As a hairstylist and makeup artist, I've gone through many phases of "beliefs." It's hard not to. There are so many approaches to take toward beauty, and as one explores the beauty world one will probably morph from one beauty believer to another.
Alright, let's get more specific: when I first became a hairstylist, I was a hard-and-fast NO SULFATES, SALON PRODUCTS ONLY kind of girl. I type that in all caps on purpose — that's how serious it was. In my opinion, there were "right" products for your hair and "wrong" products for your hair. Now that's of course still true, curly-haired ladies need something a little special (and so do colored-hair ladies and fine-haired ladies, you get the point), but my thinking was more like "If you ever buy a product that has sulfates in it you're doing it wrong."
I relaxed a bit, and here's why: it's your head of hair. Put what you want on it. If you understand why hairstylist say no to sulfates, and you choose drugstore products anyway, whatever. It's your choice. You may have some hair and scalp issues, but your life will not end from using sulfates.
I've been a sulfate-free believer, a drugstore-makeup-is-just-as-good believer, a transform-your-face-with-makeup believer, a natural-looking-makeup-wins believer (still am!), and an ingredients-matter believer. I'm sure that's not all.
That first phase I went through had me in total doubt of home remedies like DIY hair masks and body scrubs. But guess what? Now I'm an ingredients-matter believer, and I love the simplicity of using natural products to create beauty remedies — not to mention the money it can save you on beauty products. Who doesn't love something that can pull double duty? Eat it and put it on my skin!? That's multitasking.
So let's get to it: what beauty products are hiding in your cabinets?
Let's just get this one over with, because coconut oil has been having a moment. This is nothing new, but it can't be ignored on a list like this because it's basically a perfect product that can do no wrong.
The many uses of coconut oil could honestly be a blog post of its own — google "coconut oil uses" and you'll find articles with titles like "___ Uses for Coconut Oil" with that blank space being a number usually over 75. I'm not even kidding, as finished typing that sentence I got a PR email about coconut oil. It's that good.
Coconut oil is solid at room temperature, but quickly melts when it comes in contact with skin. Or, if your A/C isn't very effective, it might just remain liquid in the jar like it does in our house. It's amazing as a simple skin moisturizer; it removes makeup like a dream; it can be used as a hair oil or deep conditioner; it works as a shaving cream; the list goes on.
Try this: Mix coconut oil with a bit of antibacterial soap (1:2) to clean & condition your makeup brushes. (source)
Oh boy, do I love coffee! Usually, if you like coffee, you love coffee, and you will always have coffee in your house. This is awesome, because coffee is an amazing body scrub. The caffeine in coffee is a major cellulite-buster and has great antioxidants for your skin! You can scrub down with used coffee grounds alone, or you can go fancy and boost your scrub with some — you guessed it — coconut oil.
Try this: Add 5-6 tablespoons of coconut oil to a cup of dry coffee grounds. You want to add enough coconut oil that the coffee grounds absorb it and remain wet, but not so much that your grounds are sitting in a pool of oil (though it's not a big deal if there's a little extra).
Honey is one of those overlooked and under-appreciated ingredients, in my opinion. It's a natural humectant (meaning it attracts moisture) and it's loaded with antioxidants! Honey's got two uses that I love: it's great to mix with sugar to create a facial scrub that keep your skin soft and hydrated. It's also great as a hair mask!
Try this: Mix 3 tablespoons of coconut oil with 1/4 cup of honey and apply it to damp hair. Let it sit for 10-15 minutes, then rinse thoroughly. (source)
Avocado is another one of those wonder foods, like coconut oil, that has abundant benefits and uses. The fats found in avocados are so good for you whether you eat them or use them topically!
Anywhere you need moisture is where an avocado can be useful: mash it up and apply it to your scalp to moisturize & revitalize your scalp; tame frizzy hair by combining mashed avocado and avocado oil to use as a mask; massage your cuticles with avocado oil before bed; or use it as a moisturizing facial mask. There are so many options!
Try this: Blend equal parts avocado and cucumber in a blender. Apply to your face for a refreshing and moisturizing mask! (source)
Tea is one of those underestimated powerhouses of a liquid. Maybe I say "underestimated" because I've never been fortunate enough to like it. Perhaps tea-drinkers everywhere already know the major benefits of tea, like all of the vitamins & antioxidants you can get from it, but I choose to use those benefits topically!
Wet tea bags, you guys. They can soothe burns, de-puff your eyes, or even reduce razor burn! Brewed tea can be used to add shine to your hair, close pores, or even reduce acne.
Try this: For a dose of shine, steep 3 teabags in 4 cups of hot water for an hour. Rinse your hair with the cooled tea, then shampoo and rinse with cold water to seal the cuticle. (source)
And one to avoid...
One home ingredient that you'll find in a lot of DIY recipes is lemon (or, sometimes, lemon juice). It's hailed for its chemically-exfoliating properties and its ability to reduce dark spots — and the thing about lemon juice that does this is the acid.
The problem with lemon juice? It's too acidic for your skin. Your skin has a pH balance of 4.5-5.5, and when that balance is thrown off, the skin can't protect itself or work the way it's supposed to. What you get from a lemon, with its pH of 2, is irritation and susceptibility to free radicals, not to mention sun sensitivity.
My general rule is this: when you're looking for a DIY home treatment for your hair or your skin, always air on the side of using ingredients that will add moisture or hydration, like the products I mentioned above!
What's your favorite DIY beauty treatment? Let me know in the comments below!
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