A healthy, radiant, glowing skin along with thick, shiny hair is often considered an attribute of good health and personality. It is common to desire smooth, young-looking skin, for which people develop different skin care regimens.
Some people may have a minimal routine, and others may have an extensive skin care, makeup, and hair care regimen. In general, however, it is advised to improve your diet, consume plenty of water, keep your face clean, and avoid exposing your skin to toxic material in order to keep it healthy.
There are several steps, tools, and products you can include in your self-care regimen to enhance and improve your skin and hair.
Beauty Hacks for Great Skin and Hair
Here are beauty practices, including a mix of natural ingredients, modern tools, and lifestyle changes, that can improve your skin and hair health in the long run.
1. Add a kansa wand to your skin care regimen
Kansa, commonly known as bronze, is an alloy made of copper and tin. A kansa wand refers to a dome-shaped bronze metal attached to a wooden handle. It has been used in Ayurvedic practices for a long time.
A kansa wand is commonly used for managing skin puffiness, wrinkling, and microbial growth. It is believed to improve these skin conditions due to its alkaline nature, which helps rebalance skin pH. Its antimicrobial properties may be contributed by its copper content. (1)
Anecdotal evidence also suggests that massaging your skin with a kansa wand can improve lymphatic drainage, prevent premature skin aging, and reduce toxin buildup.
While there are no direct studies to establish these claims, it has been observed that copper is easily absorbed by the skin. Consequently, it promotes elastin and collagen synthesis, which, in turn, improves skin flexibility and gives the skin a smooth, taut, and clear appearance. (2)
Moreover, massaging your skin in general, especially with a skin serum, is shown to improve microcirculation and also promote anti-wrinkling. (3) Since the kansa wand is generally safe to use and in fact provides benefits, there’s no harm in using the wand to massage your skin and reap its benefits.
Note: Make sure that you are not allergic to the metals in the kansa wand. Additionally, when buying a kansa wand, ensure its authenticity as there are fake kansa wands containing zinc or lead.
How to use:
- Place the dome-shaped part of the wand on your skin and gently massage around the eye sockets in circular motions for a couple of minutes.
- Move on to the forehead, massaging in a figure-eight shape.
- Massage your jaw with upward strokes.
- Repeat this remedy few 2–3 times a week.
- Make sure to massage with gentle pressure and avoid pulling on your skin to avoid causing wrinkles.
- You can use a facial serum or oil with vitamin A, C, or E when massaging with the wand. You can also make an oil blend by mixing essential oils such as lavender, rosehip, tea tree, and frankincense essential oils with a carrier oil and use it with the wand.
- When you use a serum or oil with the wand, it is common to notice some graying on the skin. This occurs due to the reaction of the metal with the product. Simply wipe your face after the massage to clean it.
2. Massage your face with ice
Rubbing ice on the face is a common home remedy used for treating puffiness under the eyes, soothing sunburns, reducing acne-associated inflammation, and even fading wrinkles.
Giving yourself an ice facial is considered a mild form of cryotherapy, which is a dermatological procedure used for treating skin lesions. While there is no scientific evidence supporting the use of ice, it is, in general, a safe and cheap therapy that you can try.
The cool temperature constricts the blood vessels, in turn boosting microcirculation to the skin. In addition, the ice pulls your skin taut, preventing aging signs. An ice facial can also help in mild exfoliation of the skin.
All of these benefits of an ice facial can leave your skin smooth, clean, and radiant.
How to use:
- Cleanse your face and pat it dry.
- Wrap a few ice cubes in a soft cotton cloth, and massage it on your face in circular motions. Perform the massage for about 2 minutes, focusing on the chin, forehead, nose, and jawline.
- Wash your face and moisturize it properly.
- Repeat the remedy 3–4 times a week.
- You can also use other liquids to make ice for an ice facial. These include aloe vera gel, (4) coffee, (5) green tea, (6) and lemon tea or water. Using these ingredients has added benefits for your skin.
- Clean your ice trays properly before freezing the ice cubes.
- Avoid direct contact with the ice and do not focus on one area for too long as it can increase the chances of burns.
- If you have a skin problem such as dermatitis, consult a specialist on the need for an ice facial.
3. Use a washcloth for exfoliation
An exfoliating washcloth can be a great cost-effective investment for your skin care routine. Washcloths are gentle on your skin and highly effective.
Select a washcloth with microfibers (80% polyester, 20% polyamide) or bamboo, silk, or muslin (100% organic cotton) fibers. Avoid washcloth exfoliators that have synthetic, coarse materials.
