December’s excess often results in a January budget squeeze, especially when it comes to things that might be considered a luxury – including beauty products and spa treatments. Instead of burrowing down and hiding from everyone, now’s the perfect time to create your own spa experiences with ingredients found in your kitchen.

Lemons

These sunny palm-sized fruits don’t just smell good, they have a lot of health benefits too.  Lemons are anti-viral, immune-boosting and loaded with antioxidants. Add fresh lemon juice to warm water to help fight infections, cleanse your system and eradicate harmful free radicals from your blood.  If you have oily skin then try this deliciously easy lemon oatmeal mask to fight dirt and acne.

Mask Ingredients:

  • 1 cup cooked, chilled oatmeal
  • 2 tbsps. lemon juice

Combine both items in a small bowl and mix together well. Apply to face evenly and leave on for 15-20 minutes. Rinse clean with warm water.  Use up to one time per week.

Brown Sugar

We all know that brown sugar makes your food taste sweeter.  Did you know that it can be used as facial scrub or body exfoliate?  Oh, indeed.

Body Scrub Ingredients:

  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup sweetened almond oil
  • 1 tsp. Vitamin E

Combine together and use as a full body scrub while in the shower.  It rinses off easily and makes for super soft, moisturized skin.

Facial Scrub Ingredients:

  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 3-4 ripe strawberries, hulled.

Mash strawberries with a fork and add brown sugar.  Mix well and apply to face.  Scrub in circular motions over cheeks, and back and forth on the forehead and chin.  Leave on for a few minutes for added exfoliation.  Rinse clean.

Baking Soda

You know that old saying about small packages and big things? Well it definitely applies to that little box of baking soda and its numerous possibilities that reach beyond home cleaning.  Mix three parts baking soda with one part water to create a gentle facial scrub.  Add it to your shampoo to remove build-up from your scalp.  Use it as a hand softener, excellent in the winter months, by combining one part liquid hand soap to three parts baking soda.  The list goes on too.  You can add a teaspoon to a small glass of water to create a non-alcoholic mouthwash or add a dash to post-gym hair to add volume and eliminate oil.  Baking soda is one small wonder with man uses!

Share the ways you use these home ingredients and others.