The best things in life really are free, even when it comes to your beauty routine. But taking care of your skin can be a big investment (hi, antioxidant serums), so we’re always down for tricks that don’t take a big bite out of our paychecks. Which is what led us here: We’ve asked top skin care experts to give us their best advice. And the part we love the most? Not one thing below costs a single penny (assuming you already have most of these things in your kitchen).
Give Yourself a Facial Massage
Got puffy eyes? No problem. Sure, you could stock up on eye cream…or you could use your fingers to give yourself an under-eye massage. “Use your ring fingers to press gently on the orbital bone, moving from the inner to outer corner of your eyes and repeating two to three times,” says celebrity facialist Cecilia Wong. “This will not only stimulate circulation, but it also helps minimize fine lines and reduce inflammation.” If you have time to spare, score even bigger benefits with facial yoga. (Really!)
Sleep on Your Back
Don’t worry. We’re not going to tell you to get eight hours of sleep, which is probably the oldest free skincare trick in the book. Because as essential as how much sleep you’re getting is the position in which you sleep. It really does matter. “After UV exposure, the second most common cause of wrinkles is squishing your face into a pillow at night,” says celebrity esthetician Renée Rouleau. “It’s like ironing wrinkles into your skin.” Sleeping on your back is ideal, since even pressing your cheek into a pillow can cause lines.
Put Some Salt on It
You’ve got two options here: You could ice a zit to help bring the inflammation down or even better (and maybe more comfortable): You could salt it. “Sea salt has powerful antibacterial properties and works to pull oil from the pore,” says Karen Young, founder of Oui Shave. She recommends combining one teaspoon of sea salt with enough water to form a paste. Dot this on the offending zit, let it dry for up to an hour (10 minutes for sensitive skin types) and then rinse it off.
Wash Your Hands
…And not only after you go to the bathroom.”Your hands are covered in tons of bacteria from touching doorknobs, keyboards, etc.,” says celebrity esthetician Joanna Vargas. “When you touch your face, you’re spreading that bacteria to your skin, which then can trigger breakouts and other skin problems.” If you don’t have easy access to a sink but know your hands are grimy (i.e. you just got off the subway) at least make your face a hands-free zone.
Make a DIY Peel
Homemade masks are a dime a dozen, but homemade peels? Not so much. This one, a favorite of celebrity facialist Georgia Louise, requires a few household staples: baking soda, water, and a splash of lemon juice. Mix two teaspoons of baking soda with one teaspoon of water, and squeeze in a little lemon juice. Apply it to your face and let it dry for five minutes before rinsing with water. Allot another five minutes for checking out your newly radiant skin.
You don’t have to step foot in a class or let the word “namaste” out of your mouth to reap the skin perks of yoga. “Our skin benefits from poses that send blood flowing towards the face,” says Young. Even holding a downward dog for three to five minutes can boost circulation, giving your skin a glow.
Cleanse Your Skin From the Inside
“Squeeze fresh lemon into a mug full of hot water and drink when you wake up,” says Rouleau, adding that you can always sub in lemon juice. “This helps flush out and purify the body internally, potentially reducing toxins and bacteria in the small intestine that can lead to acne.” You know how your diet can sometimes make you break out? (Looking at you, dairy.) This is like the reverse of that.