Shiny hair, soft, smooth skin, a bright white smile, they’re all as close as your … kitchen? That’s right! Many of the things we use to create healthy meals can also be used to replace expensive — and often chemical-laden — beauty and personal care products. Here are just a few of the money-saving ways you can turn your kitchen staples into health and beauty superstars.
If you haven’t heard about the magical beauty powers of coconut oil, you haven’t been paying attention. It has many uses, and you can apply it to hair and skin for great results. It’s rich in fatty acids and has natural anti-bacterial properties. As a body moisturizer, simply scoop out a bit and rub it into your skin. For hair, take the tiniest amount, warm it on your fingertips and run it into the ends of hair for moisture and shine. Mixed with brown sugar or sea salt, it becomes an effective body scrub. Men can even use a tiny dab to groom their beards. It’s solid at room temperature and liquefies with heat, but equally effective either way.
There’s a reason cucumber slices placed over the eyes is an image synonymous with a relaxing spa day — they really work! Slices of cucumbers placed over tired, puffy or irritated eyes can help reduce irritation and inflammation. Simply slice a few pieces off a cold cucumber, place them over your eyes and sit back and relax for up to 10 minutes to see the immediate benefits.
Yes. You read that correctly. The cholesterol-busting breakfast staple doubles as a highly effective remedy for dry, itchy skin. It’s an ingredient in many commercially produced beauty products, but you can make your own oat bath for pennies. Simply take one cup of instant (unflavored), regular, or quick cooking oats and use a coffee grinder or food processor to grind it into a fine powder. Once it’s fine enough to dissolve in water, run a warm bath, add the powder and swirl to mix, then soak to your heart’s content. It will help relieve itching and soften and nourish the skin. It’s so gentle and effective, many pediatricians recommend an oat bath for babies suffering with skin conditions.
Is there anything baking soda can’t do? It’s a really effective ingredient in homemade household cleaners, but it also has a place in your personal care routine. Mixed with water to form a paste, it’s an extremely gentle and effective way to exfoliate skin from head to toe. Sprinkle a bit on your toothbrush a few times a week and brush gently to help remove stains to keep teeth looking extra shiny and bright.
Next time you have extra ripe bananas on hand, you could make banana bread. Or, you could mash one up and use it on your face as a multi-tasking mask. Bananas are loaded with nutrients and antioxidants that soothe, moisturize, tone, and gently exfoliate the skin. It really couldn’t be easier; just peel a banana, mash into a spreadable consistently, apply to the face and leave it on for about 10 minutes before rinsing with warm water.