Legend Or Legit? The Real Scoop On Some Classic Beauty Treatments
February 8, 2013 2 Comments
As much as we love trying all of the new products and potions that come our way, sometimes we like to go classic with homemade beauty treatments, whether as a natural fix for our finicky skin or as a break for our wallet. Fancy treatments for hair, skin and nails are undoubtedly luxurious, but as our mamas taught us, sometimes the best beauty fixes can be found in your medicine cabinet – or even in your kitchen.
These beauty fixes are classics, but to investigate whether the treatments that go on your face are, you know, safe, we reached out to Dr. Howard Sobel, a dermatologist in New York City, who gave us the scoop. Click through to get the 411 on these unexpected hair, skin and nail solutions, and find out if it’s really worth it to ditch your trusty Kiehl’s for an egg white mask.
Photo by: Soap.com.
If you’re plagued with oily skin that always ends up looking shiny no matter what you do, the cure may be minty-fresh. It’s said that a mask with milk of magnesia can suck the oil out of your pores. Weird, definitely. But is it safe?
Says Dr. Sobel: “Milk of magnesia has hydroxide of magnesia as an ingredient, which absorbs oil and causes the skin to tighten. You can apply it all over the face, or just on blemishes as a spot treatment.” Simply apply to skin, let dry for 15 or 20 minutes, rinse, and follow with a light moisturizer for super-smooth, matte skin. Gross, but cool, no?
Phillips Milk of Magnesia, $9, available at Soap.com.
Photo by: West of Persia; Allyou.com
If dry, frizzy hair is what plagues you, try this classic combo before dropping cash on the lastest pricey hair treatment. Simply mash an avocado with a few tablespoons of olive oil and apply to wet hair. Let sit for 15-20 minutes, then shampoo and condition as usual. The result: shiny, quenched locks from ingredients that you probably already had in your salad arsenal. Done and done!
Photo by: Tom’s of Maine.
You’ve probably heard of using toothpaste to dry up zits, but how about using it to scrub the yellow stains off your nails that can result from wearing nail polish? Just put some toothpaste on an old toothbrush (we chose this all-natural Tom’s formula that is made without sulfates – meaning that it won’t dry out your cuticles!), and scrub away at clean nails. Your nails will look so fresh and so clean-clean that you can go without lacquer and still look, well, polished.
Tom’s of Maine Clean & Gentle Toothpaste, $6, available at Tom’s of Maine.
Photo by: Fanpop
If you’ve been skimping on sleep lately (we know we shouldn’t, but sometimes we’re guilty), you may notice that your skin has lost its usual brightness and luster. To make the gray go away, squeeze some fresh lemon juice onto a cotton pad and apply to skin.
“Lemon juice is an acid, so it can act as a toner for dull skin,” says Dr. Sobel. “It has exfoliating properties, so it can help brighten the look of the skin. But, it can also be very drying, so make sure to rinse it off after ten minutes or so.” A brighter, clearer skin and a natural aromatherapy treatment? We’ll definitely be trying out this trick.
Photo by: Soap.com.
Okay, you caught us: sometimes we pop our zits. (Okay, more than sometimes.) When we succumb to the temptation, we’ve been known to use this easy solution to help the blemish heal overnight: dab a tiny bit of Neosporin on the zit, and cover it with a small Band-Aid (sexy, we know). The bandage will help keep the meds on your face and off of your pillow. According to Dr. Sobel, the antibiotic elements of the ointment will gently heal and disinfect the zit, without the irritating effects of alcohol.
Neosporin Original Antibiotic Ointment, $4.75, available at Soap.com.
Photo by: Goodlife.com
In case you haven’t heard, apple cider vinegar is a total beauty powerhouse. It may not smell as nice as La Mer, but you can’t beat it as a cheap and easy skin treatment. One of our favorite ways to use this staple is as a scalp treatment: just a simple pre-shampoo rinse once a week is all we need to keep our scalp clear, healthy and itch-free.
Photo by: Silverbow Honey Co.
If breakouts are bumming you out (sadly, we’re still plagued by them, even in the middle of winter), honey may be exactly what your stressed-out skin needs. This all-natural ingredient has strong antibacterial properties, says Dr. Sobel, but since it can be drying, he recommends rinsing it off after ten minutes or so.
Photo by: The Kitchn
Perhaps last Friday night you chased a few too many drinks with some salty diner food (we won’t tell). It was totally worth it – except for the puffy skin you woke up with the next day. The next time this happens, Sobel recommends trying an egg white mask: “Egg whites can have a drying, tightening effect on the skin. They also provide some exfoliating properties.”
To avoid over-drying the skin, follow the egg white mask with a moisturizer – and avoid it altogether if you’re breakout-prone, as Dr. Sobel claims that egg whites can exacerbate breakouts.
Photo by: Drugstore.com
You’ve heard of using hair conditioner to shave, but hey…we paid a lot of money for our Bumble conditioner! Not really a desirable swap, in our opinion. A much better option: baby oil.
Chances are that you have some lying around the house anyway, so try it out next time you’re gettin’ serious with your Schick. The best part: there should be enough oil left on your skin that you don’t have to apply lotion afterward. Lazy girls rejoice!
Johnson’s Baby Oil, $6, available at Drugstore.com.
Photo by: Walgreens.
At this point, you’ve probably heard that Preparation H (a hemorrhoid treatment) can be used to de-puff your eyes. According to Dr. Sobel, this is is an at-home treatment that you’ll want to avoid.
“Years ago, Preparation H had live yeast cells as an ingredient, but it has been reformulated without it. It does contain Phenylephedrine HCL, which is used in nasal decongestants to constrict blood vessels – but there isn’t enough of this ingredient to affect the under-the-eye area.” Your mom may have sworn by it, but this is an at-home treatment that’s more bunk than beauty.
Preparation H Cooling Gel, $7.29, available at Walgreens.