Natural Beauty with Buttermilk
Dairy products have been used as a beauty ingredient since ancient times. We have all heard of Cleopatra and her famous milk baths. Buttermilk is an ingredient that you may not think about using but has also been around as a home beauty product for years and something your Grandmother probably remembers using.
Some people enjoy starting their day with a cold glass of buttermilk because it is rich in calcium and protein. It tastes a bit like tart yogurt to me so I like to add to smoothies or mash up a few sweet strawberries as a sweet add in if drinking. But I mostly like just using it as a facial mask and cleanser. I have dry skin so often also add a bit of natural oil but if you are an oily skin or combination skin type buttermilk is well suited for you. Buttermilk can be used as a simple cleanser in place of soap and water. It also works well with other cleansing foods such as cucumber, tomato, honey or egg whites. Mix together a tablespoon of buttermilk with any one of these fresh foods. You will want to store any leftover in the fridge. Here are some other old fashioned ways to use this dairy staple:
Buttermilk can't reverse a bad burn but it can help soothe and take some of the redness and heat out of too much time in the sun. You can simply spray a diluted solution of buttermilk onto your skin and let sit before bathing or create a poultice - which is an old fashioned method for soothing skin irritations. Take about a half a cup of whole oats and mix them together with some buttermilk until you have a thick mixture. Spoon onto a cotton washcloth or cotton cloth and wrap up the ends. Apply this mixture to your skin and let sit for twenty minutes. Then rinse with cool water an apply a natural oil like olive, jojoba or almond oil to your skin.
Cucumber and buttermilk can be used in layers to create a mild cleansing facial treatment. Simply wash your skin and pat dry. Now brush on some buttermilk all over your face and neck or spread on with a clean cotton pad. Let the mixture dry for twenty minutes. Peel a cucumber and cut into very thin slices and press onto your skin over the dried buttermilk. You can also blend the cucumber, creating a juice that can be strained and then spritzed onto your skin. I find this easier as then you don't have to lie down to keep the cucumber slices in place. Let the mixture sit for another ten minutes then rinse off.
I have read many old fashioned remedies for fading freckles and age spots using buttermilk and lemon juice. I have not had great luck with this as I think you have to do over a period of time. One recipe I found in an old book of my mother's used horseradish combined with the buttermilk. The ratio was 6 tablespoons of buttermilk to 1 teaspoon of freshly grated horseradish. Let me know if you have heard of this?
Have a beautiful day and if you have a favorite way of using buttermilk or other dairy products in your everyday skin or hair care regime - message me.
I am off to Southern California next week to teach my final Lavender workshop for the year.. I will be in Corona del Mar at the beautiful Sherman Gardens -- it is also the end of their "Green rooms" exhibit so I will try and post lots of photos on my Instagram. I hope you are following me? Here is a link: athomebeauty