Although there are tons of natural, DIY beauty recipes out there, I know that many of us (myself included) are not comfortable enough with their perceived level of efficacy to actually incorporate them into our daily routines. Contrary to this belief, there are a few ingredients that you can find in your kitchen that are as effective as products that you would purchase at the beauty supply store. Check it out:
1. Body Lotion
Coconut oil has been the most popular natural product for skin and hair recently because it is hydrating, softening, nourishing, and provides antioxidant protection. Most store-bought moisturizers contain synthetic ingredients that produce these effects. Coconut oil has all of the skin loving properties without the fillers and chemicals. I rubbed it all over my body immediately after showering as I would with an ordinary body lotion, and it left my skin softer than any other product has. It does feel a little bit greasy at first, but it does absorb to a more matte feel. Just make sure to get organic coconut oil if you can.
2. Pore Strips
Drugstore pore strips are great for removing impurities and blackheads, but many of them are very harsh and can stretch out your pores in the process. Luckily, baking soda can do the trick. It naturally draws out impurities from the skin and can even be used to help remove splinters. Simply mix a teaspoon of baking soda with a tablespoon of water to create a paste. Cut a pore strip sized piece from a paper towel and allow it to soak in the paste for a few minutes. Afterwards, stick it onto your skin as you would with a store-bought strip - the moisture will allow it to adhere to the skin. And voila! You have your very own pore strip that will clean your pores without stretching them out.
3. Eye Makeup Remover
Rather than remover pads or baby oil, simply use olive oil to remove your eye makeup every night. Just put a few drops on a cotton ball and gently sweep makeup away. It will remove even stubborn mascara, while conditioning, hydrating, protecting, and soothing the skin (much better for your skin than baby oil) and lashes. I know that many people don't like oily eye makeup removers, but they do help reduce pulling around the delicate eye area and help keep the area hydrated to prevent aging. Plus, you should be washing your face after removing makeup every night anyway, which should remove any oily residue that may be bothering you.
Most of us are familiar with the concept of putting lemon juice in your hair and sitting out in the sun to bleach it. Lemon is also a natural skin lightener that is much safer and gentler than hydroquinone. Thus, feel free to rub it on knees, healed scars, armpits or other areas that are dark or discolored, or try using it to bleach hair. Use it daily for a few weeks to see visible results. Be careful when using lemons anywhere on your body...it's photosensitive, meaning that it attracts sunlight and can make you more sensitive to the sun.
Truthfully, these grocery store solutions can do the trick just as well as your traditional pore strip or makeup remover would. In fact, they may be better overall options than drugstore beauty products because they are often less expensive. A bottle of olive oil is cheaper than a pack of makeup remover pads. More importantly, many drugstore products contain many fillers, preservatives, dyes etc., which can be irritating to the skin and detrimental to your health. Even natural products or "paraben-free" products contain these types of ingredients, though they may pose less of a threat to your skin and health. Overall, these food solutions are much more natural and healthier options.