This post was written by Heinen’s partner, Halle Snavely.
Natural skincare is a trend that’s rising in popularity as consumers become more educated about toxic ingredients in traditional skincare products. According to the Environmental Working Group, American woman, on average, use 12 personal care products every day that contain 168 different chemicals. While not all of these are harmful, that’s a lot of chemicals to put on your skin in one day.
Skin care brands are catching on to the natural trend, too. Many traditional brands have replaced toxic chemicals with less harmful ones, while a wave of natural skin care products made with carrier oils, flower essences and essential oils have hit the market. While this is a big step in the right direction, there is one thing many of these products have in common: they can run at a steep price.
The good news is you can save a lot of money on skin care products by using ingredients commonly found in your fridge or pantry. That’s right, you can cleanse and pamper your skin with food. Many of nature’s fruits, veggies and other natural products are rich in enzymes, vitamins, minerals and hydrating properties that help to nourish, repair and soothe skin.
Below is a list of a 8 kitchen staple ingredients for natural skin care with tips on how you can use them.
It’s the oldest trick in the book, but for good reason. Cucumbers really do help reduce puffiness. They contain a compound called ascorbic acid that helps reduce water retention. So, the next time you notice your eyes are a little puffy, throw your robe on, wrap a towel around your head, place some cucumber slices over your eyes and chill out for a while.
Whenever I have a breakout, honey is my go-to spot treatment. It has natural enzymes that help to kill bacteria and speed up the healing process. It also leaves your skin feeling super smooth and moisturized. I do a honey face mask once a week, which soothes my skin and reduces irritation. Simply place a quarter-sized amount of honey on your fingers and massage it into your skin. Leave on for 20 minutes, then rinse with warm water.
3. Almond Flour
This is an excellent natural exfoliator. It helps to scrub away dead skin cells while the almond’s natural milkiness leaves your face feeling soft and smooth. Take a quarter-sized amount of almond flour and mix with a few drops of water until you get a milky texture. Gently massage the mixture over your face for several minutes, then rinse with water. Sometimes I like to combine this with a nice cream cleanser for a smoother texture.
4. Eat Hydrating Fruits and Vegetables
Eating any and all hydrating fruits and veggies will help your skin from the inside out. Some of the true rock star ingredients for skin are cucumbers, watermelon, tomatoes, radishes and, of course, leafy greens. All of these foods are rich in vitamins and minerals that fight oxidation and reduce inflammation.
We already know our guts loves probiotics, but it turns out our skin does too. Like the gut, the skin also has its own microbiome, and keeping a balance of good vs. bad bacteria is important for good skin health. Use yogurt as a face mask just like the honey.
These seasonal summer favorites are great for anti-aging because they’re very high in vitamin C, which is a potent free-radical fighter. They’re also very moisturizing and give the skin a nice glow.
Caffeine is known for waking you up in the morning, and it has the same effect on your skin. Coffee makes a great exfoliator and is also known to help reduce cellulite. Mix coffee grounds with sea salt and a little coconut oil for a luxurious body scrub.
Known for helping to soothe skin conditions, like eczema and psoriasis, oats are a great anti-inflammatory agent. They can be used similarly to almond flour and are best for skin care when they are ground. You can buy oat flour or grind them yourself.
Use any of these ingredients alone, or have a little fun and combine a few of them. Below is a quick DIY face mask that you can make in minutes. It’s perfect for the summer when peaches are in season!
Homemade Peach, Honey and Oat Face Mask
- Mash up a small amount of peach and combine with a small amount honey and ground oats until a thin paste forms.
- Massage onto skin and leave for 20 minutes.
- Wash off with a warm towel.
- This face mask can also be made with honey, oats and yogurt or honey and almond flour.