Hey there, beauty buff. Yeah, you with the 1,000+ products (most of them unopened or unfinished, amirite?) multiplying in your bathroom-turned-expensive-but-nice-smelling-beauty-product-wasteland.
We need to have a chat.
Your habit isn’t particularly sustainable—for your bank balance, or the environment—and we bet you’re probably a little exhausted keeping up with the countless products to plump, prime, and preen your way to everlasting beauty.
There’s also the
small alarmingly large list of unpronounceable ingredients to wrap your noggin ‘round. (WTF are phthalates, anyway?!) Don’t you yearn for a simpler, more natural way to beautiful?
Short of waltzing into your kitchen and slapping some avocado on your face—trust us, this isn’t the most effective method—there aren’t many of us capable of whipping up a quick face mask or scrub like some kind of freakish beauty Masterchef (but we want to meet that person).
To help you avoid the egg on your face (lol), we present this list of nifty little natural beauty hacks that will change your life, without making (too much of) a mess.
Cider hair rules
Sometimes those locks that call your head home need a little between-salon-visits pep me up. Between all the gloopy products you paste onto your hair daily and the day-to-day grime, it’s a hard knock life for your mane. Bring back the shine and kick that dullness to the curb with a sneaky apple cider vinegar rinse. One part vinegar (raw is best, if you can get your hands on it) mixed with one part water, the solution is applied after shampooing as a replacement for conditioner. Your scalp and your strands will thank you for their new squeaky clean and shiny status.
Meet your matcha
If you’re feeling a little coffee-d out, then matcha is your jam. This centuries-old, Chinese-turned-Japanese tea is brimming with good qualities; there’s 137 times more antioxidants in a cup of matcha than regularly brewed green tea! And because the powder contains the whole leaf, you’re getting all those antioxidants, amino acids, chlorophyll, and other vitamins and minerals straight into your temple (aka your body). Don’t worry, it still contains plenty of caffeine so you can get your morning buzz on, and there’s plenty of ways to drink it (we can’t go past a matcha-latte). Traditionally, it’s been the cornerstone of the Japanese tea ceremony but whether you want a full-blown ceremony or just something to kick-start your day, the tea-loving crew at Matcha-Sol have your back.
Face it, honey
Look, we can’t all be Queen Bey, with killer I-just-woke-up-like-this, honey-toned complexions (I’ll stop with puns now, I promise), but we can certainly try. As weird as it may seem, using honey as a face cleanser is a for realz thing, and it works harder than a worker bee (gah, you got me)! Honey is full of good things and has all the anti-s; it’s anti-microbial, anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, and has antibiotics in it, plus it’s packed with a full suite of vitamins (the range of Bs, A, C, D, K, and E), and minerals. Which is a long way of saying it’s good for your skin, yo. Manuka is top choice thanks to an ingredient found in manuka trees, and it’s even used as a treatment for burns and serious skin conditions. Apply as you would a facial cream or cleanser and then rinse off with warm water. How sweet!
(Baking) Soda pop
If you’ve ever been caught in the DIY rabbit hole that is Pinterest (oops, there goes six hours!), then you’ll have seen the *gasp* amazeballs prowess of baking soda in domestic duties. But while your friends are busy cleaning silver or banishing stains from carpet with it, we think you should whack it on your face, and exfoliate baby. A small amount goes a long way, so just wet your face and apply the baking soda to each section of your face, before gently massaging in a circular motion. Remove with a washcloth or simply rinse off in the shower.
Have leftover coffee grounds, will scrub. Why not join the fervent frank bod-esque scrubbers and make your own coffee scrub at home? Grab some coconut oil, some sugar, and cinnamon, mix ‘em up and voila: perfect homemade skin scrub for shiny, soft exfoliation. Pop it in an airtight container and keep it in your shower for easy access.
The witching hour
If it feels like your pores can’t be saved with anything short of spells and magic, then you need some witch hazel. It’s an astringent extracted from the witch hazel tree, which is then distilled to create a natural toner responsible for everything from tightening pores to reducing inflammation, as an itch remedy, and can help with sunburn. Apply with a cotton pad after cleansing and pre-moisturiser both morning and night for best results.
Avo you felt my face
Although delicious, avocado’s many talents are being hopelessly underutilised as a toast topper. It’s a crime, really. Packed full of antioxidants, vitamins, and moisturising oils, avo can be used in various different health hacks but it makes a mean moisturising face mask. Mash half an avo with a teaspoon of honey and high fat yoghurt before spreading thickly onto your face. Let it work its magic for 10-15 minutes and then remove with a warm wash cloth. It will be hard to sacrifice your precious avocado to your face at first but once you try it, you’ll be asking, “What avo toast?”
Your poor nails take quite the beating don’t they? Give them a much-deserved break from all that buffing, polishing, and daily grind by treating them to a strengthening mask, made from ingredients more likely to be found in a cake: eggs and honey. Egg yolks are packed with protein and the honey’s antibacterial, antifungal properties will keep your nails strong and shiny! Mix one egg yolk with a teaspoon of honey and a tablespoon of water, before applying to your nails and cuticles. Leave for 10 minutes, then rinse and enjoy.
Loco for coco
Yep, yep; we know coconut oil has been the darling of the natural health world (and the paleo punters) for what feels like aeons BUT, hear us out. There is a sound nugget of truth to all this trendy madness. Coconut oil is great as a hair mask (just apply about 30 minutes before washing), works like a dream to remove stubborn makeup (including waterproof mascara), and can double as a moisturiser too. Phew, all that from one tropical nut. If the oil is too heavy for your hair, coconut cream has just as much benefit without all the oily residue.
Image Credit: Essie Button