Common Household Beauty Treatments
The beauty industry generates billions of dollars selling items that are supposed to make us feel & look more beautiful. While we are guilty as charged, we also wanted to point out that there are many items commonly found in people’s home that are just as (*gasp* if not more) effective than their expensive counterparts.
Team Inspirationail wanted to stop for a moment and consider that women haven’t always had a cosmetics shop round the corner. Modern society has placed a huge variety of beauty items (usually enveloped in bright & inviting packaging) right at our fingertips. While we love this convenience, it’s also important to be pragmatic in your consumption whilst saving yourself money and rescuing the earth from excessive packaging when you can.
Here is a list of items commonly found around the home which provide amazing beauty (& health) benefits to your nails.
Most of us have some of this lovely golden liquid in our kitchens. While it’s fab for cooking, the practical uses for olive oil beyond the kitchen are endless. A great moisturiser for hands, face & nails, olive oil makes a great DIY cuticle oil. Apply a few drops at a time and thoroughly massage into nails, cuticles & rough spots on both hands and feet (cover with cotton gloves or socks for maximum absorption). Use it straight out of the bottle or mix it with a few drops of your fave scented oil for an aromatherapy boost.
Rock Salt or Sugar
Salt & sugar are staples in most homes and their uses go beyond simply spicing your food – think exfoliation. While we love purchasing luxuriously scented scrubs, they are also quite easy to make at home in a pinch. Combine salt or sugar (the bigger the rocks, the better – but even table sugar will do) with olive oil and a few drops of scented oil. This is a moisturising scrub that can be used on the whole body in the bath or shower – focus on rough spots and cuticles to remove dry skin and dead cells.
If you don’t have some aloe growing, plant some. This plant has natural soothing, moisturising & anti-fungal properties which makes it a great way to fight nail fungus. In fact, the goo found inside aloe leaves is also great for sunburn, insect bites & minor abrasions when applied topically. When ingested in the form of juices, gels or capsules aloe is also said to aid in nail health & growth. While there are a lot of products on store shelves which contain aloe, we say grow it yourself for best results.
Everyone has a carton of milk around and considering it’s relative cheapness it’s a great element in everyone’s beauty arsenal. In addition to it’s calming and moisturising properties, the lactic acid found in milk helps to loosen dead skin. For hands and fingernails try soaking your hands in warm milk for 5 minutes then rinse, pat dry and apply a thick moisturising cream. For feet, add 1/4 or 1/2 cup of milk to a tub of warm water & essential oils and soak for 10 minutes (the lactic acid will also help with stubborn callouses).
Similar to aloe (& definitely more common), honey has been used since ancient times to topically treat infection. Along with a variety of anti-fungal & antibiotic properties, honey may also help wounds & infections heal. All of this and more makes honey a much yummier alternative to chemicals when it comes to treating pesky nail fungus (try it on torn cuticles too). Apply directly to affected areas and leave on for as long as you can stand it (be sure the family dog is outside, or you may just train yourself a toe licker). 😉
Another common staple, yogurt is almost as good for your outsides as it is for your insides. Eating 8oz a day helps to promote healthy nail growth and treat (or help prevent) nail fungus. For your outsides try mixing 8oz of plain yogurt and the juice of one lemon. Refrigerate for a few hours and then massage thoroughly into hands & nails. Rinse and pat dry for softer skin, smoother cuticles and stronger nails. This mixture can be kept until the yogurt goes off, so be sure to take note of container date before recycling.
This is one citrus that Team Inspirationail always has in our kitchen, it’s a natural preservative and some of the best flavouring in town. It’s also full of vitamins your nails require for healthy growth and helpful in strengthening brittle nails. Submerge your fingers in the juice of one lemon for 15 minutes every night before bed. Vitamins & minerals can be absorbed directly while the citric acid softens cuticles and removes dead skin. Try rubbing leftover lemon rind on your nails for another dose of vitamins.
Vinegar is another common item with anti-fungal properties and there are several different types you can use – chances are you have one in your cupboard right now. Apple cider vinegar is perhaps the most commonly used nail fungus home remedy – especially for the feet. Submerging nails several times a day for around half an hour will kill the fungus (although it will take time – as in weeks or months for bad cases). Soaking nails in white (or apple) vinegar for 5 minutes will soften cuticles & strengthen nails pre-manicure. Try applying vinegar to nails just before painting to remove dirt & oils and provide a boost of lasting power to varnishes.
What’s Pretty In Your House?
We are certain that there are more common items which can be used to help keep us pretty and we are set to discover and report them. Please let us know your tried and true home remedies in the comments below and we’ll research to find (& share) more of our own. If you are simply too lazy to bother, but still care about the earth check out our store for brands with a conscious.