Tackle dry skin, grimy fingernails, age spots and more with these simple fixes that require just one kitchen ingredient.
If you are looking for seriously simple solutions to minor cosmetic problems, look no further than the kitchen cupboard. A number of basic kitchen ingredients offer nutrients and vitamins known to aid in the nourishment and care of our skin and hair. And, although all of these ingredients can be mixed into more complex beauty blends, they’re also powerful enough to use all by themselves. Forgo expensive hair or skin treatments and instead rely on the power of nature with these four basic kitchen ingredients that nourish skin, hair and nails.
Going "Au Naturale" Reduces Exposure to Xenoestrogens
Another perk to going "au naturale" is you're avoiding harmful xenoestrogens, which are some of the biggest health disruptors a person can encounter, and the average person is bombarded by them every day. These man-made chemicals disrupt the endocrine system by mimicking the hormone estrogen and directly interfering with hormone signaling. This interference contributes to an increasing number of health issues such as cancer, fertility problems, slow cognitive development, changes in metabolism, and immune disorders. When choosing your other beauty supplies, here are 12 hormone-altering chemicals to avoid.
We have many reasons to load up on this citrus fruit. Naturally energizing, lemon is rich in vitamin C, an essential nutrient for skin and hair. This aromatic fruit also contains skin-strengthening B vitamins and inositol, and has natural bleaching properties that make it a great tool for lightening hair or age spots.
Use Lemon To:
Lighten Hair Color. Work just enough lemon juice into your hair until well-saturated, then expose your hair to the sunlight for about 30 minutes. Thoroughly rinse and follow with a moisturizing conditioner.
Whiten Fingernails. Rub a lemon wedge over the surface of your nails to reduce a grimy appearance, then follow up with your favorite lotion. Don’t try this if you have hangnails or cuts around your hands, since the fruit’s strong acidity will cause stinging.
Reduce the Appearance of Age Spots. Take a clean cloth and dip it in a bowl of lemon juice. Dab the solution directly onto the spot you wish to tackle and let it sit for half an hour before rinsing. Don’t sit in the sun while letting the solution soak, as lemon juice makes skin more sensitive to sunlight. If your skin is sensitive, dilute the lemon juice in an equal part water.
A multitasking ingredient that’s useful in both the kitchen and bathroom, coconut oil is amazingly versatile. Rich in fiber, vitamins and minerals, coconuts are incredibly nutritious—coconut oil possesses healing properties beyond most other dietary oils. Although coconut oil is a creamy solid at room temperature, it becomes more pliable when scooped up in our hands and warmed by our body heat.
Use Coconut Oil To:
Nourish Skin. Coconut oil makes an amazingly light moisturizer. Simply massage a quarter-size amount into your skin after getting out of the shower. Pay special attention to rough patches of skin.
Hydrate Chapped Lips. You can also apply a small amount of coconut oil to your lips—a perfect solution for extra-dry days.
Moisturize Hair. After regularly shampooing your hair, apply a generous amount of coconut oil to your wet locks, paying close attention to the ends rather than the scalp. Let it sit for about 10 minutes before rinsing it out with warm water. For a deep conditioning treatment, massage a spoonful of coconut oil through the ends of your dry hair and wrap it up in a towel. Let it sit for about an hour, then wash it out with a gently shampoo.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Packed with numerous health benefits from the apples from which it’s derived, apple cider vinegar is an amazingly beneficial elixir. Rich in antioxidants, this raw, unprocessed vinegar is made up of enzymes and gut-friendly bacteria that support overall wellness.
Use Apple Cider Vinegar To:
Rinse Hair. To remove build-up from styling products, strengthen hair follicles and promote soft, shiny strands, create a rinse made of equal parts water and apple cider vinegar. Pour the rinse over your hair after shampooing, leave it in for a few seconds, and then rinse it out with cool water.
This sweet nectar is more than just a healthful sweetener perfectly suited for tea and baked goods. Raw, unpasteurized honey can also help moisturize skin, fight acne, reduce inflammation, and more.
Use Honey To:
Hydrate Skin. Because it’s a natural humectant, honey can draw moisture from the air into the skin. Massage about one teaspoon of raw honey into clean, dry skin and let it sit for about 20 minutes. Rinse with tepid water.
Cleanse Pores. Thanks to its antibacterial properties, honey is great for fighting acne. Banish blemishes by dabbing just a bit of honey onto the affected area. Place an adhesive bandage over it and let it sit overnight.
DIY beauty treatments made with natural ingredients are both trendy and effective. Give them a try! To learn ways to incorporate hydrogen peroxide into your natural cleaning regime, visit this blog about 13 Uses for Hydrogen Peroxide.
Article courtesy of Mother Earth Living. July/August 2015.