DIY Skincare Solutions: Can Bananas Replace Botox?
Author: Murphy Stidham
August 29, 2017
Today guest author, Murphy Stidham, is here with some easy and fun (and easy) tips on how to give yourself a spa-day, every day, from the comfort of your own home with some unexpected items.
All of us have experienced that shopaholic moment when we are at the check out counter…
Picture it, there you are ready to swipe your card, and you glance over at the displayed goodies meant to convince you to make one more last minute purchase. One of the more intriguing indulgences for me has always been face masks! I see them in their fancy packaging and automatically envision a relaxing bubble bath night with a good book and a creamy, cleansed face. Just like that, boom! Marketing wins and I have bought a $10-$20 face scrub that I didn’t need all because it looked so appealing.
Well ladies, I am here to tell you that we can fight this marketing technique by making our own masks! Instead of paying up to $150 in skin care creams, you can use household goodies to give you a similar smooth, silky glow. Granted, different skin types react in different ways. So, many dermatologists recommend that you try a patch test first if you aren’t sure how your skin will react to these home remedies.
Let’s start with something sweet. Honey is good for more than being stirred up in your chai. Apply it on your face while you sip your warm tea for a rejuvenating skin impact. Honey’s antibiotic properties can help improve acne. Why? It can balance your skin’s pH level and help slough away dead cell debris to keep your skin clean, and its anti-inflammatory effect can decrease local inflammation caused by acne. As an antibacterial, Manuka honey leaves fewer bacteria to infect pores and cause pimples. This honey can heal existing zits, as well. It originates from New Zealand. It’s made up of:
- sugars (mainly glucose and fructose)
- amino acids
- vitamins and minerals
- hydrogen peroxide and methylglyoxal, two antimicrobial compounds
Apply a teaspoon of honey to affected areas, or make a mask by mixing 1/2 cup of honey with 1 cup of plain oatmeal and leaving it on for 30 minutes.
Why oatmeal? Simple, it’s an exfoliate. Oatmeal has long been used to treat dry skin and itching associated with conditions such as eczema and rashes, according to the Mayo Clinic. It contains the avenathramide class of antioxidants, which are effective in reducing redness and protecting the skin against UV sun damage.
Another good exfoliate is…are you ready for this? Mud. That’s right, head out to your back yard and grab some of Mother Nature’s good dirt.
Lines, sun-damage, acne scarring, etc. these are all things everyone wants to hide- hence buying the major creams. Michele S. Green, MD: Cosmetic Dermatology in NYC practices non-invasive procedures to make you look and feel better and healthier. On her website, Green says, “There are a lot of masks that try to sell a lot of formulas that don’t necessarily work any better than a simple clay mask or hydrating mask.” Mud masks are good for most skin types because since it is water-based, it is less drying than clay can be. Therefore, it is more skin-healing and friendly because of the hydration. If you have a more oily-based, acne prone skin, clay may be your preference. The dryness of clay brings out imperfections laying deep within your pores.
Speaking of pores, sit back and relax with a mint-julep for this next one. You’ve probably already guessed where I am going with this… Mint! Probably sounds a little more appealing than mud or clay. Mint too, removes pore-clogging oil. Let’s cut acne’s power off before it begins! Mix 2 tablespoons of finely chopped fresh mint with two tablespoons each of plain yogurt and oats (use a blender to pulverize the oats to powder). Leave the concoction on your face for 10 minutes, then rinse off with water for a refreshing shine. Mint can also help with digestion, nausea, respiratory disorders, headaches and more.
Want to go the herbal route? Chamomile helps decrease inflammation from acne. Also, what sounds more soothing than a chamomile mixture for a facial cleanser?
In a blender or coffee grinder, combine the contents of a chamomile tea bag with enough water to form a paste, and apply that to acne. Alternately, steep two chamomile tea bags with 1 cup boiled water for 15 minutes. Let the tea cool, then use a cotton ball to dab it on your face after cleansing. The cotton will ease the mixture on to your face in a way that will feel like you are getting a face massage! The most popular way to use chamomile at home is to prepare ice cubes based on herbal decoction. Herbalist James Green, Herbal Academy, explains, “The object of preparing decoctions is to secure, in aqueous solution, the soluble active principles of herbs that are hard and woody and have a close, dense texture.”
While you have that chamomile handy, here is a fun Do-It-Yourself project for you and your kids. Herbal bath’s are making a come back, so try creating a “sock bath.” Some great herbs to use are chamomile, lavender blossoms, roses, lemons and peppermint.
According to The Herbal Academy, here is how you make a sock bath:
A big clean, adult size sock
Herbs for your child to choose from
Any of the following: oatmeal, powdered milk, baking soda, salts
A big glass or plastic cup (a good choice because it won’t break).
A big spoonDirections
- Gather all of your supplies and lay them out on a work surface such as a table.
- Have your child pick which ingredients they would like in their bath. I like to go through and explain the benefits of the herbs and other ingredients while encouraging my child to smell, touch and look at what is available.
- Put a handful or big spoonful of each chosen ingredient into the cup. This is the mixture that will go into the sock. You want to have around 1 to 2 cups of bath mixture in the cup when you are done.
- Using the big spoon, have your child mix the herbs and other ingredients inside the cup.
- Stretch the opening of the sock over the top of the glass and then have your child invert the cup so that the contents of the cup fall into the sock.
- Tie the top of the sock into a knot. If your sock is not long enough to tie, use a rubber band or piece of string to secure it shut.
- Encourage your child to squeeze and smell the sock. This will release the good smells of the herbs inside! At this point your kiddo might want to cuddle with their sock a bit.
Herbalist Matthew Wood, n.d., says, “Chamomile is the remedy for babies…babies of any age.” In the bath, it helps to soothe topical inflammation and skin irritations. Chamomile can also be used to calm yourself, emotionally. It is often used as a stress-reliever. So, after you soak in your bath, you can climb right in to bed feeling refreshed!
Last but not least… BANANAS! Grab that banana that is sitting on your counter browning. You have been telling yourself for days to grab it on your way to work, but no dice. So, instead of letting it rot, put it to use on your face!
Mash up a medium-sized ripe banana into a smooth paste, then gently apply it to your face and neck. Let it set for 10 to 20 minutes, then rinse it off with cold water. Another popular mask recipe calls for 1/4 cup plain yogurt, 2 tablespoons honey, and 1 medium banana. It’s rich in powerful anti-oxidants, phytochemicals, and moisture. This fruit will nourish and revitalize dry skin as well as smoothen rough and aging skin. If you have acne-prone oily skin, you can use it topically for oil control and to reduce further breakouts.
Everyone knows that bananas have loads of potassium in them. Well, this helps hydrate and moisturize dehydrated skin. B-vitamins in bananas help to prevent pre-mature aging because it protects against free radicals. Vitamin-A helps heal dry, withered skin, fades acne scars and dark spots, as well as smooths out aging skin. Lectin helps destroy bacteria that cause acne and pimples.
Bananas serve as a rich moisturizer that if used properly and regularly, can help take years off skin damage.