your natural beauty

Caring for your natural beauty

Knowing your beauty first aid and having remedies on hand makes good sense for the many common beauty problems that can pop up unexpectedly. Whether it’s a pimple, a cold sore or a headache, there is a natural remedy for all cosmetic dilemmas. They are readily available at the healthfood store or in your garden or kitchen.

Remedies straight from the kitchen

Tired, puffy eyes: Use cold tea bags, cold cucumber slices or a poultice of grated potato over the eyes.

Hangover mask: When your complexion is looking a little ruddied and lacking tone from a night of good conversation and wine, beat an eggwhite with 2 tsp of cooled strong chamomile tea and apply to a clean face. Leave for 20 minutes. Rinse well.

Blonde hair: If your light-coloured hair goes green from being submerged in chlorinated water, simply rinse it in tomato juice to help neutralise the colour.

Blemishes: Turmeric is rich in curcumin, a compound with anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Mix with a little lemon juice and put on a pimple.

Hair cleanser, heel smoother and tooth brightener: Bicarbonate soda can be used for many beauty problems. If your hair is lacklustre, use 1 tbsp in 1 cup of water (double quantities if your hair is very long) to help remove chemical build-up in the hair (from all the chemicals in hair products). Use a little bicarb with water to clean both your toothbrush and your teeth — gently clean your teeth for a bright result. If the heels on your feet are a little rough, soak them in a bicarb footbath (usually ½ cup in a footbath of tepid water) to soften. This will also reduce any foot odour.

Dry skin: Macadamia nut oil boasts palmitoleic acid found in human sebum. By massaging your skin with this oil each night, you can help replenish the lipid content in the skin, which is depleted by the elements as well as by age.

First aid beauty kit

Keep a kit of natural remedies in your bathroom for common beauty dilemmas.

Myrrh tincture: This is an excellent healing and bacterial agent. Dab onto pimples, cold sores and bites. Also helpful in treating fungal infections.

Tea-tree oil: Put one drop neat onto pimples, cold sores or infected bites (one drop only; any more should be put into a carrier oil). Tea-tree can also be used to treat fungal infections.

Rescue remedy: Helpful for all beauty crises, from acne to rashes, wrinkles and stress. Dispense a few drops into your mouth or put a few drops in your moisturiser or cosmetic of choice.

Vitamin E oil (tocopherol): Effective for healing or scarring and also to smooth out fine lines and wrinkles. Vitamin E can be put gently around the eyes to help prevent crow’s feet.

Aloe vera gel: Used fresh from the leaf, this gel is excellent for soothing sunburn or minor burns or simply when needing a skin overhaul. Apply a layer to the skin for an instant facelift.

Lavender essential oil: Daub a few drops on your pillow for Beauty sleep. Put on sores, or infected bites.

Arnica ointment: Speeds up healing time for bruises.

Peppermint essential oil: Dab one drop on each temple to quell headaches.

Calendula ointment: Healing on rashes, dry skin, dry heels, infected bites and smoothes out wrinkles. You can make this yourself — see the recipe below.


Rosemary essential oil: To revive tired skin, fill a small basin with warm water and add a few drops of rosemary oil. Splash over the face.

Chamomile essential oil: To calm irritated skin, put a few drops into a small basin of warm water, dip in a flannel, wring and place over the face.

Calendula healing balm

Balms are wonderful healing treats for all manner of skin ailments. Use on dried lips, rashes, wrinkles and insect bites. They are easy to make and great to have on hand at all times. To make a herbal oil to incorporate into your balm, infuse fresh herbs from your garden into the oil or, alternatively, use plain vegetable or nut oil. Calendula is a personal favourite for its wound-healing properties. You can add a teaspoon of honey if desired.


15g beeswax

10g cocoa butter

40ml calendula-infused oil

10ml vitamin E oil

8 drops chamomile essential oil

8 drops lavender essential oil

4 drops rosemary essential oil


In a bain marie, melt the beeswax, cocoa butter and calendula oil. When melted, stir well. Take off the heat and add the essential oils and mix well. Pour into 50ml jars.

Carla Oates

Carla Oates

Carla Oates is the CEO of The Beauty Chef, a natural beauty expert and the author of Feeding Your Skin and The Beauty Chef Cookbook.

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