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FEED YOUR FACE: Homemade Beauty Treatments

By Dr Jessica Wu

If you’ve run out of your favorite lotion and you don’t feel like bundling up and battling the elements to go out and pick up some more, go shopping in your kitchen instead. Chances are you’ve got some products in your pantry that can do double duty on your skin as well as in your favorite recipes. Here are some of my favorite home remedies for dry skin:

Crisco shortening (yes, the same one you use for flaky pie crust and crispy fried chicken) is a great remedy for chapped hands and cracked elbows. Back when I was training as a dermatology resident, one of the older supervising doctors taught us that no moisturizer was better than Crisco. It’s made of soybean and palm oils and contains no water, so it doesn’t evaporate like many body lotions. Since it has no chemicals or fragrance, it won’t sting or irritate sensitive skin. However, stay away from dogs, since they might try to lick you.

Macadamia nut oil is a wonderful body moisturizer. In Australia, it’s a popular cooking oil that’s used for baking, frying, and salad dressings. It contains a high level of naturally-occurring vitamin E to help soothe irritated skin. It’s a heavy oil, so it’s great for dry arms and legs, but most people find it too greasy to use on the face. You can also try adding a spoonful to your bath.

Sweet almond oil is one of my favorite treatments for hangnails and ragged cuticles. Rub a drop or two onto each fingertip and massage into your nails and cuticles. It’s not as heavy as olive oil or coconut oil, so you can still type and text afterwards. Plus, I love the smell.

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