The use of natural fruits, vegetables and oils to care for the skin is an age-old tradition that fell out of practice with the rise of store-bought beauty products. Over the counter beauty products tend to be laced with harmful fillers, dyes, plasticizers and other toxins. Fortunately, natural skin care treatments have crept back into the mainstream, and knowledge of their benefits is growing. Whether you are new to at-home beauty treatments or have been concocting them for years, it’s helpful to stick to the basics, especially when basic ingredients can be used for multiple purposes. Keep these simple ingredients in your house, and have access to an incredible array of facial cleansers, toners, exfoliants and moisturizers at all times.
Sugar is not only sweet in the kitchen, it’s delicious for your skin. Sugar has natural moisturizing properties and is a source of glycolic acid. Glycolic acid encourages cell turnover and helps break down remnants of sun-damaged or aging skin. Sugar is one of the best ingredients for natural exfoliating scrubs. Combine it with any ingredient listed here for a gentle scrub that dissolves as you rub it in.
2. Organic Milk
Lactic acid found in milk helps hydrate skin and improve skin texture. It also has lightening and balancing properties, useful for taming redness or blotchiness. Choose organic whole milk. Rinse your face with warm water and scoop milk from a bowl onto your skin. Rub in and let sit for a minute. Rinse the milk off, pat your skin gently with a clean towel and you will instantly feel the hydration. Add milk to any of these ingredients to make a cleanser.
Avocado is rich in Vitamin C, Vitamin A and Vitamin E. It moisturizes and balances the skin. Use it alone or in combination with other ingredients to make creamy face masks. Simply spoon out the avocado, mash it into a paste and apply it to warm, damp skin. Rub it in gently and let the mask sit. Wash off with warm water and a warm cloth. Combine avocado with milk or honey for even more hydration.
4. Aloe Vera Gel
Useful for soothing burns or skin irritation, Aloe Vera gel is found in many household refrigerators and medicine cabinets. Look for 100% pure organic Aloe made for consumption. Add it to smoothies to hydrate your body and brighten your skin. Put it on tired eyes for an instant lift. Combine it with sugar for a refreshing scrub. Use it as a toner between your cleansing and moisturizing routines. Or add it to any of the ingredients on this list as part of a scrub, mask or cleanser.
Honey contains antioxidants, which fight off free radicals. It is also antibacterial and great for hydration. Mix honey with milk for a rich, moisturizing cleanser or use it with carrots for an exfoliating mask.
Carrots are jam-packed with Vitamin A and provide plenty of health benefits from consumption alone. Applied to the skin, they prevent blemishes, even skin tone and moisturize. Combine grated carrots with milk, honey or oatmeal to make a cleanser, scrub or bath mix.
Strawberries applied to skin on their own help to cleanse and fortify. Vitamin C, salicylic acid, Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs), and flavonoids contained in strawberries prevent blemishes, even skin tone and repair skin damage. Mash them into a paste and apply them under your eyes to reduce puffiness and under-eye circles or mix them with Aloe Vera gel for an uplifting toner.
Oatmeal is used in many store brand scrubs and face masks. It has a soothing quality and is wonderful added to bath water. Cook oatmeal and add it to a food processor for a creamy substance. Combine oatmeal with milk and honey for a face mask. Add it to a carrot and milk cleanser. Or use it alone as a gentle exfoliant.
9. Organic Olive Oil
While there are many who claim olive oil is not an effective cleanser, others swear by it. The only way to find out for yourself is to use it. Try an olive oil cleansing method for a couple weeks to see how your skin reacts. Apply liberally to face and neck and let sit for about five minutes, occasionally rubbing the oil gently in circular motions. Apply a warm, damp washcloth to your face and lie down, letting the skin steam until the washcloth cools down. Wipe off excess oil. Repeat with a hot washcloth, and wipe the remaining oil off your skin. Your skin should be left feeling clean and moisturized.
10. Organic Argan Oil
Argan oil is highly-concentrated in Vitamin E and natural fatty acids. It is commonly used as an under-eye moisturizer or as a nightly face and neck oil. Argan oil is by far the most expensive item on this list, but it is well worth the investment. The properties in Argan oil mimic the skin’s natural oil and absorb readily.
- Avocado, milk and honey mask.
- Milk and sugar scrub.
- Honey and carrot mask.
- Milk and honey cleanser.
- Oatmeal and honey mask.
- Aloe Vera and sugar scrub.
- Always keep clean washcloths in the house.
- Keep cleansers and masks in the fridge for a few days to use again.
- Buy organic whenever possible. It is worth the few extra dollars.