Our grandmothers, our skincare gurus.
1. Don’t throw out your rice water.
Rice water is rich with minerals that are amazing for your skin and hair — using the cooled water left after boiling rice is a tip passed down from Japanese geishas for centuries. It’s also rich in anti-oxidants and helps prevent hyper-pigmentation and age spots.
No rice water? There are several beauty products out there that are based in the benefits of rice, like Chaintecaille’s Rice & Geranium Foaming Cleanser and Tatcha’s Rice Enzyme Powder, which is a favorite among celebrity makeup artists.
How to use it: Soak a cotton pad in rice water and tone your face after cleansing with it, and a complex of vitamins called ‘inositol’ will promote cell growth and stimulate blood flow.
2. You can use turmeric to cure pretty much everything.
Turmeric is awesome—it works as an antiseptic and makes a great body scrub. And a little bit of turmeric mixed with water and sandalwood powder reduces acne. India and China have long used turmeric for medicinal and artistic purposes, but it’s only recently that the United States has explored the benefits of turmeric for cancer treatment.
How to use it: For home skincare, you can use it with a mixture of milk for a skin brightener or face cleanser, or even to fight poison ivy and eczema. You can also buy ready-made Turmeric Face Wash if you don’t want to DIY it yourself. The one downside is it stains — so wash your face super thoroughly afterwards.
3. No eyelash curler? No problem.
It’s disputed when the eyelash curler was invented—patents for the first pop up in 1923, 1931, 1940—but before it came about, people used spoons to curl lashes, and it’s still a trick you can use to this day. Model Miranda Kerr—who has her own pretty great skincare line—sometimes uses the trick over a regular eyelash curler. There are a few beauty tricks you can utilize a spoon for, actually. Who knew dining utensils have a space in beauty bags?
How to use it: Watch the video and be amazed!
4. Charcoal was the original Crest. (Maybe.)
If your family ever suggests for you to brush your teeth with charcoal, they’re probably not trying to poison you—so long as they’re suggesting activated charcoal. Activated charcoal treats tannins, which is what stains your teeth when you drink coffee and tea. Over time after brushing your teeth with activated charcoal—don’t swallow it—the tannins will be absorbed by the charcoal. This is one of those family myths turned Pinterest sensations that there isn’t actual, formal research to back up. Some dentists say it has the potential to work, but it doesn’t replace professional whitening and regular checkups. I think maybe we’ll stick to Crest White Strips.
How to use it: Dip your toothbrush into powdered charcoal and brush in small circles for two minutes. Remember to spit carefully and rinse extremely well (you really don’t wanna swallow any of this stuff).
5. Beer can make beautiful hair.
Washing your hair in beer adds volume and shine to heat-damaged hair. Experts suggest you use traditionally brewed beer that’s rich in hops to get the most out of your beer treatment.
6. Koreans do it (face-washing) better.
Face wash commercials can give you the impression that washing your face should only take five seconds, but this isn’t actually the case. Ask Korean skin-care brand Soko Glam (or your local, ageless Korean grandmother): the ideal face wash method takes time, and sometimes 10 steps worth of products.
How to do it: Follow these dedicated instructions.
7. Food makes a fabulous (and cheap) face mask.
Oatmeal? Face mask. Yogurt? Face mask. Cucumbers? Face mask. Honey? Face mask. Tea bags? Put ‘em on your eye bags. But please, don’t do any of this while you’re hungry, because you’ll probably eat your face mask half-way through and feel vaguely cannibalistic about it. All of these products do have clinically proven positive results on skincare and they are the basis of many effective skincare products on the market.
8. Oil up.
Coconut oil, jojoba oil, argan oil—there are a million oils that work wonders on the skin—but many of them are prohibitively expensive. If you can’t afford to throw down for a super pricey bottle, head to Whole Foods or another health food store where you can grab an unblended bottle for a fraction of the price.
How to use it: Coconut oil in particular has multiple uses: moisturizer, hair mask, makeup remover, shaving cream… not to mention baking ingredient.
9. And when life hands you lemons….
Your mom, your grandma, your Pinterest followers—they might all suggest sugar and lemon scrubs or toner, but do not listen to them. Listen to estheticians and skincare professionals. Lemon juice on your skin—especially on open wounds like acne—it can exacerbate the problem more than help. Listen to this no-nonsense lady right here. Your skin will thank you for it.
How to use it: DON’T. No way!