Skin Care Products That Double As Hair Care

If you know your ingredients, you can get two uses out of one product.

As a self-styled researcher, I notice that many formulas meant for the face or hair have loads of mutual ingredients.

After trying my Perricone MD Chia Serum on my (formerly) parched ends and being very impressed with the results, I decided to see what other facial skin care products would make dandy hair products.

What possessed me to put the chia serum on my hair, you ask? The formula boasts moisturizing meadowfoam (a common hair care ingredient) and, of course, chia, which is high in linoleic acid. It worked wonderfully. I started a nightly ritual of adding two drops to my palms to run over my ends. The oil is so lightweight that it settles right in, making my hair smooth the next day without trashing my pillowcase.

Since that experiment was so successful, I decided to keep going. Armed with my new love for copper peptides in hair, I rubbed a few drops of Perricone’s Blue Plasma into my scalp after washing--just to see if I could use its awesome peeling and peptides where I need it desperately. I tested it before air-drying and blow-drying, and through both the product left no visible residue or tangible build-up. And it only takes a few drops to cover the whole scalp if you do it on a damp head.

Next question: Can a facial cream work as a leave-in conditioner? For this I grabbed First Aid Beauty’s Ultra Repair Cream, chock-full of healing hair care regulars, such as shea butter, tea extract, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride and dimethicone. I love this cream on my face, a fresh tattoo, or itchy winter legs, and the price is excellent. When I tried it in my hair I was really pleased. It added tons of luster without any grease, allowing me to air-dry my waves to a soft and bouncy finish, with no added memory product. This cream is really light and really hydrating, so I wouldn’t hesitate to make a continued multi-tasker.

The facts point here: If a product contains commonly beneficial ingredients, it likely works both ways. The final test for me was trying a face mask as a hair mask. GlamGlow muds have been on my list for a minute, and having a crack at the Thirstymud on my face was a fun and quick way to get some hydration. This formula is a hydrous clay, not dry and clumpy, but thick, creamy, and jammed with some potent actives. Micronized olive leaf delivers a huge dose of antioxidants, coconut oil and ginger extract penetrate deeply, and a combination of hyaluronic and citric acid add a dewy result. I slapped a dollop on as a pre-'poo treatment, hoping all the oils and acids that are also found in many hair products would soften and penetrate hair strands. The really yummy smell of this goop was heaven during my bath, and following up with a wash didn’t get rid of all of the gorgeousness that the mask imparted.

You’d be surprised at how well all of these items worked in an off-label context. I didn’t have to use much more of each item than I would use to treat my face, and nothing gave me the greasies.

If you ever find yourself stuck either without your usual hair goodies, or even with a product that you didn’t love on your face, try it on your hair! So many ingredients and actives that are good for face work lovely on hair, which is a lot less susceptible to sensitivities and irritation.

  • Have you ever put your face lotion on your hair?
  • Any other happy accidents?

Photos by Darnell Scott