Salt hacks may not be the first thing you think of when you imagine life-changing beauty DIYS. Sure, we all crave our salty favorites: nachos, French fries, potato chips—but too much salt can lead to bloating, not to mention a whole host of health issues. However, just because something isn’t such a great idea when put in the body doesn’t mean it can’t be awesome on it. Don’t believe us? Just give these fabulous (and cheap!) salt-based beauty hacks a chance, and watch how your skin, hair and even lips are totally transformed.
“Everyday things we do, like using hair products too close to our forehead, can cause acne, but everyday things in our homes can help fix the problem, too. A little salt does wonders for a zit,” says Bonnie Ndoci, esthetician and owner of Facials by Bonnie. Combine ¼ teaspoon salt with 1 cup of warm water, soak a cotton ball or gauze pad in the mixture, lightly press and hold for one minute. The salt will reduce swelling and redness.
Sexy Beach Waves
While traveling, beauty writer Amber Katz of Rouge18.com likes to take ocean water, put it into a spray bottle, and spritz the resulting real-deal salt water on her hair for beach-like waves. “Bonus if sand gets in the water to add a little more texture!,” she says. It sounds crazy, but it definitely works.
Dry salt therapy, also known as halotherapy, uses pure sodium chloride that is ground up by a halogenerator and dispersed into the air of a tightly sealed room, bed, booth, or cabin. The salt particles are then absorbed by the user’s skin to release toxin buildup from surface layers and replenish deep layers with needed moisture. Skin cell rejuvenation is accelerated and pore-clogging bacteria is eliminated.
You can also reap the benefits of salt’s replenishing powers at home, too. “Throwing a cup of salt into a warm bath and soaking for a half hour is miraculous,” promises Jeannine Morris of BeautySweetSpot.com. “The salt helps you to detoxify and debloat.”
Mix salt with lukewarm water and put the mixture into a spray bottle to gently mist your face, then pat dry, Dorn says.
Sea salt can help soften skin to make it more supple and reduce the appearance of wrinkles. It can also be helpful to reduce oily build-up that clogs pores, and it makes a great exfoliator for dry skin to remove dead surface cells without overdrying, says Wendy Lewis of BeautyintheBag.com. Better still, salt also has healing properties which can actually speed up the recovery of cuts and scrapes.
“You can make a body scrub from olive oil and salt with a couple of drops of essential oils that work amazingly well to refresh and soften skin for pennies. Use lavender, vanilla, cinnamon, whatever you like to scent it,” says Maggie Cruz of Marinello Schools of Beauty.
Mix salt and hot water, apply to cotton pads, and gently apply the soaked pads to the eye area to instantly smooth and reduce the puffiness of your undereyes.
“It’s not unheard of for crummy pedicures to leave me with minor infections by my toenail cuticles,” says Bryce Gruber of The Luxury Spot. “I used to head straight to the doctor, but since I’m allergic to most antibiotics, I’ve just started filling a shallow basin with warm to hot water, adding a cup of salt, and soaking the foot in question for about half an hour. I do this twice a day until the infection is totally gone and starting to heal, which usually only takes one or two treatments!,” Gruber says. Now there’s a DIY cure if there ever was one.
Salt and baking soda make for the perfect mouthwash when mixed with water, says Dorn.
For most of us, the cooler weather in winter months translates to dry, chapped lips. Misti Schindele of Entertainista.com recommends mixing two or three tablespoons of Epsom salts with one tablespoon of Vaseline, gently massaging the mixture into your lips to remove dead skin before removing with a damp washcloth. Slather on your favorite deep moisturizing lip balm—give it a few minutes, and your lips will be in perfect condition for a swipe of lipstick.
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