Natural Solutions for Daily Needs

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Brown sugar makes the best exfoliating scrub!

For a while now I’ve been a big fan of natural solutions for daily needs.  Call it herb lore, home remedies, or just good housekeeping, it’s been going on since long before our grandparents or our grandparents’ grandparents were alive.  What I love is that once you start to explore this, you’ll open up a whole new world of uses for what are thought of as everyday kitchen items (that you probably already have on hand!).

Many of the home remedies I use have been handed down to me from my mom, mother-in-law, or friends, and a few are things I have discovered on my own.  Here are just a few of my favorite non-food applications for common foods…

Brown sugar exfoliates and olive oil moisturizes in a homemade scrub that smells like cookies.

Natural Cosmetic Solutions

Exfoliating & Moisturizing Sugar Scrub:  Combine 2 tablespoons sugar (white or brown sugar will work) with 2 tablespoons olive oil in a small bowl; add 1 to 2 drops of essential oil if desired (I like to use lavender or peppermint…vanilla is also great, it smells like cookies!).  Gently rub it onto your hands and feet (massaging it into your cuticles), then rinse off with warm water and pat dry.

Facial Mask 1 (Moisturizing):  Process 1 tablespoon of rolled oats in a food processor until they form a fine powder; mix with 1 tablespoon plain yogurt and 1/2 tablespoon raw honey.  Apply to clean facial skin, let it dry on your face (about 15 minutes), then rinse off with warm water and pat dry.

Facial Mask 2 (Toning):  Beat 1 egg white and dab it on clean facial skin with a cotton ball; let it dry on your face (about 15 minutes),  then rinse off with warm water and pat dry.

Facial Mask 3 (Nourishing):  Beat 1 egg yolk and dab it on clean facial skin with a cotton ball; let it dry on your (about 15 minutes), then rinse off with warm water and pat dry.

Facial Mask 4 is my favorite! 

Facial Mask 4 (Best Overall):  I learned this facial recipe from an Indian friend during college, who learned it from her mom.  She said it does just about everything for your face that you would want a facial mask to do, including softening, giving your face a slight glow, evening out complexion, reducing irritation (including acne and puffiness), and alleviating facial hair.  To make it, mix 1 tablespoon besan (chickpea/garbanzo bean flour), 1 tablespoon milk, and 1/8 teaspoon turmeric.  Apply to clean facial skin, let it dry on your face (about 15 minutes), then rinse off with warm water and pat dry.  (And don’t worry, this won’t stain your face yellow!)

Lustrous Locks:  Slightly heat 4 tablespoons of olive oil, massage it into your scalp and hair, cover your head with a plastic bag (secured with a hairclip), and leave it for up to 1 hour; rinse, then shampoo and condition your hair as normal. 

Puffy Eye Fix:  Steep 2 tea bags as you normally would for making tea (green tea is my favorite for this, but I also use chamomile or black tea); let the bags cool completely and extract excess water.  Place the bags on your eyes and let them sit for 15 minutes (careful not to open your eyes when the teabags are on them!).  Or, place a slice of cool cucumber on each eye and let them sit for 15 minutes.

Olive oil has so many different uses around the house.

Cleaning Naturally (Fresh lemon juice is the common denominator!)

Caring for Copper (Pots, Pans, etc.):  Roll a lemon on the countertop a few times; cut it in half and add about 1 teaspoon of salt into each half.  Rub the salted lemon into the copper until the tarnish comes out, then rinse thoroughly before drying.

Removing Stains from Plastic (Including Plastic Food Containers and Cutting Boards):  Douse the surface you want to clean with fresh lemon juice; sprinkle on a bit of coarse salt or baking soda and let it sit.  Scrub off the stains!

Wood Polish:  Mix 3 parts olive oil and 1 part lemon juice and rub this mixture into your wood with a soft cotton cloth. 

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Disclosure:  Compensation was provided by COFFEE-MATE via Glam Media.  The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of COFFEE-MATE. 

Disclaimer:  The information on home remedies contained in this post is merely for informational purposes; these are things that have worked for me as an ordinary home user.  I am not an expert in the field, nor am I a doctor, and this information is not meant to provide medical advice or to treat or cure any medical condition.  If you have a medical problem you should seek medical attention immediately.  Likewise, if you are pregnant or nursing, you should consult with a doctor before trying any home remedy.

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  1. says

    I love your tips. I have used a yogurt, egg and a touch of henna (I have reddish hair— you can use neutral) as a hair nourisher once a month for over 20 years. Makes my hair shine and glow and costs almost nothing. Love the oatmeal idea… will whip it up this week!

  2. says

    I love this post. I\’m all for natural home remedies! actually I sometimes use honey and sugar to exfoliate mt skin. it\’s so easy and it leaves the skin really smooth

  3. says

    Haha, the 4th sounds awesome…I was wondering if I would turn yellow…glad you dispelled that myth for me ;) Now I’m sitting in my office thinking about exfoliating with brown sugar…mmmm :)

  4. says

    These look great! My mum used to do home facial masks for me when I was in school.
    I was just wondering about face mask 4, do you have to use chickpea flour? Or could I use something else, like rice flour?

    • admin says

      Ursula, I haven’t tried mask #4 with anything other than chickpea flour. I imagine it would work but I can’t say for sure. Has anyone else out there tried this mask with any other kind of flour, and if so, what kind of flour did you use?

  5. says

    I love sugar scrubs! I usually do honey and white sugar – will have to try the brown. Mashed banana makes a good mask too – with a small drop of olive oil and honey – it evens out skin tone and makes it brighter and really soft. My Grandma used to put mayonnaise in her hair – I thought it was the grossest thing when I was a kid.

  6. says

    Great home-remedies/cleaners, girl! I like them too but haven’t been too regular about using them. (Although I did just make my own deodorant yesterday!) I really want to try mask #4, esp to see if it will help my facial hair. Apparently that gets worse with age, or at least it has in my case. No fun!

  7. says

    It is good to be reminded of these safe and effective health & home tips. I teach healthy eating and nutrition to cancer patients and we talk about natural cleaning and body care as well as the foody things. Vinegar, baking soda and lemon work so well, with no worries about what it may do to the body. I will be posting a homemade, natural deodorant that really works in the next couple of days, as chemical ones are a real issue for breast cancer patients. I’d be interested to know what Veronica used in hers.

  8. says

    I’ve used the tea bag trick before. Cucumbers are good, too! My go to household cleaner is vinegar and water and baking soda mixed with a little dish soap takes cares of pet “accidents”. Love this post, Faith!

  9. says

    All of these homemade natural solutions sound great. My fave is the cucumber slices which I have used several times BUT my Golden Retriever has a terrible and adorable habit of jumping up on the bed and trying to lick them off my eyes while I “relax” and “soothe” my eyes. :)

  10. says

    I could only wonder if Hubby wouldn’t mind the plastic bag over my head in order to show-off my soon to have lustrous locks. LOL

    This post was darling and quite educational. Thanks Faith.

    Ciao for now,

  11. says

    I have been playing around with such homemade beauty recipe for years. I tis so much fun and makes me feel good. You have great ones here I never heard off. Oh and the sugar and oil scrub ROCKS, that one I do sometimes.

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