Whether you’ve been struggling with skin problems for years, or are just trying to get a leg up on aging, there’s no doubt that most of us spend more time (and money!) on our skincare regimens than we care to admit. After my own decade-and-a-half long battle, my complexion finally mellowed out — and the answer wasn’t sitting behind a pharmaceutical counter. Instead, all it took was quitting makeup (crazy, I know) and switching to organic, gentle products to give new life to my face, and I’ve been singing the praises of all-natural skincare ever since. For that reason, I couldn’t wait to introduce you all to our guest today: Adina Grigore is an all-natural skincare expert and the founder of a thriving organic skincare line, and she joins us today to share 6 wholesome recipes for making healthy skincare products in your own kitchen. Take it away, Adina…
I know we’ve just met – but I have some questions for you. Do you read food labels? Are you conscious of what you put in your body? Do artificial colorants, synthetic flavors, and lengthy ingredient lists freak you out?
If you answered “yes” to any of these, I now want you to think about the skincare products you’re using, and ask yourself the same questions. Do your answers look the same? I hope they do.
I believe the ingredients for healthy skin are the exact same ones that we use to feed a healthy body. It’s a belief that’s core to my book, Skin Cleanse, plus informs the philosophy of my all-natural, five-ingredient-or-less skincare company, S.W. Basics. While most beauty marketers might suggest otherwise, I’m telling you this: The elements for glowing skin aren’t found solely in a chemical-laden, $75 bottle of “miracle” cream. They’re found in your kitchen; they’re simple, whole, and totally nutritious, and your skin loves them just as much as your body does. Keep reading to find six recipes from Skin Cleanse that utilize kitchen staples to create truly effective and gentle natural skin treatments. Bonus? All of them have ingredients you can actually pronounce. Bon appetit!
*photography by Chant Vaughn
1. Calming Aloe Cleanser. Ideal for those with acne-prone or sensitive skin. Manuka honey is produced by honeybees that have eaten tea tree pollen – a powerful antiseptic – so it’s a potent ingredient loaded with antibacterial properties. Aloe is a gentle moisturizer that helps soothe the skin, fighting inflammation, while the addition of lavender oil makes this cleanser calming for the mind, too.
1 tablespoon fresh aloe from the leaf or aloe juice
½ tablespoon Manuka honey
2 to 3 drops lavender essential oil
If you are using fresh aloe, cut through the skin of the leaf, exposing the inside so you can easily access all of it. Scoop with a knife or spoon, the way you would an avocado.
Then place the aloe, honey, and lavender oil in a small bowl and stir well (or if you’re using fresh aloe, whisk together with a fork) so that the honey melts into the aloe and lavender.
Apply with clean hands or cotton. Rinse well (it will be sticky!). This makes enough for about six to eight uses, so store extra cleanser in a jar with a lid; it will last a few months.
2. Dessert Mask. Rich in antioxidants, cocoa powder helps repair and prevent cell damage while sea salt kills bacteria and is a fantastic treatment for blemishes. The olive oil serves to moisturize the skin and lessen the abrasive effects of the other two ingredients.
4 teaspoons cocoa powder
½ teaspoon sea salt
2 teaspoons olive oil
Mix cocoa powder and salt in a small bowl, then stir in olive oil to create a paste.
Apply with your fingers and leave on for as long as you’d like. The sea salt may start to sting over time as it works its magic. Rinse carefully, as this mask will stain a washcloth. Makes one to two uses and can sit out on your counter for a few days.
3. Electrolyte Toner. Great for aging skin. Peaches are high in Vitamin C, which boosts the production of collagen in your skin, making it appear more youthful. Aside from being incredibly hydrating, coconut water contains cytokinins, plant hormones that keep your skin both smooth and elastic.
1 small, very ripe, de-pitted peach, mashed
½ cup coconut water
Combine peach with coconut water in a medium-size jar, seal, and shake well (if you wanted to make the texture smoother, you could also use a blender).
Apply with cotton and rinse clean. Keep it sealed in your fridge for up to a few days. It will make about two dozen usages.
4. Cleansing Mud. Great for acne-prone, sensitive, red skin. Coconut milk is incredibly soothing, and cinnamon helps kill bacteria, thus fighting acne. Clay – available in the beauty aisle at your natural food store – is both detoxifying and purifying; it will pull dirt from your skin.
¼ teaspoon powdered cinnamon
1 tablespoon dry clay
3 tablespoons coconut milk
Mix cinnamon and clay in a small bowl. Pour in coconut milk, stirring the liquid into the dry powder evenly (use a fork or whisk to break up any clumps). Eventually, it will become a paste.
Apply like a wet face scrub with a cotton ball or with your hands. You can leave it on until it dries or rinse off immediately. The mud dries out quickly, so this recipe makes only about two applications. You’ll want to make a fresh batch each time you use it.
5. Pumpkin Pie Glow Mask. This mask is great for removing dead skin and unclogging pores. The flaxseeds provide gentle exfoliation while the pumpkin enzymes and lactose in the yogurt work to provide a chemical exfoliation. Add in raw honey for even more hydration.
¼ cup full-fat Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon raw honey
¼ cup pumpkin purée (not pumpkin pie mix)
1 tablespoon ground flaxseeds or flax meal
In a small bowl, stir together yogurt and honey.
Once the honey is fully incorporated, add in pumpkin purée and then stir in the flaxseeds.
Use your fingers to apply and leave on until you feel it drying, then rinse with warm water. Makes a few uses, store extra in the fridge for up to a week.
6. Skin Feast Mask. Incredibly gentle and rich, and great for soothing inflamed skin. Brown rice flour is a great, gluten-free mask ingredient filled with nutrients. Avocado helps balance your oil production by “feeding” the skin a healthy fat, and apple juice also helps combat oily skin.
1 tablespoon brown rice flour
½ an avocado
1 tablespoon apple juice (fresh pressed, if possible)
In a small bowl, mash avocado with a fork and sprinkle in rice flour, stirring until you’ve created a paste. Add apple juice and stir well.
Apply mask and allow to dry for best results. Rinse with warm water. This recipe will make two or three applications but will spoil, so store in fridge and use it quickly.