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All-Natural Skin Care From Your Kitchen

By Sandy Beck

If you shop at the New Leaf Market Co-op, you are probably conscious of what you feed your body. Your skin is your body’s largest organ, so it makes sense that what you put on it is as important as what you put into it, right?

Here are some basic recipes that are effective, safe enough to eat, inexpensive and haven’t been tested on animals—unless your dog gets to lick the bowl.

Cleansers

Adapted from keeperofthehome.org

Honey Cleanser

Honey does an excellent job of cleaning any skin type and is extremely moisturizing.

Directions:

  1. Dissolve two tablespoons of honey in an equal amount of warm water.
  2. Rub the mixture between your palms and then massage into your face.
  3. Wait 10 minutes and then rinse with warm water.

Oil Cleanser

Although at first blush, it may sound counterproductive, oil is a very effective cleanser. Experiment with different oils. The following oils are recommended for different skins types: almond or grapeseed oil for oily skin, avocado or apricot oil for dry skins, jojoba for acne-prone skin.

Directions:

  1. Pour a little puddle of oil into your palm. Rub your hands together to warm the oil up and then smooth it over your face.
  2. Massage into your face for a couple of minutes, using slow and firm motions, to reach deep into your pores.
  3. Soak a washcloth in very warm water. Place the washcloth over your face. Leave it there for 20 seconds to open the pores.
  4. Gently wipe the oil away and rinse the washcloth. Repeat two or three times until the excess oil is removed from your face. Don’t scrub.

If you have dry skin, massage a few drops of the oil onto your face when it is clean.

Oatmeal Cleanser

Finely powdered oatmeal, “colloidal,” is an ingredient in many commercial soothing body soaks, moisturizers, and soaps. Oatmeal will alleviate dryness and irritation and soothe the skin.

Directions:

  1. Grind oatmeal into a fine powder.
  2. Mix with one of these liquids to form a paste: Milk, cream or yogurt for normal or dry skin. Lemon juice or water for oily skin.
  3. Gently massage paste into skin, avoiding the eyes.
  4. Rest for a few moments, or take a relaxing bath.
  5. Wash off with warm water.

Expedite the process by keeping a jar of ground oatmeal in the refrigerator.

Facials

Here are some pure, whole-food based facials you can give yourself at home in minutes, adapted from MindBodyGreen.com.

Avocado Facial

The healthy oils in the avocado soothe and moisturize dry or sensitive skin. No doggie kisses while you have this on your face, please; avocado is toxic to dogs!

Directions:

  1. Mash up an avocado in a small bowl. For combination skin, add a squeeze of a lemon or lime wedge (as a natural astringent) and mix it together.
  2. Slather on and let your skin soak up the moisture for 10 minutes.
  3. Remove with warm water and a washcloth.

Pineapple Facial

Bromelain is a mixture of enzymes found in pineapple that digest protein; in this case they can consume dead skin cells. While you are waiting to rinse, put some of the fresh-cut pineapple inside your body too. Pineapple has been used for centuries to treat indigestion and reduce inflammation. Some studies show that bromelain may reduce swelling, bruising, healing time, and pain after surgery and physical injuries. Pure bromelain is also available in the New Leaf Market Co-op supplement section.

Directions:

  1. 1. You can mash up the inside of the rind of fresh cut pineapple or small pieces of the juicy fruit.
  2. 2. Apply to dry skin, avoiding the eyes.
  3. Leave on for 5-7 minutes.
  4. Rinse with warm water.

Raw Egg Yolk Facial

This sulfur-rich mask is great for acne-prone skin. Humanely-raised eggs are best, of course!

Directions:

  1. Whip yolk in a small bowl.
  2. Apply to cleansed face, avoiding the eyes, and allow to dry.
  3. Gently remove with warm water and a washcloth. 

Raw eggs also make a wonderful moisturizing treatment for the hair and scalp.

Buttermilk Facial

Buttermilk contains lactic acid, one of the hydroxy acids. These compounds act as exfoliators on the skin, breaking apart and removing dry, dead skin cells so new ones can rise to the surface.

Directions:

  1. Wet a face cloth in cold buttermilk (regular milk will do also) and lay it on your dry skin for a few minutes.
  2. Rinse gently, so some of lactic acid stays behind.

Cucumber Facial

Cooling, soothing and hydrating, cucumber is perfect for reducing redness, inflammation and puffiness.

Directions:

  1. Cut two thin, cold cucumber slices.
  2. Pulse the remaining cucumber in blender and apply to face.
  3. Place the two discs over your eyes
  4. Leave on for at least 5 minutes.
  5. Think lovely thoughts.
  6. Rinse with warm water. 

Moisturizers

Whipped Shea Butter Moisturizer

For those with dry skin, shea butter is produced from the nuts inside the fruit of the shea tree, found only in Africa. Shea butter is rich in vitamin A and fatty acids. Look for 100 percent shea butter.

Directions:

  1. Place 3/4 cup shea butter and 4 tablespoons coconut oil in a mixing bowl.
  2. Whip with hand mixer until you have achieved desired consistency, at least several minutes.
  3. Add lavender essential oil.
  4. Place in containers.

Coconut Oil Moisturizer

Appropriate for all skin types. Adapted from livesimply.me.

Directions:

  1. Combine 1/2 cup coconut oil, 1 teaspoon vitamin E or tea tree oil, and 5 to 7 drops lavender essential oil in a bowl and mix.
  2. Whip these ingredients together with your hand mixer creating for a smooth, creamy product.
  3. Use this moisturizer in the morning and the evening. A tiny little dab goes a very long way.

Toner

  1. Mix 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar with 2 cups water.
  2. Use after cleansing your face as a finishing rinse to tighten your skin.

Baby Your Hands, Too

Olive Oil and Sugar Hand Scrub

Directions:

  1. Mix 1 teaspoon of olive oil with 2 teaspoons of sugar.
  2. Wash your hands with soap and water and dry.
  3. Place the mixture in your palm and hands rub your hands together, making sure to cover both sides of your hands in the mixture.
  4. Wash with warm water.

In addition to nourishing your skin, try to get enough rest and exercise, drink lots of pure water, avoid cigarette smoke, cuddle a dog or cat, use sun protection and think happy thoughts.

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