Ok, so I love skin care and new beauty treatments, but I have a confession – I am kinda, sorta, a little bit frugal. It’s not that I don’t like to spend my money, because I do love to look nice, feel nice and smell nice. However, I do not subscribe to hefty price tags for certain skin and beauty products because they’re associated with a particular brand. Don’t get me wrong, there are some products that work extremely well, those, I pay for, others are just a bunch of hype.
This kind of thinking led me to get creative over the years and explore the beautiful world of DIY (do it yourself). These explorations lead me down many interesting paths and I have some all natural, grocery store ingredients that have become staples in my beauty closet.
Coconut Oil – so we have all heard and read the hype over coconut oil – the bestest thing since bottled water. Although there is a ton of fanfare over this tropical ingredient, it is well deserved because coconut oil has a bunch of uses with results that actually meet or exceed expectations.
- skin softener – after a shower/bath, apply coconut oil to damp skin (not dripping wet). As it dries, the oil will penetrate your skin and leave it feeling silky soft all day and your skin will have an amazing glow. This method is especially helpful to those of you that experience dry skin in winter months.
- hair softener – just as with the skin, coconut oil is great is keeping your strands moisturized. After my wash routine, I apply coconut oil to damp hair as it easily penetrates the hair shaft and leaves it soft and shiny.
- makeup remover – coconut oil is a very effective makeup remover – especially stubborn eye makeup. Simply add a small clump of oil to a cotton ball (fingers work great as well) and swipe over lids and around eyes. The oil will melt away eye shadows,mascaras, liners etc and provide great moisture for the eye area – added bonus!
Salt/Sugar (or both) – ok, so I’m sure you’re familiar with salt and sugar for all your cooking needs, but I like to go a bit further and use mine for facial and body scrubs.
- salt – salt scrubs work wonders for my skin, I typically exfoliate at night – after cleansing, I work a quarter sized amount of salt onto damp skin in a circular motion. After rinsing, I pat dry and apply my night time moisturizer. The salt leaves my skin feeling clean and supple and I wake up with an extra glow in the morning.
- sugar – I tend to use sugar for body scrubs instead of facial (just personal preference I guess). I take a handful of sugar and add any essential oil and use that after my shower as a body exfoliator by working the mixture from the neck down. Leaves skin super soft and glowing.Olive Oil – another one of those kitchen products that come in very handy in everyday beauty routines. I use my olive oil for any and everything I can think of, here are some of the more widely used options.
- hair moisturizer – I use olive oil on my hair whenever I need a moisture boost. I apply to damp hair after cleansing or to dry hair that needs a quick moisture infusion. The oil is light enough to not weigh your hair down but still provides a great shine to your locks.
- makeup remover – just like coconut oil, olive oil is a great makeup remover. Since it’s a lighter oil than coconut, people with sensitive or acne prone skin can use this option versus the coconut which may be too heavy potentially lead to breakouts. Simply add some olive oil to a cotton ball and swipe over entire face, especially eye area, to remove stubborn makeup – liquid foundation and eyeliner included.
- oil pulling – so I’m thinking I will do a separate post on this, but in a nutshell, oil pulling is an old, ayurvedic routine for keeping mouth bacteria at a minimum. Using any natural oil ( I like olive oil) add a table spoon amount to mouth first thing in the morning. Use the oil as a mouth rinse (before brushing teeth) and rinse for 5 – 15 minutes (anything over 20 mins is too long) then rinse with clear water. Immediately follow by regular brushing. This process keeps your teeth & gums healthy, keeps breath fresh, keeps plaque away AND over time, whitens teeth! I can definitely live with that.
Baking Soda – I am always using baking soda for something, no seriously! I incorporate this stuff into various beauty routines. See my full baking soda article here
Aloe Vera – this succulent, tropical plant is one with a wide range of uses, from digestive problems, treating sunburns and even hair and skin enhancers.
hair mask – aloe is very useful in fortifying your strands. For years my grandmother has used aloe in her hair to keep it thick, healthy and strong – and it has definitely worked. So of course being the diy chick I am, I followed suit. I use it as a part of my hair mask – combined with olive oil and/or my favorite deep conditioner, I add the slimy sap from the plant (slice a leaf down it’s length and scrape the ‘liquid’ part of the jelly or scooping out chunks of the jelly and adding to a food processor) to my deep conditioner and place on my hair after shampooing for about 30 mins then rinse and condition as usual.
face mask – aloe vera is also amazing for skin. Using the gel from the plant, apply all over clean face (avoiding eye and mouth areas of course) and allow to dry – about 10 -15 mins. Rinse as usual. Skin should be softer and smoother, and it also works great for tightening pores and reducing wrinkles.
Mayonnaise – yes mayo, the stuff you spread on your sandwiches or add to your potato salad can work wonders for your hair as well.
- Moisture pack – I often use mayo when my hair is feeling (and looking) thirsty. The high fat content in mayonnaise is a great moisture additive to dry locks. I’m always making hair concoctions and trying different things, sometimes I use the mayo and add an egg as a protein additive or honey for added softness and moisture retention.
Lemon/Lime – not only are these citrus fruits good for refreshing summer drinks, but they work as quick, go-to skin aides. Note: do not, I repeat do NOT exfoliate skin before adding lemon/lime to your face, your skin will sting (burning effect) to high heaven.
acne scar lightener – no one likes to see acne scars taking vacations on their skin – it’s the worst! You then have to look for cover up solutions which can ultimately cause further breakouts (if not done correctly). So I like to use lemons or limes as a face mask to lighten acne scars. Simply cut a lemon/lime in half, apply to cleansed face, on affected areas and let sit 10-15 mins. Rinse and pat dry. Over time your scarring will become less noticeable.
reduces pores – same thing applies for tightening pores, lemon or limes are a great choice. Again, apply to cleansed face, and let sit for 10-15 mins, rinse and pat dry. The hydroxy acid from the lemons will unclog pores which reduces their size.
Apple Cider Vinegar (acv) – this is another product with a million uses, but how do I use my acv? As a skin toner. Toners are important to balance out the skin’s pH and provide a deeper clean to pores than cleansing alone will do. I add half acv and half distilled water to a bottle and use the mixture daily, after cleansing my face. Simply pat dry after the cleanse, apply the mix to a cotton ball and swipe all over face and neck. Acv is also great for keeping pimples and breakouts at bay.
So there ya have it, more DIY ways that I love to incorporate into my beauty regimen. What other natural uses do you have for your skin/hair? Or maybe you have some additional products – I’d love to hear about em.