Hopefully this holiday season has been wonderful - and indulgent! The list is endless, cookies, holiday parties, rich indulgent food and way too many toasts to friends and family. While the season is festive and bright, by the time December 27 rolls around our skin tends to look anything but... looking in the mirror this morning I saw the telltale signs of my Christmas fun - dull, dry, irritated skin.
So, here's how we get to looking fresh and rested in time for New Year's Eve. Below is a list of natural skin brightening ingredients and how you can use them. They are probably all in your kitchen pantry right now! Try a couple of these treatments between now and the big party to see big results!
Milk has been used in beauty routines since the beginning of time. It is extremely hydrating and soothing for dry, irritated skin... sound familiar during this time of year?
Here's why, milk is full of healthy fats and vitamins which nourish and rejuvenate skin. Milk also contains lactic acid which has strong bleaching properties, making it perfect if some of those sun spots from your summer fun are starting to show up now that that tan has said goodbye. In addition, this lactic acid (similar to better known alpha hydroxy acid) works to eliminate dull dead skin cells. It is an extremely gentle exfoliant which when used in skin care leaves skin fresh and radiant.
What to do:
Mix a spoonful of powdered milk with a spoonful of orange juice (the vitamin C is an extra skin booster) until you get a thick paste. You want to be able to spread it easily without dripping or flaking. Leave for 15 minutes and rinse with cool water.
Coffee is one of the greatest skin brightening ingredients ever! The caffeine in coffee grounds helps pull blood circulation to the skin's surface. That extra circulation gives you that healthy rosy glow. Plus the coffee grounds act as a natural exfoliator.
The caffeine in those coffee grounds also helps tighten and firm your skin. It constricts the skin which is a great way to help with puffy under eyes and face after a bit too much prosecco at that Christmas party last night.
What to do:
Take a spoonful of coffee grounds and make a paste adding your favorite oil (I highly recommend coconut oil but almond oil and even olive oil work brilliantly). To add to your under eye, just lightly tap the coffee paste on your under eye. For the rest of your face apply paste while gently rubbing to get the most of the exfoliating effect. Let sit for 20-30 minutes and rinse with cool water.
Honey is a fantastic way to lighten and brighten your skin in the winter months. Best to look for raw honey - manuka is the best. It gets you your best face forward in several important ways:
Honey is a natural clarifying agent. It helps open and unclog pores, preventing blackheads. It also helps to fade acne scars or dark sun spots while still being very delicate on your face.
Honey is an emolient meaning that it helps seal moisture into your skin, resulting in smooth well hydrated skin... always the best place to start to achieve a glowing complexion!
It keep your skin clear because it is actually an antibacterial agent - effective against infections and acne.
What to do:
I recommend 2 different ways of incorporating honey into a glowing skin care routine... when used daily honey can make a huge difference in the appearance of your skin. It's gentle exfoliating properties will help keep blackheads and pimples away, while gently stimulating collagen production, reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. After removing your makeup and cleaning your face, just spread a thin layer as a face mask. Leave for a few minutes and rinse.
Want a treatment that's a bit 'extra' to get ready for holiday festivities? Add a teaspoon of lemon juice to the honey before applying - the brightening properties of lemon juice will make this a great face brightener!
Asian women have been known for centuries for their beautiful, porcelain complexions. Their secret? Rice flour! It turns out that this humble ingredient is a total game changer! It is full of anti oxidants, amino acids and vitamins.
What to do:
For a glowing complexion, make a paste out of 1 spoonful of rice flour and a few drops of honey. Spread all over face and let sit for 10 minutes. Rinse well. For best results use every week.
An egg contains about 69 different proteins which contribute to reducing fine lines and helping to maintain the elasticity of your skin. One of the coolest things about eggs as natural skin care is that based on your type of skin different parts of the egg are called for.
Egg whites are high in collagen and vitamin A - these are 2 critical ingredients in repairing skin (burns and scars are noticeably improved). They are also high in albumin, a simple form of protein that helps tighten your pores - a great way to hide the fact that you overindulged in the cocktail hour this season! A further and super cool fuction of egg whites is to absorb excess oil.
Meanwhile, the yolk is also fantastic. The high concentration of fatty acids in the egg yolk help to hydrate and plump tired and stressed skin.
What to do:
Separate an egg and use whichever part fits your needs (white for oily skin, yolk for dry skin). I like to mix a tablespoon of lemon juice and milk powder into a paste. Spread evenly on clean skin, leave for 15/20 minutes, rinse with cold water.