We’ve all got our favourite go-to beauty products, from cult celebrity faves to eclectic hidden gems. But did you know you’ve likely got a host of seriously effective, and entirely natural, pampering treats lurking inside your kitchen cupboards? Hey, if it’s good enough for Huda…
The blemish buster
Asprin and lemon juice
Huda of Huda Beauty fame has blogged about her love of this simple but ridiculously effective acne treatment, and we’re happy to report it’s every bit as effective as she says (even though we’ve been known to get some pretty impressive pimples). Simply crush three to four aspirin tablets with enough freshly squeezed lemon juice to make a thick paste, then apply the paste to your breakout. Leave it to dry for as long as you can, then simply wash off.
Make sure you use uncoated aspirin tablets, as the coated version won’t crush as well, leaving you with lumps of coating in your finished paste.
The all over aid
Apple cider vinegar
Apple cider vinegar’s multitude of uses really does grant it super-ingredient status. It’s got amino acids, vitamins and mineral salts; it’s antibacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-inflammatory; it’s good for acne, age spots, hair and skin. What’s not to love? Try adding two cups of it to your bath to soothe sunburn, make a nurturing mask with equal parts honey and vinegar, use half water and half vinegar as a face wash or toner, or make a hair rinse with equal parts water and vinegar along with a few drops of tea tree oil.
Make sure you choose raw, unfiltered and, where possible, organic vinegar, to ensure it hasn’t lost all those essential enzymes during processing. Dilution is also key – it’s pretty strong stuff.
The recycled exfoliant
Sugar or salt are common scrub ingredients but there’s another kitchen staple, usually destined for the bin, which adds an extra dimension to your regular exfoliant. Not only are coffee grounds coarse enough to act as a scrub, they also contain caffeine, which is thought to increase circulation and improve fat metabolism. Simply mix one cup of coffee grounds with one cup of oil – we like coconut or olive – add half a cup of brown or white sugar and rub onto freshly cleansed skin before rinsing.
Pay particular attention to areas prone to cellulite.
If you have time, leave the scrub on your skin for a while to let the oil and caffeine soak in.
The irritant easer
A Middle Eastern favourite, rosewater has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, and is known for calming irritated skin. You can make your own rosewater by boiling and steeping rose petals in filtered or distilled water, but store-bought rosewater will do just as well. Just splash it on your face post-cleansing or apply to cotton pads and gently wipe over clean skin. If you want to make a particularly effective toner, mix half a cup of rosewater with half a cup of witch hazel and a few drops of a skin-friendly essential oil such as rose otto, lavender or bergamot.
If you’re buying ready-made rosewater, choose one without any added preservatives or other such nasties.
The master moisturiser
Not surprisingly, coconut oil is a phenomenal moisturiser; keep a bottle by the bath to slather on as you step out of the tub, or apply it sparingly to your face after you’ve cleansed. A few drops on your cuticles will soften them and can help your manicure last longer, a small tub of solidified oil makes for a great lip balm and a cupful massaged into your hair pre-wash works wonders as an intensive conditioner. It’s also very effective as a make-up remover – simply apply to a cotton pad, hold it against your face for a few seconds and gently wipe, or apply directly to your skin and wipe clean with a cotton pad, before following with toner.
If you’re using coconut oil as a hair conditioner, avoid the roots unless you’ve got a particularly dry scalp, and be sure to shampoo directly on top of the oil before adding water – oil and water do not mix!