Its simple. You'll need:
- Lemon juice, preferably fresh
- Cotton facial pad
- Sugar or baking soda
- A good moisturizer with an SPF of 15 or higher
Saturate the cotton pad with lemon juice, diluted with a little water if your skin is sensitive, and pat it in the sugar, or baking soda if you want something that is not quite so harsh. Then rub it on your face in a tight circular pattern, adding more sugar to the pad as necessary to scrub your whole face, avoiding the eye area. Rinse your face with warm water and pat dry. Follow up with your moisturizer and try to avoid excess sun exposure for 24-48 hours after using the scrub as your skin may be extra photo-sensitive and might burn easily. This should only be done 1-3 times a week. Exfoliating too often can damage the skin, leaving you with dry, red, swollen patches of skin.
The cool thing about lemon is that its a natural acid, so it will help break up oils and dead skin cells that accumulate on your skin to make it dull or too shiny. It will also help even your skin tone and lighten dark spots. The lemon helps kill the bacteria in your skin that cause breakouts and black heads. Lemon is also a good detoxifier, so be sure to make some lemonade with whatever lemons you have left over :)
To give your skin a very smooth feel and reduce the appearance of pores and fine lines, as well as get rid of puffy eyes, after cleansing, you can steep a bag of black tea in water that is warm enough for you to tolerate having it on your face. The hotter, the better, within reason of course.
Dip the tea bag in the water and allow it to become fully saturated. Then, draining a little excess water, rub the bag over your face. Allow the bag to sit on the under eye area till it cools. Repeat as frequently as you like. Follow up with moisturizer. Tea leaf is high in antioxidants, minerals and nutrients that are essential to healthy, young looking skin. Black tea especially is high in caffeine which helps tighten the skin, and reduce the appearance of blood vessels that are too close to the skin that contribute to dark circles in the under eye area.
Witch Hazel is also a great natural astringent but it doesn't leave your skin feeling smooth like the tea treatment does... it also doesnt smell very good, so make sure you use a good moisturizer after applying it. Also, avoid applying witch hazel to the under eye area. Actually, avoid the eyes entirely... It hurts like a mother&#$%*! if you get it in your eye. I do not recommend it.
For a nice zit zapper, try dissolving an aspirin in a small amount of water, just enough to make it into a paste, and dab on your blemishes. I haven't been able to find anything that talks about how long it is safe to leave it on the skin, but I would imagine you should only leave it on for a few minutes, 5 at the most. But you may want to experiment with what your skin can handle. This is because aspirin has an acid in it that is very similar to salicylic acid, the active ingredient in many acne creams. As it is an acid it can potentially burn the skin if left on for too long. Since aspirin is also a pain reliever, fever reducer and anti-inflammatory agent, when applied topically it may also reduce pain and swelling in the infected area.
Skin Cleanser and Facial Scrub
You can take the lemon sugar facial scrub to a whole other level by adding honey and olive oil to the mix, spread it on your face and allow it to sit for a few minutes. Olive Oil is great for trapping in moisture without clogging your pores. The honey is a natural antibacterial and antimicrobial agent, lending its strength to the already powerful zit zapping qualities of lemon. Honey is also a fantastic humectant. This means that it does a really good job of attracting and retaining moisture. Its also chuck full of anti-oxidants -always a good thing for your skin. If you dont have honey or olive oil you can substitute one or the other with Almond oil. It has similar qualities. And again, in this recipe the lemon can be diluted, and the sugar can be substituted for baking soda according to your preference. I will try to find a website that has an actual recipe for it and update this post with the link.
Homemade Face Wash
1 tsp. olive oil
1 tsp. honey
1/2 tsp. lemon juice Vinegar can be used for more oily skin
Mix together in a bowl or jar. Massage all over face, and for a nice moisturizing effect, allow it to sit on the skin a few minutes before rinsing it off with a soft cloth and cool water. Warm water can be used if you have naturally oily skin. Add a 1/4- 1/2 tsp of sugar or baking soda to make an exfoliating cleanser. Use less sugar in this than you would with a face scrub though, so as to allow you to use it daily. This recipe is awesome, and I plan to start using it regularly in place of my usual cleanser. The moisturizing effects are so awesome that you may not even feel the need to use a moisturizer.