Many of us follow a strict beauty regimen to keep our skin, hair and nails in good health. In fact, people all over the world spend millions of dollars to enjoy beautiful skin, superb hair and strong nails.
When it comes to beauty, importance should be given to natural ingredients rather than commercial beauty products. Chemicals and toxins in commercial products can do a lot of harm in the long run.
There are many natural ingredients in your kitchen that shouldn’t be underestimated.
Here are the top 10 natural ingredients for healthy hair, gorgeous skin and strong nails.
1. Olive Oil
When it comes to the best beauty products from your kitchen, you simply cannot ignore olive oil.
Being a powerful emollient, it adds body, shine, softness and resilience to your hair. It easily penetrates all the way down to the hair shafts to help retain moisture.
Apart from being one of the best oils for hair, it is also good for your skin and nails. The monounsaturated fatty acids in olive oil help protect the skin against photo aging from prolonged sun or other ultraviolet (UV) exposure, according to a 2012 study published in PLOS ONE.
Olive oil is also good for weak and brittle nails. The moisturizing property of this oil helps repair damage and softens nails and cuticles.
To enhance your overall health, include 1 to 2 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil in your regular daily diet. Also, you can use it in your beauty regimen specifically for your hair, skin and nails.
- Hair: Massage your scalp with warm olive oil for a few minutes. Cover your hair with a shower cap and allow the oil to soak in for 30 to 45 minutes. Finally, shampoo your hair as usual. Use this hair care treatment twice a week to enjoy healthy and beautiful hair.
- Skin: Massage your body with some warm olive oil. Wait 30 minutes, then take a shower. Gently pat dry your skin and apply a light moisturizer. Use this remedy daily to enjoy flawless skin.
- Nails: Massage your nails thoroughly with some warm olive oil. Wait 15 minutes before rinsing it off with warm water. Do this 2 or 3 times daily.
Whether it is the fruit, seed or its oil, avocado should be a part of your beauty care regimen. From dry skin to scars and hangnails to damaged hair, avocado has many beauty uses.
Eating half an avocado daily helps protect your skin. A 2012 study published in the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology journal reports that regular intake of avocado bolsters cells’ power centers against harmful free radicals.
It is also one of Mother Nature’s best moisturizers. Being a humectant, it keeps both skin and hair well moisturized. The high amount of healthy fat, vitamin E and protein in avocado helps protect the skin from damage, keep your hair healthy and prevent hangnails.
Here are some ways to use avocado to enhance the beauty of your hair, skin and nails.
- Hair: Make a hair mask with 1 mashed ripe avocado and 1 tablespoon each of jojoba oil/olive oil and yogurt. Apply the mask on your damp hair. Put a shower cap on for 1 hour, then rinse the mask out with lukewarm water. Use this hair mask once a week. You can also massage avocado oil into your scalp once or twice a week.
- Skin: To promote healthy and soft skin, rub the pulp of ripe avocado against your skin 30 minutes before taking a shower. Repeat this treatment 2 or 3 times a week.
- Nails: Prepare a paste with 1 tablespoon of avocado pulp and a little coconut oil. Apply it on your nails for a couple of hours. Rinse it off with lukewarm water and pat dry. Do this once in a while to keep your nails healthy and prevent hangnails.
3. Green Tea
Green tea has many beauty benefits. The high-quality antioxidants in this tea prevent harmful free-radical damage that contributes to skin aging. It protects the skin against UV damage and reduces signs of premature aging like wrinkles, age spots and saggy skin.
A 2003 study by the Medical College of Georgia notes that green tea aids skin rejuvenation. It can be used to treat skin diseases and wounds.
When it comes to hair, the catechins in green tea contain 5-alpha-reductase inhibiting properties that help block DHT (dihydrotestosterone), one of the key causes of hair loss. A 2005 study published in the Journal of the National Medical Association reports that the polyphenols in green tea prevented hair loss in rodents.
Green tea is even good for strong and healthy nails. It also prevents yellowing of nails.
Simply drinking green tea 2 or 3 times a day will help to enjoy beautiful hair, skin and nails. Also, use the following beauty remedies.
- Hair: Brew 3 to 4 cups of green tea, depending upon the length of your hair. Allow the tea to cool. Pour the tea on your damp hair and allow it to sit for 10 minutes. Then, wash your hair with a mild shampoo. Use this remedy 2 or 3 times a week to nourish your hair and boost hair growth.
- Skin: Empty the contents of 1 or 2 used green tea bags into a bowl. Add 1 teaspoon of honey and a little lemon juice to it and mix thoroughly. Apply it on your clean face and neck, leave it on for 10 minutes and then rinse it off. Do this once or twice a week.
- Nails: Brew a cup of green tea, add a few drops of wheat germ oil and allow it to cool. Soak your nails in it for 10 to 15 minutes, twice a week.
Lemons are a nutritional powerhouse that are excellent for your hair, skin and nails. The fruit’s juice as well as its oil and peel can be used for beauty purposes.
