Skin and Hair Care From the Fridge

Two people facing camera applying cosmetic face masks


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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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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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

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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


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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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.

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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


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.