Beauty in the Pantry

Beauty products are ‘spensive. Beyond that, most of the products you’ll find at cosmetics shops are loaded with artificial fragrances, sulfates and other ingredients linked to inflammation. If you’ve got sensitive skin or are prone to breakouts, a switch to all natural products might be just the thing you need.

When you choose the all natural route, you’ll axe cost along with irritants. While there are plenty of pricey natural options out there, there are also a lot of single-ingredient treatments that you can find in your own pantry. If you’ve got the energy to trek to the grocery store, you’ve got everything you need for at-home facials and one-off treatments.

Whatever your beauty qualm—puffiness, dryness, clogged pores, under-eye bags, general Sasquatch hangover face—I’ve got a single ingredient treatment for it. Here are some of my favourites.

Green Tea

I’ve been talking a lot about inflammation, and for good reason. Inflamed skin is unhappy skin. If you’ve got congested pores, puffy eyes or lots of redness, you are probably dealing with a bout of inflammation. On the inside, inflammation in the gut can lead to digestive issues, which almost always resurface on the skin.

To cut inflammation, turn to your pantry and grab the green tea. Applied topically, the caffeine in tea will constrict your blood vessels and reduce swelling. This is great for puffy hangover or sleep-deprived eyes. Just dip the bags into warm water, squeeze out the excess liquid and let them sit on your eyes for ten minutes.

Coconut Oil

If I could dip my entire body into a large vat of coconut oil, I would. Unfortunately, that’s not a realistic daily option. Coconut oil is endlessly moisturizing, and we all know that moisture is the essence of wetness and wetness is the essence of beauty.

After that long winter, your skin needs a drink. Coconut oil is a wonderful replacement for that body lotion with 9374385 ingredients on the label. Or you can try adding a scoop of coconut oil to your bath while the water is running. You’ll slither out positively glowing.

Apple Cider Vinegar

ACV has been touted as a cure for just about everything, from eczema to gut health to dandruff.

Topically, ACV is a great hair rinse for shine and de-tangling. A friend of mine now skips ‘poo entirely and mixes 1/4 cup ACV with 1 cup of water in a squirt bottle. Then, she douses her hair in the mixture and rinses it clean. She doesn’t smell like vinegar, but I was skeptical. Is she lying? I tried this yesterday (because I can’t go all willy-nilly recommending vinegar hair without testing it myself). Today, my hair is fluffy and smooth. Big ups to ACV!

Papaya

Harsh exfoliating scrubs are over. Now, people swear by the exfoliating power of hydroxy acids. Plainly, alpha and beta hydroxy acids eat the dead skin off your face.

Papaya is an overachiever when it comes to gobbling up dead skin cells. Its a natural source of alpha hydroxy acid, and its fruit enzymes are hungry. All you’ve gotta do is cut off a chunk of ripe papaya and smear it all over your face. If done right, you should look like the inside of a pumpkin. Great. Let it sit for five to ten minutes. Then, rinse it off with a warm face cloth.

An at-home papaya mask will make your skin feel baby soft, but it won’t strip or tear your skin like man-made scrubs.

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