In the land of Milk and Honey
Listen, I’m not a great, legendary beauty, but I’m no slouch. (At least I hope not. My twitter account might occasionally sound like I feel that way, though!) You might have realized by now that I work on television. Okay, local television. Okay, okay! I’m a traffic reporter! Happy? No, really. I like my job, but I wear a lot of makeup every day and I get up at a ridiculous hour that I can’t even call morning. So, my skin doesn’t always look fresh and healthy, especially if I forget to drink lots of water.
In order to keep my skin happy and calm, considering that I have to clean it 3x a day because I wash a bunch of makeup off of it every late morning, and usually have to wash sweat, dirt, and pollution off in the evening after running (away from ZOMBIES!) or something, I need to give it a treat to bring back that glowing, dewy complexion after faking it with air-brush makeup every day for work.
The point is even though we all know Cleopatra wasn’t exactly an example of modern beauty, but rather a powerful, intelligent and captivating woman who knew how to get and hold power and men, that doesn’t mean some of those beauty regimes didn’t have a lot going for them. For example, the milk bath thing. Did they just throw a bunch of mare’s milk into a tub with a bunch of mashed-up rose petals, herbs, fruits and whatever else that smelled good so that she could soak herself into gorgeousness? Well, actually, yes. Not that I suggest you do that. It would be about as expensive as that ridiculously expensive face cream that no self-respecting dermatologist in the world would suggest you go waste your money on. However, you can use milk for a variety of beauty uses, and guess what? Milk is efficacious when it comes to helping your skin look its best.
Milky morning exfoliating wash
This is simple. In fact, it’s a French model’s beauty tip, and well, who doesn’t want to look like a French model? I like this for my morning wash. Go to the grocery and buy a package of powdered milk. If you can find full-fat powdered milk, even better. Put it in a cute little container with a cover, or in a jar, or in a plastic tub with a lid and keep it in the bathroom.
Wet your face with warm water. In your hand, pour in a spoonful or two of powdered milk and add a bit of water, enough to make it into a very slightly gritty paste. Gently apply to your wet face, and gently scrub your face and neck. You can do this before your shower and just leave it on until the end and rinse it off, or just rinse and pat dry. Moisturize and voila! Clean, exfoliated and brighter skin. The lactic acid also brightens your skin.
Milk and honey mask
I suggest you use raw honey. Local is best, or at least a good, local regular honey. For the love of all that’s healthy, don’t bother with the honey bear honey or most of the honey you buy in the grocery store. To very loosely paraphrase Monica Geller, “It’s not honey!” (okay, she was talking about mayo, but still)
- 2 Tablespoons raw honey
- 1/2-3/4 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil (organic is nice but if you’re going on the cheap, don’t worry)
- 1/2-1 Tablespoon whole milk OR 1 tsp powdered milk with a little bit of water, and make into a loose paste
Mix together in a small bowl. If the milk is really cold, you’ll have to stir it around a bit until it warms up and mixes together. If you find it too watery, add more honey, and next time, add less milk. I like doing this before a shower or bath on a freshly cleansed face. Put on a robe, put your hair up, and gently spread it over your face and neck. It’s a bit drippy if you use fresh milk, especially, so I take a paper towel or a tea towel and tuck it around my neck to catch it. This is refreshing, soothing, and if you have acne, it does help. If you have sensitive, dry skin, this does help. If you have stressed, overly used skin, this does help! No, olive oil won’t make you break out more. Leave it on at least 15 minutes, and wait to rinse, not wash, just let the water gently rinse it off, no real scrubbing, until the end of your shower. This is enough for your neck and chest, too. You can reduce the amount if you like, OR add sea salt or brown sugar to the rest and use as a scrub on your rough bits. Your skin will be fresh, dewy and soft. If you have very dry skin, add a moisturizer, but for many people, you won’t need it. Do it 2-3 times a week if you have the time. It’s far less expensive than any other mask you might buy, and as far as I’m concerned works so much better for so many things.
Short, but sweet, honey sweet! Don’t spend $300 on something that stays on your skin a short time before breaking down due to exposure to air and really doesn’t do enough for the cost. Face washes are rinse-off products. You don’t want nasty chemicals in them, but you don’t need royal jelly in it when it’s formulated to grab whatever is on your face and rinse off with the dirt. Be gentle, but you have my permission to be cheap.
But hot. You can be cheap, and hot.
Cheap, Hot, Sweet Love,