ella Woodward, founder of the Deliciously Ella blog, has shunned face creams for coconut oil, apple cider vinegar, turmeric, honey and spirulina and says they’re the secret behind her glowing skin.
“Natural beauty products are really so powerful, it’s truly amazing and although it may sometimes seem a little mad – just trust me, they really work!”, she says.
Ella was a self-confessed “sugar monster” who was struck down with a relatively rare illness called Postural Tachycardia Syndrome that attacked her nervous system and left her bed-bound. In an effort to turn her life around, the 23-year-old embraced a fully vegan lifestyle and managed to beat her illness and launch her own successful business.
But she doesn’t just fill her body with raw food and green smoothies, she’s also revamped her beauty regime.
She says: “As I started to nurture my body with foods that it loved, I started to become conscious of everything else I was doing and whether it was really the most loving thing to do for my body.
“We absorb about 60-70 percent of everything we put on to our skin into our blood stream, so if your deodorant contains aluminium (which all the non-natural ones do), then you have aluminium pumping around your body and that’s kind of gross.
“So over the last year I stopped using conventional products and developed a natural skincare routine, which I love. Not only is my skin so much better than ever before, but I’ve also saved so much money on fancy products.”
Ella starts the day by splashing warm water over her face, followed by smoothing a pea-size blob of coconut oil over her visage. “I have to admit that coconut oil is hands down the best moisturiser I’ve ever used as it really gives you such a good glow,” she says.
In the evening, she removes her make-up with a little coconut oil, rinses her face with warm water and dries it before cleansing and toning her skin with apple cider vinegar.
“I simply add a few drops of it to a cotton pad and then wipe the pad over my face. I know that it sounds totally mad, but trust me it’s the best thing you can do for your skin,” says Ella.
Twice a week, Ella exfoliates her skin using either a sugar and salt scrub or an oatmeal scrub and then she does a homemade facemask using the likes of avocado, turmeric, spirulina, coconut oil, apple cider vinegar and raw honey.
“I find doing this twice a week does wonders for keeping my skin clear and glowing,” she says. “It’s also really fun and I love how funny everyone thinks you look when your face is covered in a bright green avocado mask!”
London-based Ella is set to launch a book full of her healthy recipes and organic skincare regime next year – but is her method as effective as her skin may lead us to believe?
Elaine Robinson of Dr.Hauschka believes so:”Natural skincare is the essential partner to a healthy lifestyle. If you are conscious about your diet and what you put inside your body, then it goes without saying that you would only want to put the very best products, made of the highest quality natural ingredients on your skin.”
Margo Marrone, an organic skincare founder, adds: “We are what we eat and we should all know how poisonous pesticides are so not eating them is easy to understand but our skin is also a living organ and, just like the digestive system, it absorbs molecules in skincare that can be potentially harmful.
“That’s why we choose organic herbs and plant extracts in our skincare; going organic for skincare is so important because it not only is healthier but also the skin looks more healthy and beautiful.”
Celebrities are catching on too. Miranda Kerr has an organic skincare line called Kora Oragnics full of rosehip oil and noni fruit. – Daily Mail
Body-exfoliating benefits of coconut oil
IS there anything coconut oil can’t do? Victoria’s Secret beauty Miranda Kerr swears that eating four teaspoons a day keeps her figure trim, while Gwyneth Paltrow swills it around her mouth to keep her dental health in check.
And the oil is as good used on the outside as it is on the inside: it is a rich, effective moisturiser and has even been suggested as helpful for skin problems including psoriasis, dermatitis, eczema and infections (which is why it’s often used as the base of many skincare products).
Opt for virgin coconut oil – the white gooey stuff in jars and tubs, rather than tinned coconut milk or anything similar. Check it is 100 percent pure, too. The lemon juice acids aid exfoliation and are antibacterial so will act as a preservative, but it’s best not to keep it for more than a week or two, so make small batches.
