Hidden away in your cupboards and fridges are vast treasures of natural beauty ingredients that could instantly transform your skin and hair.
Here’s some expert advice on how to include them in your beauty regime. And the best thing is, they are completely chemical-free and won’t tug on your purse strings.
1. Coconut oil can remove your make-up
Remove stubborn eye make-up with coconut oil by warming a small amount of it in your fingers and massaging into lashes and around the eyes to gently cleanse it out.
2. Almonds can be used as face scrub
Grind a handful of almonds into a paste with a tiny bit of coconut oil and massage (gently) onto your face. Splash with warm water for smooth supple skin.
3. Olive oil and avocado can be used to make a hydrating mask
Massage your face with olive oil. Leave the olive oil on while you mash up some avocado and mix in a few drops of pomegranate juice to use as a face pack. Finish off with wet white tea bags on eyes and relax for 15 minutes. Gently remove with wet face cloth for a moisturised glow.
4. Lemon, sugar and salt can be used as body scrub
Mix 1 cup of brown sugar with 1/2 cup of sea salt, 2 tbsp of lemon juice and 2 tbsp of coconut oil into a paste. Apply on damp skin, scrubbing in circular motions and rinse with warm water. Lemon works as a natural disinfectant and the scrub will open up and cleanse clogged pores.
5. Eggs can be used to whisk up hair mask
Beat 2-3 eggs and add 3 tbsp olive oil. Apply to hair from root to tip as a mask and wrap hair in a towel for 30 minutes. Wash off with regular shampoo for instant shine. This is great for particularly dry hair, especially if you’re spending a lot of time in chlorinated pools.
6. Milk can soften your feet
Mix 4 cups of warmed whole milk with 2 tbsp of epsom salts. Add 2 drops of essential oil for fragrance and blend the mixture in a bowl of warm water. Soak your feet for 20 minutes. This will help to soften hard skin on the feet with the acids from the milk and effervescing salts relieving puffiness in the feet and legs.
7. Yoghurt can soothe a dry face
Mix 2 tbsp of plain yoghurt with 2 tbsp of honey. Apply to a clean, slightly damp face and leave it on for 10-15 minutes. Rinse well with warm water for soft supple skin. The honey in the mixture can help reduce inflammation in blemishes.
8. Porridge oats can exfoliate your skin
Take a handful of oats and whizz them up in a blender until they are finely ground. Add a bit of yoghurt and honey until you have a sticky paste.
Apply on skin and leave on for 5-10 minutes. Then use wet hands to dampen the whole mixture and give your body an exfoliating massage as you gently scrape it off. Ground oats act as a gentle exfoliator and honey has moisturising properties, so this mixture will brighten and smooth the skin.
9. Strawberries can whiten teeth and reduce sunburn
Crush 1 strawberry and mix with a pinch of baking soda. Apply to the teeth with a tooth brush and leave for 5 minutes. Remove by brushing your teeth with usual toothpaste.
To treat sunburn, mash a few ripened strawberries and slather on the affected area for instant, natural relief. Rinse off after a few minutes.
10. Vodka can clean your face
Vodka (which is distilled from potatoes, wheat, rye or corn) is a natural astringent which cleanses, removes toxins and stimulates cell regeneration. Dab a bit on you face with a soft cotton ball for quick results.
11. Lemons can fix blonde hair colour disasters
Cut 5 lemons and squeeze the juice into a mug until it’s half full. Then mix in your regular hair conditioner – exactly the same amount as the lemon juice.
Give it a good whisk with a fork until it starts to look like white scrambled egg (don’t worry, this is normal!). Pour over your hair and massage it in at the roots and on the coloured parts. Leave in for at least two hours and then wash it off to get some blonde warmth back into your mane.
12. Egg whites can be used as face mask
Soak some tissues in whisked egg whites, place all over the face and leave to harden. Peel off to reveal radiant skin and smaller pores!
13. Cacao powder and avocados can make your skin glow
Mash up avocados with coconut butter and a teaspoon of antioxidant-packed cacao powder. Leave on the skin for 20 minutes for a gorgeous glow – your secret weapon for dehydrated skin. Plus tastes great!
14. Lemons can destroy blackheads and strengthen nails
Take a lemon and slice it in half. Rub the juice all over your face and wait five minutes before rinsing it off with cold water. Lemons have antibacterial properties, so they’re perfect as a blackhead remedy.
You can also use rest of the juice to soak your nails for about 10 minutes and rinse them off with warm water. This will not only help them to grow but will also remove any discoloration.
15. Bananas can banish wrinkles and condition your hair
It is believed that these big yellow fellas are nature’s inexpensive alternative to Botox. Grab a bunch and treat your face to a banana mask. Mash a banana up with honey and yogurt and apply the paste onto your face. Leave to dry and then wash your face with cold water.
Bananas make great emollients as well so mix a mashed banana with one tablespoon of honey and apply it to your hair. Leave on for a few minutes, then rinse thoroughly. Your hair will be shiny and will smell amazing.
16. Cranberry juice can make your red tresses glow
If you have red hair and want to get that glossy look then try washing it in cranberry juice! It is believed that Aussie actress Nicole Kidman rinses her famous tresses in it.
The natural dyes in this juice can really help in bringing out your ginger hair shades – there’s nothing like a sleek style to age-proof your look.
Expert contributors: Esther Cooney, beauty therapist at The Bard’s Mistress, Alice Hart-Davis, beauty journalist, Karen Mitchell, head of natural therapies at Grayshott Spa, Courtney Blackman, MD of fashion PR agency Forward PR, Cat Quigley, beauty PR and blogger, Alex Nicolaou, YouTube beauty blogger and Laura Dunlop, beauty expert.