Of course, now that I'm back on the farm, it's time to get back to business. But after being pampered for a whole week, I don't want to just let the harsh elements of nature take away my restful glow. This is where my training as an esthetician comes in handy. I studied my textbooks religiously, and bought as many books on skincare and physiology as I could find. My opinions on expensive lotions and products are mixed. On the one hand, I think it's often true that you get what you pay for... on the other hand though, I know of many basic everyday products that work just as well if not better than their more expensive counterparts. I use many of these little tricks on a daily basis, and I'd love to share them with you. Here is a list of my top five favorites.
1) Vitamin E Oil. This stuff is thick and sticky so it takes some getting used to, but at night I love to put it around my eyes as a rich eye treatment. You can buy Vitamin E capsules and puncture them with a needle, or you can buy a little bottle of Vitamin E oil. If this is too sticky for you, you can also use Rose Hip Oil, which is equally fantastic, full of antioxidants but a bit harder to find.
2) Olive Oil. Olive Oil is probably the most useful product in your house. You can use it as a hair treatment (just massage oil through dry hair and hit it with a blast of heat from a blow dryer before shampooing) It works as an excellent hand treatment as well, especially for a gardener (massage it through your hand until most of it is absorbed, then wipe your palms on a towel to remove the excess. I've heard of people using it as a face wash (a friend of mine swears by it), it makes an excellent shaving cream, and can even be used as a healing salve for cracked heels.
3) Polysporin . My sister uses Polysporin as a lip balm. It smooth and silky, and if you have cracked, chapped lips, it contains healing compounds to repair delicate lip tissue.
4) Tea Tree Oil. An excellent choice for oily or blemish prone skin. I mix the oil with a bit of unscented lotion and put it on my face and back. I haven't had a breakout since I bought my first bottle of it at the drugstore. It has antibacterial and antiviral qualities. I have an entire book, just describing everything Tea Tree Oil can do; treat bee stings, mosquito bites, athletes foot, acne, infections, colds, sore throats..... the list goes on and on. You can also use it as a natural cleaning product.
5) Vinegar. Yup just the basic white vinegar that's stashed way in the back of your cupboard. I use it to treat sunburns ( keeps the skin from peeling) and also as part of a body scrub ( vinegar or lemon juice, salt or sugar, and a few drops of your favorite essential oil) Rub this on your body in circular motions, and it will remove dead skin cells and get your lymph flowing properly. I've also heard you can rinse your hair with it after you condition to make it extra shiny. The vinegar smell tends to evaporate very quickly.These are just 5 little tips that are so easy and inexpensive you'd be crazy not to try them. But all the beauty remedies and products in the world won't do a thing unless your body is in good condition. Just remember, there is no better way to look your best than to have a good nights sleep, drink plenty of water, and eat lots of veggies and omega-fatty oils from fish, flax or nuts. And of course, smile!!