Some of the gentlest and most effective ingredients for the skin are already in your kitchen. Many expensive, natural beauty products already use foods, including natural oils — so why not try using the raw ingredients yourself? The ingredients you use depend on your skin type and what it needs most. Possibly oily, dry, a combination, or if you have spots.
Your skin changes with the four seasons and with age
I’m using a night cream I made for myself that is just a mix of olive oil, coconut oil, and beeswax. I love it! The beeswax holds it together and makes it thick, not runny.
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Other great things to try and include that should be in your kitchen or cabinet anyway are:
For dry and aging skin
- Avocado — This is a great moisturizer to use as a face mask, mashed up in your hair, or used just about anywhere you could use a little extra hydration.
- Egg white — Use them uncooked as a traditional way to improve tone and texture. Spread evenly over the skin, and leave on for 10-15 minutes.
- Raw honey — A natural antimicrobial that soothes and draws moisture into the skin. Use it in masks or as a spot treatment.
- Green tea — This is full of antioxidants and helpful for reducing redness. Rinse your face in cool green tea for a great way to gently soothe your skin.
- Cucumbers or kiwifruit — These are great for sensitive skin and those who need cooling—they are often used over the eyes to relieve puffiness and brighten them. Leave on for at least 10-15 minutes.
- Watermelon — This is good for dry skin and age spots. You won’t need much for it to benefit, and washing off is optional.
- Oatmeal — This is an excellent fast-acting soother with significant anti-inflammatory properties. You can drop it in the bath, slather it on your face, or even use it as a gentle scrub.
- Extra virgin olive oil or extra virgin coconut oil — These keep the skin’s connective tissues strong, which prevents sagging and wrinkles. Especially good to apply in the early evening, and be sure to rub in well gently. They can reduce fine lines and are great after sun exposure.
In combination, oily skin
- Tea tree oil — This is an excellent cleanser and a natural cure for blackheads. This is a must-have in your cabinet, as it is also suitable for cuts, insect bites, and a few drops put into a spray bottle with water that works well in kids’ hair if they have lice (i.e., nits).
- Banana — Use the inside part of a banana peel is good to rub on blackhead-prone areas. Look at the banana peel when you finish rubbing, and you’ll be surprised at how much comes off.
- Lemons or limes — These are great for oily, acne-prone, or skin with a build-up of dead cells. You don’t leave citrus on for more than 10-15 minutes and avoid sunlight immediately after applying it. Lemons, in particular, can cause photosensitivity (and lightening of the skin) — avoid use on broken skin.
- Papaya — This is an excellent skin decongestant due to the enzyme papain. Apply evenly and leave for 15 minutes for one of the best enzyme masks around.
Try some of these next time you’re at home or even staying in a hotel. Just have fun experimenting with them and fruits or nut oils, bearing in mind some of the tips above.
I’d love to know how you go with them too.
Written by Sheridan Genrich, CGP
Sheridan Genrich is a naturopath and nutritionist who received her health science degree from Charles Sturt University and received the Dean’s Award for academic excellence. Sheridan mainly works with over-stretched professionals, entrepreneurs, and executives who struggle to be in their best health.