From Dryer Sheets to Honey, These Genius Beauty Hacks Use Household Items You Already Own
I confess, I'm a beauty enthusiast with an admittedly ridiculous multistep morning and night skin-care ritual. That said, sometimes there's nothing better than a smart beauty hack that can save you time and money on your routine — especially when they actually work.
There are so many uses for items you probably already have around the house. For example, does your pantry contain some kind of sugar, honey, and coconut oil? Boom: you've got a homemade exfoliating face scrub at your fingertips. Need a way to mix lip colors or foundations to find the perfect shade without making a crazy mess? Just head to the freezer and whip out an ice-cube tray.
Keep reading to find out the household items you can incorporate into your beauty routine. (Forewarning: You'll never look at Pam cooking spray the same way.)
Beauty Hack: Green Tea Bags
Grab a few caffeinated green tea bags (they don't need to be fancy, even these Everyday Value Green Tea Bags ($4) would do), steep them, and then refrigerate. On those mornings you wake up with dark circles under your eyes or puffiness, hold the cold tea bags under your eyes for a few minutes. The caffeine will go to work tightening skin while the cold depuffs. You can also use black tea bags to help combat razor burn or other inflamed skin.
Beauty Hack: Dryer Sheets
Woke up a little late (and maybe kind of disheveled) this morning? No shower needed — just tame your flyaways and freshen up your unruly tresses with Mrs. Meyers Dryer Sheets ($7). Bonus: you'll smell like you shampooed even if you haven't in days.
Beauty Hack: Baking Soda
Bob's Red Mill Baking Soda ($11) has a number of different beauty uses. Sprinkle a little on top of your toothpaste to help remove surface stains caused by wine and coffee. Baking soda can also be used as a dry shampoo, especially for those with oily roots, and a clarifying shampoo to get rid of buildup and grease (only do this a few times a month so you don't get dried out). Because it has naturally antibacterial properties, baking soda can also be used as a face and body exfoliant (just mix with water to make a paste), face mask, and natural deodorant when mixed with coconut oil.
Beauty Hack: Plain Yogurt
If you accidentally burned yourself on your hair straightener or curling iron, make your way to the fridge and find your supply of Fage Total Greek Yogurt ($5) (or any other plain yogurt). Put a dollop on the affected area, and leave it on for 10 minutes while the probiotics in the yogurt get to work rebuilding the skin's barrier and the coolness calms the pain.
Beauty Hack: Clear Tape
If you're like me, successfully drawing on a precise cat eye freehand is out of the question. Never get an uneven line again by using Scotch Magic Tape ($6) as a stencil. Place a small piece of tape in line with your brow, and use eyeliner to draw a straight line down to your upper lash line for an impeccable cat eye.
Beauty Hack: Coconut Oil
Where to begin with coconut oil? It has so many beauty uses — use it on its own or combine with other household items to create your own scrubs and masks. Because it's so rich in fatty acids, coconut oil like this Viva Naturals Organic Extra-Virgin Coconut Oil ($12) on its own is ultrahydrating, making it a perfect substitute for body moisturizer and a leave-in hair mask. Many people also swish it around their mouths daily for a dose of teeth-whitening action. Combine with course salt, sugar, or coffee grounds, and you have a DIY body and lip scrub (more on that later).
Beauty Hack: Apple Cider Vinegar
Everyday Value Organic Raw Apple Cider Vinegar ($3) is one of those products that has gained a sort of cult of devotees — and for good reason. If you're out of that expensive toner, sub in diluted ACV; it contains acetic acid and AHAs that minimize pores and reveal brighter skin. ACV is also known for lowering your skin's natural pH levels, making it a go-to when you have any skin issue that needs healing — think: sunburns, bruises, and even acne. Just make sure to always dilute it with water so it doesn't sting, and only use it once a week.
Beauty Hack: Eggs
It might seem a little gross, but creating a hair mask from egg yolks is a surefire way to strengthen damaged strands. Eggs are chock-full of protein — combine two yolks with olive oil to make a paste and work through your hair for some dual-action moisturizing and strengthening.
Beauty Hack: Raw Honey
Beyond its delicious flavor, Pure Organic Raw & Unfiltered Honey ($7) is basically pure antioxidant. It is also super hydrating, won't clog pores, and kills acne-causing bacteria, making it the ideal base for face masks. Apply a thin layer to a clean face, and chill for about 10 minutes before washing it off.
Beauty Hack: Sea Salt
Sea salt is great both for the body and the hair. Want to make your own salt spray to get the beach waves of your dreams? Just combine a teaspoon of Saltworks Mediterranean Course Grain Sea Salt ($8) with seltzer water in a spray bottle. Make a body scrub by combining course salt with honey, coconut oil, or another oil like sweet almond or avocado. Use it in the shower to slough off dead skin — just remember not to rub too hard.
Beauty Hack: Course White or Brown Sugar
Course brown sugar is another ingredient you can use to make a scrub that's a little less abrasive than one with salt. I like to keep a jar of homemade scrub in my shower — depending on what I have on hand, I combine Woodstock Organic Brown Sugar ($8) with coconut, sweet almond, or jojoba oil, and add in a few drops of my favorite essential oil. If I want something invigorating, I add peppermint oil, and if I want something a little more soothing, I add a drop of bergamot or lavender. This can also double as a lip scrub!
Beauty Hack: Lip Balm
The Be Calm Lip Save ($20) from Beauty by POPSUGAR can be used on so many other dry spots than just chapped lips. I always have one in my bag and keep it handy to moisturize my cuticles and elbows at a moment's notice. Lip balms like this one that contain ingredients such as jojoba seed oil, shea butter, and vitamin E are great for intense moisturizing.
Beauty Hack: Rolled Oats
If the Winter is starting to make your skin freak out a little bit and you're feeling dry and itchy, do like your mom used to do: add a few cups of Everyday Value Organic Old-Fashioned Rolled Oats ($3) to a steaming bath. Yes, you're basically human oatmeal, but you'll feel soothed in no time.
Beauty Hack: Plain Cooking Spray
It's never been easier to turn your bathroom into a DIY nail salon. Just like the drying sprays technicians use to make sure your polish is dry before you walk out, look no further than your Pam Original Cooking Spray ($7) for polish-drying powers.
Beauty Hack: Metal Spoon
An oldie but a goodie, refrigerating metal spoons like these Stainless Steel Dinner Spoons ($14) is a surefire way to take down puffiness under your eyes. If you haven't bitten the bullet and bought a jade roller or gua sha tool yet, you can use the spoon in the same way. Make sure you have plenty of moisturizer or serum on your face so the spoon glides easily across your skin.
Beauty Hack: Whitening Toothpaste
Not just for whitening teeth, toothpaste containing hydrogen peroxide (think: Arm & Hammer Advance White ($6)) can be used to remove annoying yellow spots from your nails left behind from your last mani.
Beauty Hack: Olive Oil
If you have dry skin and want to try out oil cleansing, give Pompeian Extra Virgin Olive Oil ($4) — or any other brand in your pantry — a go. The fatty oil breaks down makeup and hydrates chapped skin while drawing out other damaging oils from your pores.
Beauty Hack: Ice-Cube Trays
If you're not a professional makeup artist, you probably don't have a bunch of bowls and palettes for mixing foundation or lipsticks. If you want to create your own customized shades without a mess, use the conveniently sized pockets in a Rubbermaid Ice Cube Tray ($3). When you're done, just wash and reuse!