Skin and Hair Care From the Fridge

Avocado in a glass jar with a fresh sliced avocado beside it on a wood table.

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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.

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Oatmeal in a wood bowl with other spa essentials.

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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

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Homemade Greek yoghurt in a glass jar in a spa setting.

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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

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Avocado being pitted in a white dish on a wood table.

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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.

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Olive oil

Olive oil bottles on a wood shelf on a white wall.

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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.

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Toothpaste squirting out of a tube in front of white subway tiles.

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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.

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Almonds spilling out of a glass jar on a wood table with flowers.

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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.

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Salt or sea salt

Sea salt spilling out of a glass jar on a wood table.

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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.