5 Natural Beauty Remedies That Actually Work

5 Natural Beauty Remedies That Actually Work ©iStock/cwzahner

If you’ve ever spent any time on Pinterest, you’ve more than likely seen (or conducted) a few DIY projects. And why not? Some geniuses on the internet have created beautiful crafts, amazing recipes, neat techniques for organizing your crap, and more. All of these great ideas can be found in one quick search. But when it comes to DIY in beauty and skincare, can you really trust some of the internet geniuses? That face mask recipe seems to be based in some sort of nutritional fact, but will it end up just being a complete waste of yogurt?

Fear not, friends. I’ve taken it upon myself to test out some of the most popular DIY natural beauty remedies (safe for sensitive skin like mine, too) and I’m reporting my findings of what’s worth using all that olive oil – and what’s not.

1. Mayo, olive oil and egg hair mask. I basically fry the hell out of my hair on a semi regular basis via hairdryer, straightener, and a 400+ degree curling iron (not to mention some sparse highlights via bleaching). On the days where I’m feeling especially remorseful, I use this mask with ingredients found in my kitchen. Putting food in your hair might sound gross, but when you’re running your fingers through what feels like straw in the morning, this really does the trick. Plus, it’s been intense enough to do the job of what I assume the more expensive luxury products can do for you. Granted, you can’t fully repair fix split ends or intense damage, but this treatment definitely makes a difference in-between trims.

Here’s a pretty fail-proof recipe:

  • 1 cup mayo
  • 2 3ggs (with yolk)
  • ½ cup of olive oil

Mix all ingredients and apply throughout hair, avoiding scalp and focusing on dry areas. Secure hair in a bun or however is easiest to keep out of your face, and leave on for 20 minutes. Wash out hair without using shampoo, if possible. Note that you can also use essential oils if the smell bothers you.

2. Apple cider vinegar and aspirin toner. If you’re into reading about health, you’ll no doubt be familiar with the purported benefits of ACV.  Many claim that by ingesting or using topically, raw apple cider vinegar can help clear your skin, boost your immunity, clean your hair, help you lose weight, enhance your mood and give you energy, among other things. While these effects will differ depending on the person, I particularly love the brightening ACV skin toner recipe I found from Good Housekeeping. It’s super easy to make!

Dilute 1/2 ounce organic apple cider vinegar with 3 ounces of mineral water. Use pestle and mortar (or whatever you’ve got) to crush the aspirin tablets, then add aspirin tablet mixture to water and vinegar mix. Apply sparingly with a cotton ball to areas with acne, rough skin or enlarged pores. I have combo/sensitive skin, so I definitely use it sparingly, but when I do, it makes my skin feel fresh and seems to brighten my complexion a bit. This mixture will last a month when refrigerated.

3. Natural aloe vera. Not only is using true, natural aloe vera great for moisturizing, but it’s unbelievably healing. That means that the scars, scabs, and marks from current or previous breakouts are healing as you’re moisturizing. I use it at night when the skin does its best repairing, and it’s literally worked wonders. It also helps minimize the sight of pores and is a great makeup primer! I have oily skin around my T-zone and nose, and using the aloe under make up has kept my pores from looking huge all day.

There are a few options for obtaining natural aloe. This does NOT include the stuff in the gel form (from the bottle that you use on sunburn) as it’s very little aloe and a lot of thickeners and preservatives. My local Whole Foods has large aloe leaves for purchase that look like this, and you can then learn how to extract the aloe vera yourself. You can also buy aloe vera plants for your house, but you won’t get nearly as much as you would if you can find those huge leaves. Once fully extracted, the fresh aloe should be stored in a sealed tight jar and in a refrigerator for the few weeks you should have it. I use a little bit on my face every morning and evening, as well as actual sunburn.

You can also buy a product like this Aubrey Organics Aloe Vera, also at Whole Foods or on Amazon. Not exactly the same as extracting from the leaf yourself, but still has the same effects, from my experience.

4. Coffee sugar scrub. There are any number of scrub recipes available, but this one in particular has been my favorite. I can’t fully speak to coffee/caffeine’s cellulite removal ability, but if it works long term for that, too, that’s great! So far, in the time I’ve used it, it’s provided excellent moisturizing ability, exfoliation and scent, when my skin is a little dry or flaky, and works better than just lotion alone. Plus, I love finding purpose for my many cups of coffee grounds.

  • 1 cup coffee grinds
  • 1 cup of raw, unrefined sugar
  • ½ cup of coconut oil
  • 2 Tbsp of olive oil

Rub on hands, legs, or areas with cellulite, and massage for 20 seconds before rinsing.

5. Coconut oil.  The miracle of coconut oil is true. A facial moisturizer, a cuticle moisturizer, a make up remover, a dab in hair to minimize frizz, a natural chapstick, an eczema soother, a stretch mark fader… It’s basically the one-stop-shop that everyone says it is. A jar of the extra virgin kind at a health food store might run you about $7, but the uses are endless when it comes to both beauty and cooking, and makes it a completely worthy investment!