Beauty is one of the industries that survived the recession, remaining profitable even during the worst moments of financial hardship in the UK. This would indicate that, for many of us, spending on beauty is not something we consider a luxury and looking after hair, skin, nails etc isn’t something we’re willing to forgo. Given the central role that beauty plays in our lives then perhaps its not surprising that retailers have been slowly, stealthily pushing up the prices of the products we love. If you don’t want to compromise your beauty routines but you don’t have the cash to splash then why not try a few of these homemade beauty treatments and solutions instead.
Olive oil make up remover
It may seem like putting oil on your face is a bad idea but olive oil actually naturally dissolves the excess oil on your skin, rather than adding to it. It will also remove your make up (when applied on some cotton wool) without the harsh chemicals that you might find in many manufactured make up removers. Plus, it’s cheaper and longer-lasting than most high street brands too.
Many of the most loved exfoliators are heavily marketed for their natural ingredients and there are plenty of household items that you can use to keep skin fresh, rather than shelling out for a branded product. Sugar is probably one of the most effective – use rougher, larger sugar crystals rather than soft refined sugar for a more effective scrub for the body. Combine brown sugar with honey and then massage into the skin. The sugar will slough away that top layer of dead skin and help skin to hydrate too.
Beer nail strengthener
Yes you read that right, beer can actually be good for more than just pouring down your throat. Create a solution for fragile nails by mixing together equal amounts of beer, olive oil and cider vinegar. Together, these ingredients will create a comprehensive soaking solution that will leave your nails stronger after just 15 minutes. Just remember to wash your hands afterwards and don’t drink the mixture…staying on the topic of nails, if you have cracked cuticles that get worse in winter then simply apply honey to them, this will heal the damaged skin in no time.
A winter face mask, from the fridge
Face packs and face masks can be super expensive but some of the most effective ingredients are found lurking in your humble fridge and store cupboard. You can create a nourishing winter face pack from equal parts of avocado, oatmeal and cucumber. The oatmeal will exfoliate while the avocado delivers a huge dose of Vitamin E and the cucumber is a natural anti-inflammatory. If you’re looking for an anti-ageing home treatment then try smoothing egg whites over your face – this egg mask will help keep skin taut and elastic (just remember not to eat any of it).
An apple a day…makes your hair shine
We tend to put a lot of product in our hair, from gels and mousses through to serums and hairsprays. If you’re looking for a home cleanser that will strip all these away and give your hair a serious shine boost then apples are the key. Blend together a peeled and chopped apple with 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar and two cups of water and then strain to get rid of any pulp. Use the mixture as the last rinse when shampooing your hair – massage into your hair and scalp and then rinse with cool water.
If your hair needs a great big dose of moisture then there are solutions for that in the store cupboard too – you can create an intense conditioner for your hair from 1/2 cup plain yogurt, 1 egg yolk, 1 tablespoon honey. Mix these ingredients together and then apply to hair after shampooing. Wrap your head and leave for 20 minutes before rinsing off. The yoghurt will clean and soften your hair while the honey moisturises and the egg yolk adds that all-important shine.
Use lemon to cleanse your skin, as well as your body, without spending a fortune on expensive potions. Simply add 1/8 cup ground almonds to2 tbsp milk or cream and 1 tsp of lemon juice. Lemons are a natural source of alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) and antioxidants and have a fantastic toning and cleansing effect on your skin, as well as exfoliating dead cells and traces of makeup and dirt that the day has left behind.
Alex Hartley is a keen advocate of improving personal finance skills. She's worked at Solution Loans since 2014 and written hundreds of articles about how people can manage their money better. Her interest in personal finance goes way back to...Read more about Alex Hartley