7 Natural Solutions for Your Grossest Beauty Woes

natural solutions

With winter nipping at our heels, admittedly it seems all of the beauty issues we forgot about are rearing their ugly heads again. But, we understand why you might be hesitant about scheduling a slew of time-consuming doctor's appointments or leaning toward pre-packaged, over-the-counter "miracles in a bottle" -- which may or may not come with scary side effects. So why not substitute in some of Mother Nature's shining stars instead of over-the-counter solves?

We talked to two experts about their favorite natural remedies for treating some of those most embarrassing beauty problems. 

"We've been conditioned to believe that conventional methods and professional products are better than at-home remedies, which is not true," explains beauty artist and wellness coach Julie Swenson, who works with Kesha, Clair Danes, and Kat Perkins. "Also, the media --where people get a lot of their information and influence -- doesn't feature the benefits and savings of at-home remedies." 

Depending on what you're treating, herbal remedies can be very effective. Founder of Natural Beauty Expert, Belinda Hughes, is a firm believer in herbal tinctures. "People are skeptical about what they don't understand," she shares. "When friends and family [have an issue], I'm the first one to bring out herbs to help the body fight off the virus. Once they see how quickly they work, they're asking for them [again and again]."

To assist you this season, our experts broke down a few of their tried-and-true herbal remedies for some of the less "sexy" beauty issues we often experience.

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  • Beauty Issue No.1: Skin Chafing or Irritation

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    Solution: Calendula Oil or Balm

    Why: A great alternative to Aloe Vera, Calendula (a descent of marigolds) harnesses serious skin healing benefits from overall dryness to helping heal cuts, scrapes, or burns. Plus, it’s also gentle enough to use on babies, typically used to help cure diaper rash, thanks to its strong antifungal properties. 

  • Skin Chafing or Irritation: Solution #1

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    Belinda’s Pick: 

    Soothing Skin Salve, $17.95; The Physic Garden 

  • Skin Chafing or Irritation: Solution #2

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    Julie’s Pick: 

    Weleda Baby Calendula Cream, $12.95; Target

  • Beauty Issue No. 2: Nail Fungus

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    Solution: Apple Cider Vinegar

    Why: This nasty beauty faux pas can stem from numerous issues ranging from unclean pedicure stations to a potential side effect of diabetes. Unfortunately, nail fungus is notoriously hard to get rid of --but Apple Cider Vinegar (a.k.a. ACV) was highly recommended by both experts to effectively kill fungus from the inside out. You can apply is topically or literally take a tablespoon a day. Other issues ACV can tackle include excessive sweating, body odor, bad breath, smelly feet or athlete’s foot.

  • Nail Fungus: Solution #1

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    Belinda’s Pick: 

    Bragg Organic Apple Cider, $4.09 for 16 oz.; Bragg

     
  • Nail Fungus: Solution #2

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    Julie’s Pick: 

    S.W. Basics Toner, $22 for 4 oz.; Target

  • Beauty Issue No. 3: Acne

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    Solution: Tea Tree Oil

    Why: When it comes to herbal beauty remedies, tea tree oil is the true MVP. Also known as melaleuca, it’s one of the most extensively researched essential oils in natural medicine. Fighting oil with oil seems counterproductive but natural antiseptic and anti-inflammatory kills acne-causing bacteria without overdrying the skin. It definitely deserves a place in everyone’s medicine cabinet.

  • Acne: Solution #1

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    Belinda’s Pick:

    Thursday Plantation Tea Tree Oil Antiseptic, $7.99 for 10ml; Abundance Naturally

  • Acne: Solution #2

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    Julie's Pick:

    The Body Shop Tea Tree Oil, $10; The Body Shop

  • Beauty Issue No. 4: Ingrown Hairs

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    Solution: Baking Soda

    Why: Waxing, tweezing, and shaving occasionally result in painful, infected hair follicles. But don’t be tempted to squeeze or pop your ingrown hair—the bacteria inside can spread within your pores. Create an effective, exfoliating paste with 1 tablespoon of baking soda with 1 teaspoon of water, to help naturally extract the hair without manipulation.

  • Ingrown Hairs: Solution #1

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    Belinda’s Pick:
     
    McKenzie’s Bi-Carb Soda; not available in USA

     

  • Ingrown Hairs: Solution #2

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    Julie’s Pick:

    Arm & Hammer Pure Baking Soda, $0.89 for 1lb; Rite Aid

     

  • Beauty Issue No. 5: Corns/Cracked Heels

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    Solution: Coconut Oil

    Why: Even though sandal season has come to a close, your feet still require some TLC. Unlike lotions, oils tend to absorb faster which means less mess. Simply coat your heels with oil, put on some cotton socks, and hit the hay. Our natural beauty expert Julie Swenson also loves using coconut oil for makeup removal, deep conditioning hair, ability to tame flyaways, and moisturizing dry skin.

  • Corns/Cracked Heels: Solution #1

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    Belinda’s Pick:

    Melrose Organic Unrefined Coconut Oil, $10.65; Melrose Health

  • Corns/Cracked Heels: Solution #2

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    Julie’s Pick:

    SheaMoisture Coconut Oil, $14.99; Walgreens

     

  • Beauty Issue No. 6: Smelly Feet

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    Solution: Epsom Salt

    Why: Contrary to popular belief, it’s not the actual sweat that makes your feet smell but the bacteria that thrives there. Neutralize the odor of funky-smelling feet and reduce the uncomfortable symbols of Athlete’s Foot. Other uses include reducing swelling, treating toenail fungus, and even as hair volumizer (yes, you read that right!)

  • Smelly Feet: Solution #1

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    Belinda’s Pick:
     
    ESENTIEL Epsom Salts, $4.20; Nature’s Mart

     

  • Smelly Feet: Solution #2

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    Julie’s Pick:

    Dr. Teal’s Milk & Honey Epsom Salt, $4.99; Target

     

  • Beauty Issue No. 7: Chapped Lips

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    Solution: Shea Butter/Beeswax

    Why: Cold, biting weather can do a number on your delicate kisser. But unfortunately, the ingredients in your favorite balm can do more harm than good. While petroleum coats lips effectively, it’s also a non-renewable resource that can cause upset stomach or diarrhea if ingested. Opt for beeswax (or shea butter) instead for a natural alternative that hydrates without depleting the environment.

  • Chapped Lips: Solution #1

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    Belinda’s Pick:

    Burt’s Bees Beeswax Lip Balm, $3.30; Burt’s Bees

     

     

     

  • Chapped Lips: Solution #2

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    Julie’s Pick:

    L’Occitane Shea Butter Lip Balm Stick, $8; L’Occitane

     

     
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