One of the requests that we’ve had on the blog is to feature a few more beauty posts. To be honest, I’m not all that good at doing makeup. Give me a choice between writing an analysis on the geo-political environment in east Asia as it relates to business opportunities, or a review of 5 lipsticks, and I’d probably choose the geo-political environment analysis. All of that is to say that I am in no way qualified to talk in an informed way about retail beauty products. In fact, I consider myself more of a naturalista. I love natural beauty products, and prefer to D-I-Y my beauty products so that I know what’s actually in them. That’s not to say I don’t buy beauty products, it’s just that I have a preference for D-I-Y beauty. 5 Natural Beauty Products That I Can’t Live Without are my top 5 go-to natural beauty staples.
Uses: hair, warts, burns, teeth, skin
What’s not to love about aloe vera? Aloe Vera is the naturalista’s equivalent of a super ingredient. Why? Because aloe vera has moisturizing and healing properties. It is antibacterial, anti-microbial, has astringent properties (meaning it shrinks the appearance of pores), softening agents, and finally, it’s anti-inflammatory. Aloe Vera does it all. You might be most familiar with using it to soothe sunburns, but you can also use aloe vera gel to get rid of warts (thanks to its anti-inflammatory traits), to retain moisture in the hair and skin, to tame the hair (as a gel), keeping it from getting fizzy, and so much more. See below for a few DIY recipes.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Uses: hair, skin teeth
Apple cider vinegar is another powerhouse natural ingredient. It’s antibacterial, and the acidity helps to balance the skin’s PH, which helps with acne and dandruff. If you don’t like the smell, add your favorite, non-toxic essential oil, though it’s hard to cover the scent of ACV. Luckily, when vinegar dries, it becomes odorless. Check out the videos below for more ideas on how to use apple cider vinegar in your beauty routine.
Uses: hair, teeth, skin
Are you cuckoo for coconut? For the past several years, coconut has been the darling of the natural beauty world, but the praise has been well-deserved. As natural beauty products go, this is one of the less expensive oils you can buy. Coconut oil is made up of medium-chain fatty acids (MCFA), which means it more easily penetrates the hair shaft. Coconut oil also contains a fatty acid called Lauric, which kills mouth bacteria responsible for tooth decay, and bad breath. The two most common ways to use coconut oil for the mouth is by oil pulling, or using as a toothpaste. Check out some examples below.
Uses: hair, skin, teeth
As I mentioned in my Travel Essentials article, I love peppermint oil. I use it to help with motion sickness while traveling, but it also has many other natural beauty benefits. Peppermint oil contains omega-3 fatty acids, iron, magnesium, calcium, and Vitamins A and C, among others. It is antiviral, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and anti-spasmodic, which is why it’s used in toothpaste. One of the other big beauty benefits of peppermint oil is that it helps stimulate hair growth. It’s also great for acne prone skin and brightening the skin tone. Even if you’re not interested in it for those uses, you can make your own natural toothpaste or mouthwash. Watch the videos below to learn more.
Uses: hair, skin
Tea is not only a great drink (that has health benefits when ingested) it’s also an easy and cheap beauty ingredient. Both green tea and black tea, are anti-inflammatory, anti-aging, and full of antioxidants, which makes it great to apply on skin as a mask, or as an exfoliant ingredient. It’s also great for hair, as the caffeine in the tea stops the production of DHT, which causes hair loss. Tea can also be used as a natural hair enhancer (green for lighter colored hair and black tea for dark hair). Check out some beauty recipes using tea below.