Want to treat your skin better without spending a lot of money? Try using some of these proven budget beauty hacks made from everyday items you probably already have in your kitchen cabinet.
We all love to look our best and keep our skin healthy, but how do we accomplish that on a budget? These days it’s hard to justify spending money on what might seem frivolous. For many, it’s a challenge just trying to feed the family, pay off bills and keep our financial boats floating. Add to that, the questions of “why do I have skin problems” and “do skin care products actually work? Are expensive products better?”
Let’s take those questions one at a time. Then I’ll show you several budget beauty hacks using items that you probably already have in your kitchen cabinets. Really.
Why Do I Have Skin Issues?
To keep our skin looking good, we can’t just count on skin care products. Many factors add together to get glowing, beautiful skin.
Some of us are born with excellent skin that is usually free from issues. For the rest of us, the majority, that is, we have to contribute more to our skin health. And that starts with taking care of ourselves.
Before we talk about what to put on our faces, we have to consider lifestyle. There are a few things we can do to help our skin. It might even save you some cash…
1. Get enough Sleep
Yes, I know you’ve heard it before, but its worth saying again! Provide your body with enough sleep, and you will reap the benefit of preserving your youthful skin. Some traditional natural health systems tell us it’s better to get to bed before midnight. They say that the sleep you can get before midnight does more for you than the hours after midnight. Kind of like a super health-boosting bonus!
Going to bed earlier is always a big help. Not every night of your life, but as often as you can.
So… think about that one, no matter what your age. Even if you have the energy to burn the candle at both ends, give yourself (and your skin) a break. Try not to “party” overmuch. At least all night long. Your skin will thank you. 😊
2. Don’t Overdue it on Alcohol
Hmmmm… If you follow point #1 that will help you to follow point #2. The key to healthy skin is “moderation.”
Truth? Overindulging in alcohol is terrible for your skin and for your overall health. Alcohol is dehydrating and everyone knows how awful someone looks the day after a drinking binge.
So… go easy on the alcohol. Not being judgy here, just telling it like it is. Again, do your body and mind a favor and go lightly.
3. Avoid Junk Food
Junk food tastes great but it’s terrible for your skin. There’s a reason for that. Junk food is filled with artificial chemicals, low quality ingredients, preservatives, artificial colors and other “non-foods” that wreak havoc with your health.
That’s why it’s called “junk!”
The worst of the bad ingredients in junk food is MSG or Monosodium Glutamate. MSG is a known allergen, responsible for numerous health issues, including migraines and digestive issues. And allergens do not help your skin stay healthy. MSG is a chemical “flavor enhancer” that makes even the most boring or cheap quality food taste like manna from heaven. So it’s no wonder that fried chips and other snack items are loaded with it.
Note: MSG is a regular ingredient in most Chinese restaurants… the restaurant kitchens I’ve seen usually have a bowl of it (dry white flakes that look similar to salt) sitting right on the grill and they toss some into every dish. Instant flavor! If you ask nicely, they might leave it out of your dinner. (That won’t work at Chinese buffets, though.)
Monosodium glutamate will be listed by various names on processed food package labels, so look for the words:
- Monosodium Glutamate
- Yeast Extract
- Any word that has “Glutamate” in it
- Any word that has “Hydrolized” in it
The second worse processed food ingredient is aspartame, which is an artificial sweetener. Aspartame is found in diet sodas and other “diet” or “light food” items. Even some sugar-free chewing gum has it. (check the labels) This chemical does make food taste sweet, but it’s a known carcinogen (cancer causing agent). Aspartame also causes digestive problems, fluid retention and actually causes weight gain, despite how it is promoted in diet products. If you want to read more about how imitation sugars affect weight, read this article about 5 habits that hinder weight loss.
Digestive problems lead to the retention of toxins in the body. That lead to – you guessed it – skin breakouts, clogged pores and other skin problems.
I know you’ve heard “eat fresh fruits and vegetables” so I’m not going to go there in this article. You already know that, now realize that what you eat truly does effect your skin so… just think about it.
Do Skin Care Products Really Work?
As skin is the largest organ of our bodies, covering us in every inch, it takes a lot of abuse over a lifetime. From environmental to internal, skin hazards are not that easy to avoid.
Lifestyle choices factor in to skin quality, but we can also use some natural products to help our skin along.
Skin care products should re-moisturize and nourish your skin. The difficulty is finding a product that does not contain other chemicals that cause skin problems. A product purchased off of a store shelf must contain preservatives in order to “preserve” the ingredients for your benefit.
The bad news is that chemical preservatives are not good for your skin health or overall health. That is such a big subject that I covered it in a separate article just about the many toxic chemicals hiding in makeup; it’s a real eye-opener.
But for now, we can say that yes, some skin care products do aid in skin health and cellular repair and so forth. But it is a risk you take, if the products contain more chemicals than helpful ingredients.
When choosing skin care products that do benefit the skin, it is best to go with natural or “clean” products. For detailed info about the different types of makeup that’s good for you, please read my longer post all about that.
Are More Expensive Products Better For Me or More Effective?
More expensive products claim to be more effective for anti-aging, moisturizing, cellular repair, conditioning – whatever they aim to achieve. But, unless they are toxic chemical-free and chemical fragrance-free, then, that’s a big no!
You might just be falling for a marketing scam by paying more for skin care products that cost a bundle. That product might contain a smidgen of expensive ingredients along with a majority of skin damaging chemicals. Just like the cheaper brands.
