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You don’t need a cabinet full of pricey beauty products to achieve glowing skin and shiny hair. Instead, head to the kitchen for some clever beauty hacks. Here are 10 fabulous foods and beverages that can pull double-duty both in the kitchen and as part of your beauty routine:

Try Cucumber to Send Undereye Bags Packing

Cucumbers are more than simply a delicious addition to salad. Cucumbers are packed with ascorbic acid which helps reduce puffiness and undereye bags. In addition, cucumbers contain approximately 90 percent water which gives the delicate eye area a moisture boost.

Moisturize Hair and Skin with Honey

Honey, especially the raw variety, is chock full of nutrients that nourish hair and skin. Honey has antibacterial properties and imparts lasting moisture when used as part of your hair and skincare routines. Try a simple honey mask for both hair and skin — simply slather raw honey onto clean skin and damp hair and rinse after 20 minutes. This is a fabulous beauty treatment to do when soaking in the tub, which brings us to our next kitchen beauty hack.

Get Smoother Skin with Milk

Legend has it that Cleopatra bathed in milk, honey and rose petals for soft skin. The Queen of the Nile was on to something — milk baths are fantastic for softening dry skin. Add two cups of whole milk to warm bathwater and soak for at least 20 minutes. Milk contains lactic acid, which works to exfoliate and soothe the skin. For a quick moisturizing toner, apply cold milk to face and rinse off after 10 minutes. Skin will feel tighter, softer and more refreshed.

Try Lemon for Clearer Skin

Lemon juice is a natural astringent and is ideal for acne-prone skin. For a refreshing natural toner, dampen a cotton ball or pad with one part lemon juice mixed with one part water. If you find this ratio too harsh, reduce the amount of lemon juice. Applied regularly, a lemon juice toner may also work to gradually lighten skin discoloration.

Fight Excess Oil with Tomato

One of the most surprising ingredients in some natural acne washes and soaps is tomato. The acidic nature of tomato cuts through oil while the vitamins and antioxidants nourish skin. Try using the juice of a tomato as a toner applied to skin with a cotton ball. For even more oil-fighting power, spike your tomato toner with a few drops of lemon juice.

Soothe Sunburned Skin with Black Tea

Spent too much time in the sun? Try a black tea compress! While it’s best to avoid the burn altogether by practicing safe sun habits, the tannins in black tea may help soothe a sunburn and facilitate the tanning process. Soak black tea bags in warm (not hot) water for a few minutes, wring the bags out to get rid of excess water and gently rub on burned skin, no need for rinsing. Another way to reap the rewards of black tea is by simply tossing a few tea bags under running water and having a soak.

Scrub Away Dry, Flaky Skin with Sugar

A sugar scrub is a quick, easy remedy for dry, flaky skin. There’s no need to spend money on pricey exfoliating products when you’ve got sugar in the kitchen! When making your own sugar scrub, all you need is a carrier oil. For dry skin, opt for olive oil. Lighter oils like jojoba and grapeseed are ideal for all skin types. There are no hard and fast measurements when making a scrub – simply add sugar gradually to two tablespoons of oil until you achieve a thick, gritty consistency that isn’t too dry. To use, apply to damp skin when in the shower and scrub using a circular motion, then rinse.

Whiten Your Smile with Strawberries

For a whiter, brighter smile, snack on strawberries. Strawberries are naturally acidic and help whisk away deposits on teeth that can make your smile look less than dazzling. For a natural teeth whitening treatment, make a paste of mashed strawberries and baking soda. Apply the mixture to teeth and wait five minutes, then rinse and brush with your regular toothpaste.

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Enjoy the Summer Sun – But Be Kind to Your Skin

Handy Tips for Summer Skincare

After a long, cold winter, the arrival of warmer weather is a welcome excuse to throw off the layers of clothing and enjoy the feel of sunlight on your skin. However, the summer months pose challenges for skincare, and if you’re not careful you can end up with more than a healthy glow to deal with. Here are five summer skincare tips to keep your skin looking radiant.

Pay Attention to Hydration

Keeping your body properly hydrated is vital for skin health during the summer months. Not only is the temperature outdoors higher, but air conditioning makes for a drier atmosphere indoors. Both of these factors mean you need to keep up your liquid intake if you want to avoid flaking, chapped skin. Get into the habit of taking on small amounts of water throughout the day, but also be careful of overindulging in coffee or alcohol – both of these have a diuretic effect which can quickly leave you dehydrated.

Moisturizer and Face Masks

Although drinking plenty of water is extremely important, moisturizer also plays a vital role in stopping your skin from drying out in the heat. Apply it to your face and hands as part of your morning beauty routine, and also before bed to stop overnight dehydration. It’s also a good idea to top up your moisturizer levels if you feel thirsty at any point during the day, as your skin will suffer the effects of dehydration before you’re consciously aware of it through thirst.

Your daily moisturizer regimen can also be reinforced by treating yourself to a weekly facial treatment. A good choice is a mask formulation including natural yogurt, which has strong hydrating properties to promote smooth, supple skin that better withstands the summer sun.

Use Exfoliating Scrubs

Hot weather can play havoc with your skin’s pores. Dust, sweat, grime, and the build-up of pollution can all leave residues behind, no matter how carefully you wash. A regular exfoliation routine, using either a shop-bought scrub or a homemade one using your favorite essential oils, will leave your skin feeling fresher and healthier as well as reducing the risk of pimples and acne.

Take Care in the Sun

Not so long ago a suntan was seen as a sure sign of healthy skin, but today the picture is a little different. The link between sunburn and skin cancer is well established, but even lighter over-exposure to ultraviolet rays can cause the unwanted appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and a leathery texture in your complexion.

Whenever a sunny day is forecast, ensure that you wear protective sun cream as a matter of habit, even if you don’t plan to spend time soaking up the rays. As little as twenty minutes in full sun can cause mild burning, while even ambient or reflected light can be harmful if you don’t take precautions. Ordinary high-factor sun cream is a perfectly good option, but to kill two birds with one stone, why not consider using a moisturizer with built in ultraviolet protection?

Repair Sun Damage Quickly

If you do happen to catch a little too much sun, you should take action as soon as possible to minimize and repair the possible damage. Applying a moisturizer infused with aloe vera will help to soothe inflammation and swelling, while also reducing the chances of your skin flaking and peeling as it heals. It’s important not to wait for visible signs of sunburn such as blistering, but to use the moisturizer as soon as you notice the distinctive tingling feeling that comes from over-exposure to ultraviolet rays.

Your complexion is a vital part of looking healthy and youthful, and it’s the canvas on which all your beauty efforts are painted. Taking good care of it by following these tips will ensure your skin copes with the challenges of the summer weather, leaving it soft, smooth, and with a beautifully vibrant glow.


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