Beauty hacks using household items

In a hurry and out of your favorite beauty products? Take a closer look around your home because you may have all sorts of household items that can also serve double duty in your beauty regimen. We love beauty hacks that involve very little effort, and these household tricks definitely fit the bill.

Salt

Salt is one of those household items with a bevy of uses besides at your dining table. From soothing a sore throat to scrubbing away dry skin, salt can be used in a variety of ways. If you plan to use salt on your skin, it's best that you use salts that haven't been processed to remove beneficial minerals. Examples of good salts to use include sea salts, Epsom salts, or Himalayan salts, which all have trace minerals that are good for your skin. Our favorite use for salt comes courtesy of Ipsy founder Michelle Phan, who offers a great recipe to make your own sea salt spray for that beachy hair texture.

Baking soda

Just like salt, baking soda has dozens of potential uses around the home and in your beauty routine. Use it to relieve sunburn or insect bites by making a paste with water. Make a paste with hydrogen peroxide instead, and you have a natural teeth-whitener. Are you stumped on how to get ugly sweat stains out of your favorite shirts? Try baking soda! A paste of baking soda and warm water can be spread directly onto perspiration stains and be left there for 30 minutes before rinsing and washing as normal. You can use this same stain-fighting power to brighten and remove yellow stains from your fingernails, too.

Dryer sheets

Dryer sheets aren't just for making your clothes smell fresh and preventing wrinkles. They actually combat static by releasing positively-charged particles which neutralize the electrical charge. While the tumbling motion of the dryer accelerates that release, you can use the same concept to combat static outside of the laundry room. Rub the dryer sheet vigorously against your hairbrush or comb before brushing your hair to tame static flyaways. You can also just rub the sheet gently down the length of your hair for a similar effect. This trick works on clothes you're wearing, too — just rub a dryer sheet on your clinging skirt or blouse to get rid of the static.

Botanical oils

Much like salt and baking soda, olive oil and other botanical oils aren't only useful for dining. You can use certain oils to cleanse your face instead of using harsh soaps or cleansers that strip your skin. The oil cleansing method uses the natural properties of oils to clear your skin of impurities. According to dermatologic surgeon Dr. Ariel Ostad, the botanical oil will freely mix with the natural oils of your skin as well as "those from makeup and other products. When you rinse it all off, the 'good oil' takes those 'bad oils' and dirt along with it." Popular oils used in this method include olive oil, grapeseed oil, avocado oil, and a variety of others. You may want to avoid using coconut oil, however. According to Dr. Josie Tenore, "For some people, coconut oil can be an effective moisturizer that absorbs fairly well into the skin, providing light to moderate hydration and softening in one quick, inexpensive step. But coconut oil is also comedogenic, which means it can cause clogged pores, pimples, blackheads, or whiteheads." Naturally, the type of oil you use for cleansing will depend on your individual skin issues and sensitivities, so be sure to do some research first on the benefits and drawbacks of various botanicals before you start using the oil cleansing method.

Coffee filters

Let's talk about unwanted oil — on your eyelids, in your T-zone — and how to combat it. If you start using the oil cleansing method, you may find your skin starts to produce less oil than it used to, but if you still find yourself combating shine in all the wrong places, try a coffee filter! Paper coffee filters are designed to trap naturally-occurring oily substances in your coffee called diterpenes, which can cause elevated cholesterol. What works in your coffee machine will also work on your face. Cut up a coffee filter and use the pieces like a blotting paper on your face to remove shine from your nose, forehead, or other problem areas.

Scotch tape

If you are an eye makeup aficionado, you probably already know these tricks — but if you don't, prepare to be amazed. Do you struggle with drawing the perfect winged eyeliner every day? Scotch tape works as a perfect guide for a shaky hand when you carefully place a piece of tape next to the corner of your eye. Has eyeshadow (or worse: glitter) fallout got you down? Never fear, tape is here! Use a piece of transparent tape to gently press against unwanted color or sparkles on your cheeks, then lift away to take the offending fallout with it — with no smears!

A spoon

That's right, a simple spoon may be your most versatile household beauty tool. Ipsy creator Michelle Phan has quite a list of ways to use a spoon in your beauty routine. Put a spoon in the refrigerator and let it chill, then use the cold bowl of the spoon to soothe tired and puffy eyes. Place a spoon over your eyelid to protect your skin as you apply mascara. This trick allows you to press more firmly with the wand and apply the mascara all the way to the root of your lashes — without fear of smearing the stuff all over your eyelid. You can even use a spoon to help you contour, curl your lashes, or apply liquid eyeliner.

Oatmeal

If you've got an itch, oatmeal has the cure. Whether you suffer from an itchy sunburn, bug bites, eczema, or other skin condition, or maybe you just have dry skin — oatmeal can bring you some much-needed relief. Even the ancient Romans knew that oats have beneficial properties that are good for your skin. While the species most commonly used in skin care and itch treatment is called colloidal oatmeal, regular food-grade oatmeal meant for your breakfast or baking will work, too. Obviously, don't use anything that has flavorings added to it, like instant oatmeal packets. Grind up your oatmeal in a blender for a few moments before adding it to a warm bath for all-over itch relief. Avenanthramides and phenols — chemicals in oatmeal — have anti-inflammatory properties which means that an oatmeal poultice will also work wonders on poison ivy or a nasty bug bite.