We all know that living in Hong Kong can take its toll on your body – it’s just too easy to pop into a taxi and before you know it you are sipping yet another cocktail and eating a big dinner out. While it might be great fun, your body is probably singing a different tune at this point (I know mine is).
The next time you hit that tipping point that results in swearing off wine, sweets and carbs for a whatever period of time your will-power allows, why not also turn your attention to your beauty regimen which is probably full of lotions and potions with unnecessary and harmful chemicals? For help, we turned to our resident green expert, Sarah from Baby Bloom, for a few of her favourite homemade beauty tips and tricks.
For Dark Circles
- 1/2 cup plain yogurt
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons honey
To restore natural color, form a paste by mixing the plain yogurt (it brightens the skin), lemon juice and honey (which soften the skin, improving appearance). Apply on clean skin, leave on for 15 minutes and rinse off with warm water.
Honey Face Mask
- 1 to 2 tablespoons honey
- Optional drop of tea tree oil for problem skin, chamomile oil or tea for dry skin
Massage the honey (and essential oil if you want it) onto your face and rinse with lukewarm water after 10 minutes. Honey was classic beauty Cleopatra’s secret to youthful skin; it’s moisturizing, antibacterial, and contains antioxidants. Try buying darker varieties like Manuka honey which purportedly has more benefits.
Yogurt Face Scrub
- 2 tablespoon plain organic yogurt (full fat for dry skin, skim for oily skin)
- 2 tablespoon almond meal or oatmeal (about a handful of almonds or oats pulsed in a food processor)
- 1 tablespoon honey
Combine the ingredients and massage gently onto face, rinsing with warm water. The yogurt stimulates blood flow and honey is legendary for its antibacterial, antioxidant, and moisturizing properties.
Cucumber Yogurt Facial Cleanser
- 1 small cucumber (peeled)
- 1/2 cup yogurt
- 3 tablespoons beaten curds
Grate the cucumber into a bowl, add the yogurt and beaten curds and mix well. Apply a paste over your entire face and massage well. Leave it on for 5 minutes and then rinse with cool water. This mixture will nourish skin, tighten pores and help reduce blemishes.
Apple Cider Vinegar Toner
- ½ oz organic unfiltered apple cider vinegar
- 3 oz water
- 5 plain, uncoated aspirin tablets
Apple cider vinegar balances the skin’s pH, making it less acne and dryness-prone. Most alcohol-based toners simply strip the skin of its oils, making our pores produce excess sebum. Fill a glass bottle with a plastic cap with the ingredients and shake before use. Use sparingly to areas with acne, rough skin, or large pores. Store in a refrigerator.
Avocado Hair Mask
- 1 avocado (or banana)
- 2 tablespoons honey (or olive oil)
Mash the ingredients in a bowl and massage into your hair and scalp. Slap on a shower cap for 30 minutes and wash as usual.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons sweet almond oil
- 1/2 cup white cane sugar
- 1-3 drops lavender essential oil
Whisk together the olive oil, sweet almond oil, sugar and essential oil. Pour into a container with an airtight lid. It should last 2-3 weeks if kept away from water (it dissolves the sugar). Use a tablespoon scoop to dish out a few dollops once or twice a week, scrub, and rinse. The olive oil is full of vitamins and minerals that can help firm and moisturize (no worries–the smell rinses away). The lavender is great for healing damaged skin like cuts and burns, and regenerating skin cells. Treat your feet: Swap the sugar for salt for a coarser callous-worthy foot scrub.
Wake-up call: For an invigorating blend, skip the lavender and replace the 1/2 cup sugar with 1/4 cup sugar and 1/4 cup unused, finely-ground coffee grinds. Choose an organic coffee free from flavors and syrups to avoid aggravating you skin.
Note: You should always exercise caution whenever trying DIY recipes like these. Some ingredients may work for some, but may backfire on others, so please, follow with care! I would recommend trying it out on a small area first, before applying to whole of your face/body.