Top 5 Natural Beauty Hacks

We're big DIYers here, and prefer natural cosmetics to those loaded with toxins. Here are our top 5 favorite natural beauty hacks!

1. Natural oils. I could not live without my oils! Olive oil makes a great makeup remover, and melted coconut oil is a great natural alternative to a deep hair conditioner. Just warm up in the microwave, massage through hair, wrap hair in an old t-shirt, and leave on for 1 hour or overnight! Wash out as normal and enjoy gorgeous, shiny hair. I use grapeseed oil as a natural face moisturizer - it helps tighten pores (lightly astringent) and provides just enough moisturizing action without causing breakouts, even in the summer. Most oils can be found at your local natural market, and are super cost effective!

2. Henna. We're big henna fans at One Strange Bird. See our post on how to henna your hair here! Chemical dyes are bad for you and the environment. You can buy henna in a variety of colors (which is actually henna powder mixed with indigo plant powder if you buy anything other than red), or buy the colorant-free kind for strengthening and conditioning. I've been dying my hair with henna for 6 years after frying it with chemical dyes in college, and I like Light Mountain Natural brand the best - no additives, just pure plant powder.

3. Castile Soap. Hand soap doesn't need to be complicated! Create a chemical-free liquid hand soap by mixing 1 part castile soap to 1 part distilled water in a pump bottle. Shake, and it's ready to use! We like Dr. Bronner's brand.

4. Honey and Bentonite Clay. There is really no need to spend upwards of $30 on a tiny pot of face mask. Ever. Pure honey is amazing for soothing skin, moisturizing, and clearing congestion while still being gentle enough for sensitive skin (try Manuka honey for even more amazing benefits). For those who need a little more clearing power (read: have congested skin), try Aztec Healing Clay's bentonite clay. Mix with a little water or apple cider vinegar and some lavender oil with the powdered clay, and you've got yourself a homemade mask. A container lasts me up to a year. It's great for soothing bug bites and poison ivy, too!

5. Apple Cider Vinegar. This stuff will literally change your skin. It gently exfoliates while balancing the pH of your skin. Mix 1 part apple cider vinegar to 1 part distilled water, plus a few drops of lavender oil, for an amazing natural toner. The smell is not fantastic (the man in my life thinks it smells like a foot) but it dissipates in about 2 minutes and you're left with the lavender oil scent. The results are worth it! We like Bragg's brand.

Enjoy better skin and a fatter wallet!

xoxo,
Amanda