As I’ve gotten older, I have started to really appreciate a more “natural” lifestyle. When people generally speak about “natural” they generally think about … “hair” and yes that’s a positive transition for multiple reasons. However, there are many other ways to incorporate “natural” in your everyday life. I personally am really big on home remedies, I always have been.My mother raised my brother and I on many holistic beliefs and healing, and I’ve carried these rituals into adulthood. Not only are these practices beneficial, but they are useful and economical. This week for my Friday Favorites post, I wanted to share my 5 favorite home remedies that I believe every woman could benefit from.
1. Apple Cider Vinegar. Apple Cider Vinegar is useful for a bajillion things. Sure its smell is a little on the harsh side, and its taste is a tad bitter, but people all over the globe use it for a thousand different uses. From weight loss tactics, to tooth ache healing, ACV (apple cider vinegar) is a must have in the home because it simply can be used for EVERYTHING. Now, one of my favorite uses for ACV is for facial toner.
Slight testimony & a lil’ education:
For the past two months I have been using a mixture of apple cider vinegar and water as an all natural toner, every single morning and every single evening after I wash my face. I saw a noticeable change and improvement in my skin in just a weeks time. No joke.
This simple concoction can help improve your overall complexion by balancing and restoring your skin’s natural pH. Our skin is naturally acidic but when our levels are in balance our skin will live at the perfect level between oily and dry. When your pH levels are out of balance, that is when you break out, when your pores get clogged, you are too oily or too dry, your skin can be itchy or irritated, and the list goes on and on.
ACV (apple cider vinegar) has a pH of 3 and when diluted, the acidity from the toner helps bring your skin’s pH back to its normal levels. By restoring your skin’s balance, this apple cider vinegar toner helps your skin function optimally, warding off bacteria and shedding dead skin cells at the proper rate so your pores do not get clogged and your skin remains healthy.
I have noticed my skin tone has evened out significantly, my skin is softer and I have less dry and itchy areas, plus less oiliness in my trouble spots. I no longer can see the tiny pores on my nose that seemed to always be there. I have also definitely noticed less everyday “regular” breakouts and a significant decrease in the amount and severity of my hormonal breakouts each month. WINNING!
2. Vaseline. Along with Apple Cider Vinegar. Vaseline has a lot of amazing perks. I use vaseline on a daily as a foot moisturizer. After you take a shower rub a liberal amount of vaseline on your feet, and put some socks on. Now generally this practice works better at night, because you aren’t on your feet, hence will give the vaseline time to sink in and really saturate into the skin. Do this daily and you’ll see the change in no time !
3. Shea butter/cocoa butter. I use this as a primer for my makeup. A good quality primer can run you anywhere from $8.99 – $35.99. Exactly! No one has time for that. It can get pricey, and usually the primer amount isn’t a whole lot, which means you are going to come out of pocket a few times throughout the year. I use cocoa butter for my primer, and it saves me a ton of money. After I wash my face and put on my everyday moisturizer, when I am ready to apply my makeup I put on a thin layer of the cocoa butter. After I rub the cocoa butter, I apply my powder, and continue on with my normal makeup regime. It leaves a nice matte finish. I have noticed that this also has done a lot for evening out my skin tone as well. Combining this remedy while using the apple cider vinegar as a toner, has really made a change in my facial texture.
4. Lemon juice + baking soda. I use this to get rid of dark spots and dead skin. This solution works well on bug bites, and even will lighten up stubborn areas like your knees, elbows, and underarms! To make the solution, just put a few drops of lemon juice ( real lemon juice) and mix in a cup of baking soda. As far as measurements go, it really depends on how much you plan on using. Once you pour the lemon juice in the cup of baking soda, mix until the lemon juice and baking soda becomes a paste. After the mixture becomes paste like, put on any dark area you so desire. For bug bites I would leave it on for about 10minutes. For bigger areas such as knees and elbows, I would leave the paste on for a total of 15-20minutes. When you are ready to take it off, just get a damp rag and wipe the paste off with some force. You’ll actually be able to see the dead skin and residue on the rag. Now don’t go crazy with this, because it is a natural skin lightener, and things can get crazy. I wouldn’t do this practice more than 3x a week.
5. Coconut Oil. If its hair… coconut oil can help with that!!! Its amazing for hair, edges, and even lashes!
- Hair Loss: Coconut oil has been used since ancient times in India for grooming hair. Various remedies were prepared using herbs and coconut oil to prevent hair loss. One such remedy can be prepared in modern times by boiling sage leaves in coconut oil. This mixture can be applied to the scalp for the improvement of healthy hair, and its use will also prevent hair loss.
- Hair Damage: The use of coconut oil on hair helps to reduce protein loss in both damaged as well as undamaged hair. Coconut oil is rich in lauric acid, and has a high affinity for hair protein, and easily penetrates inside the hair shaft, which is due to its low weight. It can be used before or after you wash your hair.
- Moisture Retention: Coconut oil has a high moisture retaining capacity, since it is not easily broken down nor evaporated. It does not let moisture escape, therefore it keeps hair moist and soft, which prevents breakage of hair. Which is a perfect solution for all hair types.
- Hair Conditioning: Coconut oil is a better conditioner for hair than anything you’ll be able to find in the stores. Use of warm coconut oil helps in keeping hair shiny and soft. Apply some warm oil at night and wash your hair the next morning. This can be repeated every few days for healthy, strong and conditioned hair.
- Anti-Dandruff: The various fatty acids in coconut oil serve as very good anti-dandruff agents and are far better than any anti-dandruff shampoo. Regular application of coconut oil can help you get rid of dandruff long term. Coconut oil mixed with lukewarm water and castor oil can also be effective in treating dandruff. Massage the scalp and hair with this mixture for ideal results.
- Styling: Coconut oil can be a good styling oil for hair as well, because it melts when heated and has this condensing ability when cooled. Therefore, when you apply it on your hair, it thins and spreads evenly due to the heat of the scalp. Soon afterwards, as the hair comes in contact with air, the oil on the hair takes in the coconut oil, and can be used as a styling gel or cream.
- Eyelashes. Apply a thin coat of coconut oil through your lashes with a lash brush or old mascara applicator. This remedy is said to hold lash retention, make them stronger, condition them and help them grow. Who doesn’t want longer and fuller lashes?
Curious in other coconut oil specialities? I’ve added some links below that you could check out: http://www.prevention.com/beauty/coconut-oil-cures-your-skin-and-hair http://www.newhealthguide.org/Coconut-Oil-For-Hair-Growth.html http://www.livestrong.com/article/223100-coconut-oil-black-hair/ http://www.naturallycurly.com/curlreading/curl-products/8-ways-to-use-coconut-oil/
Have any questions? Feel free to comment or email me! If you have any home remedies of your own I’d love to hear about them =)