Supermarket shelves are stacked with expensive lotions and potions proclaiming their earth-friendly qualities and ingredients. But why pay top dollar for these ingredients when many are already in our pantry or gardens? Here are four examples of how to use nature in our beauty regimens.

Avocado hair mask

The high fat, Vitamin B and Vitamin E content of avocado makes it a nourishing option for keeping dry manes in check, and this creamy fruit is grown locally in Cayman.

Mix ½ of one of Cayman’s finest ripe mashed avocados, one tablespoon of raw honey (try a local brand such as Raegan’s Honey or Cayman Honey), one large whisked local whole egg, and a few drops of your favorite essential oil. Apply to hair and cover with a plastic shower cap or wrap and leave for 15-20 minutes. Rinse well with lukewarm water and shampoo and condition. Your hair will feel luxuriously smooth, for a fraction of the price of a professional conditioning treatment.

Oat face wash

Oats are often used to soothe skin, especially dry or irritated skin. As well as being soothing, the saponin content of oats also cleans the pores with its emulsifying and foaming qualities.

Oats may not be harvested here, but many kitchens are likely to already have a stash, ready to use in this simple face wash, the benefits of which are enhanced by the antibacterial qualities of added honey from Cayman’s bee farmers.

Simply mix whole oatmeal with enough warm water to create a paste. Add one teaspoon of honey and rub the mixture onto your skin before rinsing off. The mixture can be left on for longer as a mask to maximize the skin nourishing benefits.

Coconut oil body scrub

Coconut oil is a multitasker both in and out of the kitchen and there is a plethora of sources on-island such as Health Alternatives Cayman. When it comes to beauty regimens, coconut oil can be used on its own, for example as a makeup remover, body oil or shaving cream, or in conjunction with other ingredients.

Sea salt can be added to create a delightfully scented body scrub, and even this can be sourced locally from Cayman Sea Salt. Add equal parts sea salt or sugar and coconut oil and rub onto body in a circular motion before rinsing off. The recipe can be adapted for rougher patches of skin by increasing the ratio of sugar or salt.

Nail and cuticle soak

Nails and cuticles can also benefit from nature’s beauty box, with olive oil playing a key role. To make a natural nail soak mix equal parts beer, olive oil and cider vinegar and dip nails into the liquid for 15 minutes a few times a week. This will bring brittle nails back to their former glory and you can sip on the remaining beer (through a straw) while your hands soak.

Don’t let unkempt cuticles ruin the look. Utilize honey and lemon’s softening and antibacterial qualities with a cuticle soak made from two teaspoons fresh lemon juice, one teaspoon honey and ½ a cup of warm water. Mix and soak fingers for 5 minutes. You can then tidy your cuticles and apply hand lotion (or coconut oil, to keep it natural).