Sometimes I wake up and I look in the mirror and think HOLY SH*T, what is wrong with my face?! Who is that? I have big puff y bags under my eyes that could easily do the weekly shop, I have breakouts and I look like I’ve had about three hours sleep… Well, turns out I have had about three hours sleep consistently for around nine years, so that’s usually why I look like shite. However, when the coronavirus pandemic hit, I started to take the time to improve my skincare routine and realised that some of the simple hacks I were actually better than the all-singing all-dancing skincare products.
Homemade face masks
OAT MASK FOR OILY SKIN
1/2 cup oats
1 teaspoon honey
juice of 1 lemon
Mix the ingredients together, spread on the face and leave for 10–15 minutes. Alpha hydroxy acids in lemon juice remove dead skin and oil, while the oats soothe and the egg dries, which will give the skin the feeling of being pulled tighter.
COCOA YOGURT MASK FOR SENSITIVE SKIN
2–3 tablespoons Greek yogurt
2 teaspoons cocoa powder
1–2 teaspoons honey
Mix all the ingredients together, spread on the face and leave for 10–15 minutes. Yogurt is rich in probiotics and will soothe the skin, the cocoa contains fl avanol which will soothe and improve the skin’s elasticity (acting as an anti-aging agent) and the honey will tighten.
BLUEBERRY MASK FOR DULL SKIN
1 tablespoon crushed blueberries
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon pureed cucumber
or cucumber water
2 tablespoons bicarbonate of soda
1–2 tablespoons water
Mix all the ingredients together, spread on the face and leave for 10– 15 minutes. Blueberries are natural antioxidants, while the lemon and bicarb brighten the skin.
MOISTURISING WHEN YOUR SKIN IS STILL WET IS THE WAY FORWARD
I usually use the not-so-natural wet jelly from Sanctuary Spa (you can fi nd it at boots.com) but if you use any moisturiser when your skin is still wet, it will absorb more moisture. If you want a natural solution, try coconut oil or aloe vera (always test aloe vera fi rst to her sure you aren’t allergic).
REMOVE FAKE TAN STREAKS with a lemon juice and sugar scrub
Mix 1 cup granulated sugar with juice of 1/2 lemon, lemon zest and 1/4 cup coconut oil. For stubborn places, add sugar to the end of a lemon and scrub neat. It stings in cuts, so be warned!
BANISH THE BREAKOUT
There are so many diff erent ways of doing this naturally. What has always worked best for my VERY oily skin is to dab a bit of toothpaste on my spot to clear it up (it essentially dries overnight). However, this is not a good idea for dry skin; Sudocrem or any other nappy rash cream with zinc in it is gentler for your skin and really eff ective too.
BYE BYE EYE BAGS
Cold green tea bags placed under the eyes (I have used normal tea bags after my evening cuppa too…) is a really good idea for reducing eye bags without buying fancy creams. Drink lots of water and cut down on caff eine too.
NATURAL MAKE-UP REMOVER
Coconut oil can be a natural make-up remover – it doesn’t work very well on mascara (in my humble opinion) but it works incredibly well on everything else and also acts as a very eff ective moisturiser.
COFFEE IS FOR MORE THAN DRINKING!
Coffee is actually hella useful – not the instant stuff but ground coff ee. If you mix it with coconut oil and sugar, you have yourself an intense moisturiser and exfoliant. Mix equal quantities of sugar, coconut oil and ground coffee – I usually make a jar and use 1/3 cup of each.