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A nurse’s hectic schedule and bacteria-prone environment often pave the way for troubled skin, from dark under-eye circles to acne infections. And to make matters worse, the time you need to seek out solutions isn’t always there.
To help you tackle a few of the skincare woes most common among nurses—and with your schedule and budget in mind—we gathered a handful of easy and effective DIY treatment options that you can craft using ingredients you’re likely to find in your pantry.
1. Cucumber sugar scrub—for a fresh, “look at me” complexion
You know the scene well: It’s morning—you logged (maybe) four hours of sleep last night and there’s a 75 percent chance you were too exhausted to wash your face before toppling into bed. You can’t tell what you look like, mostly because your eyes are swollen shut, but it’s safe to assume you aren’t going to be snapping any selfies en route to work today.
Combat a day like this (also known as “the day of the living dead”) using this cucumber sugar scrub. Not only will the sugar act as a heck of an exfoliant, removing all traces of yesterday, but the cucumber will throw all of its weight into soothing redness while the mint will help wake you up and fuel your natural glow.
- ½ cucumber
- 3 to 4 cups sugar
- ½ tablespoon olive oil
- 1 small handful chopped up mint leaves
- 1 small lidded jar
In a blender or food processor, purée the cucumber until it has reached a liquid form. Add the sugar in batches (test consistency as you go, depending upon personal preference), followed by the oil and mint leaves. Thoroughly stir all the contents together in a jar or container. Store it in the fridge for future use.
2. Sugar and honey lip exfoliant—for smooth lips
Nurses are always struggling to stay properly hydrated, especially when facing down the heat of summer. And we all know what that means: chapped lips—all day, every day.
If you’ve become more dependent upon your lip balm than you’d like to admit, this DIY lip scrub may help you ease into a healthier relationship. With only three ingredients, it packs quite a punch—honey heals and hydrates your lips while the granulated sugar acts as a gentle exfoliant. Finally, a splash of olive oil pitches in to create a thin, protective barrier and retain moisture.
- 1 teaspoon natural honey
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 2 teaspoons granulated white sugar
- 1 drop lemon juice (optional)
- 1 small lidded container
Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl and voilà—homemade goodness. We suggest applying a light lip balm after a good scrub for longer lasting moisture.
3. Water mist—to reduce face puffiness
Store a spray bottle in your fridge, or pop one into the freezer for a few minutes at the beginning of each morning. It may sound too simple to be true, but a quick spritz of (almost uncomfortably) cold water to the face will help temper that “still sorta sleeping” look you’d rather not slip into work with.
Of course it would be nice to spend a day at the spa, but let’s be realistic here—you have about 34 minutes of “you” time on any given day, and at least 16 of those are spent in the car.
The good news is that “beauty sleep” is a very real thing, and there are ways to achieve many benefits of a facial overnight. So kind of like two birds, one really healthy and glowing stone—right?
1. Overnight avocado facial mask—for ultra-moisturized skin
- A few drops avocado oil
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
In a bowl, give the two ingredients a good swirl until thoroughly mixed. Then spread a small amount evenly across your face (on clean skin!). Leave the mixture on overnight and rinse it off in the morning.
2. Overnight yogurt and honey mask—for a brighter, glowing complexion
- 1 tablespoon all-natural, unflavored yogurt
- 1 tablespoon honey
In a small bowl, mix both ingredients together. Apply the mask evenly across your face (on clean skin!). Allow to dry. Rinse it off in the morning to find healthy, radiant skin at the ready.
There’s that fickle acne, courtesy of all that bacteria nurses encounter on a daily basis, coupled with erratic hours and one very confused body. Don’t worry—we’ve got a few homemade bedtime remedies for that, too, so you can spare yourself the late-night trip to the pharmacy when you feel a blemish coming in hot.
3. Cinnamon acne treatment—to help clear blemishes
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 tablespoon honey
In a small bowl, thoroughly mix all the ingredients together. Apply the paste to your skin, either directly on the blemishes or evenly across your face. Let the paste sit for 20 minutes (try not to lick your face in the meantime). After a good washing, you’ll find that both redness and inflammation have been reduced.
4. Turmeric acne treatment—to help clear acne scars
- 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
In a small bowl, mix both ingredients together. Apply the paste to clean skin; let it sit for 20 minutes, then rinse off. In addition to treating blemishes by eliminating bacteria, the paste will tighten pores and lighten existing acne scars.
5. Chamomile oil/green tea eye mask—to reduce dark circles
Despite the fact that sleep comes few and far between, dark under-eye circles do not have to be a permanent part of your look.
To lessen puffiness and diminish dark circles, soak cotton pads in either chamomile oil or green tea. Place them under your eyes for about 10 minutes and emerge looking like you just dropped in from vacation.
Have a favorite DIY remedy of your own? Share it with us in the comments section below!