The beauty industry is a billion dollar factory. Creating potions to fix wrinkles, serums to erase aging spots and elixirs of youth to reverse any sign of aging. The industry is banking billions of dollars because women (and appearance conscious men) are buying into the fact that purchasing these creams will make them beautiful. Men and women pour hundreds of their hard earned dollars every month into the latest beauty trend.

But did you know that you can solve most of your beauty problems with ingredients found in your own home? Shocked? Buckle up as I introduce you to the hidden beauty products right under your nose.

Baking soda: sure, the name indicates that this powder is specifically for baking but its powers are widespread. Baking soda has become a popular deodorizer as shoppers have discovered putting a box in the fridge keeps smells out. But did you know that baking soda is a great (and inexpensive) facial exfoliant? The little granules are perfect for sloughing off dead skin cells but are not too harsh to aggravate sensitive skin. Make a paste with some water and rub on your face. Rinse off for smooth, clear skin. Baking soda is also a degreaser. For your hair. The no-shampoo craze has really taken off and many people are using expensive degreasers to keep hair from looking too shiny. Make your own by combining a bit of baby powder (to degrease) and baking soda (to break down residue) to help extend between shampooing.

Lemons: this citrus fruit does more than add tang and color to a meal. Use a lemon to help remove dry patches on your elbows and knees. The citric acid (a favorite in natural cleaning solutions) breaks down the rough skin cells. Cut a lemon in half and rub gently over rough patch. Also, stop spending money on hair lightening kits. Squeeze lemon juice in hair just before going out in the sun for a natural, highlighted look.

Ginger ale: this light drink is a favorite to help eliminate a tummy ache. But ginger ale also has a secret power for zapping yellow nails. By soaking your nails in ginger ale (for about 10 minutes a week) you are allowing salts from the ginger ale to naturally bleach your nails. (Bleaching nails? Makes you think twice about drinking soda.)

Coffee: never throw old coffee grounds away again! Add coffee grounds to your thighs to reduce cellulite dimples. The caffeine in the coffee draws water out of your fat cells. By rubbing an exfoliating scrub with coffee in it will make those fat cells look less noticeable. Coffee has become a popular ingredient for many facial products because it contains many useful antioxidants.

Herbs: mint is for more than freshening your breath. Use mint to shrink a pimple without the nasty side affects of OTC or prescription acne meds. Parsley is another herb that has facial benefits. Parsley contains vitamin K, which is a nutrient that can banish dark under eye circles for good.


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