Skin and Hair Care From the Fridge

Natural beauty

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It's common knowledge that items in your refrigerator and pantry can do double duty around the house. For example, who hasn’t used baking soda as a deodorizer in the fridge, or put cucumber slices over their eyes to decrease puffiness? Many of these same natural products can also keep you looking your best, most for a fraction of the cost of store-bought lotions, shampoos and other beauty products. Here are a few of the most popular concoctions you can make to keep your hair and skin healthy and beautiful. Consult your physician with questions.

Oatmeal

YoAmes/Flickr.

Good for: Colloidal oatmeal — or regular oatmeal ground into a powder in a blender — can be mixed into bath water to relieve eczema (itchy, dry skin).

Limitations: Best for more mild cases; not medicinal so if you have severe eczema, talk to your doctor if you need something stronger.

Can replace: Topical anti-itch creams and non-prescription steroid creams such as hydrocortisone

Yogurt

little blue hen/Flickr.

Good for: Make a face mask using plain yogurt and honey to cleanse your face and smooth your complexion. Leave on for about 15-20 minutes, then rinse.

Limitations: None

Can replace: Specialized skin conditioning or cleaning treatments, store-bought face masks

Avocado

ollesvensson/Flickr.

Good for: Strengthening and deep conditioning hair, alone or mixed with mayonnaise until the mixture is mint green in color.

Limitations: Avocado is a common allergen, so even though you are not ingesting it, ask your allergist if you are allergic.

Can replace: Store-bought, deep-conditioning treatments for hair.

Olive oil

nickgraywfu/Flickr.

Good for: Deep conditioning and de-frizzing hair, and also can be rubbed on hands and body to soften skin.

Limitations: Let it absorb into your skin before dressing or getting into bed, as oils are messy.

Can replace: Store-bought, deep-conditioning treatments, body oil, body and hand lotion.

Toothpaste

Jonas B/Flickr.

Good for: Dabs of toothpaste solve multiple skin issues, including itchy bug bites and blemishes. Also, scrub onto your fingernails to shine and strengthen them.

Limitations: Can be sticky and messy; not as effective for serious acne.

Can replace: Calamine lotion and acne creams.

Almonds

McBLG97/Flickr.

Good for: Grind them up and mix with yogurt or mayonnaise to exfoliate your face and skin. Almond oil also can be smoothed into hair to tame frizz.

Limitations: Check with an allergist if you are allergic to tree nuts, especially if you plan to put this on your skin.

Can replace: Store-bought exfoliators and anti-frizz tonics.

Salt or sea salt

SoraZG/Flickr.

Good for: Dissolve a cup into your bath to soften skin, and afterward, give yourself a rub-down with dry salt to exfoliate.

Limitations: None.

Can replace: Bath salts with fragrance or other chemicals.