Unexpected (and Cheap!) Ways to Use Natural Ingredients in Your Beauty Routine

If you’re looking to save some money or avoid the additives in many of the most popular beauty products, simply look to your pantry or refrigerator. These common food items can work wonders when applied to your skin and hair.

Olive oil to soothe eczema

Even after a warm and humid summer, many of us are prone to atopic dermatitis (more commonly known as eczema). Olive oil contains omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin E, which help heal dryness. Apply olive oil directly onto affected areas of skin. If you do this before bedtime, put a pair of gloves or socks on your hands to let the oil really sink in while you sleep. You can also mix the olive oil with your favorite body moisturizer to hydrate after a shower or bath.

Apple cider vinegar to make hair shine

It’s a good idea to occasionally use a rinse or masque to remove product build-up from your hair. After you shampoo, apply one cup of apple cider vinegar all over your hair and let it sit for five minutes, then rinse. Afterward, hair will look shinier and feel lighter.

Fruit and baking soda to make your pearly whites whiter

The citric acids in fruits can act as an effective bleaching agent while baking soda removes surface stains.

For whiter teeth, mash one strawberry with a half teaspoon of baking soda. No strawberries on hand? Combine fresh lemon juice with baking soda. Let the mixture sit on teeth for five minutes, then brush your teeth.

Another method is to scrub teeth with an orange peel. The white part of the orange peel has vitamin C, pectin, limonene, glucarate and soluble fiber, all of which act as natural teeth whiteners. Rub the peel directly on teeth. Rinse or brush teeth immediately after using the peel since the citrus can wear at your enamel.

Yogurt, aloe or apple cider vinegar to reduce acne

Apply full-fat Greek yogurt to pimples. The lactic acid in the yogurt will loosen dead skin cells while the fat hydrates.

Another natural cure? Aloe vera is an antioxidant with antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Applied to skin, aloe removes excess oil, helps reduce redness and soothes.

Finally, pour apple cider vinegar on a cotton pad and apply to the areas of skin with acne. The apple cider will kill bacteria while tightening skin.

Avocado and honey to hydrate skin

If your skin is feeling especially dry, mash half of a ripe avocado and combine with a quarter cup of honey to hydrate dry skin. You can also add a little honey to your nighttime moisturizer for deeper hydration.

A few more of our favorite natural beauty tips:

  • Apply Vaseline to your skin wherever you apply your perfume. The Vaseline will make scent last longer.
  • Apply sake to a cotton pad and pat on darkened age spots. The kojic acid in sake will help lighten the spots.
  • To moisturize dry hair, apply a mixture of one ripe banana (two for longer hair), two tablespoons of honey, and two tablespoons of olive or coconut oil. Blend it together first to make a smooth paste. Apply all over hair from roots to tips. Then throw on a shower cap and let the mask sit on hair for 30 minutes. Rinse hair and shampoo.
  • Combine half of a lemon or orange, a half cup of sugar, one tablespoon of olive oil and one tablespoon of honey for the perfect exfoliating face scrub.

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