Who says you have to spend half of your paycheck on skin and hair care products to look your best? Why not just turn your kitchen’s pantry into your beauty bar and save a few bucks? All it takes are a few edible ingredients, an open mind and some DIY kitchen beauty tips.
- Strawberries – These wondrous red berries aren’t merely delicious when they’re sliced and drizzled with balsamic vinegar, oh no. Strawberries are also your best friend for natural teeth-whitening. Once per day before your regular brushing and flossing (because of the sugar in the strawberries), mash two or three berries in a small bowl, and carefully, but vigorously, brush your teeth with this berry paste (you may want to dedicate a toothbrush to it, as the one you use will probably stain). Look for results within a week or two.
- Honey – Pretty much a savior for skin and hair. Honey acts as a natural antiseptic and antifungal, and it’s also a fantastic humectant, preserving moisture in the skin. Try dabbing a bit over broken facial acne to speed the repair process (test on a small area first), mix a small amount in with your conditioner for a moisturizing and yummy-smelling hair mask, or place on your mouth overnight to wake up with full, luscious lips. Be careful, however, as honey tends to stick…everywhere. Use less than you initially think you’ll need, and add to it bit by bit from there.
- Potatoes – An odd one, yes. But there’s a certain compound in potatoes that’s been shown to help reduce swelling and puffiness. Using a vegetable peeler, shred a small amount of potato, let it chill in the fridge for a while, and then place the chilled potato magic under your eyes. For the next 15 minutes or so, sit and read a good book, watch a little television, or talk to your cat. When you remove the odd treatment, voila! There should be less puff under those eyes.
- Cinnamon – This fantastic spice also has great skincare benefits! Who knew? Mix a bit in with your favorite lipgloss to turn it into a lip-plumper. Or, try making a facial mask out of honey and cinnamon that can be used to help dry out acne and exfoliate dull, tired skin.
- Yogurt – A fantastic moisturizing agent as well as a skin exfoliant (due to the lactic acid it contains). Use as a cooling facial mask to wake up dull, tired, or dry winter skin, or soak hands in it to help soften and heal cuticles; in either case, the thicker the yogurt, generally the better it works.
- Turmeric – This strong smelling, yellowish spice is great for fading skin discolorations and post-acne scarring. Mix it with just enough lime juice (another great fading agent) to make a medium-thickness paste, and dab onto discolored skin only. Leave on for about 20 minutes before rinsing off with warm water. The area treated may take on a temporary yellow tint that should fade with another washing or two, but still — this is a treatment probably better suited to weekend nights.
- Cranberry Juice – And we ain’t talkin’ ‘bout that sugary cocktail stuff. Spain’s raven-haired beauties still use pure cranberry juice to this day to keep their locks shining and lustrous. In the shower, use it as a post conditioner rinse. Pour over damp hair, massage in for a minute or two, and then let it sit for as long as you can before rinsing thoroughly.
- Coffee – Coffee serves multiple benefits depending on whether you use it brewed or in its ground form. Brewed dark roast can be used as a post-conditioner wash to add richness to brunette, auburn, and dark blonde hair. Instant coffee can be added to conditioner for near the same effect, and plain ‘ol coffee grounds are a fantastic exfoliator. Mix with your favorite facial wash to give that face a good scrubbin’, or take it straight to your dry bod.
- Salt – Natural sea salt is a great exfoliant and healing agent. Using small circular motions, rub down your entire dry body with straight up salt before your shower for a fantastic glow (make sure to use a rich moisturizer afterwards). Or (be careful with this one), try making a thick paste out of sea salt and honey, and place on stubborn acne. Be warned — it’ll sting like a jellyfish, but it works wonders for me.
- Apple cider vinegar – This stuff is simply amazing. Pour some in a spritzer bottle, and use it as a facial toner to sop up extra oil and to regulate your skin’s pH levels. Dab some on ruddy cheeks or inflamed skin to take down redness. Use as a post-conditioner rinse to lock in moisture and shine, as well as protecting color and removing product build-up. Drink two tablespoons a day to decrease natural body odour, improve overall skin quality, and aid digestion. Amazing.
Hungry for more kitchen beauty? Check out DIY Beauty with Kitchen Cosmetics.
With these 10 simple ingredients, you’ve got yourself a fine recipe for skin and hair nirvana, all without breaking the bank or resorting to harsh, man-made chemicals. Just don’t try making anything edible out of all of these together… Salted strawberries over coffee-scented potatoes with a turmeric and cinnamon yogurt dressing topped with an apple cider vinegar and cranberry honey reduction? Mmm, my favorite.