You have bad hair days. You have bad skin days. You think these things never happened before the Nobel Prize worthy discovery of shampoos or face lotions? Oh, mind you, they were always there. They’re just handled a bit more differently! Beauty emergencies never pop up with an invitation. But you’d be surprised the solution to your woes are actually in the pantry! With all that scare about chemicals, sulphate compounds, plasticizers, carcinogens and what-nots in your everyday beauty products, household staples are an excellent substitute.
There are an array of products in your pantry cupboard that may save the day. Caught off guard with grease worthy dirty hair? Eyes swelling up and your eye shadow won’t stick? Look no further than your own kitchen.
The humble spud, a power food. Tired, puffy eyes? Packed with minerals, moisture and starch, cold potato slices are a great substitute for eye pads. The starch in potatoes calms down the skin while the minerals ensure that water molecules are properly channeled into the skin, hence rejuvenating the delicate eye area.
Slice a potato thinly and pop it into the freezer for a 10 minutes. Place on eyelids and around the eyes. You can even blend potatoes for a cold puree, very much like a mask. leave on for 10-15 minutes and rinse off.
Greasy, limp, lifeless hair? No dry hair shampoo or baby powder? Try corn starch for a quick fix. Just like talc and dry hair shampoos, corn starch absorbs grease and removes residue from hair to give a less shiny look.
Sprinkle small amounts of corn starch to each section of your hair at the roots, rub corn starch gently to activate it, and shake off the access by tilting hair upside down while tousling your hair. People with darker hair might want to avoid this as starch might give a white cast to your hair.
Tomato puree/Apple puree
Skin feeling dull ? Need a boost? Fruit purees make fantastic face packs. Tomatoes are great source of lycopene. And apples on the other hand are great sources of pectin, a soluble fiber. Best of all, tomatoes and apples contain lots of water and some amount of fruit acids, which provides gentle non physical exfoliation.
Get around a baseball sized tomato or around half an apple and puree them in a blender. Chill the mixture and apply on cleansed skin, avoiding the eye and lip area. Leave on for 10-15 minutes. Just before rinsing them away with cold water, massage the mixture gently for a few seconds for light exfoliation and also to boost your blood circulation. Voila.
Cucumbers deserve to be in the Beauty Hall of Fame. Ever so versatile, cold slices for the eyes never fails to refresh, puree it for the best solution to sun burnt and dehydrated skin. Chew on it and it provides for you fibers, minerals and moisture. It’s fat free and low in calories too. Dark eye circles, tired skin and sluggish body, be gone!
Apply honey on lips and wipe off the excess for an overnight lip treatment, but be sure not to sleep on your prettiest pillowcase. Mix honey with some olive oil and milk powder for a super softening and moisturizing mask, or add some sugar to honey to form a face/skin scrub. As for sore throats? There is a reason why the Chinese drink honey or drinks added with honey to soothe the throat and it’s scientific. Minute silver compounds in honey have antibacterial properties that help to fight sore throat. Try it yourself.
Skin all itchy and red from an allergy? Sun burnt? Sensitive skin? Not just a super food, oatmeal has just the perfect texture for a mask. Apart from that, the beta glucan fibers and colloids in it soothes skin. The unsoluble fiber on the other hand gives gentle to skin whenever required. So gentle, even babies can use oatmeal.
Mix some oatmeal with milk, honey, fruit juices, or just water and you’ll get a versatile face mask, and if you massage it on your skin before rinsing, you’ll get added exfoliation. Add some into your bath too to give your skin some much needed pampering and soothing.
In need of extra conditioning? Olive oil, especially cold pressed extra virgin olive oil is packed full of wonderful things for you. It softens your skin, high in antioxidants, it effectively prevents ageing too, a natural anti-ageing agent indeed. Better still, if you incorporate it into your diet.
Toss olive oil into ends of hair for the perfect leave in hair conditioner. Mix olive oil and sugar for a multipurpose scrub for face, body and lips. Add some into bath water or mask packs for magical softening and moisturizing benefits. Last but not least, it is super effective in preventing stretch marks if applied regularly on skin.
Sugar and salt, having crystalline structures make good exfoliators. Apart from that, sugar softens and draws moisture to skin surfaces. Salt on the other hand refines and disinfects the skin. Boring hair? Lackluster, dull skin? Fret not.
Use sugar and salt crystals as a scrub but be sure to massage gently. Remember always to rinse thoroughly and follow up with a moisturizer or lotion. Salt sprays can also add interesting texture to hair, transforming blah hair to beach babe worthy hair.
Dip your toothbrush with some baking soda and brush gently. Follow this regimen for a month or so and teeth will be naturally whitened as baking soda is the main constituent in whitening toothpastes. For skin, make a paste of baking soda and some water and massage gently. Rinse thoroughly after massaging. Avoid eyes and the lip area.Always remember to be gentle as baking soda can really be harsh to your skin and teeth.
Treat yourself to a milk bath by pouring a cup of milk or three tablespoons of milk powder into a warm bath. For happy looking skin, soak cotton pads in cold milk, making sure it’s not too soggy and apply unto face as you would a tissue mask. Leave on for 10-15 minutes, massage and rinse. Do this regularly for an even looking luminous complexion.
Isn’t it wonderful to know there’s actually lots of emergency solutions always within arm’s reach if any beauty emergencies arises? Of course we won’t get used to these stuff the first few times we use them because they’re not store bought or factory made to suite our preference. So it’s all about mixing and getting what suites your needs. Always make sure you’re not allergic to anything before using them. Let us all go back to Mother Nature for our beauty.