We've heard it all before: the odd tales of sensational measures starlets will take to achieve that Oscar glow. From bird-dropping facials to bee-stung puckers, celebrities have no qualms about going to the extreme. Couponers know a little something about "going extreme," and superstar results don't require exotic or expensive measures. In fact, we can gain some star-worthy glamour by taking a fresh look at the staples and leftovers in our very own kitchens.
- Oatmeal and Cilantro: Waste not, want not. How many times have you used a few sprigs of cilantro and thrown out the rest? Instead of sending that green to the trash, mix cilantro with oatmeal to make a calming skin treatment that reduces redness and inflammation. Not only will this duo combat dry winter hands, it provides relief for eczema and psoriasis as well!
- Banana: Do you have a banana that's past its prime? A mashed banana makes a great moisturizing mask, and the inside of banana peels work wonders when rubbed on ashy elbows and knees. As an added bonus, the potassium in this yellow peeled fruit can reduce dark circles under eyes.
Hair and Nails
- Black Tea or Beer: Lackluster hair needs a pick-me-up? A cup of tea or beer doubles as a shine enhancing hair rinse. Add the tea or beer directly to your locks after shampooing, then condition and rinse as usual.
- Egg Yolks: Does a recipe call for just an egg white? Save the yolk and mix with your conditioner for a nutrient-rich hair treatment. Just don't rinse with hot water…scrambled eggs belong on your plate!
- Lemons: Citrus fruits are natural brighteners; use a leftover lemon wedge to lighten yellowed nails.
- Ginger: No matter how hard I try, when I buy fresh ginger I always end up with extra. Luckily, because ginger increases blood circulation and acts as an anti-inflammatory, it wards off blemishes and reduces acne scarring, too.
- Lemons or Apple Cider Vinegar: The citric acid in lemons and the malic acid in vinegar have antiseptic and antibacterial properties that dry out blemishes while fending off new spots. Apple Cider Vinegar also doubles as a pH-balancing toner. Apply a drop of juice or vinegar directly to your blemish or swipe a soaked cotton pad over affected areas.
- Allspice: Use that never-ending jar of allspice as an acne spot treatment by mixing the spice with water to form a thick paste. In addition to being antimicrobial, nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves and cardamom can also zap the red out of that zit.
- Yogurt or Sour Cream: Since dairy touts the same lactic acids as those $50 face creams, use a dollop of yogurt or sour cream to make a rejuvenating masque that lightens sun spots and wards off wrinkles.
- Lemons or Apple Cider Vinegar: The citric acid in lemons and the acetic acid in vinegar can lighten sun spots and exfoliate and revive tired skin. Moisten a cotton ball with lemon juice or vinegar and dab dark spots and dullness away.
- Strawberries or Blueberries: Fruit enzymes are wrinkle-fighting superstars. Blueberries are known for their antioxidant power because they are filled with Vitamins C and E. A handful of pureed blueberries makes a free-radical fighting masque that moisturizes and rejuvenates. Make a pulp with equal parts strawberries and water for a facial treatment that evens out skin tone and shrinks the appearance of over-sized pores. Don't forget to snack on a few; strawberries can even whiten teeth!
- Watermelon: Need to use up that leftover chunk of watermelon? As a natural astringent, watermelon is a great skin cleanser. Watermelon is also an abundant source of lycopene, and when applied directly to the skin, assists in cellular growth and repair. Either add a thin slice of this watery wonder directly to your skin or make a quick toner by mixing equal parts water and watermelon in the blender.
Scrubs and Body Buffs
- Coffee Grinds: The coffee grinds from your morning joe have a hidden secret; the caffeine that gets you going in the morning is also the active ingredient in most cellulite creams. Use a handful of leftover grinds to buff and smooth dimpled skin.
- Cornmeal and Baking Soda: A simple paste of cornmeal and water is a gentle way to exfoliate delicate facial skin, and adding a pinch of baking soda to the mix will give your face a luminous glow.
Natural beauty treatments give a whole new meaning to the term "kitchen makeover," and saving money never goes out of style. What do you have on your shelves that can serve a new role?
This is a guest post by Vanessa from Dallas, TX
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