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Beauty In a Pinch: Household Remedies That Really Work

There are innumerable beauty products on the market, you know that. You get bombarded daily with advertisements for creams and potions that claim to cure all of your beauty problems — for the right price. And a big trend in products these days is the inclusion of ingredients plucked from the earth like citrus extracts and coffee. Have you ever wondered why you would spend so much to have natural ingredients mixed with chemicals, when you have access to them in their purest form at the grocery store? If so, you thought right. Here are some of our favorite at-home beauty remedies that will cost you a fraction of the newest, latest and greatest remedy touted by the biggest beauty brands.

Tea Bags for Eye Puffiness: It's not just an old wives tale. Tea bags on your eyes actually do work to reduce swollen, inflamed skin that can be a result of aging or a late night out on the town. Make sure you pick up caffeinated tea at the store if you want to use it for your eyes. Brew two bags at once.  After you steep them for tea, take them out and let them cool. Then apply them to the skin under your eyes for several minutes. Leave them in the fridge overnight and use cold for the best effect: the cool temperature also helps to reduce swelling. What's the caffeine for? It shrinks blood vessels.

Kosher Salt for Beach Hair: How do you get beach hair without spending a day at the beach? You take the saltwater home with you, or you create saltwater at home. This is one trick that is great to use when your blow-out starts to fade and go limp, too. Mix together a few teaspoons of kosher salt with a few ounces of water in a spray bottle. Add in a couple of spritzes of hair gel. Spray on dry hair and scrunch it up with your fingertips to create waves and texture. The salt and gel will act together to create volume and that beachy look that lasts all day.

Oranges or Lemons for Dry Elbows: Elbows are prone to dryness, especially during winter time or in the summer if you spend most of your hours in air conditioning. To soften them, you don't need expensive body lotion. You need a trip to the grocery store. Cut a whole citrus fruit in half (even grapefruit works) and rest each elbow in each half for 10 or 15 minutes while you're relaxing in front of the TV. The acids will help slough off dead skin and will soften those stubborn dry patches. (Note: be sure to wash off the citrus before going in the sun to prevent skin discoloration.)

Baking Soda to Exfoliate Your Face: A lot of women out there are diligent about putting lotion on their face without realizing that half the battle of achieving soft, smooth, young-looking skin is done with exfoliation. You don't need to buy a mask made of "all natural" ingredients or special tools and face soap to get the job done. All you need is water and baking soda. Use a three to one ratio of water and baking soda. Mix well. Apply in a circular motion to dampened skin. Rinse with warm water and then splash your face with cold water to close pores. The texture of the baking soda will get rid of your dead skin, reducing the risk of clogged pores. It also has antiseptic properties that will prevent future breakouts. The best part, it works for all skin types. I use this myself and am amazed how baby soft my skin is afterward.

Coffee for Cellulite: One of the main ingredients of today's cellulite creams and lotions is coffee. That's because caffeine draws out water from your fat cells, shrinking them and making them less noticeable. If you brew coffee every morning for a pick-me-up, you now have a reason to re-use your coffee grounds. For a weekly shower scrub, try mixing a couple tablespoons of grounds with four teaspoons of Olive Oil and applying it to areas that have cellulite.

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