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Beauty Tips Using Old Fashioned, Natural Ingredients

Updated on October 15, 2010
This article is a revised reprint from the July/August 1996 issue of the Old South Advocate
This article is a revised reprint from the July/August 1996 issue of the Old South Advocate

Natural Beauty

Every year, people all over the world spend untold millions of dollars on products that promise youth, beauty, better skin and hair. Most of these wonder preparations are comprised entirely of synthetic chemicals and are very costly. Most of them achieve dissapointing results.

Why do we part with our hard earned money for expensive chemicals that overpromise and underdeliver? Simple. If we think there's the slightest chance that a product will live up to its claim, we're willing to try it. But what did women do in days gone by? Certainly their methods were natural and cheaper.

Our great-grandmothers did not have access to these miracle products, but they still had to deal with wrinkles, dry skin and brittle hair. They had little choice but to use a plant from their garden or something from the cupboards and pantry. They didn't use chemicals and the price was a fraction of what we now pay to get the same effect.

The resurgence of homeopathy and natural healing has brought with it the old fashioned way of dealing with beauty problems. You can find recipes online and in some of the many available herbal books. I've had a copy of Jude's Herbal Home Remedies for about thirty years and I think it's a good one.

Out of the hundreds of old-fashioned beauty secrets, I've selected a few for you to try and have listed them before.

Face Care

Peppermint tea is cheap, readily available and a good astringent. Take a clean cloth and soak it with the tea and use as a face compress.

Thyme is another option in the herbal astringent category. It can actually help clear up acne. Pour 1 1/2 cups of boiling water over 3-4 tablespoons of dried thyme. Steep for half an hour. Strain and bottle the resulting astringent. Should be kept refrigerated and used daily as a rinse.

Combat blackheads with finely ground cornmeal. Moisten a handful and rub into face for approximately 5 minutes. Don't rub too hard or you'll have some redness for awhile afterward. Rinse face and moisturize.

To tighten skin, beat together 2 tablespoons unbeaten egg white, 1 tablespoon powdered milk and 1/2 teaspoon honey until well blended. Apply to face. Let dry, then rinse with warm water and blot dry. It's recommended that you use herbal astringent as final rinse.

Make your own lip balm by melting 1 1/2 ounce of beeswax in double boiler and stirring in 1 ounce of honey. Beat in 2 ounces of olive oil. Stir until cool and put into a wide mouth jar.

Almond oil is a great softening lotion that can be applied to any rough skn.

To remove freckles, rub on a mixture of equal parts lemon juice and buttermilk. Apply daily and leave on for half an hour. Rinse and moisturize with olive or almond oil, leaving the moisturizer on overnight. Repeat this process until the freckles are gone.

Safflower oil is a non-allergenic eye makeup remover.



One tablespoon of allspice in a cup of hot water becomes a breath freshening gargle.

Make a dried mixture of 1 tablespoon each of peppermint, rosemary and lavender. Add a teapsoon of this mixture to one cup of boiling water and stir. Steep for 15 minutes and strain. It can now be used as mouthwash.




The following are for use as a final hair rinse and are all made the same way. Pour 4 cups of boiling water over the chosen herb, cover, let stand for half an hour and strain.

Sage and fennel are both good conditioners for your hair

Parsley clears up dandruff

Chamomile lightens hair and promotes hair growth

Rosemary darkens hair and leaves a nice scent

Dried nettle leaves are another good dandruff cure


Lotions and Powders

If you want to make your own after-shave lotion, add 1 ounce dried lavender flowers and 1 ounce sage to 2 cups of witch hazel. Let sit in a very warm area in a tightly closed jar for a week. Strain and rebottle.

Scented bath lotion can be made by adding 1/2 cup each of mint, lemon balm, rosemary and lavender to 1 quart of rubbing alchohol or witch hazel. Pour into a jar, making sure the lid is closed. Place in a sunny location and let steep for a couple of weeks. Shake every day. The colour will turn a nice green and lotion will be fragrant. Rub into your skin after bathing.


© 2008 Shirley Anderson


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