A few months ago, I was scouring the aisles of Trader Joe’s looking for an elusive Ritter Sport flavor when I ran into one of my friends who was clutching a jar of coconut oil. She mentioned that she had started using it as a leave in conditioning treatment, and since my friend has fabulous hair, I had to get myself a jar as well.
Back home, I started Googling all the various ways to use coconut oil, and from there went down a rabbit hole of reading about all kinds of highly extolled items found at your local grocery store. Over these last few months my husband has had to put up with a rotating array of all sorts of items on our kitchen and bathroom countertops. Even though I’ve had some spectacular flukes, I’m still a huge convert to these natural beauty and skincare products. A lot of them performed as well if not better than their way more expensive counterparts. Here are some of my favorites.
Cornstarch. Cornstarch has a variety of uses, and a lot of people use it as a face powder to keep shine away. In fact, my own favorite Bare Mineral’s powder has cornstarch as it’s first ingredient (why did I pay $20 for it again)? Anyway, I don’t use it for powder but rather as a version of dry shampoo. I keep it in a little sifter jar and will shake a bit out into my hair part and into my roots, and use my fingers to rub it in. Be careful not to use too much! I then brush out my hair and the results are as good as with any dry shampoo I’ve used. If you have dark hair though try not to use too much, it’ll show up after a while.
Coconut oil. The product that started my whole obsession! I LOVE coconuts and so was thrilled to find a variety of applications for coconut oil. There’s a whole slew of ways people use it (a great list here). I use it for cooking, as a moisturizer for my face (only in very dry areas) and body, and also as a overnight leave in conditioner. I have a few smaller jars that I put it in around the house, to keep things hygienic.
I’d highly recommend getting a virgin, cold pressed organic coconut oil. Trader Joe’s sells a fabulous version for $5.99. Nature’s Way is also a very popular choice and you can find it online or at Whole Foods.
Vitamin E oil. I use this oil largely for removing my eye makeup – I just pour some out onto a cotton bud and it removes everything remaining after I wash my face. As a bonus, Vitamin E is great for your eyes and it provides a base level of moisturizer at the same time! I’ve also used this in the shower mixed with my conditioner for my hair, and as a moisturizer for my body. Again I buy mine at Trader Joe’s for a very reasonable price (I think around $4-5), you can also find an organic version online.
Vegetable glycerine. I use vegetable glycerine as part of a moisturizing routine for my face and body, especially in the winter. I’ve found that as I’ve gotten older, sometimes a few drops of beauty oil aren’t always enough to provide long lasting moisture. In those cases, I put just a drop of vegetable glycerine in my hand, and mix with either oils (when I want a ton of moisture) or a bit of water, and apply on my face. I also will mix it with my Vitamin E oil as a moisturizer for my body Totally works and lasts all day. I also like knowing that vegetable glycerine is so natural and “clean” that you can even eat it, use it in cooking, etc. Be careful to only start with a small drop when you start using it – any more and your face may feel a little “sticky”, it takes a while to absorb fully.
Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay. This is hands down my favorite mask ever and one that I always have around. I try and use this once a week, and I can definitely feel a difference in my face and pores when I’ve let more than a few weeks go by. It’s the best for cleaning out your pores and overall making your face feel clean, with impurities drawn out. Yes, it can feel a bit uncomfortable and for an hour you basically can’t speak and will look like the swamp monster. However, it works amazingly well and costs about $6-8 for many uses. I like to mix it with apple cider vinegar for the best results versus water.
What are some of your favorite “natural” beauty products?