Nobody Told Me…

Now that the weather is changing, the chance for change in your body is high. Your skin dries out, your skin breaks out, or those frequent all-nighters have left much to be desired on your

Now that the weather is changing, the chance for change in your body is high. Your skin dries out, your skin breaks out, or those frequent all-nighters have left much to be desired on your physical appearance. For me and my budget, brand name skin care products are not really practical right now, so I have been forced to find other hygiene options. Everyone knows cucumbers on puffy eyes work wonders, but better tips take a little more research. Try some of these, and you might give up those expensive Clinique products for good.

Whether you just go a little too far on the hairspray and gel, or you have the heat on full blast in your dorm, your hair is probably pretty dry this time of year. Instead of spending that hard earned cash on some flower-scented conditioner, use some of these products to solve your problem cheaply and naturally.

* A couple of spoonfuls of baking soda, sold for less than $1, added to your shampoo every week removes all that product build up from your hair.

* Applying mayonnaise directly to your hair and rubbing it into your scalp serves as a great conditioner. After you’ve got it all in there, wrap your hair in plastic wrap (or a shower cap), and then in a towel. Leave this treatment on for at least 20 minutes and then wash your hair as usual.

* Another great substitute for store-bought conditioner is eggs. Mix raw eggs thoroughly into your scalp and leave in for 5-10 minutes.

Blame it on stress or blame it on plain bad luck, your skin has not exactly been up to par lately. In fact, it’s reminiscent of the skin you had in middle school. The following products can be found at the local store, are cheaper than most skin care products, and are worth a shot if you want your skin to clear up by Christmas.

* Splash warm water on your face, then massage in a tablespoon of honey and rinse well with warm water. Honey is antibacterial!

* Lactic acid bacteria in yogurt will help dissolve dead skin cells. Splash your face with warm water and massage a tablespoon of plain yogurt into your skin once a week. Leave it on for a few minutes, and then rinse with warm water.

* Add a little baking soda to your usual facial cleanser instead of using expensive facial scrubs. The little grains are round and tiny, which means they’ll be gentle.

If your skin is currently breaking out and you need a quick fix, the following products have been known to work in a pinch.

* Witch hazel, found in the first aid aisle, is an inexpensive skin toner. Besides its uses as pain reliever for mosquito bites, it also makes a great aftershave.

* Somewhere, some supermodel out there realized that Visine, or any other comparable eye drops, are not just for eyes. The active ingredient that reduces redness in your eyes will do the same for your pimples. Apply some eye drops to a cotton ball and dab on your problem areas.

* One of the most popular suggestions for clearing up skin has got to be toothpaste. The problem is, my research discovered more complaints than praise for this tactic. Toothpaste dries up the pimple but does not get rid of it completely. Though it has always worked for me, it is important to note that toothpaste on your pimples can sting, especially if you leave it on too long. Your best bet is to apply the toothpaste and wipe it off with a wet cloth before it dries completely.

Just as dry air from the heating system in your dorm can wreak havoc to your hair, it can also dry up your skin. Since the lotion aisle in any store can be costly, try some of these cheap home products to get your skin oh so soft:

* Petroleum jelly, also known as Vaseline, works as a great moisturizer. Since it is comedogenic (a fancy way of saying it could clog your pores), it may not the greatest idea to use it on your face. It works just about everywhere else.

* Though a little more expensive than baby oil, olive oil works great as a skin moisturizer. Either apply with a cotton ball, or even mix a few drops into your regular lotion. As with any type of oil, a little goes a long way.

According to the American Cancer Society, 28.5 percent of college students smoke cigarettes. Additionally, half of current college smokers have tried unsuccessfully to quit in the past year. Hygiene-wise, this means about one in four college teeth are not as white as they used to be. Lucky for you smokers and coffee fiends, there are some natural ways to whiten your teeth. Though continuing your habit isn’t helping, at least these remedies will help in the short term:

* Raw veggies are a great way to clean your teeth and enjoy a healthy snack at the same time.

* Strawberries are full of Vitamin C and have a natural bleaching effect on your choppers. Rub the pulp over your teeth and then rinse. Lemon peels work this way, too.

* Baking Soda works great, but it doesn’t have the best taste. A great way to use this product is to sprinkle some on your toothpaste.

Please keep in mind that none of these tips has been scientifically proven, and every one is different. Just because it works for one person does not mean it will work for you. The only proven method that works to clean up everyone’s skin, hair, and overall health is to drink plenty of water. It’s refreshing, it’s cheap, and it’s proven to work.

Michelle Nicoletto can be reached at

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