Monday on TODAY, Natalie and Al got the chance to chat with some experts about the best, most economical and most original ways to keep clean, safe, and cool this summer. We're talking beer as a sunburn remedy and, yes, even DIY air conditioning.
The anchors were joined by Dr. Ellen Marmu, associate clinical professor of dermatology and genetic science at Mount Sinai Hospital; Bahar Takhtehchian, beauty and lifestyle expert and TODAY.com contributor, and Melissa Maker, host and content creator at CleanMySpace.com.
Use beer to heal poison ivy or sunburn.
You read that right: beer! Used on the skin, it's a natural painkiller. The bubbles from the carbonation break up poison ivy oils, meaning it works better than soap. The liquid is also full of yeast and soothing proteins that neutralize the worst effects of the burn.
Treat acne with tomato paste and aspirin.
Believe it or not, you can combine crushed aspirin with tomato paste to create an intense face mask. The combination will exfoliate your skin, and the salicylic acid will help calm things down. Plus, tomato paste contains both vitamin C and vitamin A, which commonly appear in anti-aging products. Let it dry on your face for 15 minutes (even if you feel silly); you'll see a difference.
Use tea bags to cool down.
Tea bags can act as ready-made cold compresses. You can use any kind, though our experts on TODAY preferred peppermint, which has naturally soothing qualities. Simply place them in a Tupperware container, add water, and chill in the fridge. When you're ready to cool down, place the bags on your wrists (this is a prime place in your body that cools you down) or other pulse point.
Make your own air-conditioning using ice and a fan.
Water and ice can turn your fan into an A/C. Place a shallow bowl of ice in front of the fan, turn it on, and feel your body temperature drop.
Clean your bathing suit with shampoo.
It's important to clean your bathing suit after each use to prolong its life and remove salt, chlorine, sand, and sun products. But some detergents can fade suits, so you'll want to use something gentler, like a mild hand soap or baby shampoo mixed with water. You can do this even while on vacation. When you're done, rinse and press the water out thoroughly, but try not to resort to wringing.
Create an after-beach anti-mildew spray.
Add 10 drops of lavender oil to a spray bottle filled with water and apply the solution to your bathing suits and towels before heading home from the beach. The lavender oil will help keep mildew at bay, and buy you a couple of extra hours until you have a chance to clean those soggy items.
Deodorize your flip-flops using baking soda.
Flip-flops need love, too... especially since they're made of an extremely porous material that attracts all sorts of dirt and bacteria. Here's what to do: Add a cup of baking soda and 10 drops of essential oil to a clear plastic or garbage bag, then toss the flip-flops in it and leave it sealed overnight. In the morning, your shoes will smell and feel as good as new.