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3 beauty products you can find in your kitchen that really work

We all make sacrifices when a little one (or two, or three) comes along and, for those who may not have the luxury of a healthy bank balance, expensive beauty products are often one of the first things to fall by the wayside. What was a regular indulgence suddenly becomes a costly extravagance, and we pile our trollies high with nappies and wet wipes before visiting the cosmetics aisle for a face mask.

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The great thing is, you don't have to look far for beauty products that really work they're natural, and best of all they're more than likely already sitting on your kitchen shelves.

The great thing is, you don't have to look far for beauty products that really work they're natural, and best of all they're more than likely already sitting on your kitchen shelves.

1. Avocado

There's no doubt us Aussies love avo. We pile it on our sourdough, dip our chips in it and add it in slices to our salads much like our love of coffee, it's something of a national obessession. Yet how many of you knew it also had amazing moisturising properties? Rich in vitamins B and E and potassium, avocados can be mixed with other household staples to help inject moisture back into dry, cracked hands, and nourish split ends.

If you have oily skin, try this: Blend the juice of 1/2 a lemon with the flesh of half an avocado and 1 egg white. Apply the mixture to the skin and leave for 20 minutes before rinsing with clean water. The lemon will control oil while the egg white will help strengthen the skin, while the oils in the avocado will help balance the face mask. You can adapt this recipe into a nourishing treatment for the hands by adding a handful of rolled oats and applying to the hands.

If you have dry, split hair, try this: Use a fork to mash the flesh of one ripe avocado in a bowl. Add the yolk of one egg and a tablespoon of olive oil and mix until smooth. Apply to dry hair, concentrating on the ends of the hair, and allow to set for 30 minutes before rinsing. The combination of avocado, egg yolk and olive oil will trap in moisture and, when left, will be absorbed by the hair shafts, giving dry hair the nourishment it needs.

2. Cucumber

We've all seen the pictures of serene women lying in a zen-like state with cucumbers over their eyes. 'Why?' I hear you ask, well, because cucumbers are packed with vitamins (especially B vitamins) and other properties (think phytochemicals, folic acid, calcium, iron, potassium, zinc, magnesium and phosphorous) that can soothe and moisturise skin and, when sliced and placed on the eyes can help eradicate dark circles. Add to boiling water and breathe in the steam and cucumber is also thought to be a brilliant stress-buster and that's the ultimate beauty treatment!

If you have oily skin, try this: Grate half a cucumber and mix with a tablespoon of rose water. Apply to the T zone and leave for 15 minutes before rinsing.

If you need a little natural indulgence, try this: Place one cucumber in a blender along with a handful of mint leaves and blend. Add the green puree to a bowl and mix in 2 1/2 cups granulated sugar and 4 tablespoons of olive oil. Store in the fridge until bath time when you can scrub your body for moisturised, refreshed and glowing skin.

Coconut Oil

It's all the rage when it comes to cooking, but did you know coconut oil also has many properties we need as part of our beauty regime? Placed on a cotton pad and dabbed on the face at the end of the day and it will remove all traces of makeup and, when applied directly to the hair will nourish and enrich. If you have cracked cuticles just rub in a little coconut oil! It's possibly one of the most adaptable and useful ingredients you'll find in your kitchen!

To exfoliate the face, try this: Add a teaspoon of baking soda to a tablespoon of coconut oil and apply to the face as an exfoliating scrub. Rinse with warm water any oily residue left on the skin will quickly absorb and nourish the skin.

To highlight your cheekbones: Don't worry if you don't have the funds to invest in an expensive highlighter. Simply sweep a finger, dipped in a small amount of coconut oil, across your cheek bones after you've applied your makeup and enjoy the illuminating effect.

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