Well Being

Happy Earth Day, Sugar: Natural, DIY Mediterranean-Inspired Beauty Moves

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Hey, there, sugar!

I’ve always found the Mediterranean approach to beauty very inspiring; the focus on natural ingredients is key, while the foods are, for the most part, clean and healthy. Coming from a Sicilian/Southern Italian family, I’ve adopted a few natural, earth-loving beauty tips. Believe it or not, I pay about $20.00 for my moisturizer—annually. And, I continually smell like lemons and brown sugar. You can too!

Olive Oil: Olive oil is great for your bones, and it’s excellent for your hair and skin—especially in its most unrefined form: extra-virgin olive oil.The myth says that Athena offered the olive to the people of Greece in an attempt to win their love and affection. The people of Greece, then, used the magical serum to annoint their skin and hair for beauty and battle. The golden elixir was also found in tombs, dedicated to the dead. Romantic!

As someone with semi-course, very wavy, thick hair, I’ve found olive oil products to be extremely useful. What’s even better is that you can attain those beauty benefits on your own, for a fraction of the price! I would recommend purchasing extra-virgin olive oil and running it through your hair before washing your hair (careful—not too much), rinsing it out with a (light) shampoo and conditioner. The olive oil acts as a great emollient, smoothing over the hair’s dry strands and preventing dandruff. Olive oil also contains anti-inflammatory properties, which can help protect the scalp.

Olive oil is also commonly used on the skin—and I can attest to this. It’s amazing. I swear you won’t look like an oily pre-pubescent kid again! It’s hypoallergenic and loaded with Vitamins A & E, which can renew skin, protect and reverse sun damage and rejuvenate cells. Plus, it’s cheap; you can skip the hyper expensive products. I am a firm believer that a little olive oil goes a long way. There are days that I apply olive oil under my SPF lotion; it smoothes my skin and provides a layer of clean, lightweight moisture. It also—and I am not imagining this—leaves you with a summery, supple glow. To use, massage just a few drops into your skin with a bit of water (or while your face is damp), which reduces any feeling of oiliness.

Ps: Olive oil is great as a makeup remover, too.

Honey:The Etruscans saw honey as a magical offering, and the Romans loved its taste— they indulged in its sweet and savory pallettes in their cuisine, but I’ve found that honey also works well as a face mask. This is simple: ou’ll want to buy some organic, raw honey. The closer to the hive your honey is, the better. Take a bit in your fingers, smooth it over your face and wait about a half-hour. One natural beauty blogger has sworn that honey has helped her acne fade, and go figure: it’s got antibacterial qualities.

Lemons: Summer is coming, and you’ll probably want to boast smooth, refreshed skin, especially after long days in the sun. Forget the expensively packaged products and create your own body scrub. Mix some sea-salt, a little of our favorite extra-virgin olive oil, some raw brown sugar and the juice of a couple squeezed lemons. Lemons are antiseptic and they have lightening properties, which can give you a bit of a glow (not to be confused with hard-core lemon-lightening techniques). When I mix the ingredients I tend to go heavy on the salt and sugar, which creates a lovely scent and a thick, buffing blend. Just use a loofah and scrub off all the dead skin from your body in the bathtub, all the while pretending you’re sitting in the coastal waves of the Mediterranean sea. Of course.

Happy Earth Day!

Photo: Getty Images