#1 Beautifully White Teeth
For Pearly whites that would put the Colgate smile to shame try this easy mixture. Mash up a couple of ripe strawberries with some baking soda ( In Egypt you can get it pretty cheap from العطار and they call it bicarbonate of soda) then dip your toothbrush in the mixture, brush your teeth for about five minutes then simply rinse out like you would toothpaste. DO NOT use this mixture more than twice a week on your teeth as it could wear out your tooth enamel.
Bicarbonate of soda is an essential ingredient in most toothpastes and works as an amazing whitener, add that to the citric acid in the strawberries and you have a wonderful concoction of whitening goodness without harsh chemicals or expensive doctor's visits.
#2 Radiant Baby Soft Skin (and Lips !)
Throw away your pharmacy bought scrub with all of it's oil stripping ugliness and REJOICE because the perfect (and yummiest) natural scrub is here. Winter can leave our skin a little dull and our lips very chapped and flaky so jump on the natural bandwagon that will rid you of your winter blues. Mix brown sugar (or white I just like the extra stickiness that brown sugar offers) with some strongly brewed cooled plain green tea and use as a fantastically easy scrub. Scrub your face, neck and lips in GENTLE circular motions (don't go too hard with the scrubbing you're not trying to remove a layer of skin here!) and then rinse off with warm water (or your favorite gentle face wash if there's a sticky aftermath). This scrub is amazing because you can easily personalize it to your skin type. If you have dry skin that needs a little more moisture add some baby or olive oil to the mixture. If you have oily skin add lemon juice to absorb all of the excess oil and give your skin a boost of radiance. Use this scrub 2-3 times a week and do not go overboard with daily scrubbing, too much friction is definitely not a good thing for your skin.
Green tea is chock full of anti oxidants that are both good for your body as well as your skin and not only will the sugar lift all of the dead cells with its grainy texture but it also produces glycolic acid which is an amazing alpha hydroxy acid that you'll find on many of your store bought moisturizers. It works wonders for your skin!
#3 Thicker Healthier Hair (like your Mama used to do it)
I don't know about you but growing up my Mama used to always use some sort of oil on my hair to make it extra thick and strong, it was a weekly ritual that I despised. Now looking back I really appreciate what she taught me and I'm going to share my new and updated version of the ritual with you guys. I use a mixture of equal amounts of PURE coconut oil ( زيت جوز هند), aloe vera oil (زيت صبار ), castor oil (زيت خروع ) and Amla oil (you can buy it at most pharmacies in a dark green bottle). Mix all of the oils together in a microwave safe bowl and microwave the mixture for about 10 seconds or till it's just warm NOT SCORCHING HOT. Part your hair in equal parts and apply the mixture from roots to ends (except if you have REALLY oily hair then I would only focus on the ends) and massage well into the scalp. Leave it on for about 20 minutes and then shampoo, condition and style your hair as you normally would. Keep with the treatment 2-3 times a week and I guarantee your hair will start to be more manageable, look healthier and shinier and grow faster too!
All of the oils mentioned above can be bought from العطار in different quantities and at pretty affordable prices. Please make sure that you're buying PURE coconut oil which in its raw form is SOLID at room temperature. You can leave the mixture on your hair as long as you want (even sleep in it!) to give your hair the longest time to absorb all of the nutrients from the oils. There will be no damage to your hair and if you wash it out with warm water and a mild shampoo your hair will not come out oily or greasy.
#4 Blindingly SHINY hair
I was very skeptical when I read about this tip and thought that it was a load of BULL, but I had the guts to go for it and I'm so glad I did. Mix 1/2 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar (you can use white vinegar) to 1 cup of water and rinse your hair with it after shampooing. YES I said vinegar! To add an even extra boost of shininess give your hair a final rinse with the coldest water you can handle. I know what you're thinking did she just tell me to use a salad condiment on my hair? TRUST ME on this one! The vinegar balances the pH level of your hair, seals your cuticle and clarifies your locks from all of the product buildup. Then the cold water further seals you cuticle for hair Kim Kardashian would be jealous of.
This is also meant to be a twice a week ritual and is not meant for everyday use (not that you're supposed to be washing you hair everyday and if you are PLEASE STOP). Overly exposing your hair to the acidity of the vinegar could have a reverse effect so please be gentle to your hair.
#5 Moisture, Moisture and more Moisture!
Confession: I have not used a store bought moisturizer in the last 6 months! YES 6 months! After many trials and tribulations I give you what I believe to be the best natural moisturizers out there:
1) Sweet Almond oil mixed with equal parts castor oil and rose water for your face (and body if you like). The oils make your face really supple and the rose water gives it a dewy glow that would rival even the best of highlighters
2) A ripe peach mashed into a smooth paste with heavy cream as an evening extra rich moisturizer. You'll wake up in the morning with the youngest looking fresh skin EVER!
3) Mix Natural yoghurt with a couple of tablespoons of honey and use it as a weekly mask for some mid week pampering for your skin
4) Coconut oil mixed with whole milk (optional) and any essential oil that you prefer (vanilla, lavender, coconut) for an after shower moisture locking miracle to use all over your body. P.S. If you do decide to use milk only leave the mixture on no longer than 40 minutes then wash thoroughly because milk is a fresh ingredient and if left for a long time can breed bacteria.
5) AND FINALLY believe it or not olive oil (not an expensive kind) for everywhere and anywhere!! Face, body or hair olive oil can be fantastic way to keep your skin looking healthy, sealing your split ends and even growing your eyelashes longer naturally!
I hope all of this helps you guys out if like me you're attempting to cut down on the chemicals you use in your beauty products as well as save yourself some money. As I said there will be more installments to this series so if there's more beauty related issues you'd like to know how to do naturally just let me know and if I have the answer (or can google it :) ) I'll be sure to include it next time.
Lots of Love!