hintsandthings.co.uk »Bathroom

Cheap alternatives to basic cosmetics using everyday ingredients.



Please note, these tips are given
in good faith but have not been tested or researched by Hints and Things.


– Chew cardamom seeds in their husks until soft, swallow the seeds and throw away husks.

cardamom seeds to hand – brace yourself – cut a lemon in half and chew (pith, rind and
all), then swallow!


  • Greasy Hair Add a dash of cider vinegar in the last rinse.  Makes hair shiny and manageable.  


  • Normal Hair
    Put 3-4 sprigs of rosemary into a jug, pour on boiling water and leave for an hour. Strain and use as final rinse.

man styling ladies hair

  • Beat an egg with water or cider
    vinegar and massage into newly washed hair.  Leave 5-10 minutes
    and rinse off with cool water.  DON’T USE HOT UNLESS YOU WANT SCRAMBLED EGG FOR SUPPER!


  • Fine Hair – To give body to hair, mix 1 dessertspoon of honey with 2 tablespoons of corn oil and 1 teaspoon of lemon juice. Leave on hair for ten minutes, shampoo as usual.


  • Dry, Lifeless Hair – Put a couple of spoonfuls of coconut oil on the hair, massage well in and wrap hot towel round head for about half an hour.  Shampoo as usual.  Not particularly suitable for blonde hair as it sometimes dulls the colour. 


  • Add vinegar to the final rinse to give dark or auburn hair extra

    Adding lemon juice or an infusion of camomile flowers
    to the final rinse will do the same for blonde or fair hair.


  • For
    deep-treating dry hair
    wash and then smooth through a tablespoon of warm
    odourless cooking oil (such as rapeseed or sunflower oil).  Pile
    your hair on top of your head, cover with a layer of cling film and a
    warm towel and leave for 20 minutes or so.  Wash again with a mild
    shampoo to remove the oil, then dry and style as usual.


More hair tips. 


  • Dry hands
    Take a large
    scoop of petroleum jelly and two drops of olive oil, rub into hands (rub hands together as
    if washing them).  Put hands into plastic freezer bags and cover with a warm towel.
      Relax for thirty minutes, then wash in usual way.

  • Smooth hands
    Rub a drop or two of neat glycerine
    into hands every night to keep hands smooth – a bit sticky but worth it.

  • Alternatively, mix equal amounts of glycerine, water and Eau de Cologne together in a
    bottle and shake well before using.

  • Extra dirty hands
    no Swarfega to hand – rub in
    Vaseline leave for five minutes and then wash in hot soapy water – should work a treat.

  • Rough hands
    Mix the same amount of vegetable oil and granulated sugar together, rub
    hands together very hard for about five minutes, rubbing well in all
    over hands. Rinse and leave if possible. If necessary, wash well to
    remove any oil and apply hand cream.

  • Smelly hands -To remove smells from hands use
    either lemon juice, vinegar or salt, however, for onions rub dry mustard well into the
    hands then rinse off.  Always use cold water to wash hands to prevent
    “setting” the odour.

  • Stained hands
    try lemon juice as this will
    remove most stains, however, some will need hydrogen peroxide (USE 20 VOLUME STRENGTH).
      Dab on stain until it vanishes, then wash hands very well.


  • Cuticles
    Use Petroleum jelly for cuticles
    instead of cuticle cream.

  • Nail varnish remover
    run out – use acetone,
    surgical spirit or perfume will do instead. Wash thoroughly and put on a little oil or
    Vaseline.  Acetone will, however, dry the nails and the perfume could linger for

  • Nail conditioner
    Take a Vitamin E oil capsule
    and pierce the end with a pin.  Squeeze a few drops of the oil onto your nail and
    massage in.  Leave 10/15 minutes.  Remember to replace the pin into the capsule
    as this can be used again.

  • Stained nails
    Put a drop of smokers’ toothpaste
    on a brush and gently brush onto nails.  Rinse off and the stain should have gone.

  • Nail strengthener –  
    dip them into a salt solution (2 teaspoons of salt to a glass of water) for 2/3 minutes.


