We are so blown away by the life-changing benefits of apple cider vinegar, and all of the myriad ways in which it can be used, that we thought we’d investigate a few other natural, multi-use products to see which we should add to our medicine cabinets, vanities, and diets ASAP. Here, 3 miraculous nature-made products you need to start using, stat.
Witch hazel is an astringent compound made from the Witch Hazel shrub found in North America and known for its anti-inflammatory properties. Native Americans used witch hazel medicinally, a process which was then adopted by Puritan settlers. Here are some of its most widely-touted uses:
As a daily toner or spot treatment for blemishes
We swear by this as it's completely revolutionized our skin, clearing up breakouts and reducing discoloration. Use all over, or dab breakouts with a soaked cotton ball or Witch Stick.
To heal bruises, soothe itchy bug bites, and reduce the swelling of varicose veins
To expedite the healing of a bruise or get relief from an insect bite, apply witch hazel to the affected area a few times daily. And while it can't affect the aesthetics of a varicose vein, witch hazel can ease any pain or swelling associated with this malady. For relief, soak a washcloth in witch hazel and lay it on legs that are extended straight out in front of you.
To diminish bags under the eye
Witch hazel is purported to tighten the skin and reduce the appearance of under-eye swelling when directly applied to the area.
To treat sunburn
Much like aloe vera, witch hazel can be used to ease the pain of a sunburn and diminish the time it takes for your skin to heal.
To lock in moisture
Witch hazel may eliminate excess oil, but it will also help to maintain skin hydration. Apply to your skin after showering.
Everyone knows by now that coconut oil is an excellent natural moisturizer, and that it can be used to replace other oils in baking and cooking. Here are some of the many other uses of this miracle oil with which you may not be as familiar:
To improve gum health and whiten teeth
Oil pulling has become quite popular as of late as a natural replacement for mouthwash. Some people also swear by oil pulling as a means for naturally whitening teeth. If you're not into the concept of oil pulling, mix the coconut oil with baking soda instead to make a naturally whitening toothpaste.
As a shave cream
Coconut oil pulls double duty by moisturizing while you trim.
As a skin highlighter
Dab a tiny bit of coconut oil onto your cheekbones to achieve a naturally glowing look.
As a moisturizing hair mask
Apply to wet hair and let sit for five minutes before rinsing.
As a lip balm
Throw a small amount of coconut oil into a bite-sized container, like a contact case, for daily use.
As a makeup remover
For easy use, soak cotton pads in melted coconut oil overnight.
To reduce your risk for Alzheimer's
Technically, the jury is still out on this, though we should know more by next year.
Baking soda is a highly alkaline salt. You probably have a box of baking soda sitting in your fridge, which means that you already know it can absorb odors. Here are a host of other ways you should be using this product, though we would recommend investing in a fresh box before trying any of the below.
To clarify your hair or as a dry shampoo
Add a sprinkle of baking soda to your shampoo to help it clear out the remnants of the many products you heap onto it daily. Baking soda also works as a dry shampoo in much the same way you might already use baby powder—which has maybe been linked to ovarian cancer—in a pinch.
As an exfoliator
Our beauty editor swears by this! See her advice for using baking soda as an exfoliator here.
As a liquid plumber
Pour one cup of baking soda down your drain, then follow it up with one cup of white vinegar. After five minutes, chase both down with a gallon of boiling water.
To remove tough stains from your pots and pans
Before scrubbing, sprinkle baking soda onto the stains and let sit for five minutes.
To soothe an upset stomach
Mix 1/2 teaspoon baking soda into a cup of water and sip slowly.
In place of store-bought toothpaste or deodorant
Mix with water or coconut oil to make a natural toothpaste, or dab under your arms to eliminate odor in a pinch.