From a homemade pore strip to remove blackheads to an exfoliator made out of sugar and teeth whitener created from cupboard ingredients, these quick beauty hacks only take a few minutes every day but have long-lasting results. By Louise Emma Clarke
The natural and organic beauty industry is booming. In fact, the market value is expected to reach $13.2 billion AED48.5 billion) by 2018, a predicted growth of 7 per cent, compared to a 2 per cent rise in the overall beauty market according to global market researchers Kline & Company. Natural beauty has never been more accessible, affordable, or convenient.
But the real benefit of natural beauty is that you don’t need complex blends, expensive pots, or advanced ingredients to make a difference. By simply reaching into your fridge, cupboards, or bathroom shelf, you could make a big difference to your skin, hair, or nails. And the best bit? You only need to block out five minutes of your schedule to see the results. Here’s how to master these five-minute beauty hacks…
Beauty Hack 1: The Homemade Pore Strip
Glance at the ingredients list of shop-bought pore strips designed to clear blackheads, usually on your nose, and you’ll see a list of synthetic ingredients, probably including preservatives Butylene Glycol (which has a drying effect on skin and an increased risk of irritation and rashes) and Methylparaben (a preservative believed to increase the risk of breast cancer). Making your own, all-natural alternative takes a matter of minutes. Simply saturate a muslin cloth with one teaspoon of filtered water, before adding one teaspoon of organic flour and one teaspoon of raw honey. Apply it to the affected area, leave for five minutes, and remove to unblock pores.
Beauty Hack 2: The Dry Brush
If you don’t already spend a few minutes every evening dry brushing your skin, this is one quick natural beauty hack you should definitely fit into your schedule. You simply need a natural brush designed specifically for skin (try The Organic Pharmacy Skin Brush, AED75, Greenchicme.com) and then use short strokes towards your heart to gently exfoliate skin, boost your circulation, unblock pores, and help to remove toxins from your system.
Beauty Hack 3: The Natural Teeth Whitener
Forget abrasive whitening toothpastes, which contain ingredients including Hydrated Silica (a whitener that can damage enamel) and Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (a foaming agent that can be damaging to skin tissue) and instead, simply brush with a sprinkle of baking soda for a few minutes, as regularly as once a week.
Beauty Hack 4: The Cuticle Strengthener
Natural beauty aficionados will be aware of the benefits of coconut oil for their skin but few are aware that it’s also the secret to healthy nails and cuticles. Invest in a pot of the extra-virgin variety (such as Vita Coco Coconut Oil, AED79, Holland & Barrett) and massage it into your nails every morning and evening to stimulate nail growth and help keep cuticles supple and healthy.
Beauty Hack 5: The Facial Massage
Daily facial massage can take a matter of minutes – and it’s easy and quick to carry out at home. You could either learn techniques to do yourself (follow online tutorials or ask your regular facialist for tips) or invest in a natural tool for use every morning and evening (such as Shiffa Jade Massage Rollers, AED230, Shiffa.com). With increased oxygen flow to the skin, collagen production is naturally stimulated and skin glows with health.
Beauty Hack 6: The Eye Reviver
Enjoy a cup of morning coffee? If you suffer from puffiness under your eyes, save the leftover granules for a quick beauty fix. Simply combine one tablespoon of the coffee granules with one tablespoon of coconut oil. Apply the mixture under your eyes, relax for five minutes, and then remove with a damp muslin cloth (be careful not to rub, as it will aggravate the skin). The mixture causes the blood vessels to contract, which reduces puffiness and you can carry out the home fix up to three times a week.
Beauty Hack 7: The Cider Hair Fix
If you want to give your hair a healthy shine without resorting to synthetic conditioners, reach into your cupboards for a bottle of Apple Cider Vinegar. This all-natural product will detox your locks, remove day-to-day grime, and add an enviable shine. Simply mix one-part vinegar with one-part water and apply it to your hair in the shower after shampooing. Leave for a few minutes, before rinsing thoroughly.
Beauty Hack 8: The Lip Exfoliator
If you wear lipstick, you’ll know that flaky, dry lips aren’t the best base for your favourite cosmetic – so exfoliating your lips is the way forward. The good news is that you can make your own by mixing your favourite natural oil or butter (coconut oil, almond oil, and shea butter are great choices) with a sprinkle of granulated sugar – all fair trade, of course. Gently massage the mixture into your lips, wipe clean with a damp muslin cloth, and follow by massaging a small amount of the oil or butter into your pout for extra hydration. The result is silky smooth, soft lips in a matter of minutes – allowing you to pout with pride.