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Guest Post – Kitchen Cupboard Beauty

Ok, I admit it; I am a cosmetics junkie, a slave to the beauty industry, and vain to boot. But I also care deeply about living sustainably and healthily. I try to buy local and organic produce where feasible, I try to minimize waste from packaging as much as possible, and I’m very aware of what goes in, and on, my body. I still probably get it right less than half of the time! Why? The same reason as everybody else- often it’s just too inconvenient or expensive to avoid all the synthetic fragrances and colours; polymers, parabens and petrochemicals are in everything, and even baby shampoos are full of sulfates and PVP.
I’m particularly a sucker for a delicious scent- Soap & Glory is my downfall every time! Fortunately, all the luxe brands, and most of the decent high street ones, are coming to the realisation that people want a little less toxin for their buck, and are coming out with more natural and mineral-based products and it’s definitely getting easier to live well, thankfully! There are even brands solely dedicated to providing more natural makeup and cosmetic experiences, without sacrificing glamour and yumminess!
Saying that, it is still safer, cheaper and better for the environment to substitute in more natural treatments on a regular basis. There’s no need to start dumping your cosmetics en masse but as one thing runs out, think about whether or not you really need to replace it with more chemicals, or if your beauty answers actually lie inside your kitchen cupboards! In the same way that there are nutrient-rich super foods that can enhance your health by including them in your diet, there are super foods that can totally revamp your skin, hair and nails by including them in your beauty regime. Simone has asked me to share some of my secrets with you guys, starting with my number one beauty secret: oils (Olive, Jojoba, Almond, Castor, Coconut and many more).
Oil is an amazing cosmetic treatment.
When we think of oil, we often think “greasy, strong smell, clogged pores, salad dressing, my car needs servicing…” but we couldn’t be more wrong! Different types of plant-derived oils have different levels of acidity and fat content, and can serve many different cosmetic purposes. Olive oil is the great all-round oil, and can be used as a makeup remover, hand and cuticle treatment, for chapped lips, to treat dandruff and split ends, on cracked heels and any other dry skin problems, especially in the winter time.
Jojoba oil is more expensive, but is quite similar to the oily waxes (sebum) in our own skin so means less chance of blocked pores. It is an amazing facial and hair treatment, bath and massage oil, and is also great for preventing shaving rashes when massaged into the skin before shaving (my Dad’s secret weapon in the war against ingrown hairs).
Coconut oil is a wonderful body moisturiser and is solid at room temperature, making it easier to apply. Castor oil is the greatest secret of all; when combined with a lighter oil, it will give you the deepest, non-drying cleansing facial you’ve ever had. Oils make much better cleansers than soaps because they don’t strip your skin of the natural oils, so your skin doesn’t go crazy constantly trying to balance out the dryness. When you massage oil onto your skin, the oil warms and softens the hardened sebum that is blocking your pores, and when you wash it away, the dirt comes with it. When you use oil to cleanse, there is no such thing as greasy skin, dry skin, or combination skin; balance is restored!

None of this means that we need to start dumping our Liz Earle, Sanctuary or L’Occitane facial treatments; but when your skin is angry and sensitized and not responding to your usual treats, give yourself a lovely oil facial and soon you’ll be all calmed down again. A word of caution, though; like all the best facials, it takes a couple of days for the benefits of oil cleansing to emerge. Your skin may break out a little, or be slightly greasier than usual at first. This is just your pores unclogging and releasing the excess skin oils, and once it clears up, your skin will be much happier. Finally, remember that everyone is different, using oil isn’t a one-size-fits-all treatment and I definitely recommend that you seek out more articles to learn about what kind of oils suit your skin best.

This post was written by Niamh McNally; makeup lover, fantastic cook, alternative beauty expert and best friend a girl could have!
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  • Reply Beruda

    >I've made olive oil and honey cleansers and all kinds of things. Olive oil also has anti inflammatory properties. There are a lot of beauty products that can be made for cheap compared to things you buy.

    May 22, 2011 at 3:25 am
  • Reply skinbistro

    >I'm very biased to comment, heehee, so I just wanted to say what a great post! 😉

    May 22, 2011 at 2:06 pm
  • Reply Wrinkle Cream

    You are so charming Simone, I come to know new beauty techniques by your blog .Thanks for sharing

    January 24, 2012 at 4:12 pm
  • Reply Defense Soap

    Thanks for the great post. You highlight an great product & also incredible amount of work about beauty.

    February 4, 2012 at 3:33 pm
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