So many trends in the fashion and beauty world (and beyond) move in cycles: in the past few years, we’ve seen the reemergence of everything from 70’s inspired flower child wavy locks to the neon spandex styles of the flashy 80’s. Mad Men helped re-popularize the glamorous, well-tailored fashions of the 50’s and 60’s, and when it comes to beauty, the rise of Pinterest and prevalence of beauty blogs beckoned us back to an older, simpler time when beauty products could be prepared with everyday, natural items.
In a rat race world of complicated situations we can’t necessarily control, why not simplify what we can? In my search for age-old skin remedies that are still easily obtainable, here are the ingredients that stood out to me in their reputed efficacy and ability to stand the test of time:
Honey: The Ancient Greeks, as well as those in Africa, the Middle East and India have used honey for thousands of years on wounds to help speed up the healing process. Able to ease pain, reduce swelling and infection and promote healing, honey is still a great way to keep skin smooth and blemish-free.
Tea Tree Oil:Used by the aboriginal people of Australia for over 3,000 years, this oil has been employed throughout history as a treatment for infections and various other medicinal purposes. Now, tea tree is again rising in popularity as an effective therapy for everything from acne to dandruff. With strong disinfectant properties, it is therapeutic for troubled and damaged skin.
Olive Oil: Referred to as “liquid gold” by the Ancient Greeks, olive oil has been widely used for thousands of years as a natural moisturizer for both skin and hair. Used to anoint kings and athletes in Greece, this oil was considered sacred for many years due to its amazingly effective and versatile abilities. Still used in many beauty products, it is ideal for those with allergies, as it is extremely gentle on skin.
Almond Oil:Before there was Botox or expensive anti-aging creams, Ancient Egyptians relied on the powers of almond oil to look younger. Popular in skin products used in almost all classes of society, almond oil has remained prevalent due to its rejuvenating abilities and high antioxidant content in the form of vitamin E.
All my extensive complaining about hot, humid weather and days of blistering heat aside, I can honestly say that I love summer. I spend approximately 8 months of the year awaiting Memorial Day weekend, the opening of the pool and Friday afternoons spent driving east towards the coast.
Along with time spent in the sun and water, however, often comes the unpleasant side effect of dry, brittle, frizzy hair. How can you keep your hair manageable in the summer months without resorting to products packed with potentially harmful chemicals? You might be surprised at how simple, affordable oils can work wonders for locking in moisture in hair and keeping it soft and manageable.
Try the following natural ingredients to find out which oil is most suitable for your hair type:
Olive Oil. For dry, brittle hair, this everyday oil can be a lifesaver. Try heating about 1/2 cup (be careful not to overheat it and burn yourself!) and applying it liberally all over hair. To lock the moisture in, keep the oil in your hair for about 45 minutes by covering it with a shower cap or plastic grocery bag. Then simply rinse and shampoo your hair as usual.
Argan Oil. A natural antioxidant, this oil is rich in vitamins A and E, as well as omega-6 and omega-9 essential fatty acids, which can revitalize parched hair on contact. To use, simply rub a few drops into towel dried hair, concentrating on the ends, and style hair as usual.
Jojoba Oil. Packed with vitamins and minerals, this oil closely replicates skin’s natural lubricating medium, making it perfect as a moisturizer for your scalp and hair. Try adding several drops to your conditioner or use alone to soothe dry hair.
Macadamia Nut Oil. Light and non-greasy, macadamia nut oil easily absorbs into your scalp and hair, delivering omega-7 and vitamins A and E. To reap the benefits of the ultra-moisturizing oil, massage a tablespoon into hair, then wrap hair in a warm towel. Rinse and lightly condition hair and style as usual.