I am the first person to hold my hand up and say that I love a facial. For me it has been an essential part of my skincare routine since I trained as a Therapist almost 20 years ago. I firmly believe that a professional skincare treatment once or twice a month benefits your skin in so many ways.
That said, I do sometimes feel that it’s nice to just go back to basics and make your own at-home natural treatments. Not just for home DIY skincare, these natural treatments are found in some of the most luxurious spas in the world. When I was at the Banyan Tree spa in Phuket guess what was on the menu? a traditional honey and cucumber facial – it was amazing! This facial makes your skin so soft and glowing it will leave you questioning the need for progress in the beauty industry. Who needs electro-magnetic currents and chemical peels when nature can be so gentle and effective?
Making your own natural skincare treatments can also be really fun, not to mention fantastic for your skin. There are all sorts of things in your kitchen cabinets and fridge that can be used for a cleansing and refreshing facial. Here are some of my favourites for you to try;
Polenta and Yoghurt Scrub
15ml (1tbsp) ground corn meal (polenta)
30ml (2tbsp) natural yoghurt
This is a great cleansing and exfoliating scrub for face and body. Mix the ingredients into a paste and gently rub into your skin, starting at the chin and working up to the cheeks and forehead in small circles. Remove with a hot towel and warm water. This lovely scrub will leave your skin feeling invigorated and glowing.
Traditional Facial (normal/dry skin)
8oz (1 cup) clear honey (Thai honey is the most nutritious but any clear honey you have will substitute)
10 drops fresh lime juice
1 medium sized cucumber, thinly sliced
Start by cleansing your face with warm water and a natural cloth. Next mix the honey and lime juice together and massage into your skin with for 15 minutes. The sticky-tuned-slippery sensation is sublime. The lime peels away surface cells and the homey softens the skin. Wipe away any residue with a wet, warm cloth and pat dry. Next place all the cucumber slices over your face and neck (covering eyes and mouth is optional). The instant cooling feeling tightens skin and replenishes moisture. Finish with a delicate moisturiser if needed.
Combination Skin Mask
15ml (1tbsp) finely ground oatmeal
15ml (1tbsp) live, plain yogurt
1/2 apple, finely grated
10ml (2 tsp) fresh lemon juice
A great face mask which is full of the natural AHAs (alpha hydroxyl acids) found in many commercial skin peels. This recipe is best suited to combination skins as the enzymatic action of the fresh apple and lemon juice helps temporarily reduce the appearance of enlarged pores and also acts as a gentle exfoliant, dislodging dead skin cells and removing sebum build-up. The mask may also be useful for slightly irritated or blotchy skins, as the oatmeal has a soothing effect. Make sure the yogurt is ‘live’ and so contains acidophilus, as this type of beneficial bacterium is the most useful when it comes to cleaning up spots and pimples.
Mix the oatmeal with the yogurt to form a paste. Add the grated apple and lemon juice and stir well. Apply to clean, dry skin on the face and neck. Relax for 15-20 minutes before rinsing thoroughly with warm water and patting the skin dry.
Give them a try, you’ll be converted.