The beauty industry can be such a scam at times. Products that cost hundreds of dollars can end up not working or losing their effectiveness after a few days. It’s also a bit of a pain buying an expensive body scrub and only using it once or twice before forgetting about it, discovering two years later that it has expired.
If you just need a quick fix every now and then, instead of wasting money on beauty products full of questionable chemicals, you can save a bit of money thanks to these easy beauty hacks using items you should have in your kitchen. Don’t worry, we’re not suggesting you start washing your hair with baking soda. The ick factor for each of the below is fairly low.
Cucumber / tea bag eye treatment
If you have sinus issues or spent the entire night bawling, you might be waking up with eyes that resemble terrified puffer fish. No amount of eye cream can reduce the puffiness, but a few simple at-home treatments when used in the morning can prevent you from being asked by colleagues at work who punched you in the face the night before.
Stick some teaspoons in the freezer (I do this the night before if I forsee myself being sleep deprived the next day) and when they’re ice-cold, take them out and place the backs on your closed eyes. They work the way an ice pack would on a swollen bump.
Next, cut two slices of cucumbers and place them over your eyes as you lie in bed trying not to fall asleep again. Alternatively, you can steep two tea bags in hot water for a few minutes, then remove them from the cup, place them on a plate and put them in the freezer for a few minutes until they’re cold. Then squeeze out the liquid and place the tea bags over your eyes. The acids and caffeine will reduce the puffiness in your eyes.
If you’re someone with crazy flyaway hair that makes you look like you’re perpetually being given electric shocks, a hair mask can solve your problems somewhat by moisturising dry hair and helping to weigh down flyaway strands.
While using a conditioner when you wash your hair is pretty much a must, using a hair mask every once in a while does help to tame your hair even more. Mix 2 tablespoons of coconut oil (you can find lots at Mustafa), 2 tablespoons of honey and 1 large egg yolk in a bowl and whisk the whole shebang with a fork. Apply to dry hair and then keep it on for at least half an hour (wear a shower cap to keep everything inside). Then rinse to remove. You’ll find that your hair is much more obedient. Ideally you shouldn’t shampoo right after unless your hair feels too greasy for your tastes.
Sitting in an air conditioned room all day can make your skin pretty dry, especially if you were unlucky enough to get a seat directly under the air con vents. There are body scrubs galore on the market at every price point, but honestly, one scrub is pretty much the same as any other, and scrubs are one of the cheapest products to produce. All you really need are beads that can remove the layers of dead skin on your body.
Mix half a cup of white or brown sugar with half a cup of olive oil or coconut oil and you have a scrub that works just as well as what you find on the market. The only downside is that it might be a little oily, but then it can double as a moisturising treatment too. Just scrub your skin with the mixture in the shower and then wash it off.
Many drugstore body moisturisers contain cancer-causing chemicals, and because the moisturiser sits on your body all day long it gets absorbed into your skin and beyond. If that freaks you out, you might want to try making your own. Body moisturisers are generally less tricky to make than face moisturisers since the skin on your body isn’t as sensitive or prone to breakouts.
There are countless DIY moisturiser recipes online, but this one that I like is quick and easy. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and 2 tablespoons of aloe vera gel to half a cup of coconut oil. If you want you can also add about 20 to 40 drops of essential oil to make it smell better. Whisk the mixture (it’s easier if you use one of those electric whisks or KitchenAid things) until it becomes light and airy. Store in the fridge and use it whenever your skin feels dry.
If you’re not sure where to get aloe vera gel or high quality essential oils, try iHerb, which often offers free shipping to Singapore on orders over $40 or so.
Have you ever made your own beauty products? Share your favourite recipes in the comments!