Sophia Loren believed there is an excellent beauty treatment and it costs absolutely nothing.
"Plenty of fresh air, a good walk and lots and lots of sleep, eight to ten hours is needed for sparkling eyes."
Have you ever wondered just how and why it is we lost the art and knowledge of using and making our own cosmetic preparations?
Most of us are aware of how our grandmothers and great-grandmothers collected herbs, flowers and fruit for their beauty recipes. It seemed incredible to us that they spent so much time preparing potions and creams.
We were a new, and much more clever generation, worshiping science. In our brave, new century, we knew better, being in awe of whatever came out of the famous, and not so famous cosmetic laboratories.
Somehow the simple, homemade creams, the soothing lotion, grandma's old remedy seemed far too old-fashioned.
So what has happened to make us change our minds? Why are we more aware today? Maybe because we have been alerted to the desecration of our environment. Or maybe we have begun to realize natural things are the best, the purest, and the most beneficial.
Many women have been famous for their beauty, their lovely skin, hair, eyes.
- Cleopatra, or more recently, Brigitte Bartdot used to have extravagant milk baths.
- Queen Marie Antoinette of France kept her oily skin under control using a mixture of milk, lemon juice, and brandy.
- English ladies at Queen Victoria's court used vinegar rinses to keep the lovely sheen and luster on their magnificent heads of hair.
Throughout the ages, well-known health and beauty experts swear by honey, while top models used avocado oil, made in their own liquidizes, and broke an egg for that face mask.
The items listed below have been used for years to help women all over the world maintain their beauty, the natural way. They can still be used today.
Some things to remember though, all the ingredients should be at their freshest. I get my eggs from the local Mennonite Colony (as well as my chickens) and they are all grain fed and fresh off the farm. If you are unsure, look for alternative items to achieve the same results.
Some things, even natural ones, can cause a reaction in some people. As with any new product you try, it is always a good idea to do a small spot test (usually on the inside sensitive part of the arm), and allow 24 hours to see if a reaction appears.
If there is no reaction, you are good to go!
Now lets check out these time-tested ingredients.
Eggs get a good rap and eggs get a bad rap, but one thing for certain is, eggs contain a lot of protein as well as lecithin, which is a good hair-restorer.
Adding an egg to a hair mask will help strengthen and nourish your hair. The yolk of an egg is excellent for dry skin, and beneficial when combined with other natural ingredients.
Use the white of the egg skin lightener and a skin tightener.
If you have sensitive skin, try not to use this method to often as it can be a little hard on your skin. Try using some of the other ingredients that are a little milder.
Mint & Egg Treatment
2 Packets of Good Mint Tea
Yolk of an Egg & a Few Drops of Almond Oil or Lemon Juice
Mint is good for stimulating circulation and awakening dull tissue. For a complete facial treatment, mix the yolk of the egg with a few drops of almond oil if you have dry skin, or lemon or cucumber juice if you have oily skin.
Put the mint tea in a pint of boiling water. Tuck your head under a thick towel and steam your face over the tea for about 10 minutes. Then with your pores well opened, apply the face mask. Now with the mask on, steam your face for another five minutes. Rinse off with lukewarm water, splash with cold water.
If you want to be extravagant, you can use the yolk of an egg every day to cleanse your skin. Spread on and rinse off after 3 minutes. If you have oily skin, add a few drops of lemon juice.
Use up the egg white by beating it and spreading it on your face. Relax until dry, then rinse off. It will 'firm' your skin and will remove tiny wrinkles for the time being.
Lemon is an excellent source of vitamin C.
Like eggs, it literally has countless uses in natural beauty preparations.
It is good for blackheads, in the bath, for hands, hair or hair setting and of course, for all those creams and face masks.
Mixed with rosewater, a wonderful smelling hand lotion can be made.
A word of caution though, lemon is rather astringent and apart from the whitening, it also has a slightly 'drying' effect on the skin, so go easy with it is you have dry skin.
Lemon Hand Lotion
You can also make a lovely lotion by mixing equal parts of lemon juice, glycerine and rose water. This lotions cleans and feeds the hands and also stengthens your nails.
Lemon Stain Remover
Cleaning the house and working in the garden can leave your hands stained.
To remedy this; mix the juice of 1 lemon with a little basil and wash your hands with it, then let them dry naturally. Once dry, wash off the mixture.
If the stains have not completely gone, they will have faded and you can repeat the operation the following day.
Oranges have more uses then eating them.
I use an orange studded with cloves and hung by a ribbon in my closet for a natural air freshener.
