Old fashioned skincare secrets
When it comes to our beauty and skincare regimes, nowadays we are spoilt for choice, as an array of treatments and brands fill the shelves. However, it hasn't always been this easy. Products haven't always been this readily available to us, and so I've decided to take a look at some old fashioned skincare remedies, and re-create my own that can be made at home.
Egyptians were known to mix watermelon extract with rosewater and sugar in order to create a moisturiser. Watermelons are made up of 93% water, leaving the remaining 7% filled with vitamin C, vitamin A and antioxidants. Due to the high volume of water, they are very hydrating, and can improve dryness within the skin. Antioxidants are considered to be natural toners for the skin, and also aid with the build up of collagen, while the vitamins enrich the skin and delay signs of ageing. These days, watermelon can still be found within our beauty regimes, as the extract is often found in hydrating lip balms. Next time you are thinking about purchasing a face mask or treatment, why not create your own using watermelon? Mix a teaspoon of watermelon with a teaspoon of honey, and apply it on your face. Leave it on for 15-20 minutes before rinsing off with warm water. It's quick, easy, and has been leaving skin feeling fresh for the last 5,000 years.
Witch hazel recipes
Witch hazel is renowned for its healing qualities, as it reduces inflammation, cellular damage and swelling, and its many uses can be traced back to the 19th century. A strong but natural antioxidant, witch hazel can be used to treat acne, eczema, sunburn, and even to soothe wounds. Some wisdom I acquired from my grandmother as a child was to apply witch hazel to any bumps or bruises, as its anti-inflammatory properties would reduce the swelling. Nowadays, witch hazel can be found in a number of products, from spot treatments to moisturisers. Witch hazel oil can be found in most health shops, and I'd recommend always having a bottle handy. Whether it's a nasty bruise, or an angry spot, just apply a small layer of witch hazel oil to the inflamed area and let the product soak in. Within hours, you will see the inflammation reduce.
As well as being the most commonly used spice in Indian cuisine, turmeric is considered to be one of the most powerful herbs out there. As an antioxidant with anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties, the spice works not only in the kitchen, but also in our skincare regimes. Being anti-bacterial, turmeric can clear acne, sores and even eczema when applied to the skin, and acts as a disinfectant. Turmeric can also reduce redness in the skin thanks to it being an anti-inflammatory. However, it's important to be very careful when applying it, as the spice has very strong colouring and is known to dye skin. I would suggest the following recipe should you wish to make your own homemade turmeric face mask:
1 teaspoon of honey
1 teaspoon of Greek/natural yoghurt
1 teaspoon of turmeric (use a little less if you are very fair skinned)
1 teaspoon of lemon juice (optional)
Mix turmeric and honey in a small bowl and add the yoghurt until the mixture reaches the desired consistency. Apply evenly over the face and leave on for 15-20 minutes. Be aware of your clothing and surroundings, as you do not want the turmeric to leave any unwanted stains.
These are just a few of my favourite old fashioned remedies, and I'd love to hear some of your family's secret skincare tips! Ask the older generations in your family and share your inherited tips and tricks with me on Twitter @SeenaSeka and visit Re Gen