5 Houseplants Every Beauty Lover Needs
Houseplants have received a lot of social media attention lately, and for good reason. Not only do they make any space look like a million bucks, but they also add a pop of color to neutral color schemes and come with loads of health and skin care benefits too.
That’s right, skin care benefits. As it turns out, cities aren’t the only environments that can wreak havoc on our favorite organ — our homes can as well! Thanks to air pollutants such as cleaning chemicals, dust, and other nasty toxins, our sacred spaces are chock-full of free radicals that can promote premature signs of aging and more. Fortunately for our vanity, many houseplants are skin care superheroes that work to purify the air and create the ideal environment for healthy, glowing skin.
“Air-purifying plants are extremely beneficial to the skin,” says Alissia Zenhausern, AKA Dr. Zen, a board-certified naturopathic physician in Scottsdale, Arizona. “[The] skin is not only the largest organ in our body, but it is also a major organ of detoxification. Plants help reduce our toxin body burden, meaning our body doesn’t have to work as hard to detox,” she adds. “Improper detoxification can lead to dull, dry, and aging skin.” (Photo via jacqylaw/Getty)
With that in mind, Zenhausern recommends adding air-purifying houseplants to the home. She notes that houseplants aren’t just good for purifying the air — they can provide stress relief, amp up oxygen, reduce carbon dioxide, increase humidity, reduce airborne dust levels, and lower indoor air temperatures too.
Looking for a houseplant that is both Instagram-worthy and beauty-benefiting? Keep reading for our favorites.
1. Snake Plant: If you’re looking for a houseplant that boasts anti-pollution vibes and is hard to kill, head over to your local nursery and get yourself a snake plant, STAT!
“Snake plant, also known as mother-in-law’s tongue, is one of the best air purifying plants out there,” says Zenhausern. “While most plants take away oxygen at night for their own use, Snake Plants give off oxygen at night, which makes them great air purifiers.”
Because Snake Plants release oxygen at night, they can be ultra-beneficial to your beauty sleep (while the skin regenerates, the plant purifies the air), so adding one to your bedroom is a must. Snake Plants prefer indirect light but can tolerate most light conditions (we told you they’re hard to kill!) and don’t need frequent watering. Make sure the soil dries between watering and feed it some fertilizer in the summer months. (Photo via Latvian/Getty)
Important side note: Zenhausern says snake plants are toxic to pets and children and advises against this beauty-benefiting houseplant if you have small children or pets that could chew on the plant.
2. Aloe Vera: If you want to add some variety to your impossible-to-kill plant collection, aloe vera is another great option. “The thick gel substance obtained by the aloe vera leaves are especially useful for wound healing, treating burns, psoriasis, and even frostbite,” Zenhausern explains. “Aloe vera contains both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that are ideal for skin-related conditions.”
You can cut the leaves open and use the gel for a multitude of ailments, including dry skin, sunburn, and rashes. Because the gel is so soothing, it provides instant relief to the skin and helps quench dry skin. Apply the gel directly to your complexion (avoiding your eyes) for a post-beach facial or use the gel on dry, rough areas caused by harsh winter weather.
For aloe vera, having a green thumb doesn’t matter — so long as you don’t over water it. When placed inside, it loves natural, indirect sunlight and typically prefers to hang out in a south- or west-facing window. Like snake plants, wait for the soil to dry completely before watering. (Photo via Natalija Milosevic /EyeEm/Getty)
3. Dracaena: Add some funky tropical vibes to your home with a dracaena plant. The palm-like houseplant is part of the tree and succulent shrub family and boasts some stellar benefits. “According to the NASA Clean Air Study, Dracaena reflexa is one of the most efficient plants at removing formaldehyde from the air in your home,” Zenhausern notes. And, that’s not the only carcinogen it wards off. In addition to formaldehyde, dracaena can keep benzene, trichloroethylene, and xylene at bay.
So long as it has plenty of indirect sunlight — it’s also cool with medium light — and humidity, dracaena will thrive in any room in the house. If you live in a climate with lower humidity, misting the leaves can help keep it happy. You can also place the plant pot on a small tray filled with pebbles and water for a customized climate. (Only the best for our plant babies!) Dracaena is a bit snobby when it comes to water quality and doesn’t respond well to the salt and fluoride found in tap water; it’s best to water with rainwater or distilled water. (Photo via elenaleonova/Getty)
Important side note: Like its distant snake plant cousin, dracaena is toxic to pets and children. So if you have small children or pets that might chew on the plant, please consider a different beauty-benefiting houseplant.
4. Rubber Plant: If you love Instagram’s favorite houseplant — the fiddle leaf fig — then you’ll looooveee the rubber plant, AKA rubber fig. Not only is it easy on the eyes, but it can also protect the skin against chemicals and other airborne pollutants too. “Rubber plants are great at purifying your indoor air,” Zenhausern says. “They not only absorb airborne chemicals but [also] break them down, [which] helps reduce indoor toxin exposure.”
