There are more loopholes and lawlessness in the world of beauty than flies on a bacon-covered cupcake. Seriously, someone might as well be spackling green paint on cans of oil for all the falsely organic stuff out on the shelves. As we may have mentioned once or twice, you need a PhD to determine what’s organic, what’s natural, and what’s a toxic waste dump disguised as face cream.
So what to do? We know to avoid parabens (preservative linked to cancer,) phthalates (solvent linked to reproductive issues,) petrochemicals, sodium laurel sulfate, and anything with fragrance in it. But what about all the other chemicals we see? We can spend our days plugging product ingredients into the Skin Deep database.
Let’s start with one of the most essential beauty products, the scrub. Sure, we can pick up a scrub at your local Whole Foods. (And consider our review of several popular products here.) But why not step into the kitchen and make it ourselves? Our faces and bodies are covered with dead skin cells and the best way to send them off into the afterlife is to use a good scrub. So check out our two favorite recipes for scrubs you can mix up in your own kitchen.
HONEY NUT SCRUB
Courtesy of Narine Nikogosian’s “Return to Beauty”
Nikogosian reports that walnuts are “packed with beta-carotene, vitamin E, and alpha-linolenic acid which help your skin stay soft, smooth and supple.” Like the sweet stuff? Honey helps slough away dead skin cells.
Mix 1 teaspoon of finely-ground walnuts with 1 teaspoon of honey and 1 teaspoon of lemon juice. Mix well. Massage this gently over your face for five minutes. Focus on your T-zone (chine, nose, and forehead). Rinse with warm water.
BASIC BROWN SUGAR SCRUB
Eating tons of sugar? Not so good for your skin. But using it to exfoliate your dead skin away? Nothing’s sweeter than that. A brown sugar scrub can give you the same results as a gentle chemical peel.
Purchase a bag of brown sugar. The dark the better, as light sugars tend to dissolve quickly. Add two tablespoons of water to a small bowl of sugar, but be sure it is not enough to dissolve it. Wet your face. Using circular motions, work the sugar over your skin. Leave the paste on for ten minutes. Then rinse.