Home remedies can be a little wacky (remember the father in My Big Fat Greek Wedding who treated every skin issue with a spritz of Windex?). But when they work, they work.
Here, six readers share their most prized family beauty secrets—and experts explain why these strategies have stood the test of time. Now, go to your room, ladies, and don't come out until you're good and ready!
Spoonful of Sugar
Reader Tip #1
"My grandma told me to scrub my face with sugar to keep it soft, then moisturize afterward."
-Ivonne Lanza, via Facebook
What the expert says: Grandma was definitely on to something.
Sugar—which dissolves easily—is one of the gentlest exfoliants around,
says Flor Mayoral, MD, a Miami dermatologist. A pinch of sugar mixed
into your regular facial cleanser is a good way to go. As is Grandma's
suggestion to moisturize after: "This will keep skin hydrated after you
scrub," says Dr. Mayoral.
(See more: The beauty product you should be using)
Reader Tip #2
"My grandmother taught me to curl my hair using only bobby pins."
-Kelly Cox Jamesson, via Facebook
What the expert says: "Pin curls are still an effective way to get natural-looking waves," says Katie Marshman, a senior stylist at SalonCapri in Newton, MA. After washing and drying your hair, take one-inch pieces, spin each one away from your face until it spirals up to your scalp, and pin it in place with bobby pins. The longer the curls set, the more pronounced they will be. For loose waves, pull them down after 30 minutes. To style, use your fingers to place curls (brushing causes frizz).
Reader Tip #3
"My mom used lipstick on her cheeks, and I do the same!"
-Rheta Graham, via Facebook
What the expert says: This is a great way to create a realistic hue, says Kristina Vogel, a makeup artist and founder of the beauty line Bath Bar.
"Use a shade in a cream formula that mimics your natural flush," she
explains. The trick to applying: Don't swipe the color on directly.
Instead, apply to the back of your hand to warm the lipstick, then tap
with your finger onto the apple of your cheeks and blend.
Reader Tip #4
"Sleep on your back as much as possible, my mom said. It helps prevent face wrinkles."
-Kim Lastoria, Cleveland
What the expert says: Very true, says Dr. Mayoral. "Consistent pressure on a specific part of the face creates lines—and some people who always sleep on one side of their face will develop a larger number of wrinkles there."
And though your body can fight creasing by replacing broken collagen fibers with new ones, "after the age of 30, our collagen production steadily decreases," explains Dr. Mayoral.
Reader Tip #5
"Mom told me to use beer for shiny hair."
-Miriam Gonzales, via Facebook
What the expert says: The hops in beer add smoothness and shine, says Marshman. "After shampooing, simply rinse with a bottle of any type of room-temperature beer," she suggests.
"Leave it in for 5 minutes, then rinse again, which helps get rid of the beer scent. Once hair is dry, it will have a glossy finish."
Reader tip #6
-Barbara Feltus Jones Alexander City, AL
What the expert says: "Avocados are very rich in fat," notes Dr. Mayoral. "Together with extremely hydrating olive oil, they seal moisture into the skin."
Adding 2 Tbsp of olive oil to the flesh of one avocado should do the trick to create a moisturizing mask, and as long as you leave the mixture on your skin for at least 10 minutes, you will get the most winter-defying benefits. Use warm water to rinse off the mask completely, then gently pat skin dry before adding face lotion.
Favorite Family Beauty Tips from Woman's Day
1. "My aunt taught me to steam my face. Once a week, I pour boiling water into a large bowl and place my face over it (not too close!). The steam helps open up my pores before I cleanse my skin."
-Donna Duarte-Ladd, style editor.
2. "When a blemish pops up, I reach for toothpaste. Just spot-treat the area and let the toothpaste set, then rinse away. It helps to quickly dry up the imperfection. Thanks, Mom!"
-Melissa Matthews Brown, beauty editor.
3. "My mother told me to wipe off eye makeup with face lotion for a more gentle, less drying approach."
-Beth Haase, editorial business associate.
4. "My sister encouraged me to keep a stash of face wipes in my desk, in my gym bag and under the bathroom sink. You can use them to freshen up."
-Crystal Tate, associate beauty & style editor.
5. "My mom warned me not to overpluck my eyebrows when I was younger. Now, I appreciate that mine are still full, and I don't have to worry about filling them in—at least, not yet!"
-Sara Lyle, deputy editor.