Lemons are rich in vitamin C, an antioxidant that combats free-radical damage that can lead to aging. It even boosts collagen production, which restores skin elasticity to help maintain a smooth and youthful appearance.
A 2013 study published in the Indian Dermatology Online Journal reports that vitamin C is helpful in treating photo aging, hyperpigmentation, tissue inflammation and promotion of tissue healing.
When it comes to hair, lemon is effective at treating dandruff and scalp itchiness. It helps balance the pH level of your scalp to prevent scalp infection and support hair growth.
Lemon also supports nail growth and prevents yellowing of nails.
Starting your day with a glass of lemon water can help your skin and hair look beautiful from within. These natural beauty remedies will ensure that you feel gorgeous on every front.
- Hair: Add the juice of 2 lemons to 1 cup of water. After shampooing, rinse your hair with this solution. Wait 5 minutes, then rinse your hair with plain water. Use this remedy once or twice a week.
- Skin: Put some honey on a piece of lemon and use it to gently rub your face, neck, hands and legs. Allow the juice to remain on your skin for 5 to 10 minutes, then take a shower. Do this once or twice a week.
- Nails: Prepare a nail soak with equal amounts of lemon juice and castor oil or argan oil. Soak your nails in it for 10 to 15 minutes. Repeat this remedy a few times a week.
5. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil contains many nutritional properties that support the health of your hair, skin as well as nails.
The moisturizing property of coconut oil helps seal in your skin’s moisture, which is important for soft and smooth skin. It is even effective at protecting the skin from sun damage. Its fatty acid content helps reduce inflammation and revitalize the skin.
A 2004 study published in Dermatitis reports that coconut oil is as effective and safe as mineral oil when used as a moisturizer. It shows significant improvement in skin hydration and increase in skin surface lipid levels.
Being rich in medium-chain triglycerides, coconut oil easily penetrates deep into hair shafts, which in turn supports hair growth.
A 1999 study published in the Journal of Cosmetic Science reports the positive effect of coconut oil on prevention of hair damage in grooming processes when it is used as a prewash conditioner. It also has a protective effect on chemically treated hair and hair treated with boiling water. The hydrophobicity of coconut oil seems to be responsible for this effect.
Coconut oil also helps keep your nails moisturized and strong. It even strengthens your cuticles, which is important for nail growth.
For overall good health, consume 1 to 2 tablespoons of extra-virgin coconut oil daily. For targeting hair, skin and nail health, try the following home remedies.
- Hair: Massage your scalp with warm coconut oil before going to bed. The next day, shampoo your hair as usual. Do this 2 or 3 times a week.
- Skin: Apply lukewarm coconut oil all over your body. Wait about 30 minutes, then take a shower. Finally, apply a light moisturizer. Do this daily to soothe dry skin. To combat extremely dry skin, you can also apply a layer of coconut oil on your skin immediately after taking a bath or shower.
- Nails: Massage your nails and hands with warm extra-virgin coconut oil for 5 to 10 minutes daily, at night before going to bed.
Honey is another natural ingredient that your nails, hair and skin will love in every single way!
Honey, composed mainly of fructose and glucose, contains proteins and amino acids, vitamins, enzymes, minerals and other minor components that offer many beauty benefits.
A 2013 study published in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology highlights the skin benefits of honey. The study says that honey exerts emollient, humectant, soothing and hair conditioning effects; keeps the skin young and slows wrinkle formation; regulates pH level; and prevents pathogen infections.
Not just skin, honey is good for your hair, too. A 2001 study published in the European Journal of Medical Research reports that the therapeutic and prophylactic effects of crude honey can improve seborrheic dermatitis and associated hair loss, and prevent relapse when applied weekly.
Being a natural humectant, honey attracts and retains moisture, which is essential for nail health. It can prevent the development of hangnails.
Here are three honey-based beauty treatments to help restore your hair, skin and nail health.
- Hair: To stop hair loss, prepare a solution with 2 tablespoons each of honey and onion juice. Use it to massage your scalp and hair roots. Allow it to sit for 30 minutes, then shampoo your hair as usual. Use this remedy twice a week.
- Skin: Mix together equal amounts of raw honey and fresh lemon juice. Apply it on your face and neck area. Allow it to dry on its own, then rinse it off with lukewarm water. Follow this skin care treatment once or twice a week.
- Nails: Dab raw or Manuka honey on your nail beds and leave it on for several hours. Do this on a regular basis for stronger and healthy nails.
7. Apple Cider Vinegar
For years, apple cider vinegar has been used for various household and cooking purposes. However, this natural ingredient helps with all sorts of beauty problems, from acne to sun damage and hair loss to brittle nails.
It has antiseptic, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that keep skin pores free from bacteria, oil and other dust particles. This is helpful in reducing the risk of acne, pimples and other skin blemishes. It even helps restore and balance your skin’s pH, which is essential to healthy skin.
Apple cider vinegar also promotes soft and shiny hair due to its clarifying properties. It prevents buildup of harmful products on your hair and scalp and helps restore the natural pH level of the scalp.
Thanks to the nutritional profile (magnesium, potassium, calcium and iron) of apple cider vinegar, it also promotes nail health and can prevent and treat nail fungus.
