10 Beauty Products Hiding in Your Kitchen Cabinets

BEAUTY STARTS IN THE KITCHEN

Here's a welcome surprise: Your kitchen cabinets contain a number of cheap alternatives to pricey beauty products. Add these common cooking and baking ingredients to your regimen and watch your beauty budget shrink.

Related: 21 Skin Care Tips to Keep You Looking Young for Less

HONEY

Some beauty bloggers swear by honey as a natural cleanser, touting its antiviral, antimicrobial, and moisturizing qualities. It's easy to find moisturizers, cleansers, and exfoliators with honey as a star ingredient, but the bottle of honey in your pantry can deliver the same punch as a product like FarmHouse Fresh Honey Heel Glaze ($21 for 3 ounces). To relieve cracked heels, remove dead skin, and soften feet, mix equal amounts of honey and sugar and apply directly to feet in the shower.

SUGAR

Sugar is a common ingredient in luxury lip scrubs and body exfoliators, and also a staple in most kitchens. Plain old granulated sugar costs less than $1 a pound, brown sugar costs only a bit more, and even organic varieties come in well under the $3 mark. Simply add sugar to your regular face wash as a quick, cheap way to remove dead facial skin.

GROUND COFFEE

You probably never imagined your everyday cup o' Joe could fight wrinkles and temporarily reduce cellulite. The caffeine in coffee is a natural diuretic, which means it draws excess fluid from the skin, leaving it smooth and free of lumps. For best and immediate results, add a tablespoon of ground or cooled brewed coffee to body wash or directly to your skin.

CINNAMON

This inexpensive, common spice can be used for a variety of beauty applications. Beauty blogger Michelle Phan uses cinnamon as a quick and low-cost lip plumper. It's a welcome alternative when you want a fuller look but pale at the thought of spending, say, $26 on Amazon for Éminence Cinnamon Kiss Lip Plumper. Just apply a bit of moistened cinnamon to your lips and smile.

TURMERIC

This kitchen spice, typically used in Indian and Middle Eastern cuisines, has long been known for its medicinal benefits, such as quashing indigestion and reducing inflammation. In recent years, turmeric has been praised as a viable and low-cost acne treatment; curcumin, an ingredient in turmeric, fights common acne symptoms and prevents breakouts. About 1 ounce of turmeric costs about $2.50 (far less when bought in bulk), which seems like a small price to pay when commercial treatments such as Proactiv can set you back $20 or more.

OATMEAL

Oatmeal is a wholesome and low-cost breakfast favorite. It's also an affordable cleanser and exfoliator. Oatmeal contains an abundance of saponins, which, along with the cereal's grainy texture, help remove excess dirt and oil. If you don't already have this staple in your pantry, a 42-ounce container for $4 at Walmart will keep your skin breathing easy for a while.

BAKING SODA

Baking soda serves a variety of cooking and cleaning purposes, so there's a good chance there's a box someplace in your kitchen. Try swapping out regular shampoo for a box of baking soda (less than $1 at Walmart), which cleans your scalp just as effectively as commercial shampoo. It also reduces dandruff, making it a thrifty substitute for dandruff shampoos, which often retail for more than $5 a bottle.

BLACK TEA

Black tea contains a high amount of antioxidants, which are said to protect against free radicals that can damage the skin. Anti-aging products containing black tea have popped up in beauty aisles with hefty price tags. A 1.6-ounce jar of Fresh's Black Tea Age-Delay Cream, for example, sells for $90 at Sephora. Instead, forego expensive specialty products and try a generic box of black tea. There are several ways to incorporate black tea into your beauty regimen, such as steaming your face with a brew.

COCONUT OIL

Replace costly makeup remover with coconut oil. Aside from getting rid of stubborn mascara and foundation residue, coconut oil has been praised for reducing eye wrinkles and puffiness. For just $4 at Walmart, a 14-ounce jar of coconut oil serves at least three purposes: cooking, removing makeup, and reducing under-eye bags.

OLIVE OIL

Olive oil's beauty benefits are no secret. Women have used it to add shine to hair and moisture to skin for eons. Olive oil isn't particularly cheap, but it remains a welcome companion of salads and sautés in many kitchens. If you keep a bottle on hand, you might as well use a few dabs as an everyday moisturizer and forget about high-priced commercial body and beauty oils, which can cost more than $40 for a small bottle.

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