Ah, summertime: refreshing cocktails, days at the beach, s’mores over a campfire…and hair so frizzy it looks like you’ve been electrocuted? Let’s face it: we wait all year for this season, but it isn’t without its own beauty woes. And these days, who has the money to spend on fancy products? The good news: you don’t need Angelina Jolie’s bank account, hair stylist or dermatologist to be gorgeous this summer. We’re spilling the dirt on beauty steals you didn’t even know you already had. Blast is sharing some alternate uses for products already in your cabinet, and the best news? They work!
- Is the hot weather giving you greasy hair? Are you camping and unable to shower? Forget shelling out the big bucks on trendy dry shampoos; some baby powder or cornstarch works just fine. Just sprinkle a little on your roots, leave it there for a couple of minutes to soak up the oil, rub it out with your fingers and voila!
- Is the humidity turning your hair into a frizzy mess? Have no fear,‚ just head to your kitchen. Rub a few drops of olive oil together in your hands and lightly pat onto dry or damp hair. If your hair tends to be greasy, apply it to the ends of your hair only to smooth any split ends. It may sound gross, but mayonnaise also works wonders on dry, frizzy hair. Apply a small amount of it as you would conditioner, cover your head with a shower cap and leave it on for up to 30 minutes, rinse it out and then shampoo. Or try mixing 1/3 cup of apple cider vinegar with 1 quart of water and pour it through your hair in the shower in lieu of your regular conditioner, then rinse it out. Do this once a week. Depending on your hair length and your preference, you may have to experiment with the ratio. Another super easy and totally free fix is to simply end your shower with a quick rinse of cool water, which will seal the hairs’ cuticles and leave your mane smooth, shiny and manageable.
- Summer’s heat and humidity can wreak havoc on acne-prone skin. But there’s no need to shell out lots of dough on expensive skincare products or subject your skin to harsh chemicals, perfumes, dyes and preservatives. There are a plethora of homemade skincare options – so many that we couldn’t list them all. But don’t worry, we chose from some of our favorites. Do you have oatmeal and baking soda in your pantry? Grind 2 teaspoons of oatmeal (a coffee grinder will work just fine), mix it with 1 teaspoon of baking soda and slowly add water to make a paste. Gently rub the paste onto your face and rinse well. Or raid your medicine cabinet and take out some aspirin, which is a natural source of salicylic acid, a popular ingredient in acne products. Crush 3-5 tablets (un-coated plain white pills) and mix the powder with water to form a paste. Gently rub the paste onto your skin and leave it on until dry. Now rinse and enjoy your new smooth skin. Feeling a little adventurous? Add a couple squirts of honey to the aspirin powder and then add the water to form a paste. After cleansing, always splash your face with cold water to close the pores.
- Does your skin get super oily in the summer? Try a homemade toner. You’ll have to experiment with the recipe, but start off with 2/3 part water to 1/3 part apple cider vinegar (ACV). If your skin can handle it, eventually move up to a 50/50 concoction. We recommend using distilled or filtered water. Shake the mix well, soak a cotton ball with it, and apply it to the face each night after cleansing. ACV is packed with vitamins and minerals and is, among many things, known to help regulate oil production. If you’ve got some tea tree oil or want to shell out some bucks to buy some, add a few drops to the toner for an added bacteria-killing benefit. Warning: this toner does not smell good. But if you want clear, radiant skin, get over it!
- Make sure your legs are bikini ready by exfoliating for a closer shave, a more even tan and fewer ingrown hairs. The aspirin mask mentioned above does wonders at sloughing off dead skin and eradicating those pesky ingrowns. Great alternatives to store-bought body scrubs (can you believe Fresh sells one made with brown sugar for $65?!) are ridiculously simple. Mix 1 cup of granulated sugar or brown sugar and 1/2 cup of oil – any vegetable oil will do. Sea salt and Epsom salts are wonderful at exfoliating the skin, and can be used all over the body; just mix 1/2 cup of the salts with 1/2 cup of vegetable, olive, or baby oil, or simply scrub your skin with some salts mixed with a little water.
- Got dry legs? Exfoliate them, of course! Also, try using hair conditioner as a substitute for shaving cream.
- Hot summer days equal embarrassing sweat and odor. Forget expensive “clinical strength” antiperspirants that contain aluminum (yuck!) and stick to the basics: Rubbing baking soda or cornstarch onto dry armpits should do the trick. If sweaty, stinky feet are a problem, brew a strong batch of black tea, let it cool, and soak your feet in it for 20-30 minutes. The pore-closing tannins in black tea will solve your problem. Or take Cosmopolitan magazine’s advice and do this routine every night for two weeks: soak a cloth in some strong black tea, allow it to cool, and put it on each armpit for five minutes. If excess sweating has caused some BO and your deodorant just isn’t cutting it, soak a cotton ball in white vinegar and apply it to your armpits. Don’t worry, the vinegary smell will disappear within a few minutes.
- Spent too long sunbathing and now you’re paying for it with a sunburn? Don’t distress! As long as your burn isn’t blistering or oozing, try some of these remedies. Apply a cloth soaked in apple cider vinegar to the affected areas, and then apply a moisturizer, preferably one containing aloe and/or vitamin e, since ACV is drying. Add Epsom salts or oatmeal to your bathwater and relax. Soak a cloth in a mixture of warm (not hot!) water and dissolved baking soda and apply it to your skin. Got a cucumber? It’s not just for salads and soothing your eyes; rub your skin with its cool slices. This one is strange, but it works: soak a cloth in cool milk and apply it to your skin, leaving it on for about 20 minutes, then rinse. Plain yogurt can also do wonders. Apply it to the burn, leave it on for about 10 minutes and rinse with cool water. Another, less strange, solution is to make some tea (any kind will do), drink it, relax and apply the cooled tea bags to your burn.
- It’s no mystery that chlorine wreaks havoc on your hair. But why spend money on clarifying shampoo when you can use what you already have? Once again apple cider vinegar earns a gold star: rinse your hair with it in the shower to remove product and chemical build-up. Baking soda also offers a solution: mix 1 tablespoon or so of it with your shampoo in your hand, suds as usual, leave it on for a few minutes, rinse and enjoy chlorine-free locks. Another awesome tip? Before swimming, wet your hair and apply your conditioner to it but do not rinse it out; this will prevent the chlorine from penetrating your hair. After swimming, be sure to shampoo and condition as usual.
So, Blast readers, got your own summer beauty solutions? Comment below and help your fellow readers with cabinet-raiding, beautifying, cheap summer tips. And please, if you have adverse reactions to any of the recipes above, discontinue your use of them and see a doctor.