Over the weekend, Grammy award-winning rapper Cardi B responded to one of her 7 million Twitter followers who asked how she could improve her low self-esteem. Practice self-care, she suggested: "You don't gotta have money."
When another fan asked the queen of "money moves" how to practice self care when you're broke, Cardi B listed four low-cost pantry items that can be used for beauty treatments.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates the typical U.S. household spends $762 a year on personal care products and services. That's about $63.50 a month. You might think buying a $12 face mask is no big deal, but you can use 50 cents worth of pantry food staples, like honey, to make a soothing face mask treatment that's also effective.
Here's how to use these low-cost pantry items to save the way Cardi recommends:
Honey, according to Women's Health has "natural antiseptic, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties." A jar of raw honey, which retails for around $10, can be used as a face mask, an exfoliant, a hydrating skin or hair treatment, and even as a way to soften your cuticles.
Olive oil, which can be purchased for less than $5 a bottle, has been used since ancient Egyptian times, according to Allure. Some of its unexpected self-care uses include: a foot treatment for repairing your cracked heels, a serum to style your hair and reduce frizz, and even to remove excess ear wax.
Sugar is the least expensive way to up your beauty game. You can buy a box of sugar for $2 and use it for numerous beauty treatments. Good Housekeeping says sugar can be used to smooth your lips and as an exfoliant to help you get a closer cut when you shave, as well as before sunless-tanning treatments so the color doesn't appear uneven.
Coffee can range in price, but even a $5 supermarket blend can do wonders. According to The Zoe Report, applying ground coffee topically can help brighten and tighten your skin. The caffeine in coffee can help improve blood circulation. The grounds can also be used as a scalp treatment. Massaging it into your hair can get rid of hair product residue and leave your locks looking shiny.
Cardi B, who was raised in the Bronx, often says she grew up "poor," and is known for being cost-conscious. Even now, despite her success — just last week, she won Best Hip Hop Video at MTV's VMAs — she occasionally complains on social media about items she feels are overpriced: In an Instagram video in 2017, for example, she pointed to a hotel menu with a "$7 bowl of cereal," saying she felt like she was getting "hustled and bamboozled."
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