Sometimes beauty products can be a bit of a splurge and with the economy the way it is, many people have had to cut back their spending. Sadly, pampering yourself gets cut all too often. The down side to this is that pampering yourself can be very helpful! It can reduce stress, relax your mind, and even help boost your self confidence! Here are a few natural beauty remedies using ingredients that you probably already have in your pantry!
Baking soda. The tiny granules of sodium bicarbonate buff away pore-clogging dead skin cells and are gentle enough for all skin types, plus, like many other natural salts, baking soda also has slightly antiseptic properties that will ward off breakouts. Make a thin paste with 4 tsp baking soda and 1 Tbsp water, let it sit for 2 minutes, then apply it in small, circular motions to your moistened face (avoiding the eye area) and neck. After 3 minutes, rinse clean with warm water and then follow up with a splash of cold water to close your pores. Finish with a dollop of your regular daily moisturizer. Dry or sensitive skin types should only use this mask every other week. Those with normal to oily skin can repeat the process weekly.
When life gives you lemons, turn them into a remedy for rough, scaly skin. The citric acid removes dead skin cells to expose softer skin below. Slice a lemon in half and rub the cut side over your elbows, heels or knees for a few seconds, then rinse. You’ll notice a difference immediately.
Don’t throw out those coffee grounds you used to brew your morning cup—apply them directly to your thighs! An exfoliating scrub made from the grounds will make your skin smoother and target cellulite. Just as coffee acts as a mild diuretic when we drink it, the caffeine-rich grounds will draw water out of your fat cells, shrinking them so they’re less noticeable. Once or twice a week, when you’re in the shower, try this scrub:
2 Tbsp used coffee grounds (not decaffeinated), 4 tsp olive oil
Combine to make a paste, then spread generously, in upward strokes, over any cellulite-prone areas. Massage in for 2 minutes, then rinse. Note: Your skin will have a slight brownish tint while using this scrub but it will wash away. Also, you (and the shower floor) will be slightly slippery.
This herb can tackle blemishes without drying skin like harsh acne meds. Peppermint contains menthol and menthone, compounds that reduce redness and inflammation. Mint also acts as an astringent, clearing away pimple-causing oil. Pulse a small handful of leaves in a food processor with 1 tsp lemon juice. (The acidic juice temporarily changes the pH of your skin, preventing bacteria growth.) Cover the blemish for 15 minutes, then rinse. Repeat twice a day until the spot is gone.
Drinking soda may not be good for you, but soaking your nails in it is. Most mass-produced ginger ales contain soluble salts—like monopotassium phosphate, sodium benzoate and potassium sorbate—that act as preservatives or emulsifiers. These will also naturally bleach your nails. Fill a small bowl with ginger ale and submerge your nails for 10 minutes twice a week.
Want to banish under-eye circles in the blink of an eye? Pass the parsley. It’s rich in vitamin K, a nutrient that, when applied topically, reduces blood flow to the eye area—a key factor in the formation of circles. Over time, the fatty layer of skin under your eyes thins out, which, in turn, makes underlying blood vessels more visible. Their slightly bluish color is what creates the illusion of circles underneath the eyes. To fight back, try this recipe once a week:
1 small handful of fresh parsley, 2 Tbsp plain yogurt
Place parsley and yogurt (which has a cooling and hydrating effect on skin) into a food processor. Pulse until a smooth paste is formed. Apply the mixture generously to your under-eye area. Let sit for 20 minutes before rinsing off with lukewarm water.
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