Ingenious Beauty Uses for Everyday Kitchen Items

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How to Use Milk, Honey, Olive Oil, Salt and Sugar for Beauty

Kitchen staples
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It's amazing what you can do with simple staples found in your kitchen. There's absolutely no need to spend $22 on a lip scrub, $40 on a facial mask or $8 on a package of organic baby wipes when you can make these products yourself for a dollar or two. What's more, unlike some products out there, which are tested on animals and possibly full of ingredients you really don't want on your skin, you know exactly what you're dealing with when you make your own beauty products.

In this slideshow, find out about 18 natural beauty tips. All of these tips are tried-and-true and some of the recipes are so good, you'll want to eat the leftovers.

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$65 Brown Sugar Scrubs vs. $1 Homemade Version

A homemade body scrub made from sugar and oil
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You can buy a $65 bottle of brown sugar scrub from Amazon or get the same results from a homemade brown sugar and coconut oil ​scrub that costs less than a dollar.

Any beauty product that stays on your face for a very short time (cleansers and scrubs) are not worth spending lots of money on because you are washing the product down the drain mere moments after you used it. 

The purpose of a scrub is to exfoliate and moisturize. There's nothing better than sugar for exfoliating and a wonderful oil such as coconut oil, jojoba oil or sweet almond oil for moisturizing. And you can get these things in your kitchen.

The key to making a body or facial scrub is two parts sugar and one part oil. Pick your favorite sugar (brown or refined sugar) and mix it in with your favorite oil. 

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Our Favorite Teapot Face Steam

Use steam for a cleansing facial
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There's nothing quite like a steam to bring oxygenated blood to the skin's surface. You can spend $100 or more for an hour-long spa facial that includes a steam or you can place your head over a teapot.

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Amazing Lip Scrub Using Honey & Brown Sugar

Woman with sugar lip scrub on her lips
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You can buy Sara Happ's wonderful brown sugar lip scrub for $16 on, or you can make one yourself for pennies.

How to Make a Honey & Brown Sugar Lip Scrub:

  • Place about a pencil eraser-sized dollop of honey in your palm.
  • Add to the honey a pinch of brown sugar.
  • Mix them together in your palm with your finger. Add a drop of water if the mixture is too gooey.
  • Apply mixture to lips, rubbing the mixture into lips in a circular motion.

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Yes, You Can Make Your Own Baby Wipes

Baby wipes
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You can make your own baby wipes and forego the yucky chemicals that are in many basic wipes. The organic wipes are super expensive, so making your own makes sense if you are a crafty sort. There are a bunch of wonderful baby wipe recipes out there.

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Amazing Milk Bath Recipe

Lush Bath Bombs
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Few of us can afford to take baths in milk, but we can enjoy the wonderful soothing and naturally exfoliating effects of a couple cups of milk in a bath. Luxuriate in this simple milk and salt bath recipe:

  • Start your warm bath.
  • Dump into the running water 2 cups of powdered milk or buttermilk.
  • Add 1/2 cup of sea salt or Epsom salt. (I always use Epsom salt, because I keep it in the bathroom).
  • Add 1/4 cup of sweet almond oil
  • Enjoy the bath.

The almond oil can make the tub slippery once the water drains, so be sure and clean the tub before you or someone else gets in and breaks a tailbone.

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Homemade Sugar Wax Recipe

Homemade sugar wax
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Who knew you could make your own wax at home? It may take a couple of tries to perfect, but it will save you money at the salon once you do. If you're the sort who hates leg hair, loves to save money and is patient enough to heat up sugar to the right consistency, then enjoy.

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Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil as Overall Body Moisturizer

Coconut oil is a natural moisturizer
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If there's one typical kitchen item to move to your bathroom, it's Extra Virgin Coconut Oil. You can use coconut oil in body scrubs, hair masks, milk baths and as a simple moisturizer for face and body. It smells like summer, soaks into the dry skin like a serum and is 100 percent natural. You can get it from your local grocery store or health food store for about $10, depending on size.

Use coconut oil in two ways:

  1. On your face: Take a dollop of oil and apply it all over your clean skin in the morning. Wet a washcloth and scrub skin gently in a circular motion. The washcloth naturally exfoliates skin, but you can also add a sprinkle of fine, granulated sugar or brown sugar to the washcloth for added exfoliating powers.
  2. On your body: After a shower, apply coconut oil all over your legs. Then wipe off the excess with a dry towel. Make sure the oil is soaked in before getting into clean sheets or clothes and never, ever use oils when wearing silk. The stains, the stains.

