There's no arguing — we're amidst the golden age of coconut oil. Between the "oil pulling" craze and cooking your meals to slathering the stuff on your hair and face for hydration, it's taking over the world, one $7 jar at a time. But, in the spirit of all things old school and cost effective, here's another time-honored grocery product you should consider for its multitasking goodness: baking soda.
This pantry staple isn't just for baking delicious cookies and taking strange odors out of your fridge. Oh no, this little one-pound box, which retails for about $1, can save you a LOT of money on expensive beauty treatments. Here are just some of the uses for that little yellow box of sunshine:
Removes excess product buildup
We don't need clarifying shampoo, thank you very much. One quarter-sized pile of baking soda in your hand with your favorite existing hair cleanser turns it into a gunk-removing machine, ridding your roots of buildup and leaving your scalp clean.
Use instead of shampoo
You can also use this instead of your regular shampoo. Drop a tablespoon of baking soda into a cup of warm water, stir it until it dissolves, and work through your roots and hair to remove oil, dirt and grime. Rinse thoroughly and apply conditioner (or an apple cider rinse if you're going all natural — but that's a different story.)
Exfoliate your entire body
Three parts baking soda to one part water in any quantity will yield a paste that can be applied to the body as a gentle-yet-effective scrub. If you throw in oatmeal, it really delivers the goods. Rinse clean, and enjoy some glowing skin. Just steer clear of your your private parts and your eyes if you use it on your face.
Want more bombastic baking soda beauty revelations? Right this way, please.
Mend your manicure
For one of the best hand exfoliators ever, apply that previously described 3-to-1 scrub mixture to your hands and rub it in up to your elbows and across your nails. Rinse clean, apply lotion, and polish your newly sparkling hands.
Cool your heels
Two tablespoons of baking soda with a few drops of essential oil makes for a great foot soak at the end of a long day. There's something so restful about the fact that it's soothing your muscles and saving you money.
Soothe your razor burn
Baking soda paste (that 3-to-1 product-to-water solution we've referenced) applied to shaving irritation will relieve razor burn. Yes, it really works. No, we're not kidding.
Soak your cares away
1/2 cup of baking soda in your bath water is really the original "bath bomb": It neutralizes the acids on your skin and helps to soothe maladies like bites, wind, and sunburn, and that chaffing conversation you had with your boss today. It also softens your skin and removes surface oils and perspiration.
Brighten your smile
For those of us who had braces back in the day, the mixture of baking soda with a touch of water as a toothpaste to keep your teeth white and clean is an old-school whitening trick. A teaspoon of baking soda dissolved in about four ounces of water makes for a great mouthwash.
We're not saying you have to get rid of your coconut oil. What we are saying is that this combined with coconut oil could save you hundreds of dollars a year on beauty products. Which is a great thing right about now. The tax man cometh, y'all. Let's save any way we can.
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