At Home Beauty Tips for the New Year!
By: Sabrina K. Sikka, MD • Posted on January 03, 2018
Another year, another set of resolutions
Each year we take time to reflect on the changes that help us become our best selves in the New Year. We may spend time and/or good money on items that promise us youthful looking skin, less joint pain, and even whiter teeth.
We are often led to believe that looking and feeling your best comes at a high cost. Did you ever stop to think what products could be right under your nose – or at least in your kitchen cupboard? Lets talk about three common household items and how they can help you look and feel your best in the New Year!
Turmeric is a common household spice that has long been studied for its scientific and medicinal benefits. It’s active ingredient, curcumin, is a polyphenol and has been shown to have several health benefits. Here is how you can use turmeric to help your skin and joints.
Turmeric has anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties, and when applied directly on the skin can help calm certain skin conditions like:
In fact, in certain cultures, turmeric is actually mixed with other spices in addition to flour and honey to create a mask that is applied to brides and grooms before their wedding day to help their skin glow! Try adding a half-teaspoon of turmeric to a honey for a simple DIY mask. Even try squeezing a little lemon in it for a little extra glow!
If you have sensitive skin, you may want to try incorporating it in your diet. Adding a half-teaspoon of turmeric to a smoothie that is rich in fruits and vegetables is a great way to not only look good, but also feel great!
Studies have shown that because of its anti-inflammatory properties, turmeric can help in ailments such as osteoarthritis. Studies have shown that turmeric is superior to placebo in improving joint pain secondary to osteoarthritis when taken daily. Turmeric can also be found in capsule form and is easily purchased over the counter at most drugstores.
The recommended dosage for powdered turmeric is 1800mg per day or if you are taking the extract, be sure not to exceed 90 drops per day. If you are on any blood thinners or have a history of gastrointestinal bleeding, speak to your healthcare provider before taking daily turmeric supplementation.
2. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is one of the most versatile beauty products and is a proven hydrator, anti-oxidant, and skin moisturizer. Because it contains several medium chain triglycerides (MCTs), it has several therapeutic benefits on the whole body, both inside and out.
Not only can coconut oil be used to moisturize dry skin during the winter months, it can be used in replace of cuticle oil, or even shaving gels! Replacing shaving gels with coconut oil in the shower actually reduces the amount of cuts and razor burn. One of my favorite uses of coconut oil is as a simple makeup remover – it is a great chemical free way to get rid of stubborn waterproof eye makeup!
As mentioned above, coconut oil contains fatty acids, which are essential for healthy hair growth and can help keep locks silky and smooth. It is particularly beneficial in treating and preventing dry, damaged hair because it actually penetrates the hair shaft and repairs from within. If you suffer from split ends, dry or damaged hair, try creating a hair mask with coconut oil. Though effective on its own, you can try adding an egg or mixing in an avocado to help lock in moisture and increase shine!
Coconut oil is rich in Medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), which some studies have been shown to increase calories burned in a given 24 hour period by as much as 5%, leading to long term weight loss and maintenance.
You can even use coconut oil topically in conjunction with coffee grounds to create a body scrub to help minimize (not eliminate!) the appearance of stubborn cellulite!
3. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar (ACV) has long been studied as a:
- Weight loss supplement
- Means to improve cardiovascular function
- Way to treat dandruff
Drinking this regularly has several health benefits, though, not widely supported by the current literature. What we do know however, is that ACV can do the following:
- Improve insulin levels
- Reduce overall blood sugars
- Help support a healthy gut micro-biome
ACV contains alpha-hydroxy acids that help remove dead skin cells and help reveal bright, vibrant skin.
- Combine ACV with warm water to create a toner to help minimize the appearance of pores. Adding a splash of lemon can help minimize sunspots or areas of hyperpigmentation.
- Soak your fingernails for 1 minute in ACV before your next manicure. The vinegar removes excess residue and moisture allowing for your base coat of nail polish to adhere better; thus leading to a longer lasting manicure with fewer chipped nails!
Regular use of ACV can aid in improving absorption of certain nutrients, which can help improve overall immunity and digestion.
- Try adding a tablespoon of ACV to a glass of warm water every morning to maximize the effects. It’s important to dilute the vinegar so it doesn’t ruin the enamel of your teeth!
Whether you want clearer skin, longer lasting manicures, or want to shed a few pounds, be sure to take a moment to stop and check your kitchen cupboard. You’ll be surprised how many items you have in your home that you can use to step up your beauty routine in 2018.
Happy New Year!
Be Strong. Be Healthy. Be in Charge!
-Sabrina K. Sikka, MD