You can also go for use-and-throw washcloth exfoliators that eliminate the post-treatment cleaning procedure.
How to use:
- Wet the washcloth with warm water and put a few drops of mild cleanser on it.
- Rub the cloth on your forehead in small circles with medium pressure, and work your way down the face. Focus on the creases of your nose. You can also exfoliate your legs, giving them a healthy glow.
- Once the exfoliation is complete, clean your washcloth exfoliator thoroughly to prevent bacterial growth.
- Repeat the treatment up to 3 times a week. However, limit it to 1–2 times a week if you have dry skin.
Note: You can also use the washcloth exfoliator without the cleanser if you do not want to combine cleansing with exfoliating.
4. Use satin or silk pillowcases
Cotton pillowcases, while quite common, are not the ideal choice for your hair or skin. When you sleep on cotton pillowcases, the fiber absorbs the moisture from your hair and skin, causing dryness.
Moreover, your hair is subject to constant friction with the cotton fiber, making it rough and causing damage. Similarly, the friction on your skin can aggravate acne blemishes and enable the spread of bacteria all over the face.
It is suggested to use silk or satin pillowcases since they are extremely smooth and therefore eliminate friction, allowing the hair to flow freely over them. Also, their cloth fibers do not absorb moisture from your hair or face.
In addition, the softness of silk pillowcases prevents creases on your skin, a problem you may experience after sleeping on a cotton pillowcase.
You can find silk pillowcases with copper oxide particles embedded within them. These kinds of pillowcases are highly recommended as it has been shown that sleeping on pillowcases with copper threads can lower the chances of acne and other skin infections, while helping fade fine lines and wrinkles. (7)(8)
However, silk or satin pillowcases can be very slippery. If this is a problem for you, you can instead go for high thread-count cotton pillowcases or sateen pillowcases.
5. Use a microfiber hair towel wrap
The cloth you use for drying your hair has a large role to play in the health and appearance of your hair. Using a rough towel on your hair can cause friction damage, while using a cotton t-shirt increases the drying time considerably. Blow-drying your hair can cause brittleness.
Experts recommend using microfiber towel wraps instead. These are made of polyamide and polyester threads, which are thinner than your hair strands. These hair wraps absorb water quickly and also lower the chances of frizziness.
How to use:
- Buy a good-quality microfiber towel or a microfiber hair wrap.
- After a shower or a bath, wrap it around your head for about 10 minutes.
- Once your hair is dry, apply a serum or oil to your scalp and hair to help keep it healthy and moisturized.
6. Cover balding spots with hair fibers
Male-pattern and female-pattern baldness is a common problem and may occur due to hereditary factors or underlying medical problems. (9) Medications such as finasteride and minoxidil can combat the problem but their results may take a while.
Most people desire a quick solution to hide their balding spots. Hair fibers are one such product that can conceal the areas of hair thinning, giving you the appearance of a full head of healthy hair.
Hair fibers are made of keratin fibers, natural or synthetic, that attach to the scalp and the surrounding hair. Good-quality hair fibers are long lasting, sweat-proof, and weather resistant. They can stick to your scalp until you wash them off, even during vigorous physical activities.
You can find hair fibers in a wide variety of textures and colors, enabling you to find a suitable fit.
- While hair fibers made with natural keratin are safe, those with synthetic formulas may contain aluminum chloride that can have some mild side effects. It is vital to conduct a patch test before trying hair fibers of any kind, as you may be allergic to an ingredient.
- Consult your doctor before using the hair fibers, especially if you are on medication for your baldness.
How to use:
- Shampoo your hair and allow it to dry.
- Apply the hair fibers on completely dry hair as they cling with the help of static charge. Some hair fibers may come with a spray attachment that is useful in applying them to parts, hairlines, gray roots, and patchy beards. You can also use a hair fiber applicator or argan oil to help the fibers stick better.
- Layer the hair fibers on top of each other rather than applying the product in one go. Keep in mind not to use too many fibers as it may not give a natural look.
- Once applied, pat and spread the fibers and brush your hair with a coarse brush.
Note: Hair fibers should only be used on thinning hair such as around the temples or crown. They may not work for completely bald areas.
7. Apply shower oils to manage skin dryness
Shower oils or bath oils are moisturizing oils that can be used in place of shower gels or soaps to cleanse your body and hydrate it at the same time.
