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Baking soda answers budget beauty needs on the road

Myscha Theriault
Tribune News Service

Trying to save carry-on space and security stress by avoiding packed liquids? While you may enjoy using your favorite toiletries on vacation, lugging them along may cause you more aggravation during the trip than they're worth. A basic box of baking soda can be purchased inexpensively upon arrival at your chosen destination and used to assist you with a variety of beauty needs.

Stains: Bright red pedicures and clear polish without sunscreen typically result in stained toenails. Long-term travelers stranded far from a spa can address this issue by scrubbing a mixture of baking soda and peroxide onto your nails and leaving it to sit for up to 15 minutes.

Once rinsed, you'll have lightened nails returned to their natural shade. From there, you can go with a basic, product-free pedicure or try a lighter polish.

Strands: If you're the type of person who's a bit addicted to hair products, leaving your favorite potions at home can put you into a grooming tailspin. When backpacking, you can use baking soda as a dry shampoo to apply around roots and throughout your locks when that 16-hour bus ride gets extended due to a flat tire. Simply brush to remove the loose grains after the oils have been absorbed, and you'll be good to go.

You can also mix a little bit into the hotel shampoo to remove buildup from other hair products and deal with chlorine discoloration. Clarifying shampoo can be difficult to find at certain locations, but this solution is something you can implement anywhere for pennies.

Skin: Changes in climate and excessive beach time can leave your face and body in need of additional attention. Baking soda can be added to shower gel for all-over exfoliating, or gently massaged on your face to polish things up prior to makeup application. Don't forget to treat rough patches on your heels, knees and elbows as well.

Smiles: Vacation beverages can take a toll on your teeth in the form of discoloration. Keeping a little baking soda in your room will help you combat the effects of things such as red wine, coffee, hot chocolate, iced tea and more. Simply apply some to your toothbrush to scrub your teeth prior to your regular paste brushing. It will remove recent staining, and save you the cost of an expensive bleach treatment at the dentist's office back home.

Myscha Theriault is a best-selling author and avid traveler. She is currently traveling through North America with her husband and Labrador retriever. Readers can follow their adventures on Twitter by following @MyschaTheriault.