I have never been into natural beauty products. There, I said it.
I love the ritual of going to the mall or to the drug store and picking something out that was created with exotic ingredients, that smells really good and took years of clinical studies to prove it will fight my wrinkles, hydrate my skin, or make my hair bounce and behave.
But this past weekend, I set a goal to try something new.
With some kitchen staples, some fresh produce, and a lot of towels, I set out to be as my friend Julie says, a little “hooey-dooey” and try some new beauty routines.
I thought I would start small. My friend Lisa had commented that she uses sugar and olive oil as a facial scrub a couple of times a week. Sounded easy and delicious. I pulled down my Tupperware container full of sugar that probably had not been opened since Christmas (I admit I am not much of a baker) and my fancy olive oil and headed upstairs to the bathroom. Being someone with a history of bad acne, I have to admit I was a little hesitant to put a bunch of oil on my face but I decided to give it a go. I mixed the sugar with the oil and scrubbed away. It felt great. I licked my lips, and it was sweet and savory! I rinsed my skin. So soft! Just like Lisa had said. This was easy, not messy and made my skin smooth and the grit of the sugar gave me a little glow.
Next onto a bigger and more challenging project, my hair. I had always heard that putting mayonnaise in your hair can really help hydrate it and control frizz. I went to the grocery store and bought the smallest jar of whole-fat mayo I could find - no light or Miracle Whip for my locks - they were about to get the full fatty treatment. I washed my hair with my regular shampoo and then I opened the jar of mayo. I have to say the smell of mayonnaise in the morning is not something I generally wake up to. I held my nose and coated my hair with a ton of it. Be advised, mayo is in no way a natural detangler. I struggled to run my hot pink Goody pick through my mane. Ouch! It brought tears to my eyes, not fun. But, I thought, it may all be worth it when my hair is shiny and my curls are defined and glistening in the sun. I left it on for a few minutes and rinsed it out. And rinsed it out again. And one more time. No matter how long I rinsed, my hair felt slimy and coated, and not clean. I gave up when the hot water began to run out, and towel dried my hair. Again, the tangles. At this point I knew I would never try this again. I blew it dry and I have to admit it was shiny, but lifeless. Do you know what it looked like? Like I totally put mayonnaise in my hair. What a waste of time. And now I smelled like a salad. Blech.
The biggest project left for the weekend was an idea I got after watching one of my favorite actresses, Debi Mazar, on her show Extra Virgin on The Cooking Channel. Looking very sexy in her bathtub, she rubbed mashed up avocados all over her body, and swore it made her skin insanely soft. So I made up a nice big bowl of guacamole and headed for my tub. It was a little uncomfortable sitting in the tub like she did with no water in it, so I filled it up with warm water and got in with my bowl beside me. I put the avocados on my face, arms, elbows and décolletage like Debi did. After I was done I must have looked like the Hulk and I was wishing I had a bell I could ring so someone could bring some chips upstairs. I sat there for a few minutes, trying to relax with the green clumps all over me, dreaming about how soft and hydrated my bod would be when I was through.
But then the avocado started falling off of my face into the warm water of the tub like plaster coming off of a wall. I felt like I was sitting in a pot of split pea soup. It was gross. I was getting cold. This whole process lasted only five minutes and I was done. I let the water out and let me tell you, the aftermath of an avocado-soup bath is revolting. Plus all of the allure of using something natural on myself wore off when I had to bust out the Mr. Clean to get the mushy green stains off of my tub. I bet Debi Mazar has people for that.
Of the three treatments, I would do the face scrub again (thank you Lisa) but not the other two. I’ll continue to get my conditioner and my body moisturizer from a shelf at the store rather than the produce aisle. And after that bath, I don’t think I will get a craving for Mexican food anytime soon.