coconut and oil

DIY beauty products you need to try for better hair, skin and nails

Now that all those holiday season bills are starting to appear, we thought that this week would be an appropriate time to give you a few ideas about DIY beauty products that you need to try for better hair, skin and nails. And there is good news – they are all really easy to prepare with ingredients that you probably already have, but if not, they will be readily available at your local grocery store.

What beauty products can you make at home?

So let’s start with an easy to prepare face mask that has only two ingredients – a single avocado and one tablespoon of honey. In fact, a slightly more complex variant of this containing avocado oil and saffron extract (which is much harder to find than honey) has been scientifically tested and after 12 weeks of regular application, improved skin elasticity and a reduction in the area and volume of nasolabial folds were observed in the test group consisting of 20 volunteers.  But back to our simple, two ingredient face mask. As we have discussed in an earlier blog on the best foods to eat for supple and glowing skin, avocados are filled with vitamin E, vitamin C vitamin A, monounsaturated fatty acids such as oleic acid and other beneficial compounds such as lutein, zeaxanthin (both powerful antioxidants), phytosterols (these help lower cholesterol levels to a limited extent) and folate. Honey, on the other hand, has antibacterial and antimicrobial properties. It sounds like a match made in heaven, and together they can keep your skin smooth, moisturized, bright and clarified.  To prepare the mask, begin by peeling the avocado and removing the inner seed, then place it in a bowl and mash it up with a fork until it becomes creamy. Then add the tablespoon of honey and mix the two ingredients together. And that is it! You have made your mask. But before you apply it, try a little bit of it on a small area of skin first to make sure you do not have any type of adverse reaction. If all is clear go ahead and apply the mask to your clean, dry facial skin, making sure to avoid the areas around your eyes.  Leave the mask on for 15 minutes or until it dries then wash it off with lukewarm water.

Our next DIY product is a hair mask that consists of one part coconut oil and one part castor oil. Both of these ingredients have many benefits for your hair. Just beware of additive ingredients in the castor oil used as scent or appearance aids which will not bring any added benefits and in fact could be detrimental. The idea is to source castor oil in its purest form. We have recently discussed all the benefits of coconut oil in a previous blog, and it should come as no surprise that it appears an an ingredient of our DIY hair mask given how effective it can be in repairing your hair shafts, in helping your hair become more smooth and as a protective agent against environmental damage, whereas the anti-bacterial properties of coconut oil can help relieve the symptoms of  sebhorrheic dermatitis such as an itchy scalp and dandruff. But what about castor oil? What are its benefits? Well, castor oil is a vegetable oil that people have used for many different purposes for millenia and is made by extracting oil from the seeds of the flowering plant Ricinus communis. Though you may have heard and associate castor beans with the deadly substance known as ricin, you need not worry as the heating process that occurs during the production of castor oil eliminates the toxic properties allowing safe use of the oil and allowing us to benefit from its properties as a natural moisturizer through its action of preventing water loss through the outer layers of the skin. To make the hair mask, simply mix the coconut and castor oils in equal amounts together. As castor oil can illicit an allergic response in some, we again suggest doing a test patch on your skin first. If all is ok, apply the mixture to your hair while in the shower and after shampooing.  Let it sit for a few minutes and then rinse it out.  For a deeper conditioning, you can apply the mixture to your hair approximately 20 minutes before showering or before rinsing.  

Finally, let’s give our dry hands a break in this dry winter weather with a coconut oil and honey hand cream. You can actually find these for sale, but why bother paying a premium for them when you can make it just as well by yourself? There are several variations of the recipe. You could try mixing one tablespoon of honey with a teaspoon of coconut oil, half a teaspoon of sea salt and the juice of half a lemon and then apply that lotion to the dry areas of your hands for 20 minutes before rinsing off with a warm cloth. Another option is to take equal parts honey, coconut oil, and sugar, mix them into a fine paste and apply to your hands for two minutes before rinsing with warm water. In these recipes, we once again use coconut oil as a moisturizer, while honey can also help balance the pH of our skin.

Take away message

This week we thought we would provide you with some DIY beauty products you need to try for better hair, skin and nails. These are all quick and easy to make with ingredients you probably already have at home, so go ahead and give them a try! Just be sure to do a test patch on a small area of your skin first to make sure you have no kind of adverse reactions.

Back to blog