All-natural beauty remedies

When shopping for new beauty products, I am always on the lookout for natural ingredients; I tend to avoid putting chemicals into and on my body or face whenever possible for obvious reasons. So, after Lexi Ioannou, the blogger behind Boho Chicken, published a list of her natural must-have products, I felt inspired to do the same.

I’ve been using the following all-natural products for months, and in some cases, years, so I am living proof their results are like magic. Plus, nearly all of them are available at drugstores and/or supermarkets–you don’t even have to make a trip to Ulta or Sephora for glowing, smooth skin and thicker, silkier hair.

Coconut oil: Coconut oil is super popular, and for good reasons. Not only does it smell ah-mazing, it is the ultimate moisturizing agent for hair and body. Once a week, I massage coconut oil throughout my scalp and mane–the best part is, this oil is all-natural, so it can be safely kept on for hours on end. Typically, I leave coconut oil in my hair anywhere between 1-12 hours at a time.

After shampooing and conditioning my hair as normal, I towel off and use some coconut oil as moisturizer on my legs, abdomen and arms. The result is soft, healthy hair and baby-like skin. It has a natural SPF of 4, making it a great alternative to sticky, store-bought tanning oils, and it is perfect for protecting your hair from the sun’s rays.

Spectrum essentials unrefined coconut oil, prices vary, select drugstores & grocers

Apple cider vinegar: ACV, like coconut oil, has so many uses; but unlike coconut oil, it has a super strong, not-so-pleasant smell. Don’t let that scare you, though; it can instantly be rinsed away with your go-to soap or shampoo. I love using apple cider vinegar as a toner before I go to sleep at night (the smell is gone by morning!), or mixed in my favorite facial mask (like I said, the smell is gone as soon as the mask is washed off).

You can also use ACV to rid your hair of buildup. So that it does not irritate your scalp (ACV has a slight sting to it), mix some apple cider vinegar with a little warm water in a spray bottle, spray your hair thoroughly, and let it sit for 5 minutes. Then, wash your hair as normal. Ta-da!

Indian Healing Clay: When mixed with apple cider vinegar, this all-natural powder becomes a strong and super effective facial mask. As the label states, I literally feel my face pulsate every time I use this combo. Natural clay goes deep into the pores to draw out dirt, oil and toxins, while ACV leaves your skin even and toned.

In addition to reducing breakouts and blackheads, this mask’s tightening effect reduces the appearance of pores. The best part is, 1 pound of this facial, composed of 100 percent calcium bentonite clay, goes for about $11 on Amazon.

Bragg apple cider vinegar & Aztec Secret Indian Healing clay, $21.99, Amazon [source: Pinterest]

Cotton: I had to include 100 percent cotton on this list because I love using it to dry my hair. If you’ve got an old cotton t-shirt lying around, swap your post-shower hair towel for it, and your hair will dry noticeably less frizzy.

Tea tree oil: If you have oily or acne-prone skin, tea tree oil will quickly become your savior. I love using Lush’s Tea Tree Water toner spray to refresh my face throughout the day without disturbing my makeup. Plus, it instantly soothes irritated post-shaved or post-waxed skin.

Or, you could use 100-percent pure tea tree oil as a stronger supplement to your favorite facial cleanser during your nighttime skincare routine.

Tea tree water toner, $10.95-22.95, Lush [source: lushsg.com]

Witch hazel: YouTube star Lauren Elizabeth introduced me to witch hazel in a skincare video a couple months ago, and I really wish I had heard of this miracle product sooner. Not only does it deep clean pores, it minimizes their appearance big time!

While you can buy witch hazel extract at the drugstore, I first decided to try Ulta’s Pollution Defense Pomegranate Instant Defense peel-off mask, which contains witch hazel, on my most recent trip to the beauty retailer. The results could not be beat! For $3, my pores became virtually invisible (seriously, it was like I constantly had a blur filter on my face), and thanks to the antioxidant-rich pomegranate, the fine lines on my forehead disappeared, too. I would recommend this mask for all skin types.

Castor oil: This is the newest addition to my natural beauty arsenal! A couple months ago I discovered castor oil’s hair-thickening properties while browsing Pinterest and decided to give it a go. However, no one warned me how thick this oil itself is, so my first time using it was a complete mess.

Once I got the hang of it, however, this product was exactly what my beauty routine was missing. A little is great on the scalp and ends to promote hair growth. With a cotton swab, you can apply small amounts of castor oil to your brows and lashes before bed to thicken those up, as well.

Instant Defense peel-off mask, $3, Ulta

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