A sucker for natural beauty at the best of times, now at the worst of times, lockdown, my long-term interest in cruelty-free, pure and often DIY hair and beauty products (see my rice water recipe below), is boding well for me. I’ve done a lot of trail and error research over the years when it comes to my own dry and curly mane, and combination skin so while I miss the hair and beauty experts I’d come to rely upon pre lockdown, I’ve also suprised myself with how much can be done and achieved from home, by me.
Let’s probe more deeply.
I’ve always been mindful about my beauty choices, opting for olive and coconut oil as moisturising treatments for face hair and body.
I diligently use Extra Virgin Olive Oil to massage and nourish my children’s skin and have since they were babies, as my mother did on me, and often add a few drops into the bath, which, while hard to clean off afterwards, makes for the most soft and supple skin.
I find olive oil equally helps to soothe angry excema or urticaria rashes, as does a slither of garlic which when rubbed on skin, can help reduce inflammation (thanks again to Justyna for that hack). This also works overnight for spots, just be prepared to smell of hummus for a while!
Next on my natural must-have beauty product list is the delicately fragrant rose water which reminds me of my childhood. It’s the kind you use in cakes which doubles us as a gentle face toner which was first recommended to me by my late grandma, Vikentia.
Yiayia passed away at 96 without a wrinkle on her face.
You can buy rose water online, in some pharmacies or Continental food stores in the UK. It’s ideal for both morning and evening use or as a face mist to cool you down when hot. It contains anti-oxidants so reduces redness and skin irritation and even helps heal scars.
Using pantry products not only nourishes you from the outside in, it also helps to reduce cost, waste and time, and protects the planet too.
This more enforced unbeautifcation of late has admittedly, stripped me back. I personally don’t feel confident with grey hairs on show but miracously haven’t needed to worry. The blonde highlights I had done over a whopping 10 weeks ago have worked hard to cover up any sprouting greys.
I’ve realised that I can leave my roots for months on end, moving forward, not weeks as previously thought! I wonder if a rice growth hack has helped diminish greys too. My friend Justyna recommended the recipe (which I share below) I’ve used religiously since late last year. It boosts hair growth and helps prevent grey hair and has really worked for me.
Rice water has been used by Yao women (who live in the village of Huang Luo in China) for years, known for their long dark hair into old age.
Yao women lower their hair into the rice water, a mixture boiled into a pot with ginger and tea bran amongst other ingredients and used as a conditioning treatment.
Below is the recipe they use, according to this Vogue article by Lynn Yaeger.
The rice water is also a source of calcium, iron, thiamin, pantothenic acid, folate and vitamin E to help nourish and moisturise your hair.
My nails however, are not such a success story and are wrecked beyond belief. I purchased a nail drill early on in lockdown so I could remove the SNS I’d succumbed to a few weeks before, and now my nails are broken, frayed and ugly. I did abstain from gel manis for a long time to help restore my nails but fell back into them but won’t again. This is a lesson learnt. Finally.
I’ve started taking vitamins to help with growth and I’m diligently applying nail oil and strengther every day. I like Sally Hanson’s range which has worked well in the past.
Funnily, I used to feel naked without toenail polish but no longer do. I’ve given myself pedis and once my toenails are filed and buffed, I add clear polish and feel, well, polished.
When it comes to daily make-up,I wear far less, primarily because I’m not filming under TV lights and homeschooling doesn’t really demand a full face, or any face for that matter!
I opt for concealer, powder, bronzer, lipstick and mascara as basics most days, which might read a lot but isn’t for me. I would usually add to that list: eyeliner, liquid liner, blusher, eyeshdow and fake lashes for a glossy, polished look.
I go the whole hog, on weekends when I usually film for brands and my channels, and enjoy the ritual of making myself up at my dressing table, rather in the same way that I love to paint.
RICE WATER HAIR GROWTH HACK:
As I mentioned, I continue to use a DIY rice water treatement that’s working for me. My hair is naturally long already but I would like it to be more Rapunzel-like and have seen real results from consistently using it.
There are many ways online to create rice water but this is the one I’ve followed:
- Place 1/2 x cup of rinsed uncooked rice (I prefer Basmati as other varieties tend to smell more musty once fermented) into a cup of still/tap water.
- Leave overnight to ferment.
- Strain the rice, leaving the nutrient-heavy water.
- Carefully pour this into a a spray bottle (I bought mine from Amazon) and adding a few grains of rice in there.
- Add a few drops of lavender oil to the water and some grated lemon rind to help prevent the musty rice smell that can occur.
- Spray the water into your hair, rubbing into the roots and ensuring you spray down to the ends of your hair.
You can use the rice water as a conditioning treatment after you wash and condition your hair, leaving it for an hour or overnight before washing out, or you can spritz it daily leaving it in and simply washing out whenever you next wash your hair as I do.
You’ll need to give both ways a whirl to assess your hair type.
I use it daily and wash my hair twice weekly. The rice water lasts for 2 weeks in the fridge.
Let me know if you try it!
I’d love to hear what natural products/hacks you’ve been using, lately.
You can watch the video tutorial below: