Natural Beauty Tips That Will Change Your Life (and not break the bank)
While large cosmetic companies may like to sell you a one ounce jar of their most coveted face cream, and full of toxic ingredients, for no less than $59, we want to share some natural beauty tips with you that will be a lot nicer on your hair and skin, and little harm to your pocket book.
Here are some natural beauty hacks that are likely ingredients you already have around the house that you can re-purpose as beauty products.
Natural Products and Their Many Uses
When you’re hoping to save a little money on your beauty routine, your shampoo is the first place to look. Forgoing commercial shampoo for natural alternatives is such a common idea that it has its own name: the “no-poo movement.” There are plenty of alternatives to shampoo that you can find around the house. Baking soda is a popular method: dissolve one teaspoon in a cup of water, pour it on your head while showering, and wash it out. Its absorbent nature helps to soak up oils in your hair, giving you a clean, sleek look. Be careful not to overdo it, though. Because baking soda has a high pH value, regular use can leave your hair feeling rough and dry. Try sticking to no more than once a week.
Another great “no-poo” alternative is the humble egg. Crack an egg in a bowl, whisk it up, and massage it into your hair while taking a cool shower (be careful of using too much heat – you don’t want your egg to scramble!). Egg’s protein content helps to cleanse hair and repair damaged locks. If you find that it leaves your hair a little dry, add in a drop of jojoba or coconut oil next time.
Take a look next to your baking soda and you might find another product that is equally useful for your hair: apple cider vinegar. This natural conditioner alternative helps remove scaly build-up from hair shafts to keep it looking shiny and smooth. You can make a simple apple cider vinegar hair rinse by mixing apple cider vinegar with water. The exact ratio will depend on your hair: generally speaking, dryer hair requires less vinegar while oilier hair requires more. Aim for somewhere between ¼ of a cup and a cup of apple cider vinegar for every two cups of water. After you shampoo, massage the vinegar rinse into your scalp and hair (especially the ends). Give it a couple of minutes to sit, then rinse it out. If you are feeling brave, skip the rinsing step. The vinegar will help prevent tangles as it sits, and once it dries out there will be no smell.
What Can I Use As Face Cream?
At their core, most commercial face creams are a mixture of oil, water, and a bunch of chemicals that keep these two ingredients combined. Skip all the filler and get to the good stuff by moisturizing your face with organic argan oil (and if you don’t have that handy, organic jojoba oil, organic rosehip seed oil, organic coconut oil or extra virgin olive oil). Filled with nutrients and antioxidants, these oils sinks deep into the skin to moisturize and protect. Gently rub a few drops into your skin to receive its benefits. While you’re at it, rub a little on your lips to heal damage and protect against chapping.
If you still have your apple cider vinegar out, mix a teaspoon with a half cup of water and gently rub it on your clean face. The vinegar acts as a toner that brightens the skin tone and can help prevent breakouts and dryness.
What Can I Use on My Face for Acne?
If you are prone to acne breakouts, fight back with your trusty apple cider vinegar. This type of vinegar contains antibacterial and anti-fungal properties that can help to control acne and prevent future breakouts. It also helps to keep your pores clean and clear. Dilute one part vinegar with three parts water, then apply directly to your breakout. Let it sit for ten or fifteen minutes, then wash it off. You can do this several times a day, but make sure you wash your face after each application.
The orange you just ate as a snack can also help control persistent acne. Orange peels help to extract dirt lying deep inside your pores, reducing the blockage that often leads to pimples. Use a blender to grind up two orange peels, then add a small amount of water to make a paste. Spread the result over your problem areas (or your entire face), and let it sit for 20 minutes. Wash off the mask, dry your face, moisturize, and you’re done!
Or, a non-clarifying facial toner that doesn’t contain alcohol also works perfectly. The reason you don’t want to use an alcohol based toner is because removing all of the natural oils from your skin triggers your body to produce more oils. This creates a situation of skin that is too oily.
What Can I Use As Body Lotion?
Keeping your skin moisturized and soft without breaking your wallet can be tough, but coconut oil makes for a great solution. Pure organic coconut oil is inexpensive and a little can go a long way. Fractionated coconut oil is another good solution – its always liquid and spreads easy. Rub directly on your skin to take advantage of its fatty acids. It penetrates deeply, helping to moisturize and heal dry skin and other issues. There is also some evidence that it screens out 20% of ultraviolet exposure. Coconut oil is a great base ingredient for homemade skincare recipes: here’s one from Wellness Mama that we love. You can always add your favorite essential oils too if you like a nice scent.
What Can I Use to Remove Makeup?
Have you ever seen photos of women relaxing at spas with cucumbers over their eyes? Cucumbers have anti-inflammatory properties that help to soothe puffiness, as well as irritated skin. They are also extremely helpful when it comes to removing makeup. Blend one cucumber into a paste, then use it to wash your face. Add in a little coconut or olive oil to give it extra moisturizing properties and to help get rid of stubborn cosmetics.
If you don’t have a cucumber in your fridge, try using the coconut or olive oil on its own. Massage a small amount into your skin, then cover your face with a washcloth wet with warm water. Let the washcloth sit for a moment, then wipe away the oil and makeup. Voila! A clean, moisturized face.
