Dealing with a major forehead zit? Or cracked, dry skin? Before you hit the drugstore for a fix, check your pantry and medicine cabinet—you may already have everything you need for natural antidotes to these all-too-common conditions (and others!).
The problem: Chapped Lips
The natural solution: For an easy fix, use brown sugar and a wet wash cloth to gently exfoliate scaly skin—then apply coconut oil to moisturize lips deeply. For a lip treatment that will leave your lips soft and smooth, mix together 1/2 teaspoon honey and 1 teaspoon olive oil, and apply it just before you go to bed.
The problem: Pimple
The natural solution: Use a mixture of three tablespoons aloe vera juice or gel and four drops tea tree oil to treat problem areas. (You can use this up to two times per day.) Aloe contains gibberellins and polysaccharides to thwart the bacteria known to cause acne, plus anti-inflammatories to soothe aggravated skin, heal scars, and stimulate new skin growth. Tea tree oil is laden with powerful antibacterial and antimicrobial compounds to zap zits, though it should always be used diluted since it's potent.
The problem: Frizzy hair
The natural solution: Mash half an avocado and two teaspoons olive oil together, then massage into clean, damp hair. Leave on for 15-20 minutes before rinsing thoroughly and following with a light conditioner. Both ingredients are deeply moisturizing, which helps tame frizz-prone hair.
The problem: Dry skin
The natural solution: Mix the juice of one lemon with five tablespoons sugar and one tablespoon olive oil, then apply in the shower with a loofa or the palms of your hands before rinsing well. Lemon contains natural alpha-hydroxy fruit acids to loosen the "glue" that binds dead skin cells together, while sugar is a gentle exfoliator that cleans pores and increases cell turnover. Olive oil is rich in vitamin E to nourish and condition skin.
The problem: Dry cuticles
The natural solution: Add a few drops of coconut oil to a pea-sized dollop of your favorite hand cream, and rub generously into each of your cuticles. For enhanced benefits, wear plastic gloves for 10 minutes to let it sink in.
The problem: Ingrown hairs
The natural solution: Dissolve four aspirin tablets in 1/2 teaspoon warm water, and mix in one teaspoon honey to form a paste. Apply the concoction to the affected area, and let sit for 10 minutes before rinsing with lukewarm water. Aspirin contains salicylic acid, which is a potent exfoliator. Plus, it’s an anti-inflammatory, which reduces swelling. NOTE: If you have especially sensitive skin, steer clear of this treatment.
The problem: Stained teeth
The natural solution: Mix three teaspoons baking soda with one teaspoon water to form a paste. Scoop up a bit of the mixture with your toothbrush, and use to brush thoroughly. Repeat two to three times per week. Baking soda polishes teeth and removes stains, though it isn't recommended for daily use because it can be too abrasive on tooth enamel.
By Renee Loux