A trip to the kitchen can nourish your stomach and your soul, but can it also offer solutions to some of your worst skin woes? Yes! You may already know that food ingredients like oatmeal can exfoliate the skin and olive oil can moisturize it, but you may be surprised at the ingredients of some of these kitchen concoctions – and how much they can really do for you!
So save your money, save the environment – whatever you’re looking to do, you don’t have to sacrifice the health of your skin with DIY techniques. Here are some common skin woes you might be struggling with and what pantry staples can help.
Still struggling with acne, all these years later? You’re not alone. Over the years, you’ve probably tried every chemical out there, from salicylic acid to benzoyl peroxide. If you’re ready to take a more natural approach, reach for oatmeal and onions.
Sounds gross, but oatmeal’s exfoliating powers help it unclog pores, while onions have anti-inflammatory properties that help heal acne scars. Simply prepare 3 tablespoons of plain oatmeal, then mix with one medium onion, pureed in a food processor.
Psoriasis and eczema
Tired of itching and scratching? The constant itch of these skin problems have the double whammy of making them worse, so the key to controlling them is itch control. Vinegar and baking soda may sound like a science project waiting to happen, but they have powerful anti-itch powers.
Mix one part vinegar with three parts water in a spray bottle, spray onto the affected area then let it dry. Baking soda can be added to a warm bath to sooth the itch.
Got the flakes? If your skin is flaky and dry, you need to exfoliate and moisturize. Walnuts, honey and olive oil offer a solution to this common skincare problem. Walnuts are the ideal exfoliator in this scenario because they are also rich in oils, so the sloughing is accompanied by moisture. The olive oil offers even more emollients to your skin, and honey seals it all in.
To make this concoction, blend ¼ cup shelled walnuts, ½ cup of olive oil and a tablespoon of honey in a food processor until it forms a fine-particle scrub or paste. Massage it into feet, hands or body then rinse.
Milk is another good ingredient for scrubbing and moisturizing, because the lactic acid serves as a gentle exfoliant, while the natural fat content nourishes dry skin. Same goes for milk products, such as sour cream, which makes a great skin-brightening mask.
After the summer, you may notice you have dark spots on your skin – they aren’t a tan, they aren’t moles, and usually they are harmless. However, they are signs of sun damage and can make your skin look older. To fade them, you’ll need a lightening product to apply to the spots or your whole face. The natural whitening powers of lemon and yogurt can fade these spots (and acne scars, too!)
Mix together 2 tablespoons of honey, 4 teaspoons of lemon juice, 3 teaspoons plain Greek yogurt and one egg white. Whisk these together until the mask is thick, then apply to a clean dry face and leave on for 15 minutes.
Bags be gone! If you’ve woken up to puffy bags under your eyes, enjoying a cup of tea will get you back to normal again – but not by drinking it! Chamomile tea is a natural anti-inflammatory, which means it will reduce redness and puffiness around the eyes.
Soak a washcloth in cooled chamomile tea, then apply this cold compress to the skin. Leave the compress on your skin for at least 10 minutes before rinsing it off.