Budget Beauty Hacks From Your Kitchen Cabinet
Now, don’t get disillusioned about it! Here is a list of proven budget beauty hacks to help your skin. And these hacks use items that you probably already have in your kitchen cabinet. This is different from a list of DIY recipes that you could make at home. I know that when I read some of those DIY lists, I don’t often have those ingredients right on hand.
If I have to go out and buy something, then I don’t consider that an easy hack. Hopefully you can do these beauty hacks with things you have in your kitchen right now!
1. Honey and Brown Sugar Scrub
Mix honey and brown sugar together in a small bowl. Spread liberally on your face and scrub gently. Wait for a few minutes, then wash off with warm water. You can also rub this on your lips to get rid of chapped dry skin. See, easy-peasy! And both honey and brown sugar are really good for your skin and will make it more smooth and glowy!
2. Baking Soda, Lemon Juice and Water Facial Mask
You can make an exfoliating face mask by mixing baking soda, lemon juice (fresh squeezed is best) and a bit of water. Massage gently into your skin. Leave on for at least 15 minutes and then wash off with warm water. This mask will also help to even out skin discolorations and tighten skin pores.
3. Oatmeal Scrub
Oatmeal is a great ingredient for a budget beauty hack! Just take two tablespoons of oatmeal and grind in a spice grinder or blender. Pour the ground oatmeal into a small bowl. Add ½ teaspoon cinnamon powder and enough honey to make a paste. Gently massage onto face. Leave for 5 minutes and then wash off with warm water. This scrub also helps to soften rough spots on the skin and leave it much smoother.
You can increase this recipe and use it as a great exfoliating full body scrub.
4. Sea salt on Pimples
If you have an inflamed pimple you can mix a little sea salt with water and apply it to the pimple. Leave on until dry and then very gently wash off.
5. Tomato Facial Mask
Tomatoes are full of antioxidants and are excellent for the skin. Antioxidants are natural substances that can deter oxidation. Oxidation is responsible for breaking down the cellular structure of your skin. So… antioxidant = good for your skin!
If your skin is acne or pimple/blemish prone, blend the pulp on one tomato into a smooth paste, then add one teaspoon of fresh lemon juice. Mix thoroughly and spread on face. Let soak for at least 15 minutes and wash off. You can do this 2-3 times per week to calm down your skin. This is also good for oily skin.
Additionally, you can make a mix of mashed tomato and honey and spread that on your face to brighten and smooth skin. Keep it on for at least 10 minutes, then wash off.
6. Egg White and Plain Yogurt
You can make a mask of egg white and yogurt for temporarily tightening facial skin. Separate the yolk from the white and whisk the white in a bowl until frothy. Mix in 1-2 teaspoons of yogurt and blend well. Apply to the face and wait until dry, then gently wash off. This should give a plump look and radiance to the skin. Then make yourself some scrambled eggs to eat and add in the extra yolk you have left over from the mask. 😊
7. Olive Oil
You can use just plain, pure olive oil as one of the best budget beauty hacks that I know. Wash your face with warm water. Dry and then just gently rub olive oil into your skin. Leave this on and when it has soaked in, proceed with your normal makeup routine. You can also do this just before bed. Olive oil is hydrating to the skin and is packed with age-defying antioxidants.
8. Honey and Green Tea Face Wash
Steep a green tea bag in a cup of hot water for a few minutes. Remove the tea bag and empty the wet tea leaves into a small bowl. Mix with honey and gently massage the mixture onto your face. Leave on for several minutes – up to 15 minutes if you have time. While you are waiting, you can drink the green tea from the cup. It’s also good for you! (And if for some reason you don’t have green tea on hand, here’s a nice organic green tea ✓.
9. Cucumbers or Potatoes For Eye Puffiness
One of the oldest home remedies around – slice cucumbers and put them in the fridge until they are cold. Lie down and and rub gently around each eye with a piece of cucumber for a minute or so. Then place one cucumber slice over each closed eyelid. Wait for 10 minutes, then remove. This should relieve your eye puffiness. The same procedure works just as well with a sliced potato.
10. Mayonnaise Hair Conditioner
Mayonnaise is a fantastic hair conditioner! Just smear mayonnaise into your hair, starting at the scalp and massage in, moving down to the tips of your hair. Wrap your head in plastic, a shower cap or a towel and wait 7 minutes. (If you are in the shower, no wrap is needed, you can put the mayonnaise in your hair and shave your legs while you wait. Outside of the shower it’s messy, so wrap your head!)
Rinse off and your hair will be shiny and conditioned.
11. Vinegar Hair Rinse
A good and simple hair rinse is vinegar. Any type of vinegar will do. Simply wash hair and splash on vinegar starting at the top of head and down through to the tips. Massage in and then rinse out. Your hair will feel silky and smooth. Don’t do this treatment right before a date though – there will be a slight vinegar smell that remains, but it will dissipate overnight if you wash your hair before bed.
12. Castor Oil
Castor oil is excellent for the skin and can be rubbed gently into the face and left on to soak in, or can be rinsed off. It leaves the face glowing and is good for soothing dry, inflamed, sunburned or red and irritated skin. It is also good for rubbing into cracked heels or other dry skin. I always have castor oil on hand for making DIY balms and salves, but if you don’t have any, my first choice is always Heritage Store brand, which offers the absolute best (and not expensive) organic and hexane free castor oil ✓.
If you are interested, you can also check my article about how you can use natural castor oil to dissolve cysts and tumors, too.
Note: Castor oil is sticky and has a strong odor, so you can add nice smelling essential oils if you have any on hand. If not, use sparingly and be careful that you do not spread it on pillowcase or sheets if you use it overnight.
So, there you have 12 budget beauty hacks using common household items!
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