I also make a homemade cleaner by soaking orange peels in vinegar to get my floors squeaky clean, it makes my appliances sparkle and my mirrors shine.
But what else can we use those peels for?
Oranges contain a lot of precious oil, good for the face and body. Scratch the outer peel with a sharp pointed object, then squeeze the peel and you will see the oil coming out.
The oil can be scraped off with a knife and added to your daily cream or you can gently rub the scored peel directly on your face and body.
Try this lovely old gypsy cure for skin troubles as well as cracked heels and dry feet.
Gather a Medium Pan-full of Buttercup Heads
Use 1 Cup Pure Petroleum Jelly
Melt the petroleum jelly and add the gathered buttercup heads, pressing well into the pan. Simmer gently for about 45 minutes, taking care not to boil. Strain through cheesecloth while hot into cold cream jars or any suitable pot (I use my canning jars). Allow to cool and then it is ready for use.
Rose petals and pansy's work great for this soothing ointment, use your favorite flowers if you like, just make sure you check them out, not all flowers are good for you.
Note: Buttercup flowers are an irritant when in their natural state. Boiling them takes that irritation away, this is very similar to nettles.
Baking Soda Bath 'Salts'
I love bath salts and unfortunately, I have very sensitive skin. Aside from Epson salt there isn't a lot available for me on the market. I love to read in the bath and like the idea of conditioning my skin while I do it.
One of the items I use now is this homemade bath 'salts'. It's easy to make and you can put your favorite essential oil in to make any fragrance you wish.
21/2 Cups Baking Soda
1 Tablespoon dried lavender
1 Teaspoon Oil of Rosemary
1 Teaspoon Eucalyptus
Mix all the ingredients together well and put the mixture in a good, tight fitting jar. Your bath salts are now ready to use, just add a couple handfuls to your next bath and luxuriate.
Honey has been claimed to be the food of Gods, the essence of life, magic.
Literally every race and culture has its own remedy or recipe. Some claim that is rejuvenates and is a health giver.
Honey contains a large amount of essential vitamins and minerals, it turns any beauty preparation into a powerhouse.
It attracts and holds moisture, and if you use it repeatedly on your face it can help restore tired, ageing skin.
Honey protects, nourishes and heals and is excellent for inflamed patches.
It also normalizes over-active glands and luckily suits all skin types, even the most sensitive.
Be careful when using honey, heating honey will destroy the precious enzymes, so use it in its natural form.
Honey & Cream Mask
1 Tbsp of Honey
1 Tbsp of Coffee Cream
Mix the unheated honey with the cream. Smooth over a cleansed face and very gently pat into all the lined areas, carefully pressing open all those tiny grooves. Leave for a few minutes; rinse with lukewarm water.
Honey Wheat-Germ Cleanser
5 Tsp of Honey
1 Tbsp Natural Wheat-Germ
Honey and wheat-germ together make a splendid facial cleanser, it is especially good for removing blackheads. Mix the two ingredients together and spread on face. Keep on for fifteen minutes, relaxing while you wait. Wash off with lukewarm water and use cold water or astringent to close the pores.
Milk is such an ordinary, everyday food that we forget how useful it can be as a beauty aid.
Next time you have sunburn, try washing yourself with milk (whole milk is best). It is cool, soothing and nourishing and will, in time give your skin a lustrous finish.
You can, of course, bathe in it.
Milk is also a useful ingredient in facials, good for dry, rough skins. If you have run out of your own homemade nourishing night cream, try patting whole milk on and into your skin. You will find it will penetrate your skin and will keep it moisturized and nourished.
Today milk isn't what is used to be, if you can't find a liquid product you like, try using powdered milk instead.
Cream and Yogurt
Cream and yogurt have more or less the same properties as milk, except of course, cream is richer and heavier, a good source of nourishment.
Yogurt also has a softening and whitening effect on the skin. Like milk and cream it is high in protein, with the exception that is it low in fat. Plain yogurt is a good ingredient for a face mask.
Note: If you have oily skin, you will want to use less cream, and more lemon in your products.
More Natural Ingredients that Benefit Your Skin
Cucumber makes a good astringent lotion. It is also beneficial for hands and eyes.
Use cucumbers to draw the tiredness from your eyes by placing a slice of fresh cucumber over each eye and relaxing for ten minutes.
Avocado not only contains vitamins A, B, C, D and E, its oil is an excellent moisturizer and nourishes the skin. The oil is unsaturated vegetable fat which is absorbed into the skin very fast. This is also a handy standby to have.
Using avocado in a face mask will make your skin look and feel soft and radiant.
