Throughout history, women have tried some bizarre do-it-yourself beauty treatments. Geishas applied nightingale droppings; English nobility used mercury and puppy urine; Cleopatra reportedly soaked in sour donkey milk.
Today, we still want to keep our complexions radiant, smooth, and firm. Fortunately, there’s no need to slap disgusting or potentially deadly ingredients onto your skin. A simple trip to your local grocery store and you’ll have the ingredients to make the most beneficial and budget-friendly facials you can find.
Let a Breakfast Staple Double as an Exfoliating Cleanser
For a simple DIY scrub, mix a teaspoon of white sugar, corn meal, baking soda, or cooled coffee grounds into your daily cleanser.
A packet of instant maple brown sugar oatmeal is one of the beauty secrets Cristina Bartolucci, founder of DuWop Cosmetics and celebrity makeup artist, uses to keep her skin soft. She combines a handful of the oatmeal with a few pumps of cleanser in her palm and packs it on her skin. In about 10 minutes, Bartolucci gently scrubs it off. The oats fight irritation while the brown sugar exfoliates.
Look to Your Spice Rack for an Irritation-Fighting Facial
New York City restaurateur Donatella Arpaia squeezes fresh apricots onto sunburned skin to relieve itching and burning. Another way to calm irritated skin: Soak a washcloth in cooled whole milk and apply it to your face.
Expert facialist and founder of Lather skin care Emile Hoyt says turmeric is one of the best anti-inflammatory ingredients around. Mix a half teaspoon of the spice with 6 ounces of plain yogurt, 2 tablespoons of honey, and half a cup of oat flour and spread it on clean skin. Hoyt says that dry, irritated complexions will feel moisturized and refreshed after 15 minutes of this treatment.
Brew Up an Oil-Erasing Mask
Oily or acne-prone skin can benefit from brewer’s yeast. Whisk two egg whites with 2 teaspoons of the yeast and apply with a paint brush or large makeup brush. Leave on for 20 minutes and rinse.
Rather than pay for an expensive mud mask, a bottle of Milk of Magnesia can dry up oil just as well. Paula Begoun, author of The Complete Beauty Bible, advises blotting unflavored Milk of Magnesia on your skin and letting it dry. Rinse it away with a washcloth after about 15 minutes for a shine-free fix.
Take advantage of buttermilk’s astringent qualities and dip a cotton ball in it, dab it on your skin, let it dry for a few minutes, and rinse it away with a gentle cleanser to send excess oil down the drain.
Try Some All-Natural Anti-aging Agents
Nutritionist Keri Glassman, author of The Snack Factor Diet, suggests mashing a banana and grating five almonds for a mask that exfoliates, smooths and fights aging.