Old Hollywood stars had a sort of glow about them, and it wasn't just from poor camera quality. Despite all of the technological advancements in beauty and wellness we're so proud of today, our grandmothers knew best when it came to natural self-care hacks. These old school beauty treatments work just as well today as they did in a century ago, and they have a much cheaper price tag than the extravagant creams and masks celebrated by today's stars. These home remedies promise thick hair, youthful skin, and a movie-star complexion, and you probably already have most of them lying around the house.
Castor oil has been overshadowed by its oil brethren, coconut oil and olive oil, but this underrated beauty supplement is a super-powered moisturizer said to promote hair growth, enhance hair conditioning, and help reduce dandruff. Reader's Digest suggests making the oil into a salve for scalp massages. Even just leaving some oil in damp (but not soaking) hair or putting it on your brows and lashes is said to promote healthy, thick hair. Pantene, who?
Apple cider vinegar may be the new hot beauty trend, but it dates back generations as a natural, acne-preventing toner, a shine-booster for hair, and a color protectant. Licensed cosmetologist Hollee Wood of HolleewoodHair uses apple cider vinegar as a rinse to increase her hair's natural shine.
“Healthy hair has a lower pH value, around 4.5-5.5, and is considered to be acidic. Things like hair color, bleach, and other chemical services are alkaline and raise the pH value of the hair to open the cuticle and allow the color pigments to penetrate the hair. When hair has an open cuticle, it appears to be dull, frizzy and lifeless,” Hollee explained. “Because apple cider vinegar has an acidic pH, it helps restore the pH value of the hair and closes the cuticle to make hair look smooth and shiny again.”
Meanwhile, Reader's Digest notes that another benefit of closing your hair cuticles with a diluted apple cider vinegar mix can also make your hair color last longer.
A Clean Bee’s Kait Schulhof started using apple cider vinegar as a toner for her skin, finding this old school beauty treatment more effective than the harsh, chemical-laden products she’d tried.
"After I finished breastfeeding my first baby, my skin went downhill fast. I was breaking out like crazy and nothing I tried seemed to alleviate the issue. I finally switched to diluted apple cider vinegar as a toner before moisturizing my skin, and it made a huge positive impact,” Kait shared. “Within a few weeks, my husband started commenting on how much better my skin was looking."
Coconut oil pulling was all the rage a while back as a way to naturally whiten teeth, but this miracle product can basically fix all of your problems. Well, not ~all~ of your problems. Coconut oil won't get rid of your student loans or get your crush to text you back, but it does work as an anti-aging moisturizer, a restorative hair mask, and as an exfoliating scrub when combined with sugar. So, you'll still have student loans, but you'll have phenomenal skin and hair while you pay them off.
Natural exfoliants are better for the environment than those pesky little balls found in some drugstore face washes, and their ingredients can have added benefits to keep your skin glowing for years to come. Honey Good prefers Katherine Hepburn's method of using lemon and olive oil in her sugar scrub because of the lemon's reputation as a skin-tightening toner, while Reader's Digest praises the old school beauty treatment's ability to reduce the appearance of scars.
Model Anna Targonily calls honey and sugar her two best friends because they’re a budget-friendly exfoliant for your body, face, and lips.
“I simply mix sugar with honey and gently massage my skin until I’m happy with the result,” Anna said. “I use this method every time before important photoshoots and fashion shows because it guarantees the appearance of soft skin and allows makeup to lay evenly on my face.”
We all know that heated tools are a Big No when it comes to maintaining healthy hair, but we still want the type of beautiful barrel curls that just aren't found in nature. Celebrity hairstylist and ATMA Beauty creative director Sheenon Olson told Today that her mom used rag rollers, which are now sold at CVS if you don't have actual rags lying around. Honey Good agrees that leaving your hair rolled in rags overnight is an effective and inexpensive old school beauty treatment, and this long-lasting method is great for girls whose curls tend to limp a few hours after using a curling wand.
Biore pore strips are simultaneously the grossest and most beautiful inventions in the Western world, but sometimes, you just need a quick fix. One Good Thing cites constricting blood flow in your face as the reason dunking your face into a bowl of ice makes your skin look tighter and more awake, but Honey Good, who took this trick out of Joan Crawford's playbook, also noticed that ice water acts as a toner that cleans and seals pores.
Beauty writer Maria Del Russo told Refinery29 that olive oil is the key to beautiful, moisturized hands, but this common cooking ingredient is the base of so many yummy treatments for your hair and skin. Honey Good learned that Sophia Loren prefers to eat two tablespoons of olive oil every day as a beauty booster, but just adding a little to your hair (or, taking a cue from Real Simple, combining it in a blood orange mixture) will amp up the shine.
Anna Targoniy uses olive oil for almost everything and massages it into her scalp before using the oil as an overnight hair mask. Anna also uses olive oil as a makeup remover and moisturizer for her skin, but she shared that the oil’s quality makes all the difference.
"While my husband and I were living in Greece, a local gave us ‘homegrown’ olive oil, which was more magical than anything you could ever imagine,” she gushed. “Olive oil is an amazing product, but the fresher and more natural the olive oil you can find, the better!”
Honestly, Mario Badescu's got this one covered. Their cult-favorite facial spray combines aloe, thyme, and rosewater for their makeup setting hydration spray, but rosewater has so many more benefits than even Mario gives it credit for. Honey Good loves that rosewater's antioxidants can slow the signs of aging and reduce fine lines, while its antibacterial qualities heal minor scrapes and act as an anti-inflammatory. Its smell is also known to combat anxiety, but with the youthful and moisturized complexion you'll get after regularly adding rosewater into your nightly routine, you won't really have anything to be stressed about.