  • Vaseline
    (petroleum jelly) makes great nail cream.



  • Some people recommend the use of lemon to
    lighten/whiten skin, however, I have received the following warning from
    Angela Fealy

A word of
warning about using lemons/lemon skin to whiten skin: I developed
psoriasis on my elbows after trying out the old wives’ remedy for
whitening elbows, and I haven’t been able to get rid of it. Not only
my elbows suffered though, it started to appear in smaller spots every
now and again – so be really careful.

  • Aqueous cream is really cheap (approx. £3.00 for 500ml tub in the
    U.K.) and can be used as a general moisturiser all over the body.  It can also be
    used in place of showergel/soap.

Thanks to Louise Jones for sending us this one.

  • Dry Skin
    Mix one large spoonful of rosewater to
    2 of glycerine and smooth onto face, leave overnight. This can be done whilst around the
    house during the day.  After several hours, wash off anything remaining.  It has
    a slightly sticky feel but should be worth it.

  • Body scrub
    Make sure skin is damp with water,
    then rub in salt crystals.  This removes dead skin and allows moisturisers to
    penetrate into the skin more easily.

  • Toner for oily skin
    Take a tomato, some cucumber
    and a double measure of Vodka, liquidise together and then rub into skin.  Leave for
    three minutes, wipe off with damp cotton wool.  This is an excellent astringent for
    oily skin.

  • Face mask for oily skin
    Take the white of an egg
    and mix with 4/5 drops of lemon juice.  Apply to skin with brush.  Leave ten
    minutes and then remove with hot water.

  • Face mask for dry skin
    Mix an egg yolk with one
    spoon of honey.  Spread on face and leave for ten minutes.  Rinse off with warm

  • Ingrowing facial hair
    Mash up some chick peas
    and water, use as facial scrub 2/3 times a week.

  • Use sheets of
    toilet paper rather than tissues or cotton wool for
    and nail varnish.

  • Baby
    lotion is a good substitute for


Raid your
fridge and kitchen cupboard for the materials for a

or scrub.

  • For oily
    , mash
    some strawberries or papaya with some lemon or lime juice to make a
    fragrant face-mask.  For
    do the same with avocado and honey.  Apply
    to your face and neck and lie back with slices of cucumber on your
    eyes for 20 minutes before rinsing.  


  • A facial

    can be made from a thick
    paste of oatmeal in milk, adding a little honey if your skin is dry. 
    Massage in well for a minute or two, using small circular motions,
    then rinse off.


eye and eye brow


  • Baby oil on cotton wool

    removes eye make-up


  • Old tea bags make
    perfect eye pads.

  • Place a slice of cucumber on each eye to

    relieve tired eyes

  • Hairspray on a clean mascara brush
    keeps curl in lashes.


  • Vaseline
    (petroleum jelly)
    eyebrow definer.



  • Use Vaseline as a lip

lipstick imprint of lips



  • To make your perfume linger longer, put a drop of oil wherever you put your perfume.
    Don’t rub perfume into skin as this alters the fragrance – just dab on gently.



  • Rosewater soften the skin while witch hazel tightens it and is antiseptic. This lotion
    keeps well in a bottle.

Normal skin
3 spoonfuls of rosewater to 1
spoonful of witch hazel.
Greasy skin – 2 spoonfuls of rosewater to 1
spoonfuls of witch hazel.



  • Dusting Powder
    – Cheap Chic!  Purchase a bottle of your favourite cologne and an inexpensive baby or
    unperfumed powder.  Soak a cottonball with the cologne.  Place it in a dusting
    container and place the lid back on.   Store away for about 3-4 days.  Now open
    the container and you will have your favourite scenting dusting powder without paying the
    full cost.

Sent in by “Siren” of the
U.S.A.  Thank you

  • Inexpensive bath salts,
    take a cup of Epsom Salts and place in a container that can be resealed.
      Add no more than a teaspoon of your favourite perfume to the salts and seal.  
    Shake and leave two weeks.  This makes bathtime fun with your favourite scent.

Thank you Mrs. Gore