No matter how much time, money or energy you spend to keep your health, beauty or wellness in check, there will always be something that even the best routine can’t solve or avoid from time to time.
Before you agonize any further, or head to Sephora for a quick fix, here are some of my favoritehealth and beauty hacks to effectively treat the problems we all share and can’t avoid.
Headache relief- For their soothing properties and ability to relax your muscles, eucalyptus and chamomile oils offer very effective relief of headaches. Add a few drops of each into a warm bath, or directly to the affected areas and gently massage the oil into your skin. The cooling effects of eucalyptus can be felt almost instantly (especially when applied directly to affected areas), while the chamomile soothes and relaxes muscles and can be a useful aid for insomnia and anxiety, both of which play a major role in tension headaches.
Another source of pain relief for headaches is a cold compress, such as an ice pack. Cold therapy can help numb the pain, decrease downstream blood flow and reduce swelling. For headache relief, use a thing cloth or paper towel to wrap the ice pack and apply it directly to the affected area(s) for 10-15 minutes; remove it for the same length of time before applying it again.
How effective these aids are will depend on the type of headache you have and it’s severity. Though, it should offer at least some degree of temporary pain relief.
Treating black heads - Because of it’s disinfecting and soothing properties, plain tea tree oil works like a charm to help eliminate blackheads in as little as 1-2 days. Pour a few drops on to one end of a cotton swab to spot treat your more pronounced black heads.
Beating the Bloat - Feeling uncomfortably full? The causes for bloating can range from benign issues and circumstances such as lactose intolerance or eating rich and fatty foods late at night; to more serious chronic health conditions or diseases for which you should be aware of other warning signs.
Assuming your bloat is more a nuisance that requires a quick fix than a serious health issue, try taking a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar on an empty stomach first thing in the morning. It is known to stimulate digestion, reduce gas and helps combat constipation.
Adding lemon to warm water will also offer some relief from bloating. When paired with warm water, lemons become a natural diuretic and a gentle laxative. For optimal relief and continued relief, drink this in the morning and throughout the day if you are feeling particularly bloated.
Angry pimples- Ice is one of my favorite hacks for taming troubled skin. Applying ice can help to significantly reduce redness, swelling and inflammation caused by an irritated pimple or blemishes.
Ice also works to constrict the blood vessels underneath your skin, which can effectively diminish the size of ours pres. By keeping pores smaller and tighter pores, we limit the amount of bacteria that enters the skin and potentially reduce the size of breakouts.
After cleansing and rinsing your face, gently massage an ice cube over your skin until it melts entirely. Follow with topical treatments or moisturizers, per your usual skin care regimen. Moisture from the ice also makes our skin’s surface more penetrable, which can make our skin care products more effective when applied.
Instant mood lifter - When funks or bad moods get the best of you, finding your way back to feeling ‘normal’ can seem almost impossible. It’s been my experience that the best first step to overcoming negative energy is to write down my thoughts and feelings on paper. More than anything else, this little exercise will lift my spirits almost instantly.
Don’t be fooled by it’s simplicity. Writing down your thoughts and feelings has a lot of positive effects. It can bring you greater clarity about feelings that seem confusing or tough to overcome; prevent you from saying something you will regret; release negative energy and prevent it from affecting other aspects of your life; and ultimately help you move forward in a positive direction.
Eliminate oil stains - Forget store bought stain removers. When it comes to removing oil stains, from just about any fabric, baby powder is the best way to go. For this tried and true trick to work you must apply a heaping amount of powder until the stain is covered entirely - not just a light sprinkle. Then take your index finger and use it to gently press the mountain of baby powder into the oil stain.
Allow the powder to sit on the stain for 24 hours (yes, you read that correctly) before putting the stained item through the washing machine.
Curb sugar cravings (and avoid waste) - Whether you are staying away from sugar entirely or just want to avoid over-snacking, homemade hot or iced fruit teas will satisfy your sweet tooth without all the damage that sugar ordinarily cause.
Instead of letting fruit go to waste and tossing it in the garbage, I like to dehydrate it and use the dried version to make fruit teas. You can do this in an actual dehydrator (which due to their low heat temperatures will keep most of the fruit’s nutrients) or bake them in the oven on a low heat (130-160F) for 6-12 hours, using only a baking pan and parchment paper.
For best results, keep your slices about 1/4 inch thick and be sure to use seasonal fruits - they are fresher and taste better, which make for sweeter a tea.