Many pricy beauty products are worth every penny. The peel that leaves your skin looking flawless and doesn't cause breakouts, or a retinol night cream that doesn’t leave your skin red and angry, are pricy, but priceless! But there are also bargain treatments that work like magic, such as drugstore scrubs and masks that leave you glowing.
Then there are the beauty steals — potions you can whip up yourself when you need a fast fix or when you crave something natural, soothing, and inexpensive. Our homemade elixirs are easy to make and work like a charm. Some can even be made from ingredients you can find on a room service tray.
Here are few of our favourite homemade beauty fast fixes:
Everyone has jumped on the bandwagon that began with Moroccan oil. But reviving your dry, damaged hair doesn’t require special exotic oil. Try a plain hot oil treatment made with warm olive oil from your kitchen; it can leave your hair super shiny. Gently warm 1 to 2 tbsp. of olive oil and apply it to sections of your hair with a cotton ball. Then wrap your hair in a towel that’s warm from the dryer, or coil it into a shower cap.
Add a few drops of essential oils or a simple anti-oxidant rich spice to pamper your scalp and encourage healthy hair growth. Tea tree oil, peppermint oil, turmeric, and ginger are all good for nurturing hair growth and a healthy scalp.
Try an old-fashioned cider vinegar rinse. Add 2 tbsp. of cider vinegar to 2 cups of warm water (forget the old wives’ tale that you need to shiver under cold water) and use it as a final rinse. Your hair will be glossy and your scalp’s PH will benefit.
Tame oil slicks with a mask of pureed strawberries. Just slather the bright pink crushed berries on clean skin for a few minutes. Wait for the glow. Or try a mask made with 1 egg white beaten with a squeeze of lemon juice to absorb oil. Apply to clean skin with cotton balls. Let dry for about 10 minutes. Remove with a clean washcloth.
To brighten and soften skin
Slather on a tbsp. of plain yogurt and let the lactic acid help exfoliate. Rinse well after 5 to 10 minutes.
For a sweet skin-pampering scrub
Try sugar. In medieval times, sugar was used to heal wounds. Now you can use it make your skin glow. Use brown sugar moistened with a little olive oil to scrub for face or body. Keep it in a pretty jar in your bathroom. Add a few drops of essential oil if you wish. Lavender, rose, germanium and jasmine will all pamper your skin.
Foot smoothing scrub
Fill a pretty jar with coarse kosher salt and moisten with pure olive oil and add your favourite essential oil. Lavender will help tired toes relax. A combination of rosemary and peppermint oil will stimulate your feet.
Whitening and softening mask
A pack of plain old oatmeal will soothe and reduce redness in dry, chapped, irritated skin. Oatmeal is great mask for sensitive, easily irritated skin. Take a cup of oats and grind them to fine powder in a food processor or blender. Keep this powder in a jar. Moisten a few tsp. of the oat powder with water or milk to make a mask for your face. Let the mask dry for 10 minutes. Remove the mask with warm water and a clean washcloth. Oatmeal also makes a great mask for irritated hands.
Brighten and tighten your skin with a homemade Vitamin C serum. It can help to brighten and tighten your skin as it is a powerful antioxidant. But it can be unstable and pricey. Make your own with powered Vitamin C, also called Ascorbic Acid, with powder and available in the health-food store or drugstore. You will want to make small quantities to keep it fresh. Store the serum in a dark glass spray or eye dropper bottle. We tried several recipes and here are our favourites:
Dissolve 1 tsp. powdered Vitamin C in 1 tbsp. plus 1tsp. of distilled water. Dissolve completely. Add 2 tsp. glycerin.
Or simply dissolve 1 tsp. Vitamin C powder in 1 tbsp. and 2 tsp. of a prepared rose water and glycerin skin lotion. (You can buy these very inexpensively from the health food store or online). Keep the bottle in a cool dry place.
Whiten stained teeth
Quickly whiten stained teeth by brushing with a tsp. of baking soda. At a dinner party, remove red wine stains with a strawberry or a lemon wedge, but rinse afterwards with plenty of water to remove the acid.
Vitamin C serum may irritate sensitive skin, so test the serum on your wrist to avoid problems. Test all homemade beauty products on your wrist first if you are very sensitive or suffer from allergies. Never apply any food to your skin that you are allergic to.