The best beauty fixes come from the most surprising places. Many of today’s top spa treatments take their cues from old-fashioned home remedies, and there’s science to back up the ingredients’ effectiveness. Here are some of the weird beauty secrets you didn’t know could actually work.
Beer:Yeast and hops help to swell the hair shaft and plump the cuticle, adding volume. The acidity of the beer helps remove built-up product residue. In the shower, after you’ve shampooed, pour a bottle of beer over your hair. Rinse briefly with fresh water. A rich beer with a high yeast content works best.
Olive Oil: Rich in vitamin E and fatty acids, olive oil is a Mediterranean-inspired favorite for moisturizing brittle and overstyled hair. Before showering, comb several tablespoons of light olive oil through hair, working from roots to ends. Cover hair with a shower cap. After showering for 5 to 7 minutes, remove the cap. Shampoo, rinse, and condition as usual. Hair will feel super soft.
Oatmeal: Soothing and anti-inflammatory, oatmeal contains beta glucan, a soluble fiber that creates a thin, moisture-retaining film on the surface of the skin. Place a handful of whole oats in a clean washcloth and use a rubber band to secure it. Next, immerse it in a sinkful of warm water and squeeze the bag four or five times. Once the water is cloudy, splash it on your face and then air-dry.
Avocado Oil: Avocado oil’s abundant fatty acids help balance skin’s moisture levels, and the antioxidant vitamins A, C, and E protect skin from further damage. Combine equal parts avocado oil and evening-primrose oil in a sealable bottle and shake to blend. Massage five or six drops into clean skin, and then cover your face with a warm washcloth for a minute to help the oils sink in.
Oranges: The fruit acid loosens dead skin cells. Cut a fresh orange in half and squeeze the juice of one half into a bowl. Add 1/4 cup granulated sugar and 1/4 cup olive oil and then blend into a moisture-rich scrub. Next, rub the exposed side of the other half of the orange over knees, elbows, heels, and any other dry spots. Last, rub in the sugar mixture to slough off dead skin. Rinse with warm water and pat skin dry.
Milk:The lactic acid in milk serves as a gentle skin exfoliant, while its natural fat content acts as a body moisturizer. Add a gallon of whole milk to a tubful of warm water and soak. It’s a great alternative to sugar and salt scrubs, which may be too abrasive for people who suffer from eczema, psoriasis, or sensitive skin. If you prefer a fragranced bath, add 10 to 20 drops of an essential oil, such as lavender.
Eggs: Eggs’ high protein content helps improve hair’s resilience and luster. Whisk together 1 egg, 2 tablespoons coconut oil and 2 tablespoons sesame oil. Apply the mixture to dry hair and wrap a hot, moist towel around your head. Relax for 5 to 10 minutes. Without wetting hair first, work in a handful of shampoo, then rinse and condition your hair.
Almond Oil: This nut oil makes a great hand moisturizer. With a light texture and loads of vitamin E, almond oil quickly penetrates dry skin and protects hands and nails from environmental damage. Rub 1 teaspoon of oil into hands and cuticles. Wrap each hand in a small towel, and allow the oil to penetrate for at least 5 minutes. Wipe the excess oil off hands, but don’t rinse them; any remaining oil will be absorbed over the next few minutes. Follow with a rich hand cream.
Kiwi: The high vitamin C levels in kiwi fight free-radical damage and even out skin texture. When scrubbed on the face, the seeds act as tiny exfoliators, leaving skin smooth. Peel and slice a ripe kiwi, then mash the flesh thoroughly with a fork. With circular motions, work the kiwi paste onto a damp, clean complexion, avoiding the eye and lip areas. After 30 to 60 seconds of scrubbing, rinse skin withwarm water and pat dry.