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Published on: 31 Jan 2012 by fathima
The latest buzzword in the beauty industry is cosmeceuticals - simply meaning that companies can add a few more basic ingredients to their products and charge 2 to 10 times more for it. But the more complex they try to get, the more they (and we) realise that the simplest products are actually more effective. In fact, you don't need to look much further than the groceries you buy for a good range of beauty products.
Enzymes and acids are now preferred for exfoliation over harsh scrubs - natural yoghurt makes an excellent face masque and you need only a teaspoon per application (once or twice a week). You only need keep it on for a few minutes to feel the benefits, but test a patch first and avoid the delicate eye area. A cold yoghurt masque is wonderfully refreshing in summer, but in winter you might want to bring it to room temperature first by placing the bowl in another bowl of hot water.
If you already buy yoghurt to eat, a couple of teaspoons a week will go unnoticed on your shopping bill, but do wonders for your complexion.
If you don't eat yoghurt, or can't stand the idea of having probiotics on your face, you can make a paste masque from powdered milk instead, or dip your face into a bowl of fresh milk.
The lactic acid in milk and yoghurt is the wonder ingredient that removes dead skin cells and brightens and smooths your skin. Cleopatra was onto something after all. For a real treat, add a cup of milk or milk powder to a bath and give your whole body a soak.
And if you aren't eating your yoghurt, consider supplementing with probiotic capsules. Probiotics balance your internal system which also improves your complexion by neutralising and removing toxins before they are pushed out through your skin.
Many fruits make great masques too - any fruit that can be pureed, like kiwi fruit, peaches, papaya. Be very careful with these, though, as the acids work very quickly. Don't leave the pulp on your skin for longer than a minute or two.
If you have dry skin, try a paste of avocado.
Apples contain a substance called pectin which cleans your intestines of toxins that would otherwise be excreted through your skin. Increasing your apple intake will improve your skin - but don't peel the apples as most of the pectin is found just beneath the skin.
With these simple ingredients helping to clear your skin, you'll find you can also go more basic on your cleanser, toner, and moisturiser. You don't need acids or enzymes in these products as you probably want to give your skin a break between masques.
Personally, I found an organic range of baby products that I really like, and I use the body wash and baby moisturiser (the moisturiser also removes eye makeup beautifully). Natural witchhazel makes a nice toner.
Aloe vera gel is excellent as an eye gel and wrinkle smoother - try it on puffy under eyes in the morning and watch your skin firm up. If you have oily skin, alternate aloe vera gel with your moisturiser, while dry skins will benefit from aloe vera and moisturiser together as a double defence.