Legend or Legit? The real deal on classic beauty

As much as we love trying all of the new products and potions that come our way, sometimes we like to go classic with homemade beauty treatments, whether as a natural fix for our finicky skin or as a break for our wallet. Fancy treatments for hair, skin and nails are undoubtedly luxurious, but as our mamas taught us, sometimes the best beauty fixes can be found in your medicine cabinet – or even in your kitchen. 

These beauty fixes are classics, but to investigate whether the treatments that go on your face are, you know, safe, we reached out to Dr. Howard Sobel, a dermatologist in New York City, who gave us the scoop.

Olive Oil and Avocado


If dry, frizzy hair is what plagues you, try this classic combo before dropping cash on a pricey hair treatment. Simply mash an avocado with a few tablespoons of olive oil and apply to wet hair. Let sit for 15-20 minutes, then shampoo and condition as usual. The result: shiny, quenched locks from ingredients that you probably already had in your salad arsenal.



If breakouts are bumming you out, honey may be exactly what your stressed-out skin needs.

Scientists have revealed that honey has powerful anti-bacterial properties on at least sixty species of bacteria, and unlike antibiotics, which are often useless against certain types of bacteria, honey is non-toxic and has strong effects.

But since it can be drying, Dr. Sobel  recommends rinsing it off after ten minutes or so and using a light moisturizer after.

Cider Vinegar


In case you haven’t heard, apple cider vinegar is a total beauty powerhouse. It may not smell as nice as La Mer, but you can’t beat it as a cheap and easy skin treatment.

One of our favorite ways to use this staple is as a scalp treatment: just a simple pre-shampoo rinse once a week is all we need to keep our scalp clear, healthy and itch-free.

Lemon Juice


If you’ve been skimping on sleep lately (we know we shouldn’t, but sometimes we’re guilty), you may notice that your skin has lost its usual brightness and luster. To make the gray go away, squeeze some fresh lemon juice onto a cotton pad and apply to skin.

“Lemon juice is an acid, so it can act as a toner for dull skin,” says Dr. Sobel. “It has exfoliating properties, so it can help brighten the look of the skin. But, it can also be very drying, so make sure to rinse it off after ten minutes or so.”

Milk of Magnesia


If you’re plagued with oily skin that always ends up looking shiny no matter what you do, the cure may be milk of magnesia.

You can apply it all over the face, or just on blemishes as a spot treatment.” Simply apply to skin, let dry for 15 or 20 minutes, rinse, and follow with a light moisturizer for super-smooth, matte skin. Gross, but cool, no?



Okay, you caught us: sometimes we pop our zits. (Okay, more than sometimes.) When we succumb to the temptation, we’ve been known to use this easy solution to help the blemish heal overnight: dab a tiny bit of Neosporin on the zit, and cover it with a small Band-Aid. The bandage will help keep the meds on your face and off of your pillow. According to Dr. Sobel, the antibiotic elements of the ointment will gently heal and disinfect the zit, without the irritating effects of alcohol.

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