Spring is about to come to Knoxville and it is time for this "Scruffy Little City" to shape up and look fresh.
With the help of Years Youngers' Clara Handly Toomey and The Orange Curl's Joyce Reagan Watson and copious amounts of research, I have put together a little home maintenance guide for the women (and men) of Knoxville.
Our skin is drying out. True fact. Once a month, in the shower, use a body buffer all over. I wouldn't do it more than that. Be Gentle! And, really lotion up after that. Get your spouse, partner or really good friend to do your back. And, then do their back. It is only fair.
Whether or not you can afford a monthly pedicure, here are some tips to keep your toes in tip top shape. Baking soda and white vinegar are two of your feet's best friends. Mix some baking soda and a cup of white vinegar with really warm water in a container. Soak for as long as you can or until the water turns cold. Vinegar is anti-bacterial and baking soda controls odors. Also, vinegar whitens things.
Use a nail file to keep your nails even, push back your cuticles and look for changes in your feet. A lot of stuff shows up on the bottom of your feet. Like diseases and stuff. Diabetes and other adrenal gland problems can cause feet issues. Call the Doctor.
Use a pumice stone or foot file to gently buff any rough spots on the feet. This is one of those things the two of you can do together. Many men don't like having their feet touched, but if you love your man, check out the bottom of his feet. They are aging too. Rub some lotion on your feet and let him massage them and you will feel so relaxed.
If you can't afford or don't have the time to keep your toenail polish looking beautiful, don't polish. You can still be sandal ready. Chipped toenails are never sandal ready. If you are ready to walk out the door and notice some dry skin on your feet, rub a small amount of olive oil into the dry spots and them wipe it off. Your feet will look beautiful.
As a matter of fact, keep a container of olive oil in the bathroom. It is really good for many body parts.
A lot of what I wrote for the feet applies here. Keep nails short. Just past the edges of the fingers. If the nails are yellow, you can soak them in a vinegar/baking soda soak to make them whiter. Again, chipped polish is a no no. Olive oil around the cuticles.
Lemon juice and table sugar mixed will keep them soft and help fade freckles. Test the lemon juice in one small spot to make sure your skin doesn't react badly. Mix lemon juice and a small amount of sugar. Gently massage into the hands. You may leave it on for a few minutes and then rinse thoroughly and lotion up. Don't buy expensive lotion. You can get a big bottle of grocery store brand lotion for about $3.00.
The Face, Neck and Decolletage
The important words for the aging face, neck and upper torso are clean and simple.
Keep your skin scrupulously clean and exfoliated. Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize. Use the lemon juice and sugar (small amount of sugar) to exfoliate. Rub very gently in a circular motion. Very Gently! You really don't want to tear of scrape the skin. Leave on for a few minutes to lighten any freckles.
Wash with your regular cleanser and moisturize. If your skin is really dry, rub in some olive oil and wipe off any excess. Check for back heads. If you find any, you can cut a cotton swab (aka Qtip) in half and hold half in each hand and use the cotton tips to gently remove any black heads. Hat tip to Clara for the black head hint.
Buy a battery operated toothbrush. You can get a good one for under $15.00. Brush the gums as well as the teeth. Yes, brush your gums. As we age, there is natural bone loss in the gums. Brush your gums and help keep them strong to hold your teeth in place. Use a whitening mouth wash. The store brands are half the cost of the expensive national brands and are generally made in the same plant.
Once a week, mix 2 tsp. of hydrogen peroxide into 3 tbs. of baking soda and make a paste. You may mix in a spot of your regular toothpaste. Glop this onto your toothbrush. Brush your teeth and allow the paste to sit on your teeth for 2 minutes. Rinse and brush again with just your regular toothpaste. Not only will your teeth be whiter, but the antiseptic qualities of the hydrogen peroxide will enhance your oral health.
Simple and healthy. Wonderful stylist Joyce told me that if you can find those small packs of conditioner (like Jhirmack) they are inexpensive and work well. Some people swear by beer, olive oil or mayonnaise. I would just purchase the cheap conditioner.
The Price of Beauty
Lemons--2 for $1.00
Baking Soda--under $3.00/pound
Pumice Stone--under $3.00
Just for Men Beard and Mustache--$7.00
Hydrogen Peroxide 3% for Oral Use--under $7.00
We may be a "Scruffy Little City" but we can clean up well!