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Apple Cider Vinegar Helps Add Shine to Limp Locks

Apple cider vingear
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One organic beauty staple you'll find in all the organic beauty books and websites is apple cider vinegar. There's simply nothing better to add shine and life back into your limp locks.

Apple cider vinegar can be used daily or just a couple of times a week to remove product build-up on your hair. It smells kind of funny (although some people claim they love the smell, but hey, these people probably also love patchouli) so apply it before you shampoo. Wash your hair with a mild baby shampoo that doesn't include sulfates, the wicked witch of hair products.

The recipe is ridiculously simple:

  • Put 1/2 cup of apple cider vinegar and 1 cup water in a spray bottle.
  • Give it a shake.
  • Spray on the roots of the hair and your scalp in the shower.
  • Massage the apple cider vinegar into the scalp (this is also good for combating dandruff) and then spray more on the hair itself, massaging it into hair with your hands.
  • Let it sit for 5-10 minutes before washing it out with a gentle baby shampoo.

You can use this rinse daily until your hair appears shinier.

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Use Milk or Yogurt as a Cleanser

Milk is a wonderful facial cleanser.
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If you really want to go back to basics, or if you ever find yourself on one of those Pioneer Family reality TV shows, you can use milk or yogurt as a facial cleanser. Milk is great natural exfoliant for the skin. Organic milk (full fat, please), half and half or Greek yogurt all work as wonderful cleansers.

You can also remove eye makeup with milk or half and half soaked into a cotton ball. Leave the milk on the skin or wash it off after leaving it on for a few minutes. You can leave the milk on your skin without washing it off.

You can also mix honey with milk if you have dry skin, and salt with warmed milk, if you have oily skin.

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Use Olive Oil as an Eye Makeup Remover

Olive oil works as a great makeup remover
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If you are out of eye makeup remover, try olive oil. Simply saturate a cotton ball with the oil and hold it on your lashes to give it a second to soak in. Then gently remove your makeup. You can also use olive oil on the skin. 

Grapeseed oil also works as an eye makeup remover. 

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Make Your Own Hair Conditioner

Shampoo in hair
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You can make your own amazing hair conditioners from a few ingredients found in your pantry, plus a few essential oils you can buy online or at your health food store.

Here's a basic recipe:

  • Pick one: 1 cup organic extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil or jojoba base oil
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 10 drops each of your favorite essential oils: lavender, rosewood, rosemary, clary sage, tea tree, cedarwood, ylang-ylang, palmarosa or geranium are all excellent options.

Put the ingredients in a glass bottle with a top and shake vigorously. Store for 24 hours so the essential oils can synergize, or if you are impatient, just use it right then. Massage 2 teaspoons of the product into the scalp and comb another 2 teaspoons through to the ends of hair. Let it sit for 10 minutes before rinsing.

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How to Make Your Own Tinted Lip Balm

Make your own tinted lip balm
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A good lip balm is especially useful in the cold months when lips can chap. All it takes is beeswax, almond oil (or another oil you like) and honey.

You can tint your balms using old lipstick or leave out the color.

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Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil as Foundation Primer

A cut coconut
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If you're getting older, your skin may be more dry than oily now, which means a foundation primer may your favorite tinted sunscreen from Amazon) go on more smoothly. I realized it works just as well as my Laura Mercier primer.

But you can also make your own primer by taking about a half teaspoon of extra virgin coconut oil and applying it to your face. Then, wet a washcloth and scrub your face in a circular motion. This acts as an exfoliant and also a moisturizer. Pat skin dry and apply foundation, tinted moisturizer or sunscreen. You'll notice it goes on smoothly and any dry patches will be gone.

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Lemon as a Toner

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A great natural toner for oily skin is lemon juice. This astringent may be too harsh for sensitive, sunburned or dehydrated skin. Put into a spray bottle the juice of half a lemon, 1/2 cup of witch hazel and 1/2 cup of warm water. Mist on the face, chest, and back. This should last up to a week.

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Highlight Your Hair with Chamomile Tea

Dried chamomile
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Lemon juice to lighten hair works best on naturally fair hair, but if you're not already pretty blonde, lemon juice can turn your hair "a brassy orange-yellow" says stylist Eva Scrivo in her book, Eva Scrivo on Beauty (buy it from Amazon).

A better natural highlighter is actually chamomile tea. Scrivo recommends steeping 3-4 tablespoons of loose tea until it's super strong. Pour the cooled tea into a spray bottle and spritz it on hair before you head out into the sun.