It is that time of year again, ladies! The leaves are changing, pumpkin patches are chock-full and ripe for the picking, not to mention PSL is back (Pumpkin Spice Latte) at Starbucks. Yes, it is Autumn, and that means the winter months are just around the corner. Now is the perfect time to start prepping your skin before the harsh climate changes dry out your skin and wreak havoc on your beauty routine.
There are quite literally thousands of products on the market, ranging from a few dollars to hundreds that all claim to keep your skin hydrated and help reverse sun damage, aging and blemishes. The good news is, you don’t have to shell out hundreds of dollars at the department store to get glowing skin. That means more money to save for your pageant wardrobe! (Read: How to Budget for a Pageant)
Here are my favorite natural and money-saving tips to save your skin and keep you looking ready for competition this fall and winter.
How to Beautify Your Skin with Natural Remedies
1. Chamomile tea
Chamomile not only helps de-stress after a long day, but it can also reduce puffy eyes in the morning! Brew two tea bags of chamomile and let the bags cool, then place one each eye for ten minutes. Don’t forget to relax and breathe in the calming scent. Puffy eyes and undereye baggies will be sent packing! To make the most out of your time, take the already brewed tea and freeze it in ice cube trays. Use the frozen tea cubes to reduce swelling or redness when in a pinch later.
2. Argan oil
Look for an organic line (I prefer Josie Maran’s organic argan oil, available at Sephora). Again, this oil won’t cause breakouts and is exactly what thirsty skin is begging for. Apply after your nightly routine as the last thing before bedtime. This can also be used on your hair.
High in essential vitamins like C and E as well as good fatty acids, avocados are great for your skin, not just atop a salad. Mash ½ an avocado with a teaspoon of olive oil to make a mask. Apply and let it sit on your face for 20 minutes and then gently remove with a warm washcloth. (Read: How to Make Avocado Chicken Salad)
Not only will honey help moisturize your skin, it is also the most gentle of exfoliants, great for any skin type but especially sensitive skin. Apply in a gentle circular motion on your face and leave on for 10-20 minutes, then rinse well with a warm washcloth.
A natural astringent, the acids in lemons will not only detoxify and cleanse the pores, but it is a natural skin brightener as well, helping to even out skin tone and reduce hyperpigmentations (those frustrating brown spots that linger AFTER an acne blemish is gone). Cut a lemon in half and directly apply the lemon in a circular motion around your face, or squeeze the juice out of a fresh lemon and apply with cotton rounds to your skin as a toner.
6. Witch Hazel
My personal favorite as a toner, the naturally occurring alcohol in witch hazel is great for cleansing and toning but is so mild it will not irritate or dry out skin. It will also help to refine and minimize pore size (#thankgoodness), all while actually making skin feel more hydrated. Apply to a cotton round and apply to your face after cleansing.
7. Coconut Oil
A small jar of this stuff is around $20, which seems expensive for an oil but compared to an expensive night cream from Sephora or your dermatology office, this is a steal. Prior to hitting the hay, dab a little coconut oil on your cuticles, lips or any other drying areas to let the oil soak in overnight. You will wake to softer skin, and the good news is it will not break you out. (Read: Can Coconut Oil Solve Your Beauty Ailments?)
Bonus: Put a little on dry ends of hair overnight for a deep moisturizing treatment (be sure to wear a scarf of something on your head to protect your pillow case from getting greasy).
8. Sugar scrub
Sugar is the Earth’s original exfoliant, and thankfully you can find it in a myriad of grain sizes. For more sensitive skin, find a smaller more refined grain of sugar, or for more aggressive exfoliation choose an unrefined brown sugar. Either way, your skin will thank you for it. Make a scrub of ¼ cup of sugar and a tablespoon of olive oil. Scrub on your face, hands, knees and even feet to reveal softer, more youthful skin. Rinse and pat dry, follow up with moisturizer to seal in the softness.
9. Yogurt and Oatmeal mask/scrub
Yogurt has natural astringent properties, along with probitoics to help banish blemishes, and smoothing lactic acid. Oatmeal is a great gentle exfoliant and skin soother; use them both together to create an acne-fighting mask. Make a paste of yogurt, whole rolled oats (not the quick-cooking stuff), and a teaspoon of honey, apply in a circular motion and leave on your skin for 10-15 minutes. Gently remove with a warm washcloth.
10. Essential Oil
No matter which brand of essential oils you buy, you should do your research on the brand itself. Not all essential oil brands are created equal, meaning some essential oils are more potent and more effective than other lines. Always read labels and make sure the oils are 100% pure essential oils (no fillers), and look for companies that indigenously source their oil production.
The best essential oils for keeping your skin supple and blemish free are melaleuca, frankincense, and lavender. Melaleuca is a natural anti-bacterial and will help keep acne and blemishes at bay, while frankincense has anti-aging properties (no wonder the ancients used it when embalming bodies). Lavender is calming and will reduce redness and swelling, even if it is just from dry, chapped skin. Apply just a few drops of any of these oils to problem areas after cleansing.
Those are my favorite natural at-home skin remedies for the cooler temperatures, what are your favorite skin savers? Leave them in the comments below or ask us any questions!