…okay, I realize the title may be a tiny bit misleading. The following products were not created in NYC, nor are these NYC specific secrets. But, I call them my NYC Beauty Products because:
- It wasn’t until I moved to NYC and had so little bathroom storage space that I found the need to condense products. (Trust me, as a kid I had about every Bath and Body Works spray/gel/lotion there was!)
- These are all natural alternatives to products that typically contain tons of chemicals, and I found that New Yorkers specifically seem to be interested in this kind of stuff. (Just hang out on a playground for an afternoon. You’ll see what I mean.)
- The products are extremely affordable and last FOREVER, meaning all that money you would be spending on expensive products can go elsewhere (like your rent–super important in NYC, no?;-)
Without any further adieu, here’s the products I use every single day in my NYC bathroom:
Instead of body washes and cleansers and shampoo, use Dr. Bronner’s Bar Soap
Dr. Bronner’s Organic Magic Soap is all the right stuff you want to put on your skin (they have an unscented version that’s safe enough to use for a newborn, too!), and this little bar of soap can be used for your body, face, and as a shampoo. There’s scents ranging from peppermint to almond to lavender, but the rose remains my favorite. You can also get it in a gel form if you’re sharing a bathroom with multiple people and bar soap freaks you out;-)
Instead of toners, use Witch Hazel
If you’ve used any of the fancy face products on the market (think Dr. Perricone’s Super Detox Elixir, Murad Clarifying Toner, Olek Henriksen Grease Relief Face Tonic), you’ll see that the main ingredient in them is, indeed, Witch Hazel. Save your money on those brand names and head to your local pharmacy to pick up a bottle of the real stuff for a few bucks. This stuff is great for toning, and also helps with puffy eyes, large pores, and redness.
Instead of body and face lotion and conditioner, use Shea Butter
I discovered pure, raw, unrefined African Shea Butter when I was pregnant and trying to avoid stretch marks. I’d lather this stuff on my belly every night before sleep, and voila! It worked like a gem! It got me thinking…if this miracle spread works so well on maintaining the elasticity of a stomach that’s been stretched to the size of a basketball and back, it would probably be pretty good for the rest of my skin too, right? I’ve been religiously using this as my body and face lotion (bonus: it also acts as a sunscreen), and while it initially goes on a bit thick, I’ve found it to be super moisturizing for dry skin and it actually maintains that hydration throughout the entire day, unlike many lotions that seem to lose their punch a few hours after application.
Instead of expensive face oils, use Argan Oil
This was a tip I picked up in the book French Women Don’t Get Facelifts (such a fun read if you’re into natural beauty remedies, btw!) As a thirtysomething, I’ve been manically trying to keep better care of my skin (my twenties were mostly going to bed with makeup on every. single. night.) In my quest for the magic elixir, I’ve spent a lot of money on brands that promise big and deliver meh. (Meaning no noticeable difference from the cheap drug store brands.) However, putting a dab of Argan Oil on my face before bedtime has been that magic cure I’ve been searching for. My skin feels quenched without feeling like an oil spill happened, and I love the glow it gives.
Instead of Crest White Strips, use Coconut Oil
Coconut Oil can be used for basically everything under the sun (and we use it that way in our house–pretty sure we’re single handedly keeping the coconut industry in business;-), but one of my favorite things to do with it is oil pulling. If you haven’t heard the term before, it’s basically putting a tablespoon of coconut oil in your mouth, and gargling it for as long as you can stand before spitting it out into the trash. The recommended amount of time is 30 minutes, but I’ve never lasted that long. I usually do this while doing another chore (making breakfast, cleaning, putting laundry away), and I swear, even after a few minutes, you have that squeaky clean feeling of visiting the dentist. It’s literally pulling toxins and bacteria from your mouth, and in turn acts as a natural whitener and brightener for your teeth.
Would love to know…do you have any natural remedies you swear by? Share them in the comments below!