Australians spend millions of dollars each year on skincare solutions and magic potions all designed to make us look young and goddamn gorgeous. But what if I told you your next great facial could be sitting in your vegetable crisper? No, not that mouldy old banana. I mean the fresh produce you might have been planning on eating… had I not shared these amazing secrets with you.
I’m not saying stop splurging on your favourite Sephora stuff (if anyone said that to me I would probably cry a mascara-smudged river). I’m just saying if you’re a little broke, or looking to switch up your routine to a regimen that’s all-natural, then look no further than the food aisles of your supermarket.
YOUR HAIR DRINKS TEA TOO Yeah I know you love a good cuppa, but did you know your lacklustre hair does too? Grab two teabags, and two cups of water; use black tea for dark hair, chamomile for fair hair and rooibos tea for redheads. Whenever your hair could use a pick me up, cover the teabags in the boiling water and let it sit for 10 minutes. Make sure it’s room temperature before pouring it on your head… obviously. After you’ve given your tresses a good lather, rinse and repeat with your shampoo, and pour the tea mixture over your wet hair. Leave it on for 10 minutes and presto… shiny, newly caffeinated locks. It works because tea lowers the pH level of the hair, which closes the cuticle and gives your hair that shiny awesome look we all love. The colours in the tea can also tone down brassiness in your hair colour!
RAID YOUR FRIDGE FOR LIPSTICK What’s the one fruit that stains just about everything it goddamn touches? Beetroot! Which is why it makes an excellent lip and cheek stain. Run a slice of newly cut beetroot across your lips and cheeks. For extra moisture, and a glossy effect, use a dab of coconut oil on a cotton swab, then rub it on the beetroot and apply.
FACE THE FACT WITH YOGHURT You know when you can feel a pimple coming up and you just KNOW it’s going to be Mount Vesuvius by the morning? Slap some full-fat Greek yoghurt on it. This natural wonder formula reduces redness, and balances bacteria, while the lactic acid helps to naturally exfoliate the skin. The pores are given room to breathe and the fat in the yoghurt hydrates skin cells. Science man, woah.
ORANGE YOU GLAD YOUR TEETH ARE WHITER? Forget stupid expensive teeth whitening “systems” and embrace your inner under-11s netballer with orange slices. The citric acid in the peel helps break down stains and plaque, and the rubbery peel helps scrub all the nasties away. Rub your teeth with the peel and then rinse well after, but don’t brush your teeth for an hour afterwards; the acid weakens the enamel and brushing could damage your chompers. Not to mention the whole orange juice toothpaste thing tastes ridiculously gross.
A BERRY NICE FACIAL SCRUB Use three strawberries, and a tablespoon of honey. Cut the berries into teeny tiny pieces and then mash them with a fork until they’re softened. Add the sweet, sweet honey and mix evenly until it’s well combined. I know you will be sorely tempted but DO NOT eat it. Seriously. PUT DOWN THE FORK. Instead, use small circles to massage the scrub into your face for three minutes. Rinse your skin with warm water and then voila! Bye dry skin and hello radiant face.
How does it work? It sciences the crap out of your skin, that’s how! Fruit enzymes cut through your top layer of skin to get rid of dead skin cells; the honey is a humectant, meaning it helps pull moisture deeper into your skin, and smooth over dry patches; and the berry-honey combo acts as a mild antiseptic which can head off breakouts at the pass.
GO BANANAS ON YOUR FEET Before the banana becomes a fridge relic, put it to good use. Instead of chucking it out, use it to beautify your feet. Grab a couple of tablespoons of cornmeal and mush together with the banana until it resembles wet sand. Then scrub it all over your feet, making sure you work it into all the rough patches.
Cornmeal is an excellent exfoliant, while banana is a secret moisturiser that works hard to soften the skin. Just make sure you wash the mixture off before you try to walk anywhere, or you’ll end up on your butt faster than you can say banana peel.
GO COCO-NUTS OVER THIS MAKEUP REMOVER! A few years ago I would have said it was madness to willingly put oil back on my face… isn’t that what toner was supposed to get out? But I’ve since learned the benefits of many “good” natural face oils, when it comes to pigmentation reduction, moisturising and makeup remover.
A cotton pad moistened with coconut oil will instantly dissolve even the most steadfast, waterproof mascara. As an added bonus, it will gently exfoliate and moisturise the delicate skin around your eyes. Just make sure you apply it VERY gently, as the skin there is super sensitive. Want an even better result? Leave some on overnight. Literal beauty sleep. You’re welcome.
Elizabeth Best is a journalist, beauty expert, foodie and travel lover with a mild obsession for all things shimmery. She also hosts the smash-hit sex and relationships comedy podcast Ghosts of Boyfriends Past In her spare time, she likes long walks down the makeup aisle and performing in Brisbane theatre. You can follow her adventures on Instagram@thebeautypalate.