Let’s face it: We all like to look beautiful. But those beauty products often come at a hefty price. That’s why we’re going back to the basics with our very own at-home leftovers turned beauty elixirs. We’re taking your expiring refrigerator contents and mixing them into easy-to-make, DIY self-love potions for your skin, hair, and overall body beauty. The best part? You probably already have all (if not most) of these ingredients in your fridge. You don’t even have to leave the house — or stretch your budget — to look flawlessly fabulous. You’re welcome. Now, let’s glow:
Avocado & Banana: Face, Skin & Hair
It’s no news that avocados and bananas have extensive health and wellness benefits. But when they start turning brown and mushy … you probably just end up tossing them in the bin. Instead, mush them into face masks, hair masks, and skin moisturizers. For a face mask, we recommend adding 1 tablespoon of honey into your mushed-up avocado and make a paste. Simply apply it to your face and leave it on for 10-15 minutes. Rinse off the mixture with warm water and go about your day … glowing! For hair and skin, we recommend adding a banana into the mix: Combine one ripe avocado, one ripe banana and two tablespoons of olive oil. Make a paste and apply away! Let sit for 15-20 minutes and rinse thoroughly.
Milk & Honey: Silky Skin
Cleopatra knew what was up. It is said that this ancient beauty got her glowing skin from bathing in donkey’s milk and honey. So, I thought I’d put this to the test in 2016. Since I couldn’t find a donkey, I opted for a cup of full-fat milk from my fridge. Next, I added a tablespoon of honey to it. The milk helps to quickly emulsify the honey (and any essential oils if you want to try that too). I poured my honey-infused cup of milk into my bath and climbed into the tub. I have to admit, I was a little skeptical, but soaking in this cloudy concoction felt amazing. After 20 minutes, I ascended feeling like an ancient, glowing goddess. My skin was exfoliated, silky soft and so moisturized that I didn’t even need to apply any cream post-bath. For the lactose adventurous, this is definitely one worth trying!
Grapefruit & Oatmeal: Anti-Aging
Grapefruit and oatmeal aren’t just for breakfast anymore! Grapefruit is so cleansing and possesses retinol antioxidants that are great for keeping your skin looking and feeling youthful. Oatmeal has great moisturizing properties. So, we mixed the two together with some honey and tried this grapefruit-oatmeal-honey face mask to help repair skin discoloration, smoothen out skin texture and thwart the development of fine lines and wrinkles. We loved it: Try this DIY mask recipe by mixing juice from half a grapefruit, 1 tablespoon of honey and ½ a cup of oatmeal. Apply to your face and let sit for 10-15 minutes. Rinse with warm water. We recommend applying this mask once a week for the most radiant results. You can also try using squeezed grapefruit juice on its own as an astringent to deeply cleanse the most stubborn of pores.
Add lemon juice to just about anything and you’ll be shining in no time. Bust blackheads with a lemon-honey mask and exfoliate by adding lemon juice to your homemade sugar scrub. Lemon juice is basically your go-to for all skin problems — including dark spots, acne scars and wrinkles — due to its skin-tightening and pore-reducing properties. To clarify and super-cleanse your hair, add a lemon juice rinse on your wet hair post-shampoo. To lighten you hair, we recommend juicing a few whole lemons and putting it in a spray bottle to bring with you to the beach. Spray on and let those natural highlights shine on.
Oatmeal & Yogurt: Skin Moisture & Anti-Inflammation
Overnight oats made with yogurt are all the rage these days. Now, you can turn your favorite breakfast hack into a face mask. Ranella Hirsch, a Boston dermatologist says “Oatmeal is a humectant, meaning it helps moisturize skin, and it contains inflammation-quelling compounds.” We’ll take it: Use the oats as a base for your mask, mix in some expired yogurt, squeeze in some lemon or grapefruit (as mentioned above) and you have yourself a delicious body and facial mask.
Cucumber & Green Tea Elixirs: Refreshing
Everyone associates cucumbers with spa-time … so why not take your old cucumbers and turn them into your favorite at-home spa therapy? Use cucumbers on your eyes to reduce puffiness. We recommend putting them in the freezer for five minutes so they’re extra cold on skin contact. Plus, you can add its juice to just about any face or body mask. We’re also loving this cucumber-green tea body spray. Simply brew some green tea, let it chill, and peel or puree a cucumber. Strain & discard cucumber solids and mix in the juice with the green tea. Put your concoction into a spray bottle and use as needed. (This will keep for up to one week in the fridge.) This natural antioxidant spray is especially useful in repairing dry, sun-damaged skin. We love this one for post-beach cool downs or refreshing your makeup when it’s feeling caked and dry. Put in a small spray bottle and carry in your purse for those unexpected touch-up moments.
Brown Sugar: Skin Exfoliant
Things are about to get a lot sweeter for your skin with this brown sugar scrub. Turn your fave sweetener into a skin softener by mixing 1/2 a cup of sugar with 1/2 cup of coconut or olive oil, and store in a jar for future use. Scrub, rinse, and bask in your silky glow. You can use regular sugar too…we’re just partial to brown because the granules tend to be bigger. Keep in the shower for a daily go-to scrub and watch your skin transform!
Coffee Grounds: Perk Up Skin & Hair
Take this morning’s discarded coffee grinds and turn them into your skin’s new best friend. We’ve been told that the caffeine in coffee grounds is thought to enhance our beauty regimens … but we never really knew how to implement it into our wellness routines. Until now. The caffeine in the coffee grounds speeds up the rate at which fat is metabolized and increases circulation, possibly reducing the appearance of cellulite. Not to mention its incredible exfoliating properties. Together, the exfoliating and stimulating effects of coffee can be applied to hair as well. Simply mix used coffee grounds in with your conditioner and scrub your scalp for a few minutes. The grounds make for an excellent facial exfoliant, too. Slough off dead skin cells with this at-home facial scrub that includes coconut or olive oil, and your coffee grounds. Our favorite cup of java just got a little more delectable knowing it comes full circle!