Natural, Budget Beauty

Ok…I know I’m going to sound like I write a beauty column for Seventeen magazine here or something, but in this blog I’m going to be honest about the kind of person I am. While I aspire to deepen my wisdom and spiritual strength, and embrace this new and interesting being that is evolving out of the regular yoga practice…I will also give a nod to the funny, quirky person I was and still am. I will admit to you I am still a (fairly?) young woman, and I enjoy not only feeling good, but looking good too.

I wanted to share some recent personal beauty (you could really say grooming) habits I’ve adopted this year. Initially, they came about not just out of a need to conserve money in these tough economic times, but in the interest of simplifying my life. We simply have too much STUFF anymore, and we keep forgetting that many things can be used for multiple purposes. I wanted to share my four Holy Grail “beauty products” with you right here and now! I believe you will get addicted to using them for the sheer sensual pleasure, not to mention their cheap cost and effectiveness.

1) Jarrow’s Coconut Oil. I bought a big old tub of this a year ago and am only half way through. It comes in solid form, keep it in the fridge and you can chip off pieces of it using a flat head screwdriver. It goes without saying that this is great to cook with and ingest, but I use it all the time for the “one-two hair/nails punch”. Vatas like me have drrrrrrrry skin and hair, so coconut oil is great for us. After washing your hair and getting to that point where it is 95% dry, try this…Simply chip off a few small pebbles of coconut oil in its solid form. Warm it between your palms. The melting sensation and aroma are wonderful. Rub your palms together and lightly apply the melted oil to your hair–the ends, maybe a touch to the top/bangs. A little goes a long way–so don’t overdo it and get too greasy. It gives a nice seal to split ends and a pretty sheen. Finish off by massaging the remaining melted oil into your hands and cuticles.

2) Honey & Rolled Oats. You should always have these stashed in your pantry for their nutritional and cooking versatility, but they also are great for your face. After cleansing your face, pour a tablespoon of honey into your hand (you can slightly warm it to thin it a bit) and add a tablespoon of rolled oats. Massage this into your face to exfoliate. If your skin isn’t too sensitive, you can take the exfoliation a step further and add brown sugar. Take care to lightly massage in the sugar–don’t press too hard and turn your skin red. This is like a natural “dermabrasion”. The honey is a natural humectant with antibacterial properties. Now to totally bliss out, move to step 3…

3) Yogurt! (Sour cream works too). Lactic acid in dairy products is wonderful for your skin. Just slather on yogurt or even sour cream and sit back and relax for about 10 minutes. Use a washcloth soaked with cool water to clean it off. Fantastic. By the way, you can make your own yogurt for next to nothing and word on the street is that it tastes incredible, not sour like the stuff of supermarket lore. Check out a recipe here.

4) Dr. Bronner’s Castile Soap. I recently jumped on the Dr. Bronner’s bandwagon and I am quite sure I’ll be a lifelong convert. This concentrated soap really lathers up nicely, and it’s made with such safe ingredients like jojoba oil. Just a tiny bit is needed on a bath brush to scrub up the whole bod. I also use it as shampoo and add it to a refillable hand soap dispenser (dilute it down with water!) It can be used to scrub floors, do laundry. Talk about killing a while bunch of birds with one stone (ok that wasn’t the most nice yogini manner of speaking was it?) When the bottle is empty, head to the store and get it filled back up. Great scent too…I am currently loving the almond.

I hope you enjoyed my little list of treasures, and please feel free to share anything you like to use that is natural and cheap.

McKenna Rowe is the Founder of Chakra 5 Mobile Yoga, an experienced team of corporate yoga instructors that provides mobile yoga classes on location and by appointment at businesses, schools and organizations throughout greater Los Angeles. Call us to start your corporate wellness program today: 310-853-3885.

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