Tuesday, April 11, 2006

At-home 'facials'

My mother, who apparently believes I'm marrying rich or that I'm printing money, thinks that I should be getting monthly facials at this point. She heard about this from my aunt and they think that this will somehow give a better base for the tons of makeup that I'm to put on (sounds more like a scam told to my aunt to get more business out of her). Anyway, b/c I can't afford monthly facials, I've been trying at-home remedies. My latest experiments involve lemon juice, which I've read lighten skin b/c it is a natural bleach. I really need to do this b/c years of summers have darkened mostly my face while the rest of my body remains ghostly white. I don't want to look like my face doesn't match up with my body especially since I have a low-cut dress. Also, for some bizarre reason, my forehead is much darker than the rest of my face. (Yes I'm a freak of nature with chameleon and zebra characteristics!) So anyway, here's what you do:
1. juice some cucumber (skin on) by grating it
2. mix cucumber juice with freshly squeezed lemon juice
3. put mixture on your face for 15 minutes and wash off

Because I forgot to get the cucumber, I've just been using lemon juice. Some who tried just lemon juice tell me it's too harsh so this may not be advisable for those with sensitive skin. I've also heard that if you use cucumber juice only, you can leave it on all night. But plain lemon juice works for me and after one treatment I woke up to lighter skin! I also felt my face get smoother and tighter as the juice dried, almost like a toner. I was really surprised and even got a compliment about it at work (I don't think I've ever gotten a compliment on my skin)! This solution works for ppl who are born light and got dark through sun exposure so it doesn't work for naturally dark ppl. I've also read that you have to continue with this regimen daily at the beginning and then once in a while to maintain the results.

Some additional things you can use on your skin with lemon juice (unfortunately I don't remember what these ingredients do, just that they are good):
- honey
- yogurt
- egg white

I used to mix a spoonful of plain yogurt with some lemon juice and ground up oatmeal to exfoliate my skin but that was too labor intensive for me. So I've been exfoliating with baking soda. I just mix a spoonful of it with a few drops of water to make a paste and spread it all over my face. I think this can be a bit brutal (hence only done weekly) so I don't really rub it, just wipe on and off.

I also occasionally spread egg white all over my face to tighten it (my mother's been doing this for years and I think that's why she looks 10 years younger than what she really is). And boy does it tighten it -- you feel it pull your skin taut and after you wash it off, your skin is sooo smoooth.

I'd like to start up steaming my face again also. I used to boil some water, pour it into a bowl and hold my face over it with a towel over my head. You can add slices of lemons into the water or other fragrant oils (like lavender) for a nice fragrance. I used to think that steaming was useful b/c it opens your pores and makes it easier to remove blackheads but every time I would do this, I noticed that my skin felt softer too.

One last natural, at-home remedy that I've been trying to keep up is putting some olive oil on my lips, then brushing them with a toothbrush. The oil hydrates your lips and protects it from what could be some irritating brushing and the brushing exfoliates for kissably soft lips!

But all this doesn't mean that I won't get at least one professional facial before the big day (I need to get some extractions done!). I am eager to try a spa that my dermatologist recommended so hopefully it's not too late to try them out during Spa Week ($50 treatments throughout the city!). I wonder if facials can be considered a medical expense?


catwomannyc said...

Hi there,

I've enjoyed reading your blog very much :-). My friend and I tried Finesse Spa in Chelsea and we both loved their "60 Min. Deep Pore Cleansing Facial with Eye Treatment"!! They are offering Spa Week special price for the entire April. Regular price is $80. But I guess it kind of depends because my other friend got the same treatment and she didn't like it. I read in Chinese magazines that SASA Beauty (I believe the one on Pell Street is the main one) is offering 1 hour 15 minutes facial for an introductory rate of $19.99. My friend called about it, but the lady said "come in and we will talk." Her appointment is on Friday.

myBFCW said...

Thanks for the tip! I'd really like to know how it turns out for your friend at SaSa, though warn her that my previous experience at another branch had some very persuasive ppl who talked me and a friend into a big package deal that I totally regretted later on....

Tabitha said...

I love reading your blog, you have such a way w/words. =) Like you, I have a face darker than my body and a forehead even darker than my face. I'm going to try your facial recipes and hopefully it will lighten my face (and forehead!) like it has for you. Thanks!