DIY Health & Beauty Hacks

Have you ever wished that you didn’t need to spend much cash to look and feel good? Does shopping at a department store for all your health and beauty needs leave a massive hole in your wallet? Do you wish you could spend more of your disposable income on other things, like trips away, evenings out or even just on your home renos?

Well, stop spending big because you’ll find that some very effective health and beauty solutions are likely to be found in your pantry, under your kitchen sink or even in your garden. Think natural and simple when it comes to health and well-being with these remarkable DIY hacks that save a pretty penny. They also go a long way to helping the environment as you avoid flushing harmful chemicals into our waterways.

Bicarb soda

Bicarb soda AKA baking powder/sodium bicarbonate makes for a grand stand-in for many personal care products. It is PH neutral, which means (among other things) it has the ability to neutralise odours and to boost the cleansing process – making it a great deodoriser and cleaning agent in general. You would have no doubt heard about how bicarb soda can whiten teeth, well… there are many other uses for this household staple in terms of your health and beauty.

One of my favourite applications of bicarb soda is to use a couple of teaspoons mixed in with a shampoo as a build-up remover. Too many hair products and styling sessions and leave hair limp and oily. Bicarb soda enhances your regular shampoo to strip build up and creates hair that is once again light and boucy.

So, why buy an expensive clarifying shampoo when you can achieve the same results quickly and easily at home? If you do colour your hair it’s best to use at the end of your colouring cycle as bicarb does remove an amount of dye in the process.

Other great uses for bicarb soda – mouth freshener, body scrub, antacid, bath and foot soak.

Apple cider vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is well known for its detoxifying properties. Apple cider vinegar begins with the humble apple that undergoes a long, slow fermentation process that leaves a liquid rich in bioactive components. Its potent antioxidant and antimicrobial properties mean that many people use it as a health tonic.

Research shows that apple cider vinegar can help cardiovascular circulation and assist detoxification of the liver. It also may assist with weight loss. The potassium and enzymes in apple cider vinegar provide many great benefits including an extra energy boost for the body. Take a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar mixed in a large glass of water 15 mins before every meal to experience the benefits for your digestive system.

Did you know that apple cider vinegar can also produce some amazing results for your hair? It will dramatically boost your hair’s shine after shampooing and also leave it with increased volume. Try recycling an old shampoo bottle and fill it with ½ teaspoon of apple cider vinegar and a cup of water. Pour the solution through your hair and use several times weekly for best results.

Other great uses for apple cider vinegar – stain remover for teeth, sunburn soother, wart remover, as a natural aftershave and as a room freshener.

Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil is the oil of the Melaleuca alternifolia tree, found primarily in Australia and Oceania. It’s a powerful natural antiseptic found in a lot of home medicine cabinets. A 5 percent solution of tea tree oil works just as well as the top drugstore acne remedy, benzoyl peroxide, according to Australian researchers. It’s a pure essential oil so it requires a spot test before use in case of allergy. Also, avoid sunbaking after use.

Tea Tree oil has long been added to acne treatment products as it has the ability to dry out and heal congestion. Skip the products that contain tea tree oil as an additional ingredient and try the real thing for the best, and cheapest results. Apply to a cotton swap directly and use to disinfect and deflate pimples.

Tea Tree oil also makes a fantastic toner to use all over your face. For an extra refreshing treatment (especially great in summer) store a jar mixed with the following ingredients in the fridge: 1 cup witch hazel, ½ cup rosewater, and ½ water and 4 drops tea tree oil. The tea tree will work to cleanse the skin thoroughly while the witch hazel (another brilliant and inexpensive beauty staple) will tighten pores. The rose water will create a lovely fragrance and toning experience.

Other great uses for tea tree oil – mouthwash, makeup remover, cuticle softener, foot deodoriser.