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Friday, 4 December 2015

Kitchen-based beauty

At 28, I feel like I've been chasing the best kept beauty secrets for years. Naturally wavy-haired, I've battled frizz, dryness and the dreaded bed-kink, a special annoyance reserved for beach-barnetted goddesses who are not destined to be able to sleep on damp hair.

My skin has received equal focus, and been victim to various masks, scrubs, peels and potions. Whilst I've had varying levels of success, I'm still hunting for those perfect products. I must have invested a countless amount in beauty products, and been repeatedly disappointed.

Recently, I decided to take a look into alternative products, those that wouldn't immediately spring to mind when I'm thinking 'beauty'.

My first trial was coconut oil. I'm behind in the game I know, but it's been a revelation. Hair conditioner, moisturiser, make-up remover, make-up base... this little beauty has become a must-have edition to my bathroom cabinet. With the exception of the Mane 'n' Tail range (http://manentail.com/), nothing has ever left my hair so soft and healthy. Melt 3-4 tablespoons (or however much will cover your hair, mine is long and thick, and this amount is just about right) of oil in a bowl, allow to cool slightly so you don't scald yourself, then distribute evenly throughout your hair. Wrap your hair up in a towel or Turbie towel (http://www.turbietwist.com/), and leave for at least an hour. The longer you leave it in, the better the result, if you can sleep in it and rinse out in the morning. When rinsing, shampoo at least twice, otherwise you run the risk of oily hair. I still apply a small amount of conditioner to mine, but do what suits your hair type, and then rinse as normal. I do this every 2 weeks. My hair feels amazingly healthy and looks better than ever. Likewise, coconut oil has had a wonderful affect on my skin. I apply it as both a face and body moisturiser, but be sure to leave yourself time to allow it to absorb when using all over. It's a fantastic make-up remover, and has the added benefit of moisturising at the same time, so you have 2 products in 1. Even better, it's so readily available. Every supermarket and health shop is stocking it. My favourite, Optima Raw Virgin Coconut Oil, is available in Grape Tree (http://www.grapetree.co.uk/product/coconut-oil-500ml/), and is cold pressed and non-GM.

Inspired by my coconut oil discovery, I've recently been looking into what else lurking in my kitchen cupboards can be hijacked into my beauty regime. Apple cider vinegar has repeatedly made an appearance on forums, web pages and other blogs. It reportedly has a long list of benefits, both beauty and health, and is being raved about the world over. The one must, is that it has to be organic. I happened upon a bottle of Aspall Organic Cyder Vinegar in my cupboard so decided to test a few of the theories. The first thing I read about was how good cider vinegar is for your hair, so off I jumped into the shower, took my vinegar with me, and tried it out. Shampoo and condition as normal, then do a rinse with the vinegar diluted in water. I used about 3 teaspoons in a glass. Rub through then rinse. To reassure you, I didn't emerge smelling like a bag of Harry Ramsden's finest fish and chips! Again, this was a complete success! Hair shiny and soft, I found it didn't need to be washed as quickly the next time either. I've also used this as a toner, again diluted, and found that I don't need to apply moisturiser (coconut oil) afterwards. And not a sniff of Sarsons about.

Moral of the story: don't be afraid to look for beauty inspiration close to home, you don't know what you might miss out on!

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