As many of you now, I was singing the praises of the beauty benefits of coconut oil and apple cider vinegar in one of my recent posts. Having grown tired of the often expensive and usually ineffective results of the beauty products out there, I turned my attention to my cupboards at home and began rummaging, in the hope of finding something more successful. So far, so good.
I've started picking up on the benefits of using bicarbonate of soda (baking soda to my USA-based friends). Used for a range of different purposes, it's being lauded as a must in our daily ablutions. I'd like to point out, I'm no scientist, I don't know the ins and outs of the effects that these things have, I can only work on personal experience. If you have sensitive or reactionary skin, please research these things before trying them, I don't want anyone to suffer adverse reactions on my advice.
Firstly, it can be combined with a small amount of water to create a paste, and used as a hand exfoliator. Gentler than some shop-bought brands, where the grains can be too harsh, or the cream too stringent, it soothes dry skin, leaving a smooth, soft feel afterwards. Rub gently into the hands using circular motions, and rinse in warm water for the best effect. If you suffer with dry hands like me, apply some coconut oil afterwards to moisturise.
Likewise, it can be used as an all-over scrub. Again, mix with a little water, creating a paste, adding oats if you wish it to be slightly more abrasive, and once in the shower, scrub away, being careful to rinse thoroughly.
Adding a spoonful to a warm bath can soothe irritated skin, while soaking away the day's grime and relaxing muscles. It also helps cleanse nails and cuticles ready for a manicure, and can be used to wash away product build-up in hair, either by creating the paste mentioned before, or adding a sprinkle to your usual shampoo, rubbing through and rinsing out.
Also used for bad breath (useful with all those Christmas brussel sprouts coming up!), sparkling teeth, even deodorant, Bicarb of soda is another handy chap to have tucked away in your kitchen. And when it's not being used as a beautifying god, it's pretty handy for baking delicious cakes too!