UNITED STATES—The holiday season is in full swing, and simultaneously as we buy gifts for those we love, we find our wallets (and our patience) getting thinner and our time for self-care is seriously cut back.  You will inevitably be seeing many people; family, friends, co-workers at parties, etc. With a busy schedule, it is hard to make time for yourself. However, I found that some of the best beauty secrets lie blatantly in our kitchens, hidden within our lacquered wooden cabinets.  

1: Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar, while smelling and tasting slightly rank, has an unthinkable amount of benefits starting from within your body, to your skin, and finally your hair. It has been shown to help aid in weight loss (something that I personally always feel I need around the holidays). I take Apple Cider Vinegar tablets twice a day that I purchased from Whole Foods, but if you’re brave enough you can down it by the tablespoon. Bottoms up!

Not only is ACV beneficial for you internally, but helps maintain shiny and healthy hair. Your scalp has a pH of about 5 (slightly acidic) and most shampoos actually have a pH of about 7.  Apple cider vinegar works to combat this and neutralize your scalp so that it flattens your cuticle and leaves your hair shinier and more balanced, while killing bacteria and cleansing your scalp at the same time. A diluted rinse of ACV and water once a week should do the trick to save your strands this cold winter.

2: Coconut & Olive Oil

As briefly mentioned in my previous article about going blonde, coconut oil does wonders in salvaging hair. Olive oil has the same effect for me, just a little thicker on the strands (which is not always a bad thing). Just apply either generously to towel dried or completely dry hair and leave on for a couple of hours (it works even better if left on overnight!).  Not only are these oils good for the hair, but I tend to use it on my skin as well after exfoliating once a week. Using lotions with a scent or a plethora of ingredients has never resonated well with me. Not only did slathering on the instantly moisturizing oil help with the condition of my skin, but made me feel like a greek goddess.  (Pro tip: Trader Joes sells a box of 14-pack coconut oil which is quite convenient).  

3: Coffee Grounds

As an avid coffee drinker, I can say with certainty that by going through two to three coffees a day, I go through several bags of coffee per month. I used to frequently trash my coffee grounds (compost of course), not thinking much of it up until recently when I discovered the life-changing coffee scrub. Body by Frank is a brand that essentially patented the use of coffee grounds to help exfoliate, firm, and soften skin. While it comes packaged with almond oil, vitamin E, sea salt, and of course, coffee grounds, the homemade version can be just as effective. Just store (drained) used coffee grounds in an airtight container in the fridge with a little bit of our *favorite* coconut oil and you’re all set! Just make sure to rinse your shower afterwards because no one wants their bathroom looking like a garden in the making.

4: Honey

One of the most underrated pantry gems in my opinion, honey’s eternal pantry life gives it no time limit on its healing powers. Using honey in a hair mask to amp up its nourishing qualities or simply applying it to your face as a mask are both amazing ways to utilize nature’s golden nectar. I use it by itself as a face mask twice a week to help zap away unwanted blemishes and clear the skin of any impurities. This is especially helpful if you live in a big city where pollution takes a visible toll on the skin. Just apply and leave on for 30 minutes then rinse off and add a moisturizer of your choosing. For a power duo, you make a scrub out of honey and coffee grounds for your lips to make them ultra soft.

Hopefully, these few hacks will save you time, money, and make use of your resources.  Be sure to pick up these products when you’re out grocery shopping!