If you’re anything like me, you probably have a cabinet full of facial treatments, clay masks, cleansers, tooth whitening gels and expensive deep conditioning treatments in your bathroom, and you may have had mixed results with them. Expensive products are bought, tested a few times and then abandoned in the bottom of your drawer. Or maybe you love your moisturizing routine, but you can’t keep springing for the expensive lotion you’ve been using.
Chances are, you have some natural ingredients at home that can do the job of many of these products, or you have some hidden multi-taskers you didn’t know about. Rather than forking over tons for products that may or may not work, try some of these DIY beauty tips for a more beautiful, stunning you.
1. Brush your teeth with baking soda
Baking soda is a natural whitener. It’s used in laundry detergent, natural shampoos, and toothpastes. Rather than purchasing a tub of toothpaste, however, consider making a home-made baking soda paste to whiten your teeth gently and naturally. Baking soda is a mild abrasive, so it gently scrapes off the plaque and food stuck to your teeth while lifting old stains, revealing a nicer, brighter color after regular use.
To make a baking soda paste to use on your teeth, mix half a teaspoon of baking soda with an ounce or two or water or lemon juice. Dip your toothbrush in the paste, then brush your teeth as usual. You should use this paste once a week; in between, use your regular toothpaste. You’ll find your teeth naturally whitening after a couple weeks of sticking to this routine.
2. Use lemon juice to lighten your hair
People are quick to recommend using lemon juice in DIY projects on your skin, usually as part of scrubs or dark spot treatments. That’s actually a bad idea, as citrus oils can leave your skin more sensitive to sun damage and the acid can cause long-term harm. However, lemon juice can be immensely helpful for naturally lightening your hair color.
On a bright sunny day, take one cup of lemon juice, dilute it with a few tablespoons of water, spray the mixture in your hair until it’s thoroughly dampened, then spend an hour or two outside. Wash your hair and apply a moisturizing conditioner, as lemon juice is drying and your hair will be sapped of moisture. The result should be a few shades lighter than your original hair color. You can repeat the process every few days until you get the results you want. Although it won’t be as effective or as strong as bleaching, you can get natural sun-kissed highlights using this technique, particularly if you have brown to medium blonde hair, without overly damaging or drying your hair out.
3. Use coconut oil as deep conditioner
If you suffer from dry hair, you’ve probably spent tons of money on hot oil treatments and expensive deep conditioners, but those are unnecessary. The best and easiest way to deep condition your hair is to use a natural, fatty liquid like olive oil or coconut oil. Take whatever natural oil you have around—you don’t want to use vegetable oil for this. Take two to six tablespoons of oil, depending on how much hair you have, and lather it into your hair after dampening it thoroughly in warm water. Wrap it up in a hair wrap and leave it in for at least 30 minutes, up to overnight if that suits you. Use shampoo and warm water to rinse it out. Your hair will be moisturized, shiny and soft after this treatment.
4. Shave your legs with conditioner
Shaving cream is the biggest scam of the 21st century. Most people can easily replace it with a wide variety of household items that are cheaper, more efficient and more effective. Shaving cream is messy and easy to run through quickly. The other expensive option is to get laser hair removal by experts. But rather than spending money on an unnecessary expense, use conditioner to remove your hair. It helps by softening the hair follicles and moisturizing your legs, making the razor run smoothly and without excessive clogging. Be sure to shave at the end of a hot shower, so the warm steam can open up your pores, giving you a closer shave.
5. Use raw honey to treat your face
Raw honey can be an immensely helpful face treatment for everything from soothing irritation to clearing up acne to moisturizing. This natural anti-bacterial makes an excellent cleanser, mask, and exfoliant for your skin. Make sure to get the good stuff—raw, unpasteurized honey—as regular old honey won’t have any of the natural benefits that raw honey has.
To clear up daily grime or to exfoliate, apply a layer of raw honey all over your face and massage gently for two or three minutes into your skin. To exfoliate, leave it on for 10 to 15 minutes. Then gentle rinse it off with warm water for refreshed, moisturized plump skin.
Beauty treatments don’t have to be expensive, and they don’t have to come from a store. Natural homemade products can be just as effective at a fraction of the cost. Raid your closet, fridge and pantry for secret, effective beauty supplies.
Featured photo credit: Mario Antonio Pena Zapata via flickr.com