Many of us Latinas have go-to beauty tips passed down from our moms, abuelas, tías, and community. No one knows exactly how we all know about the magic of castor oil or about the eyelash-curling powers of a tiny spoon. Still, our Latina beauty hacks are weaved into our identity and serve to remind us of our culture and the generations before us. Plus, many of the best makeup and skincare tricks use ingredients available at the local supermercado. Yes, lemons, garlic, and té de manzanilla have many purposes in our book.

We took to Instagram to ask about abuela-approved beauty hacks many people swear by. The result? A gold mine of passed-down skincare and makeup knowledge that blew our minds. While you may already know that coconut oil works for everything— just like Vivaporú— there is much more where that came from:

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While fancy skincare and makeup are always great, there’s just something about tried-and-tested abuela tips. Need we say more? The proof is in the pudín de pan:

Ahead, find our top 15 Latina beauty hacks we picked up from our own moms, abuelas, and FIERCE readers. The best part? You may already have many of these products and ingredients at home.

1. Nivea cream

Who else remembers their abuela always having a large glass jar of Nivea cream on their nightstand? While we think Nivea in Latin American countries just hits different— we said what we said— there’s no doubt the lotion sold anywhere works for an instant glow. As one X user described, “The woman with the best skin I’ve seen was my grandmother. Her regimen: water, soap, and Nivea cream.”

2. Exfoliating elbows with lemon slices

15 Latina beauty hacks.
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Okay, this one might come from left field, but stick with us. Try slicing a lemon in half and resting your elbows on each half for a few minutes. The dry skin on your elbows will be instantly exfoliated and feel much softer. You can even use leftover lemon halves after cooking for this hack!

3. Vaseline on eyelashes

Vaseline on eyelashes recently became a popular beauty tip on TikTok, but our moms and tías knew about it first. This hack has been compared to an instant eyelash lift, giving lashes a lengthier look. This may work even better before curling (especially with a spoon!); just take proper care when applying.

4. Rubbing garlic on your nails

15 Latina beauty hacks.
AFP via Getty Images

Who else grew up rubbing un diente de ajo on their nails? You may be surprised to know that this Latina beauty hack could help grow and strengthen nails. One FIERCE follower wrote on Instagram, “Rub fresh garlic on your nails, leave for a few minutes and then wash it off, it will make your nails grow super fast.” The science behind it? The selenium in garlic may promote nail health.

5. Lipstick as blush and eyeshadow


Game changer.. lipstick as blush

♬ Looking Out for You – Joy Again

Growing up, we remember seeing the women in our family use cherry-red lipstick on both the lips and cheeks. Other more neutral shades could become creamy eyeshadows, too. This go-to tip is perfect when carrying a small purse: just grab your favorite lipstick and paint the town red!

6. DIY sugar and coffee scrubs

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While the idea of self-care can be anything from a Saturday painting in your room to reading a great book, using a DIY scrub is always a great idea. A favorite Latina beauty hack is making your own scrub from ingredients like sugar and cafecito. One FIERCE reader commented a recipe we’re trying stat: “Mix sugar [and] coffee with a bit of organic coconut oil to exfoliate.” As per Healthline, sugar scrubs are great at pulling moisture into the skin.

7. Té de manzanilla for dark circles

If you ever woke up with “Corpse Bride”-esque dark circles– or even an orzuelo— you may have used tea bags under your eyes. Just-steeped, cooled chamomile tea bags work perfectly for making eye bags a bit less puffy. Another pro? This hack makes for a great relaxation ritual, too.

8. Spoons to curl eyelashes

Who else learned to use a spoon to curl your eyelashes and never looked back? Many of us were even handed-down a special spoon for eyelash curling (IYKYK), learning the technique from family members. Do people look at us weird when we use our little spoon in public places? Sure, but it’s so worth it.

9. Castor oil for… everything

Speaking of eyelashes, castor oil is a handy-dandy ingredient that can seriously benefit pestaña growth. However, as many Latinas know, castor oil works for pretty much everything under the sun. Put it on your lashes, eyebrows, skin, and your hair. As per Healthline, castor oil is rich in ricinoleic acid for major hydration properties, and may even help heal wounds.

10. Baby oil as eye makeup remover

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Using baby oil as an eye makeup remover may not have all beauty experts’ stamp of approval. Still, many of us remember using baby oil to get rid of mascara all the way back in high school, wiping it away with ease. One FIERCE commenter chimed in, “I’ve always used baby oil to take off my eye makeup since i saw my mom do it.”

11. Vitamin E for scars and skincare

What is a Latina beauty hack list without including tried-and-true vitamin E oil? We still remember popping vitamin E capsules and using the oil as a topical on our skin to get rid of scars— but buying a tub of vitamin E oil may be easier. A moisturizer, protectant, and antioxidant, vitamin E is great for nourishing skin.

12. Rice water for your face


I love making rice water ice cubes because they last so much longer than a jar of rice water and they help with depuffing my face since I’m a belly sleeper ???????????? Would you give this a try? #ricewaterskincare #ricewatericecubes #ricewaterforskin #fyp #skincaretips #naturalskincare

♬ girls like me don’t cry (sped up) – thuy

We love rice in all its forms: with beans, used to make horchata, and yes, even in our face wash. Making rice water at home is straightforward, simply done by boiling or soaking rice. Just like our abuelas taught us, use rice water on your hair for strengthening, or for glowy skin. As one TikTok user recommended, you can even freeze the rice water in cubes to use for later.

13. Lemon and té de manzanilla to lighten hair

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When it comes to Latina beauty hacks, we’ve been exposed to this one since middle school. While other people may have used Sun-In spray (ah, memories) to lighten their hair, we remember using some lemon and té de manzanilla instead. As one FIERCE reader wrote, this natural remedy gives her “natural blonde highlights” and really works. Move over, pricey hair salons.

14. Rosemary oil for the scalp


A mix between good mexican genes and rosemary oil ????????✨#hairgrowth #blackhair #latinatok


Rosemary oil is having a moment over on TikTok, and for good reason. As per CNN, the herb works to support hair growth on account of its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties. Both rosemary oil and water are great options for your hair— we also love the idea of growing our own romero and making them at home.

15. Aloe vera for hair and skin

Last but not least, who else grew up in a family where sábila literally cures everything? Have a wound? A pimple? Want your hair to grow? Here’s an aloe vera plant. If you can relate, you know that aloe vera actually does have incredible benefits, including antioxidant and antibacterial properties, hydration, and wound healing. Yes, sábila is a hair and skincare superhero.