100g white castor sugar
25g virgin coconut oil
juice of half a lemon
Mix the sugar and oil together into a bowl, making sure to coat all of the sugar, then squeeze in the lemon juice and mix again. This exfoliator works well for the face as well as the body, and even the scalp.
Create your own DIY facial masks with these refreshing recipes.
Strawberries and cream exfoliating facial mask
This fruity mask refreshes and brightens skin. Strawberries, which are rich in natural fruit acids that help exfoliate the skin, are combined with ground oats to give texture and extra polish, unclog pores and smooth the skin. As it uses fresh and dairy ingredients, this recipe, which makes enough for one treatment, is for immediate use.
2 tablespoon ground oats
3 large strawberries
1 teaspoon single cream
1 Using a pestle and mortar, grind the oats to a fine powder. Mash the strawberries with a fork and combine with the oats. Add the cream and mix to a thick paste (add a little more cream if necessary to get the right consistency).
2 Apply the paste to clean skin (avoiding the area around the eyes and mouth) and leave for 10 minutes.
3 Remove the paste by applying a little water to loosen it first. Then gently rub it away in a circular movement. Rinse with cool water and pat dry with a towel.
Lavender clay mask
Natural clay minerals draw impurities from the skin and deeply cleanse it. With moisturising honey and antioxidant-rich aloe vera and reviving, balancing lavender water and essential oil, this soothing, purifying mask leaves skin feeling fresh and smooth.
Store in a sterilised dark glass jar with a tight fitting lid and use within two months.
2 tablespoons aloe vera juice
1 teaspoon lavender water
1 teaspoon clear honey
half a teaspoon kaolin powder
1 tablespoon bentonite powder
1 drop lavender essential oil
1 Combine the aloe vera, lavender water and honey. Add the clay powders by sprinkling them gradually over the mixed liquids while stirring continually.
2 Press the mixture through a sieve. add the essential oil and stir again to mix well.
3 Apply to clean skin (avoiding the area directly around the eyes and mouth).
Leave for 10 minutes. Rinse with warm water and then pat dry with a towel.
Avocado and aloe vera facial mask
A deeply nourishing and soothing facial mask for all skin types. Avocado is vitamin and mineral rich, as well as being high in fatty acids, lecithin and phytosterols, which make it an excellent moisturiser for dry skin. As it uses fresh fruit and dairy ingredients, it should be used immediately.
1 ripe avocado
1 teaspoon clear honey
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon natural yoghurt
1 teaspoon aloe vera juice
1 Split the avocado in two and scoop the flesh out into a bowl. Mash with a fork to make a paste, then add the other ingredients and mix.
2 Apply to freshly cleansed skin (avoiding the area directly around the eyes and mouth). Leave for 10 minutes. Rinse with cool water and pat dry with a towel.
Soothing lavender cleanser
This is a simple cleanser for sensitive or dry skin. Oats have long been used for their skin-soothing properties, as they are rich in natural polysaccharides that become glutinous in water to create a nurturing wash for delicate skin. Almond oil also soothes and enriches skin, helping to prevent moisture loss, while lavender soothes the skin and adds a gentle fragrance.
25g organic oats
a little mineral water
1 egg yolk
three and a half tablespoons almond oil
5 drops lavender essential oil
1 Put oats in a bowl, pour on mineral water to cover, and leave to soak for at least 1 hour.
2 Whisk the egg yolk in a blender or food processor, adding a drop of almond oil at a time. The mixture should be a thick emulsion when all the oil has been added. Add the lavender essential oil, adding a drop at a time so it blends in well.
3 Strain the oats, squeezing all the liquid (oatmilk) into a bowl. Reserve the oatmilk, but discard the oats. Add the oatmilk slowly to the egg mixture, stirring or blending it in gently so that it thins to the consistency of a lotion.
4 Store in a sterilised glass bottle with a tight-fitting lid. Refrigerate and use within 3 days. – Daily Mail
* Recipes, courtesy of Neal’s Yard Remedies