What’s in your medicine cabinet? In mine is vinegar, baking soda, corn starch, corn meal and olive oil. Really. No, I’m not kidding. Yes, there are a few other things like toothbrushes and antiseptic cream.
Why would anyone keep such food items in their medicine chest? I thought you’d never ask. They’re natural remedies for many personal care problems. Skin and hair respond well to these safe and inexpensive treatments.
Vinegar is a natural acid that removes all traces of shampoo and chlorine from your hair and leaves it soft and healthy. Use about a half cup of vinegar added to a half cup of warm water. Pour it over your hair after shampooing and rinse quickly.
Use it as an occasional face cleanser. It balances acidity to the skin and helps clear acne. Mix it half and half with water or use even more water if your skin is sensitive. Don’t rinse or dry your face, but leave it to dry on its own.
Vinegar is also useful as a natural deodorant when you run out or need a little extra during the day. It won’t last as long as regular deodorant, but it works.
Use it as a natural, uncomplicated antiseptic. Almost no bacteria can exist for long in such an acidic environment, but don’t use it on scrapes or cuts unless you’re willing to put up with a little burning sensation. It works very well for cleaning bathrooms and kitchens, where germs are a concern.
Baking soda is an excellent, natural exfoliant for your face or all over. To use, make a little lather of your favorite soap in your hand, and sprinkle in a half teaspoon or so of baking soda. Work this to make a creamy lather and scrub with it. It leaves your skin feeling very smooth, but be sure to use a moisturizer afterwards.
Baking soda is also a great natural tooth powder. Even though the taste may not be the best, it leaves a refreshingly mild taste in your mouth. No minty bite, either.
For itchy bug bites like mosquito bites or even bee stings, make a paste of baking powder and water and apply as often as necessary.
Corn starch is a great, natural foot and body powder. Use it the same way you use those powders that cost you a lot more money. It has the same cooling and absorbent properties without any possible irritation that talcum powder and/or added scents may cause. Heat rash responds well to it.
Corn meal makes an gentle all over exfoliant. Use with your favorite soap in the shower. Corn meal cleans and clears skin of minor problems without drying or changing the ph balance.
Olive oil is a natural moisturizer and, as an after bath lotion, will make a big difference in dry skin. It’s very close to natural skin oils. Slather it on generously, then wait a minute and blot gently with a dry cloth. It makes a good facial moisturizer, too.
Olive oil is also a wonderful deep conditioner for hair. Work it into your scalp and hair, then wrap your head with a hot towel (or wrap your head with a towel and warm it with your hair dryer). Leave it on for 5 – 10 minutes, then wash with mild shampoo.
There, now. Are you ready to restock your medicine cabinet? Go natural, the frugal way.