We all love picking up the latest and greatest beauty products, but something we love just as much? DIY-beauty! For some of the best beauty treatments, all you need to do is head to the kitchen. Harness the beautifying benefits of leftover ingredients from a recipe, or from produce that’s on its last legs, by using them in these spa-inspired DIY treatments that pamper from head to toe.
Thicken hair with bananas
Overripe bananas aren’t just good for banana bread. When used topically, their amino acids have been shown to increase the diameter of individual hairs and boost blood flow to follicles to encourage healthy growth. “And the fruit’s vitamins and minerals strengthen strands at the root to thwart shedding,” says dermatologist Debra Jaliman, M.D. Use them with olive oil (it hydrates) and honey (a humectant that enhances shine) for instantly full, lustrous locks.
TRY IT: Mix half of a mashed banana with 1 Tbs. of olive oil and 1 Tbs. of honey. Apply to damp hair from roots to ends. Let sit for 20 minutes, then rinse.
Banish bacne with pumpkin
Leftover pumpkin puree? Its zinc regulates oil production and its alpha hydroxy acids unclog pores. Add to skin-healing coconut water to reduce breakouts fast.
TRY IT: Mix 1 Tbs. of pumpkin puree and 1 Tbs. of coconut water. Rub onto skin and rinse after 2 minutes.
Nix rashy skin with celery
Even if it’s lost its crunch, the veggie is packed with anti-inflammatory properties that calm the redness and itchiness that come with inflamed skin. For even speedier results, mix with skin-soothing and moisturizing aloe.
TRY IT: Puree 2 stalks of celery in a blender. Strain, then mix the liquid with 1/4 cup of aloe vera gel. Rub onto irritated skin and let sit for 10 minutes, then rinse. Leftovers can be stored in the fridge for two weeks.
Firm crepiness with egg whites
If you only used the yolks to make that chocolate pie, don’t fret! Egg whites are packed with proteins that have a tightening effect on skin, while their amino acids promote collagen and elastin production to help lax areas look tauter, says Dr. Jaliman. Pair with yogurt (its lactic acid gently exfoliates) for smoother skin in a flash.
TRY IT: Mix 1 egg white with 1 Tbs. of plain yogurt. Apply to saggy skin spots like the chest and neck. Let sit for 15 minutes, then rinse.
Diminish discoloration with apples
A bruised apple may look ugly, but it’ll leave you looking gorgeous, thanks to its vitamin C and malic acid, which brighten skin and boost cell turnover to reveal even-toned skin. Add exfoliating sugar and lightening lemon juice to boost the benefits.
TRY IT: Puree 1 apple in a blender; strain. Mix the liquid with 2 Tbs. of sugar and 1 Tbs. of lemon juice. Rub onto damp skin. Let sit 5 minutes; rinse.
This story originally appeared in our print magazine.