Looks-wise, there are a variety of different rubber plants available, all of which have gorgeous, glossy leaves. If you want to keep this baby alive, be sure to place it in an area that receives a lot of bright, indirect sunlight. As far as watering goes, its soil should be kept moist in the summer months with frequent misting. If you don’t have a spray bottle, you can also wipe the leaves off with a damp cloth. In the winter — AKA the dormant season — water your rubber plant once or twice a month. (Photo via Oscar Wong/Getty)
5. Rose Bush: Think rose bushes are just outdoor plants? Think again. There are a number of varietals — Trader Joe’s is a great place to buy them — that can live indoors. And, get this: they boast beauty benefits too. If you have a knack for DIY skin care projects, a rose bush is the beauty-benefiting houseplant for you. “Rose petals, which can be placed in water to create rosewater, contain amazing skin benefits, including maintaining the skin’s pH and oil balance,” says Zenhausern. “[They] also contain anti-inflammatory properties [which is] a great treatment [for] skin irritation conditions like acne, dermatitis, and eczema.”
If you want to use your rose bush for DIY purposes, just pick off the petals and add them to a relaxing bath. The warm water will steep the petals, which in turn can benefit the skin. For those looking for something more advanced, a homemade rosewater facial spray is calling your name. You can also dry the petals, crush them, and add the mixture to a DIY sugar scrub.
To keep an indoor rose bush alive, be sure to keep the bush in an area that receives bright, direct sunlight for at least six hours a day. Rose bushes like plenty of water, so be sure to water thoroughly whenever the soil feels dry one inch below the surface. (Photo via Kusska/Getty)
Have one of these beauty-benefiting houseplants at home? Share a picture with us @BritandCo!
Welcome to Selfmade Finance School, our new money series with Block Advisors to help small business owners with their tax, bookkeeping, and payroll needs year-round. This week, we explore the tax implications of bringing family members into your business.
The question for today is this: Does hiring your family members make sense for your business? Let me be clear. This is not a piece about whether hiring your family members makes sense for your relationships with those family members. As someone who is part of a family business, I could fill up a lot more than 600 words on my opinions about that. For today's purposes, we focus on whether it makes sense from an overall "good business and tax implication" perspective. As it turns out, there is a decent amount of tax nuance when it comes to employing your family. Let's break it down based on relationship to the employee:
You X Ventures for Unsplash
Spouses Who Are In Business Together
Personally, if I had to be in business with my husband, it would not go well. However, many couples build viable, strong businesses together and I say, good for them! Depending on how you have your business entity structured, it will make a big difference on the tax treatment of you and your spouse working as partners. Because a business jointly owned and operated by a married couple is generally treated as a partnership for Federal tax purposes, the spouses must comply with filing and record keeping requirements imposed on partnerships and their partners. The election to file two Schedule C (Form 1040) forms, (one for each spouse) permits certain married co-owners to avoid filing partnership returns, provided that each spouse separately reports a share of all the businesses' items of income, gain, loss, deduction, and credit. Under the election, both spouses will be subject to self-employment tax and on net earnings from self-employment and receive credit for Social Security earnings.
One Spouse Employs Another
If you have a dynamic where your spouse is an employee of your business, then your spouse's wages are subject to income tax withholding, Social Security and Medicare taxes. If you are self-employed (not a corporation or a partnership), your spouse's pay does not have to be included in your federal unemployment tax account (FUTA) contributions and payments. However, if your business is a corporation or a partnership you must include that spouse's pay in your unemployment tax contribution calculation.
Kobu Agency for Unsplash
You Employ Your Child
First, let's be clear. I work in my family business, but I am an adult, so I am treated just like a normal employee. However, if you, for example, run a family restaurant and want to hire your children under 18 to work for you, there are some tax benefits. But first, you should check with your state for rules on how many hours minors can work (in non-agricultural jobs) and reference the Fair Labor Standards Act for information on limitations on the kinds of work children can perform.
"This is an often overlooked or under-utilized strategy. Paying your children for true services they provide in your business can be a powerful tax-saving tool," says Cathi Reed, Block Advisors Regional Director. "If you are a sole-proprietorship or single member LLC, and the child is less than 18 years of age, the business is not required to withhold FICA or payroll taxes. The child can use his or her standard deduction against income you pay."
You Hire Your Parent
Oh dear. If you are brave enough to do this, know that you will need to pay Social Security and Medicare taxes on your parent's wages and make the appropriate withholdings, but you don't have to pay unemployment taxes. Now all you have to do is convince your parent that you are the boss. Have fun with that!
Is Hiring Family Members Worth It For The Tax Benefits?
"There are some positive tax advantages to hiring family members. It's important to treat a family member like any other employee. Hiring your children can result in substantial savings for businesses. Make sure your child has real, age-appropriate work to do and a reasonable pay rate, comparable to other employees. Consult with a Block Advisors small business certified tax pro to ensure that you are complying with all requirements," advises Reed. "Block Advisors, a team within H&R Block, is dedicated to meeting the tax, bookkeeping and payroll needs of small business owners year-round. To start working with the tax experts at Block Advisors, visit blockadvisors.com."
In my opinion, you should not hire a family member solely because of the tax benefits. You should always hire based on whether that person is right for the job and keep in mind how this hire could materially impact your relationship with that person and others in your family. Finally, as I mentioned, make sure you have a tax professional on your team when making these determinations. As you can see, things can get a little tricky!
*All details were sourced from IRS.gov and blockadvisors.com