HEALTHY LIVING: 5 ways to use household items for topical skincare

Simplifying your skincare routine is an excellent way to save time, money, and limit your exposure to harsh chemicals.

Skin is the body’s largest organ. It helps to protect us from the elements and is constantly exposed to environmental factors.

Products such as body wash, hair masks, and deodorant can all be made naturally with items found in your pantry or garden.

1. Aloe

There are many health benefits of aloe vera. When applied to the skin, aloe has soothing properties and can help to mitigate pain or discomfort due to burns.

Aloe is also very moisturizing for the skin and has been known to help quell certain types of acne.

If you are harvesting aloe from a plant, be sure that you choose a thick healthy leaf from the outer edges of the plant. 

Make sure to wash and dry the leaves before harvesting the aloe gel on the interior.

2. Apple cider vinegar 

Apple cider vinegar has been known to help soothe irritated skin and prevent breakouts. It can also be used as a hair cleanser.

Since it is highly acidic, be sure to avoid your eyes when applying to your face.

You can also use apple cider vinegar as a toner in the morning or evening.

Dab a clean cotton ball in apple cider vinegar and gently rub it across your skin. Apple cider vinegar is known to have exfoliating properties which can help remove dead skin cells. 

3. Herbs

Using herbs for their healing properties and scent can help simplify your skincare routine by eliminating products with artificial fragrance.

Adding peppermint or rosemary levels to your aloe vera or apple cider vinegar face cleanser can amplify their scents while also providing additional skin soothing benefits.

Peppermint, rosemary, and tea tree oil all possess antiseptic and antibacterial properties which can help keep skin looking radiant.

4. Coconut oil

You can apply coconut oil to the skin to gently remove make-up. Its oil base makes it ideal for trapping hard-to-remove particles from pores.

In addition to having antimicrobial properties, coconut oil is extremely hydrating.

Coconut oil can also be used as a moisturizer for both the skin and hair.

To give yourself a hydrating hair mask, wet your hair before massaging a small amount of coconut oil into the scalp and down the shafts of your hair. 

Leave the mask in for 30 minutes before washing it out with shampoo. 

5. Baking soda

Baking soda can be diluted with water and used as a scrub for the face, body, and scalp.

You can mix baking soda, coconut oil, and honey together for a rejuvenating face mask.

Baking soda and coconut oil can be combined to make an all-natural unscented deodorant. You can add a few drops of oil or herbs to this mixture for fragrance.

Be sure to consult a doctor or dermatologist before applying any products, homemade or otherwise, to your skin.

Kristen Dearborn is a Wallingford native, NASM certified personal trainer and author of the blog dearfitkris-




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