Shower oils are highly effective in improving the skin barrier function and hydration, and these effects are especially useful for people with skin conditions such as xerosis. (10)
However, it is important to know that all shower oils have varying efficacy, and some may even be unsuitable for you. (11) To avoid any problems, use good-quality shower oils devoid of artificial fragrances. Additionally, check the ingredients to rule out any substance you may be allergic to.
You can try shower oils that contain the following ingredients:
- Almond extracts
- Strawberry and pear extracts
- Vitamin E and pro-vitamin B5
- Peony extracts
- Vegetal biolipids
- Babassu oil
- Coconut milk
- Bergamot extracts
- Argan oil
- Macadamia extracts
- Patchouli oil
- Essential oils such as lavender, lemon, rosemary, cedarwood, tulsi, or frankincense
How to use:
Shower oils are used as soaps – you lather them with water and apply them to your skin. Most shower oils turn milky when they are mixed with water. You can skip moisturization after the shower if you are using shower oils.
8. Use DIY body oils
Body oils are essentially replacements for body moisturizers and are applied to hydrate your skin after a shower. Make sure not to confuse these with shower oils, which are used for showering.
Commercially prepared body oils are widely available, but you can also make your own oil blend at home using different nourishing oils that protect your skin barrier. (12) These oils have a longer shelf life and are beneficial to your skin health.
Body oils work by providing nourishment to your skin and preventing the water in your skin from evaporating. (13)
You can use different carrier oils such as:
- Macadamia oil
- Grapeseed oil
- Jojoba oil
- Almond oil
- Castor oil
- Avocado oil
- Apricot kernel oil
The various essential oils that you can mix with the above-mentioned carrier oils are:
- Palm rose
How to use:
- Simply mix a carrier oil with one or more essential oils of your choice to form an oil blend. In general, you need to add 7–10 drops of essential oil to 1 ounce of carrier oil.
- Store the blend in a lotion bottle.
- Use your DIY body oil on slightly damp skin after a shower.
9. Apply organic lip balms
Lip balms are an essential product for your lips as they maintain suppleness and softness. A multitude of lip balms, both organic and synthetic, are available in drugstores and beauty stores.
It is suggested to choose natural or organic lip balms made of fruit extracts, oils, waxes, butters, organic colors, and natural flavoring agents to protect your lips from the chemicals in synthetic lip balms while providing optimum nourishment.
Make sure to select organic lip balms that have been tested and proven to be smooth, adhering, easily removable, and resistant to temperature alterations. (14)
In general, the ingredients you should look for in organic lip balms include:
- Cocoa seed butter
- Olive fruit oil
- Watermelon seed oil
- Earl grey
- Cannabis sativa seed oil
- Vanilla bean extract
- Mint extract
- Eucalyptus oil
- Vitamin E/tocopherols
- Orange, tangerine
- Shea butter
You can also make organic lip balms at home using aloe vera, cocoa butter, shea butter, or calendula as humectant and moisturizer and beeswax as a thickening agent.
How to use:
- Melt some beeswax and add desired ingredients such as aloe vera, vitamin E oil, hemp seed oil, glycerine, or honey to it.
- Allow the mixture to cool slightly, and pour it into a tube-like container.
- Once hardened, use the lip balm to coat your lips whenever required.
Note: Make sure to conduct a patch test to check for any allergic reactions.
10. Buy a makeup brush cleaning mat
Studies show that makeup tools are prone to contamination with pathogenic microbes such as streptococci and staphylococci, (15) especially at salons where sanitizing may be overlooked. (16)
These microbes can be transferred to your face while applying makeup and can cause problems. Therefore, it is important to keep your makeup brushes clean.
You can use makeup brush cleaning mats made of nontoxic, odorless silica gel or silicone for this purpose. The textured surface of the mat helps release the trapped makeup from the bristles and between them.
How to use:
- Place the brush cleaning mat in a sink. Add some olive oil or coconut oil on one side of it and a dab of baby shampoo on the other side.
- Wet your brushes and swirl them over the oil in a back-and-forth motion, and then repeat the same with the baby shampoo.
- Rinse the brushes under running water and pat them dry with paper towels or a bath towel.
- Place them on a paper towel and allow them to dry completely.
Skin and hair care is necessary to maintain the health and appearance of these body parts. While it is commonly believed that you need to have an elaborate regimen for skin care, at times, some quick tricks and tips may have high efficacy.
The expert-recommended suggestions presented in this article, when included in your routine, can be beneficial to your skin and hair health.
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