When I found out I was expecting my first child (a honeymoon baby—surprise!), I was equally thrilled and terrified. I couldn't wait to cuddle this little one in my arms but didn't know how to begin preparing for him or her. We lived in a divey apartment in the West Village with crazy neighbors and the odd mouse, not to mention I still felt like a child myself. But my friend (and seasoned mother of two) had a great recommendation: to put aside my chemical-filled makeup and turn to natural ingredients. They're simple and quick solutions for just about every beauty issue you might run into while pregnant—or not pregnant! Because they're natural, they work across the board. Here are a few DIY treatments I've loved...
For baby-soft lips, make your own lip scrub by taking a tablespoon of brown sugar and adding a dash of either honey or coconut oil. It works just as well as store-bought versions only without any harmful ingredients. A dab of organic cocoa butter also makes a wonderful, fuss-free lip balm. You can apply it straight from the tub.
When you're feeling tired or in need of a pick-me-up, plain Greek yogurt makes the simplest, soothing face mask. Smooth three or four tablespoons of cold, Greek yogurt on your face, let sit for 10 minutes, and rinse. It feels especially good when your skin is dry or irritated, like after a day in the sun.
Drinking coffee obviously makes your body perk up—and smoothing it on your skin has a similar effect. Make a simple body scrub using two tablespoons of used coffee grinds and four teaspoons of olive oil. Just make sure to use regular caffeinated coffee, as the caffeine is what works to smooth and tighten skin! I spoke with an OBGYN about this one, knowing how pregnant women are often cautioned against coffee, and here's what she said: “While some caffeine may be absorbed through the skin, it is likely very minimal and thus safe for pregnant women. Of course, if a woman wants to avoid all contact with caffeine, she should skip it.”
You'll always find two things around our kitchen: avocado (for me) and banana (for babies). When they join forces, these two work as an ultra-moisturizing, frizz-fighting hair treatment. Mash one banana and one avocado together. Smooth over dry hair and let sit for 10 minutes. Rinse with cool water.
For new mamas who don't have time to shower, dry shampoo will be your new best friend. Skip the aerosol cans at the drugstore, and just put half a cup of cornstarch in an unused salt shaker. (You can also add a couple tablespoons of cocoa powder if you have darker hair.) Start at the roots and brush it down through your hair.
Since babies love nothing more than pulling hair, it might not be a bad idea to make your own sea salt spray too. Just boil a cup of water, and add a tablespoon each of sea salt and coconut oil. (If you'd like, you can also add a few drops of essential oil like sandalwood.) Put the solution in a mini spray bottle, and voilá, you've got baby-proof beach waves.