To boost your health and beauty from within, mix 1 teaspoon of raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar in a glass of water and drink it 2 or 3 times a day. For specific beauty treatments, try the following home remedies.
- Hair: To make a hair rinse, mix ¼ cup of raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar with 2 cups water. After shampooing, pour this solution onto your hair. Massage it into your scalp and leave it on 5 minutes before rinsing it out with cool water. Do this once a week.
- Skin: Mix equal amounts of raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar and cool water. Use it to wash oily face on a regular basis.
- Nails: Mix equal amounts of raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar and water in a small bowl. Soak your nails in this solution for 5 to 10 minutes, once daily for a few weeks to fight nail fungus.
Oatmeal is one of the most inexpensive superfoods that have specific benefits that your nails, hair and skin will appreciate. It is rich in protein, biotin and other B vitamins that are beneficial for skin and hair.
A 2007 study published in the Journal of Drugs in Dermatology reports that the high concentration of starches and beta-glucan is responsible for the protective and water-holding functions of oats.
Colloidal oatmeal can be used as a cleanser, moisturizer, buffer, as well as a soothing and protective anti-inflammatory agent. Another study published in the same journal in 2012 reports that colloidal oatmeal can be used in the treatment of atopic dermatitis.
For those having oily and smelly hair, finely powdered oatmeal can be used as dry shampoo.
This popular breakfast item is even effective at preventing hangnails. The protein in it prevents water loss to help keep the skin moisturized.
So, do not forget to have a bowl of oatmeal for breakfast, and try these natural beauty treatments, too!
- Hair: To make dry shampoo at home, grind 1 cup of oatmeal into a fine powder. Add ½ cup of baking soda to it and mix well. Store it in an old talcum powder bottle. Whenever you have oily hair, simply sprinkle a little of the dry shampoo into your greasy hair and then brush your hair thoroughly.
- Skin: Pour 1 cup of colloidal oatmeal into your bathtub filled with warm water. Add a few drops of any essential oil of your choice. Soak in it for 15 to 20 minutes. Finally, rinse with lukewarm water. Enjoy this relaxing bath 1 or 2 times a week to enjoy healthy and soft skin.
- Nails: Prepare a hand massage with 2 tablespoons of ground oatmeal, ½ teaspoon each of honey and olive oil, and a little water. Use it to massage your hands, giving special attention to the areas around your nails. Wait 10 to 15 minutes, then rinse it off with warm water. Follow this remedy once a week.
These small nuts make a perfect ingredient for beauty recipes. Almonds and almond oil can improve skin complexion, reduce the intensity of sun damage and make your skin healthy from within.
The high vitamin E content in almonds is key in helping ward off damaging free radicals and even oxidative damage, which can take a toll on your skin.
A 2007 study published in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology reports that topical application of almond oil can protect the skin from damage by UV irradiation and can also reverse damage that may have already occurred.
Another 2010 study published in Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice sheds light on the emollient properties of almond oil, which helps rejuvenate and soften the skin.
You can use these natural home remedies to boost the health and appearance of your hair, skin and nails. Also, do not forget to snack on a handful of almonds daily for overall health.
- Hair: Massage your scalp with warm almond oil before going to bed. Leave it on overnight and shampoo your hair as usual the next morning. Repeat 2 or 3 times a week. Also, eating a few soaked almonds every day will work from the inside to make your hair healthy.
- Skin: A 5–minute massage with almond oil after taking a bath can do wonders for your skin. You can also make a scrub with a paste prepared from 10 soaked almonds and a little honey. Use this scrub once a week to get rid of dead skin cells and add a healthy glow to your skin.
- Nails: To strengthen weak nails, massage a few drops of almond oil into your nails daily before going to bed.
This water-rich vegetable contains several essential nutrients that support your nails, hair and skin as well.
Tomatoes are rich in lycopene, a powerful antioxidant that helps prevent or repair damage to DNA. It also helps protect against sunburn and skin aging caused by sunlight exposure.
A 2001 study published in the Journal of Nutrition reports that dietary tomato paste protects against UV light-induced erythema.
Tomatoes also help strengthen hair and promote hair growth by helping balance the pH level of your scalp. They even help treat dandruff. The biotin in tomatoes also aids nail growth as well as makes them thick and shiny.
You can use some fresh tomatoes in these natural beauty treatments.
- Hair: Prepare a hair mask by blending together 2 tomatoes, 1 tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil and 2 teaspoons of aloe vera gel. Apply this paste thoroughly on your scalp, cover your hair with a shower cap and wait for 30 minutes. Then, wash your hair as usual. Use this hair mask once a week.
- Skin: Mash a ripe tomato and spread its pulp on your face and neck area. Allow it to sit for 20 to 30 minutes before rinsing it off with lukewarm water. Do this several times a week for healthy and glowing skin.
- Nails: Mix ½ cup of tomato juice and 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a bowl. Soak your nails in this mixture for 10 to 15 minutes. Use this nail soak once or twice a week to enjoy strong nails.