Avocado Oil Treatment - Take a large avocado pear and squeeze out the oil by crushing it in a bowl or in a blender. Use a couple layers of cheesecloth to get the oils. Put a few drops of oil in your bath, the rest on your face, and soak for ten minutes.
This beauty aid, as old as time itself, has countless uses in the bathroom or on the dressing table. The scent of roses has been used in many ways over the centuries to calm the mind and ease the spirit. The scent of roses is so natural, that is almost automatically relaxes you as soon as you smell it.
Hot summer nights, in a fragrant rose garden can be recreated to fit in a bottle, one of nature's natural gifts. Be sure to use the most fragrant roses for the best results.
Use Your Favorite Rose Petals
Fill a saucepan with rose petals and add enough water to cover. Bring to a boil and simmer gently for a few minutes. Cool it, but leave the lid on so that the water retains its perfume.
Strain through a cheesecloth and pour into a large empty perfume or cologne bottle. Your rose water is now ready to use.
- Chamomile tea gives blonde hair a lovely golden sheen. Make it your final rinse.
- Beer is good for the hair and makes a quick and easy setting lotion. Lager is best to use and 1 cup would be quite sufficient for medium length hair. Just pour it over your hair after the final rinse, then set. Don't worry, the smell will evaporate quickly.
- If you live in an area with a lot of lime in the water, add a couple tablespoons of vinegar to your final rinse. It will add luster to your hair as well as removing the lime from the water
Natural Oils for a Hair Conditioner
If you hair is looking dry and lifeless put the luster back by using olive, almond or avocado oil. Warm up any of the oils and saturate the hair. Then wrap your head in a thick, hot towel and wait for 15 minutes before rinsing off. Repeat weekly until no longer necessary.
Tomato Hand Lotion
You wouldn't think it, but you can make a quick and easy hand lotion by mixing equal parts of tomato juice, lemon juice and glycerin. Massage well into hands and wrists. This will cleanse as well as soften them. The tomato juice won't stain your hands.
Ingredients to Suit Your Skin
After a little practice you will realize which ingredients are the most beneficial for your particular skin type. In time you will be able to make up your very own beauty recipes, mixing eggs, honey, lemon, and oils.
Two very good, basic ingredients and the only ones you need to buy from the pharmacy are lanolin and glycerin. Both act to cleanse, soften and nourish the skin.
They are good for face, hands, and body and are useful bases for your preparations. In any case they are good standbys at home in case of burns and scalds, and are handy in softening up of dry hands and feet.
Good looks depend not only on such matters as the care of the skin. No matter how good your natural products are, they will not help much if you are eating too much of the wrong kind of foods.
Diet and personal hygiene are of the utmost importance. Exercise is also important in keeping healthy skin, so remember, good health first, and via that, good looks.
Thanks for stopping by & Happy Crafting!
© 2012 Dawn
Ian Stuart Robertson from London England on February 26, 2018:
I've discovered that a slice of cucumber (gorgette) placed on each eye can eliminate black rings under the eyes.
Lisa Jane from Maine on February 24, 2018:
This is a great article. I love it.
Dawn (author) from Canada on December 22, 2015:
Cool! Thank you for sharing!
Ian Stuart Robertson from London England on December 21, 2015:
Not a kitchen item but the sap from the aloe vera plant makes an ideal skin moisturiser. The glamorous English actress Honor Blackman likes to freshen up with a facial rub of early morning dew.
Dayana on February 14, 2015:
You've really captured all the esinatsels in this subject area, haven't you?
Ian Stuart Robertson from London England on June 09, 2014:
It would be a well known concept that the fabulous Sophia Loren didn't need beauty treatments Sophie has the quality of 'allure' however i did once see an impromptu shot of the Diva herself backstage prior to putting on 'make up' and surrounded by a gaggle of male idlers apparrently vieing for her affections but her facial expression was positively hideous.
KerryAnita from Satellite Beach, Florida on November 28, 2012:
Great Hub! A few months ago I started using all natural beauty products, some that I make at home and some all natural ones that I get at health food stores, and I have notices such an overwhelming difference in my skin! It is smoother, healthier, and I have less severe breakouts...I think your right, the women of the past got it right the first time!
Rebecca Kellogg from New York on November 28, 2012:
I am definitely going to try using milk and yogurt to soften my dry skin. I can't wait to see how well it works.
Dawn (author) from Canada on November 28, 2012:
Rebecca Kellogg from New York on November 28, 2012:
You included a lot of great information here.
Anandita from Korea on November 26, 2012:
never forget aloe vera! it has a long history of use for skin care. you can drink or just rub its gel.