For years, smart, efficient women have been finding beauty essentials tucked around their homes. Take my grandma for instance. I vividly recall her sitting at the kitchen table giving herself home manicures every Saturday when chores were complete. She’d have two bowls set out—one with soapy warm water and one with lemon juice. Next to those, a little nail file, a toothbrush, and a hand towel.
She’d scrub the nails of each hand in the soapy water and then give them a nice long soak in lemon juice before washing her hands and calling her nails “all fresh for church.” No paint! Back then nail color was practically a crime! But why the lemon juice step, you ask? It brightened and whitened her nail beds in a natural, DIY kind of way. Clean and fresh perfection!
And perhaps that is the best thing. When you learn the secrets of household items turned beauty products, you can DIY all day long and look gorgeous while you do it! So get ready to find some great resources in your cupboards and mix up a potion or two—because these beauty hacks actually work!
Seattle-based fashion and beauty blogger Jenn of Hello Rigby and makeup-obsessed mom Meg of Meg O. on the Go of Houston, Texas—along with a few other beauty and wellness insiders—share how some of our favorite household items can double as cosmetic treats.
Get ready to be amazed!
Keep this household location stocked and you’ll be beautiful forever.
Are your cupboards bare like Old Mother Hubbard's, or are they full of all sorts of ingredients? For your sake, I’m hoping full, because the pantry is a perfect place to find household products that double as beauty saviors.
Jenn says that “Honey is a great moisturizing mask and has antibacterial properties that have been shown to reduce breakouts. Using this in place of a hydrating facial mask can save $20 or more ... If you have sensitive skin, it's a great replacement for skincare products with many ingredients that you could be allergic or sensitive to.”
Hallelujah for honey! Guess I’ll be buying the Costco size from here on out.
Next up, coffee grounds. In the past all my grounds have made their way to the garbage, but Jenn says that isn’t their place at all! She advises that we all “use old coffee grounds for an even more invigorating body scrub! I like mixing coffee grounds, a bit of sugar, and coconut oil for a good scrub down in the shower. Coffee scrubs were all the rage in the beauty industry for a while and were often super expensive. I think the DIY one works just as [well] and saves you $15+!”
In consideration of pantry essentials, both sugar and salt are DIY must-haves, too, according to Jenn. “Sugar and salt are great to mix with oils like olive or coconut for a lip or body scrub, which can easily retail for $10+ dollars at the drugstore. I find the scrubbing power to be the same or even greater than what I can buy (though to be fair, they are a bit messier!)”
Meg is all about the homemade scrubs, too. She highly recommends this scrub, which contains a bit of sugar, oatmeal, and other household staples. An added perk: It can be made in small batches.
Fresh is often best.
The next time you’re at the grocery store, consider what produce can double as a beauty product. I was amazed to learn about the grocery items that can do wonders for my body both inside and out.
Another produce winner is bananas. Massage banana pulp onto dry, cracked feet and the thick mixture will hyper-moisturize your feet.
This would work wonders on rough elbows and knees in the dry winter season, too.
Clean freaks unite in your quest for beauty tips!
Who would have guessed household cleaning products can double as beauty saves? I would have considered many too harsh, but nope. Some of these things are quite handy in beauty routines and can save the day when you have an unexpected mishap.
My best friend has always said that a few dryer sheets tucked in your purse are the perfect helper when it comes to hair fly-aways. They tame the static in a jiff!
And when Magic Erasers hit the market, my mom found about 100 tasks for the little gems, her favorite being cleaning up shoes that have gotten scuffs and stains. A swipe or two with a Magic Eraser and, well, abracadabra! Shoes look like new!
Meg reveals that Dawn dish soap is “amazing for getting makeup brushes squeaky clean!” Of all our brushes, those most deserve a thorough cleaning but are often overlooked.
Jenn has this tip: “You can easily reuse an old toothbrush for all sorts of beauty uses. My favorites are to brush brows into place and to use as a lip exfoliator. Multitasking products are big money savers, and a toothbrush works just as well as a brow brush [or] a lip scrub!”
If it’s cold, this just might be a beauty routine winner.
Look no further than your refrigerator for some amazing food-based beauty products.
For starters, eggs! Yes, that protein-rich chicken gold is perfect when it comes to DIY beauty projects. If you deal with under eye puffiness, apply a thin layer of raw egg whites under your eye, allow it to dry, and then rinse.
(Green tea bags are another helpful item for decreasing puffiness.)
You can also boost your hair conditioning routine with eggs. Take one egg white, a squirt of conditioner, and a dash of olive oil. Then gently mix and apply like regular hair conditioner. Rinse thoroughly and ta-da, a protein-rich jumpstart for your locks.
Meg is in tune with my grandma on the note of lemon juice. “I love to use lemon juice on dark spots on my skin at night.” This totally makes sense, since lemon is a natural bleaching agent.
Organic Authority can’t say enough good things about Greek yogurt. So keep your fridge stocked! “When topically applied to the skin, a velvety yogurt face mask will help moisturize, fight acne, prevent premature aging, relieve sunburn, and reduce discoloration. It’s an all-around beauty multi-tasker.”
Borrow from the baby.
It’s no surprise that our little ones have some pretty fabulous toiletry products. Personally, I’m obsessed with my baby’s hair and body wash—it has such a calming scent and gets the job done, too.
But Meg says the real secret is in baby’s diaper cream because “it is known to zap a zit if you're in a pickle!”
Who knew? Thanks, baby, for helping your mama’s postpartum acne flares!
And the winner of them all!
Both Jenn and Meg are giant fans of coconut oil. According to them, it’s the household item that can pretty much solve any problem.
Jenn says, “Coconut oil on its own can be used as a makeup remover. I personally would recommend just using it on your eyes and lips if you are breakout prone, as coconut oil has been known to clog pores. Eye makeup removers can be costly, and this can be an easy way to save a few bucks if you already have this at home!”
Meg agrees: “[Coconut oil] is by far my favorite! I use it every night as makeup remover. It can also be used as a moisturizer on the body or on the hair for a deep conditioning treatment.”
We've all found ourselves improvising from time to time, but these are the hacks that deserve to be passed down from generation to generation. So share away, and let's put grandma's secrets (and the beauty bloggers') to work and keep them alive!