Let's keep things simple this week. When it comes to personal-care products, we are big believers in streamlining what you use—see "Eight Products You Think You Need But Don't" for a refresher—buying less in general, and getting creative. We have both always loved experimenting in our kitchens and our bathrooms, checking ingredients in products we love, isolating the main ones, and then trying them on their own. Sometimes it works: A favorite hair leave-in contained aloe, for example, so one day we tried aloe alone and found that, lo and behold, it worked just fine on its own. And sometimes it didn't. Over the years we have tried dozens of DIY beauty recipes to find ones we like—and that work. Below are our favorite six. And the best thing about these is that none contains more than four ingredients, and chances are good you have them all in your kitchen already. So get cookin' and if you have your own, be sure to share it in the comments.
Let us be clear: Baking soda is not going to permanently cure your acne or turn back the cruel hand of time. But if you’re looking to detoxify your body and your household, this multitasking ingredient will make your life easier (and more beautiful) without denting your coffers. Mom may have taught you that baking soda will make your bread rise and your fridge smell better, but did you know of its many cosmetic applications?
If you're no stranger to the kind of breakouts that make you want to put a paper bag over your head and cry, well, chin up—but step away from the benzoyl peroxide. Because they are formulated to penetrate deep into the skin, traditional acne products are extremely harsh and can contain some of the more unhealthy chemicals used in personal care products. BP is the most popular over-the-counter spot remedy in the United States, but that doesn't mean we should be using it. Studies have shown it to be free-radical-generating (that's bad—free radicals age the skin), and it has caused tumors in mice—to say nothing of its skin-peeling harshness.
But take heart. Here are 10 completely nontoxic ways to clean up your skin from the outside in, and the inside out.