If you would rather not go with an oil for removing make up, a natural facial toner (alcohol-free) also works wonders. Put a little bit on a cotton pad and make up comes off, easy-peasy. It even works on your most stubborn eye makeup.
What Can I Use to Tame Frizzy Hair?
Frizzy hair can be frustrating. Get it to behave without using chemical-laced gels and sprays by applying a dab of molasses. Simply scoop up a little bit of molasses (about a nickel-sized dollop is plenty to start), warm it by rubbing between your hands, and smooth it into your hair. You’ll end up with every lock in place and a great way to use up leftover molasses.
If your curly locks are light, we suggest going with a dry oil. Argan oil and rosehip seed oil are great for the hair and can be applied in the same fashion. Rub the oil into the palm of your hands and rub it into the ends of your hair. Avoid the hair close to your scalp or around your face to prevent it from looking oily.
What Can I Use on My Cracked Heels and Dry Feet?
If you suffer from dry, cracked heels, coconut oil or shea butter will be your new best friend. Before you go to bed, rub a generous amount of oil or shea butter into each heel, then slip into a pair of clean, thick cotton socks. Leave the socks on all night to help all the oil sink in. Add in a little coconut argan or jojoba oil for additional nourishment.
A milk and honey soak can also help heal and moisturize cracked heels and dry feet. Mix one part honey to two parts milk in a basin that is big enough to hold both of your feet. Enjoy a soak for fifteen minutes, gently massaging the mixture into your skin from time to time. Rinse your feet with warm water when you’re done. This mixture also helps to soothe rough, dry elbows and hands.
Uses for Coconut Oil
We mentioned that coconut oil makes for a great body lotion, but that’s only the beginning. Coconut oil is a jack of all trades so to speak and used in many natural beauty DIY recipes! It’s a nourishing and moisturizing base ingredient for homemade deodorant (check out this recipe on The Prarie Homestead to try it yourself ), a safe and effective diaper cream, a belly butter to help prevent stretch marks, a soothing cream that can be used as an after shave, and much more. Because it is so safe and flexible, the only limit to the ways you can use this oil is your imagination.
Uses for Rosehip Seed Oil
Rosehip seed oil is a cold pressed oil that is produced from the wild rose bush. It’s full of fatty acids and nutrients, including provitamin A, linoleic acid, and linolenic acid, making it an effective natural way to address skin discoloration and acne scarring. Because it is a “dry” oil, it doesn’t leave a greasy residue. Instead, it sinks in quickly when applied to the face, neck, and decollete. Rosehip seed oil is also useful as a makeup remover and as a way to heal and nourish dry, cracked skin.
Uses for Argan Oil
Take a look through our blog and you’ll soon realize that there is a nearly endless list of ways to use Argan oil. You can rub it into your skin to get rid of fine lines and wrinkles, use it to tame frizzy hair, apply it as a natural diaper rash solution, rub it into cracked hands and feet, use it to soothe sunburns, include it in a face mask to help keep skin from aging, use it to encourage nail growth and soften cuticles, work it into a rich homemade body butter (recipe here!), and much, much more.
Uses for Jojoba Oil
Jojoba oil is another great multi-purpose oil. It mimics many of the natural oils that the body produces, making it an effective natural moisturizer. You can use it in much the same way as you use olive oil, including as a makeup remover, a face cream, and a skin softener. It is also a great hair conditioner: apply a small amount to wet hair, paying close attention to the ends, and allow it to sit for five minutes before washing out. Finally, Jojoba oil is a popular way to dilute essential oils in homemade skincare recipes.
Uses for Shea Butter
Shea butter is a rich, nourishing base ingredient in homemade skin care recipes. Use it to heal and moisturize dry, cracked, or damaged skin. If you suffer from eczema flare-ups, Shea butter can soothe away redness and itchiness. Apply a small amount on mild burns such as sunburns or cooking splatter (but please seek medical help for serious burns). Pregnant women can even rub it into their bellies to keep skin supple and reduce the risk of stretch marks. Better Shea Butter has the best raw shea butter around and at a great price!
Uses for Witch Hazel
Witch hazel is a plant extract from a flowering shrub native to North America. It can be used to help soothe sores, bruises, poison ivy, and insect bites – you will be amazed. Like Shea butter, it can also help soothe eczema and psoriasis. Its astringent properties help it to remove excess oil, dirt, and residue from the skin and to keep blemishes from forming. Use it to remove makeup, reduce inflammation and puffy eyes, and help to address acne problems. It’s another common ingredient in homemade skincare recipes, so be sure to keep it around!
Uses for Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is a natural remedy powerhouse. Because it boasts both internal and external applications, you can add apple cider vinegar to your diet for numerous medicinal and health benefits and also use it to treat common skin and hair troubles. Here are 23 health and wellness benefits of apple cider vinegar.
Taking great care of yourself doesn’t have to be expensive. Take advantage of natural alternatives to popular products to save money and skip harmful additives or worse chemical toxins. Your skin (and your wallet) will thank you!
What do products around the house do you find useful for skin or hair care? Do you have any natural beauty tips? Add them in the comments below. We would love to see them.
Inspire Beauty, naturally!
Beauty by Earth