Do-it-yourself spa day can start in kitchen

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People tend to underestimate the ability of common and cheap household items to take care of your skin. After all, how could something you can make for $2 be better than something you buy for $20?

Consumers spent $33.3 billion on cosmetics and other beauty products in 2010, pouring money into products like moisturizer, toner, facial masks and scrubs, according to a 2011 article on smartmoney.com by Annamaria Andriotis. What most don’t realize is that sitting just inside their kitchen are fast, organic, healthy and cheap alternatives for their beauty routines.

Like many people, Chelsea Pitts, senior in interior design, has heard about home remedies, mentioning the familiar practice of placing cucumbers over your eyes to get rid of bags, but has never actually tried them.

Many ingredients found inside your home are natural moisturizers, such as extra-virgin olive oil. People often worry about putting olive oil on their face and their skin, believing it might clog pores and cause acne.

This typically isn’t the case. Olive oil has been used as a moisturizer for centuries by ancient Greeks and ancient Egyptians. It is a good natural moisturizer for the face and draws blackheads out of your skin.

Many K-State students have home remedies to share. Raelynn Smith, freshman in theatre, uses sugar washes on her face and hands.

“It’s really easy,” Smith said, “just water and sugar. My skin feels really soft and smooth afterwards.”

Mixing honey or olive oil with sugar makes a sugar scrub more moisturizing. Combining a small amount of brown sugar with some olive oil and rubbing the mixture on your lips almost instantly heals chapped lips. Also, mix of moist oatmeal and honey or olive oil is an extremely gentle way to exfoliate and soften the skin.

Green tea, rice water and apple cider vinegar make quick and easy facial toners. Simply brew some green tea, put it in a bottle and keep it in your refrigerator. It’s even easier with rice water; just cook some rice with extra water and keep the excess starchy water.

Use green tea and rice water like you would regular water when washing your face or hands. To use apple cider vinegar as a toner that’s good for acne, mix two parts water with one part vinegar.

Apple cider vinegar is also good to drink, as long as it is diluted. About one teaspoon per cup of water three times a day has been a folk remedy for multiple ailments, from arthritis to ovarian cysts.

While not much research has been done for these claims, there is promising research that suggests that drinking apple cider vinegar may also help with diabetes, cholesterol, cancer, weight loss, blood pressure and heart health, according to webmd.com.

Mengyang Fang, junior in apparel design, has had a lot of experience with home remedies, particularly masks. She is usually wary of store-bought products, as even the more expensive ones tend not to work well with her skin. She sometimes uses a cucumber mask.

“I like to do the masks by myself,” Fang said. “It’s very good for moisturizing.”

Egg whites also make good facial masks.

“My mom used eggs to make her face appear younger. She would put it on her face while she was cooking,” Fang said. “I would be like, ‘What are you doing?’ She said it was ‘a meal and a mask in one.'”

All of these masks and treatments I have used myself, and I can vouch for their surprisingly effective results. The next time you think about spending your hard-earned cash on a new moisturizer or pack of facial masks, remember that you can just as easily make your own for much cheaper at home.

Cara Hillstock is a sophomore in English. Please send comments to edge@kstatecollegian.com.

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