By Sarah Sarway
Amazing things can happen when you get inventive in the kitchen. For example, you can make cookies out of sweet potatoes (something we’ve been doing since 2010, in fact!) to wow your co-workers or whip up healthier chicken tenders that please the pickiest of children.
That’s not all: with a couple of staple kitchen ingredients, you can also make DIY beauty products that are good for you, both inside and out.
For example, how about a mask so chocolatey you’ll want to lick your own face? Or an anti-inflammatory, chemical-free approach to removing unwanted hair?
We scoured the net to find some of the most brilliant, simple ways to incorporate the healthy food and spices you already stock in your kitchen into your beauty routine. Prepare to nix toxic (and pricey!) products from your life with these nine creative skin-to-hair fixes.
9 DIY Beauty Products Made with Healthy Foods
1. Apples for a brighter complexion.
Beauty blogger Kimberly Loc uses green apples to make her homemade Brightening Apple Mask, but you can use whichever variety you have on hand. “Apples are rich in vitamin C, which is a documented skin-brightening agent,” she writes, recommending the mask two to three times per week for clearer skin, especially after a weekend getaway in the sun.
2. Cinnamon for acne.
The next time you wake up to a surprise zit, reach for the spice cabinet. Glam Organic Goddess’ Cinnamon Spot Treatment is made with three simple ingredients that work together to make skin-clearing magic. “The cinnamon detoxifies by bringing blood and oxygen to the surface to open pores and dries out affected areas, the nutmeg helps relieve pain and inflammation, while removing blackheads. And the honey seals in nourishment for new cell turnover while reducing the appearance of scars and fine lines,” she says.
3. Eggs for shinier hair.
Your favorite brunch staple does double duty as the main ingredient in Wellness Mama’s DIY Hair Mask recipe. (Although you may have to prep in advance to be sure you have the other ingredients for this one.) Eggs are filled with minerals like iron and calcium and vitamins A, B, D, and E, all of which can contribute to shiny, healthy locks. Pro tip: Be picky about your eggs just like you would be if you were eating them. “Eggs from less than healthy animals won’t have as good of a nutritional profile,” she says.
4. Beer for deep conditioning.
Okay, beer isn’t exactly a healthy food, but we still support stocking it in your fridge. And if you use some on your hair, you’ll drink less of it. We made our own hair conditioner by combining the leftovers of a Sunday night get-together with a couple of egg yolks. The result is hair that’s smooth, silky, shiny, and strong. We’ll cheers to that!
5. Dark chocolate as a body scrub.
Yes, you can have your chocolate—-and wear it, too. This Dark Chocolate Honey Beauty Mask & Scrub can be used two ways, making Hello Glow’s recipe a must-try for anyone itching to get a cocoa fix. Be a total stickler when you choose your chocolate bar of choice, says the beauty blogger. “Be sure to check the ingredients on the label; if the ingredients show sugar or milk first, you are not getting a high enough cacao content to reap the benefits.” A bar with 70% cacao content will help amp up the anti-aging properties of the recipe.
6. Turmeric for hair removal.
The Indian Spot shares a slew of ways to use the powerful spice, but her Turmeric Pack For Hair Removal is one of our faves. The all-natural alternative to chemical-filled creams and painful waxing is made with three ingredients that are as clean as can be. Prolonged use, she says, can even result in permanent hair removal. (We can’t verify that claim, but if it’s true, buh-bye, lasers!) Once you’re done with your application, “use an apple cider vinegar toner or coconut oil on your skin and mildly rub with a cotton ball as this helps in removal of stains.” Um, noted.
7. Baking soda as dry shampoo.
Making your own dry shampoo is super easy with The Natural Nurturer’s 3-ingredient recipe. The baking soda works with the cornstarch to soak up the oil. Then, you carefully add cocoa powder until you reach your desired shade, so the mixture blends perfectly into your hair. Pro tip: use a makeup brush to apply it. “It doesn’t have to be a special makeup brush, just one that you can dedicate to your dry shampoo so that you don’t find yourself with clumps of makeup in your hair or dry shampoo in your makeup,” she says.
8. Yogurt for face exfoliation.
Next time you sit down for breakfast, consider sticking your face in the leftovers. We love mixing up this Coffee Yogurt Face Mask whenever we feel like our skin can use a little pick-me-up. What makes these two ingredients a match made in DIY beauty heaven? The yogurt is filled with lactic acid, which helps break down dead skin cells. The ground coffee brings the perfect exfoliant texture, while caffeine can help reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and discoloration of the skin.
9. Apple cider vinegar for dandruff.
There are so many different ways to make apple cider vinegar part of your regular beauty routine. One of our favorites is to mix it with water for an all-natural solution to pesky dandruff. “Apple cider vinegar has natural anti-fungal properties,” reports Prevention. “Plus, its acidic properties balance pH levels and restore the scalp’s protective acid mantle layer to ward off further fungal growth.”