Beauty from Your Pantry

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Have you ever looked at the ingredient list for your favorite beauty treatments and been hard pressed to pronounce them, let alone begin to know what they do? While some ingredients come with a fancy, scientific name yet perform simple and important functions, the truth is that many products are filled with ingredients and chemicals that are best avoided.

Want to do a beauty treatment at home using natural and pure ingredients? Look no further than the pantry and refrigerator! Chances are a number of basic staples in the kitchen are all you need to hydrate hair, moisturize and brighten skin, and even reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Sound too good to be true? It’s not; these everyday ingredients contain nutrients, such as vitamins, minerals and amino acids, which work to hydrate skin and encourage cell turnover.

You can get a purer form of the nutrient from food in the pantry, plus it’s economical and takes up minimal space in your house. Here are some of the most common ingredients that do a marvelous job at doubling as beauty treatments.

How often do you empty out the coffee or espresso grounds from the coffee machine each morning? Stop! Save the grounds and use them as an exfoliant for the skin! Coffee, while it has some amazing physiological effects when we consume it, also has beneficial perks when rubbed into the skin. The grounds gently slough away dry skin cells from the entire body and the caffeine content boosts circulation; it also provides a temporary tightening effect, which reduces the appearance of cellulite. Each morning, add used coffee grounds to a small jar filled with a nourishing oil, such as coconut or avocado oil, and then use it daily in the shower.

Coconut Oil
Truth be told, coconut oil is the antidote for nearly everything in terms of beauty treatments. Use it as a deep conditioner for your hair; rub it into dry cuticles throughout the day to hydrate and nourish nails; apply it to dry elbows and knees for a powerful moisturizer and even consume it as a part of your daily diet! Use melted coconut oil (leave it outside of the refrigerator) as a weekly hair mask; massage it into the scalp for an extra-soothing treatment and then rinse with your favorite shampoo. When you’re done with your shower, rub a thin layer into towel-dried skin to lock in hydration for a healthy glow.

This wonderful spice is a powerful antioxidant, so it makes perfect sense that you would want to use it on your skin. Turmeric features more than 300 different antioxidants and it was used as a beauty treatment in ancient cultures. It works to purify skin and reduce a number of skin ailments, such as acne, oily and dry skin, wrinkles and stretch marks. Create a simple turmeric face mask to fight back against dry skin and wrinkles by combining only a pinch of the spice with an egg white, two drops of oil, either olive or avocado oil, and a squeeze of fresh lemon; mix it together and then apply it to the skin. Once it dries, wipe it away with warm water and use your favorite moisturizer.

Yes, you read that correctly. This popular sandwich spread also works well as a beauty treatment, especially if you use an organic or homemade version. Egg yolks, one of the primary ingredients in mayonnaise, contain nutritional and hydrating properties that work well to moisturize skin and hair. Use mayonnaise as a deep-conditioning hair treatment or facial mask (especially when it’s chilled from sitting in the refrigerator!), or massage the product into nails and cuticles for a strengthening treatment.

If applying mayonnaise to your skin or hair sounds too frightful, you can also use eggs in a variety of beauty treatments. Egg whites are beneficial for tightening the skin and smoothing pores, while the entire egg, when added to a face mask with mashed avocado, banana and a few drops of olive oil, deeply hydrates and nourishes skin and hair. Have you been out in the sun too long? Soothe and calm skin by combining shredded fresh carrot with a few drops of pure aloe gel, followed with one egg white. Apply the concoction to the sunburned area and allow it to set for 15 minutes before rinsing with cool water.

These are just some of the most common ingredients that may also be used for beauty treatments. Any number of fruits, vegetables and dairy products, which contain beneficial lactic acid, can help soften and nourish skin. The next time you take a look at the ingredients in your favorite beauty product, consider switching it with something more natural! ■

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