This baking staple moonlights as everything from a natural pest buster to an anti-aging scrub.
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Want to look fresh-faced? Break out the brown sugar. The grains remove dead skin cells for a healthier glow, says David Parker, co-founder of The Body Deli, an all-natural skin care company.
To subtract a few years, mix up Parker’s DIY scrub: Pulse 1/2 cup dark brown sugar in a coffee grinder to make it finer and a bit less abrasive (no need to grind if you’re using it for your body). Add 3 tablespoons olive oil for extra moisture and, if you want, a pinch of nutmeg for fragrance; stir until it forms a paste. Wet your face, apply scrub in a circular motion for 1 to 2 minutes, then wash off with warm water.
Use twice a week for a gorgeous complexion.
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Fast first aid
If you nicked yourself shaving and don’t have antiseptic on hand, reach for the sweet stuffit can help heal minor cuts in a pinch. "Brown sugar acts as an anti-inflammatory, and its anti-microbial properties may prevent infection," says Starre Vartan, author of The Eco Chick Guide to Life.
Clean the wound with soap and water, then pack a little brown sugar onto the cut (enough to thoroughly cover it). Put a Band-Aid over it and leave on for a few hours; repeat once once or twice over the course of 36 hours. You’ll be on the mend before you know it.
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Trap an annoying housefly stat with this brown sugar–based fly paper from Meghan Carter, author of The Meghan Method: The Step-By-Step Guide To Decorating Your Home in Your Style. With a butter knife, spread a dab of petroleum jelly on a small piece of cardboard, then sprinkle it with a pinch of brown sugar. Flies are drawn to the brown sugarthen get stuck in the jelly.
Carter suggests hanging it like traditional fly paper (just punch a hole in the cardboard and insert twine). Bye-bye, flies!
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Satisfy your sweet tooth guilt-free with a bit of brown sugar. "It has a richer flavor than white sugar, so you’ll likely end up using less overall," says Marissa Lippert, RD, author of The Cheater’s Diet. Translation: fewer calories!
Next time you’re craving a treat, top sliced grapefruit or a sautéed banana with a little of the brown stuff. For a side dish, toss sweet-potato chunks with brown sugar, fresh rosemary, and a touch of olive oil before roasting in the oven. Delish!
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