Health is about more than just what we put in our body—it's also about what we put ON our bodies! Unfortunately, most beauty products contain harmful ingredients, ones you have no idea how to pronounce or what they even are. Plus, most of them come in tiny containers and are ridiculously overpriced.
What if though, there were ingredients from your kitchen that you could use instead? Things that are simple, natural, eco-friendly, long-lasting, and cost a fraction of the price?
Look no further! The following three ingredients can be used in a multitude of ways for brighter skin and a healthier body. And the best part is, you probably already have everything you need to get started!
It's preferable to use sea salt or pink Himalaya crystal salt, as they're relatively unprocessed. They contain minerals, but don't have additives such as anti-caking agent like regular table salts do. You can use salt several ways to boost health:
Salt acts as a disinfectant, flushes the space between your teeth, and will soothe swollen and irritated tissue (such as bleeding gums or sensitivity after dental work). My dentist recommended it to me after I got a crown and it helped immensely!
2. Body scrub
Combined with coconut oil, salt is a great natural body scrub.
Simply mix two parts sea salt (or brown sugar if you prefer a more gentle scrub) with 1 part organic cold pressed coconut oil. Add a few drops of essential oils if you wish.
Make sure to use 100% essential oils and not perfumed oil as you don't want the chemicals from perfume. Some ideas: lavender for a calming, evening scrub; grapefruit for tackling cellulite; rosemary for stimulation and better blood circulation; lemongrass to wake up and feel refreshed.
3. Sore throat relief
Use 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon sea salt diluted in 8 ounces of water to gargle your sore throat away. Why does it work? As mentioned above, salt is a mild disinfectant, and rinsing the infected area flushes away bacteria and stuck phlegm. Second, salt promotes osmosis and draws moisture out of any bacteria there or in swollen tissue.
4. Nose & sinus relief
During allergy season or when we have a cold, we can often barely breathe because our noses are so clogged, and we even get headaches from the pressure. Get relief with a salt water nasal flush: Dilute half a teaspoon of sea salt in 1 cup lukewarm, clean water.
5. In a neti pot
Over the sink, tilt your head about 45 degrees and place the spout into the top nostril. Gently pour the solution through. It will go through your sinus cavities and then come out through the other nostril. Blow your nose to get rid of leftover liquid and repeat on the other side.
Use organic and cold-pressed as it's unrefined and unprocessed. Coconut oil has so many uses and benefits, books have been written about it. Here are six easy ideas to get started:
6. Use it as a body moisturizer.
As opposed to most commercial moisturizers, coconut does not contain any water but is simply oil and contains fatty acids which help lock moisture into your skin. Coconut oil also strengthens deep tissue. Simply dab yourself dry after showering and apply the oil to your damp skin. It will feel greasy at first but absorbs quickly.
7. Remove make-up.
Put some coconut oil on a cotton pad and gently wipe your eyes and face with it. Rinse, done!
8. Deep condition your hair.
A little coconut oil will tame frizzy ends, and a bit more makes a wonderful hair mask. SImply work some coconut oil into your locks, emphasizing the ends and skipping the roots entirely if your hair tends to be oily. Leave in for 30 minutes or wrap your hair in a towel and leave it in overnight. Wash it the next day and it will be super soft and shiny!
9. Heal fungus.
Coconut oil is rich in lauric acid and caprylic acid, which makes it antifungal, antimicrobial and antiviral. If you have athlete's foot or fungus on your feet or toenails, rub coconut oil all over after showering, cover the foot with a plastic bag and put on a sock so the oil won't rub off. Leave it on for a few hours or overnight. Do this at least three times a week, and your skin should renew.
10. Clear candida.
Candida is an internal yeast infection. Besides skipping sugar, consuming up to 3 TBSP of cold-pressed coconut oil daily also helps to heal candida. Start with 1 teaspoon a day and work yourself up to 3 TBSP. Symptoms such as headaches, chills and fatigue are a result of the excess yeast being killed off and usually last for 3 to 5 days. Increase your dose more slowly if your candida is severe.
11. Soothe itchy scalp & dandruff.
Just like the rest of your skin, your scalp needs moisture. If using an aggressive shampoo or chemical hair dyes have sensitized your scalp, rub some coconut oil onto your fingertips and gently massage it into your scalp. Leave it in for up to 30 minutes and repeat several times a week until your scalp has recovered or your dandruff is under control. Thereafter, a weekly treatment should do. (And please, switch to a gentler shampoo!)
12. Protect your hair from chlorine and the sea.
Hair is able to absorb moisture, so if you jump into the sea or a chlorinated pool, your hair will absorb exactly that: chlorine and salt water. Both will make your hair dry like straw. Instead, work some coconut oil into your hair before you hop in the water.
Honey is not only sweet, but it also has some incredibly potent anti-inflammatory, anti-septic, and antibacterial properties. It's important to use unprocessed raw, organic honey in order to reap the benefits. There are many types of (raw) honey and each suits one type of skin best; see below and choose accordingly. Here are some uses for honey:
13. Disinfect wounds.
A small dab of honey on any cut will destroy almost all wound-infecting bacteria and help your body heal faster, as it won't be busy fending off germs. (Simply cover the area with a bandaid to contain the stickiness.)
14. Use it as a facial cleanser, gentle scrub, and mask all in one!
Ever since I started using honey, my skin is super soft. Even fine lines seem to fade. Though it won't remove make-up, honey will cleanse and nourish your skin while removing old cells. Simply wet your face with your palms and then apply a bit of honey all over with your finger tips. Leave it on for about 10 minutes, then rinse it off with water. Your skin should become clearer and smoother with every application. For dry, sensitive or mature skin, use clear honey. For oily, breakout-prone skin, use creamy honey. (It has larger sugar crystals and will therefore be a little bit less gentle compared to clear honey—perfect for a face scrub!) For acne, Manuka honey is the best treatment.
15. Smooth Lips
If you have chapped lips, honey will help them heal faster and smoothe the skin. Simply apply a tiny bit and try not to lick it all off right away!