by corinne iaia

February 08, 2015

SKINCARE FRESH FROM YOUR KITCHEN


We talk about different products on a daily basis, testing new skincare and elaborate treatments, but what about those mega skin-boosting ingredients that we have sitting in our kitchen cupboards? I'm talking about lemon, sugar, honey, avocado, yogurt, coconut oil, and tea. Nope, those aren't ingredients that I'm using to cook up my healthy lunch du jour, but my favorites when it comes to use on the skin for natural but effective results. Here are the benefits of each ingredient and why I love them: 

Yogurt // Yogurt has been used as a natural cure for skin lacking moisture, dull skin, and acne, for thousands of years. It's said that Cleopatra used to bathe in yogurt to keep her skin looking as youthful and clear as possible. Of course, not yogurt of the Trix variety, but plain old greek yogurt. You're better off sticking with the most simple (not fat free) kinds so that your skin can reap the full benefits of this beauty-booster. My personal favorite is the Greek-classic Fage in either 2% fat or whole fat - the higher fat varieties are better to promote rejuvenated skin. 

Yogurt is great for troubled and sensitive skin, as it contains lactic acid which exfoliates, brightens, and moisturizes. It's also a good source of zinc, which is anti-bacterial and helps to heal and soothe the skin, making it great for acne-prone skin and psoriasis. Yogurt is a great base for creating at-home face masks of any variety, as it solves all sorts of skin-woes and will help other more powdery ingredients (rice, oatmeal, sugar) to adhere to the skin. There are hundreds of DIY yogurt based mask recipes floating out there in cyberspace, I suggest you go try one! 

Lemon // These citrusy fruits are truly the beauty-gem of the fruit bowl. They have so many simple and effective beauty uses, and quite honestly, the benefits of such are hard to beat. Lemons are known to clear and brighten dull skin, act as a vacuum for congested pores, and cut down on excess shine. In fact, lemon juice makes for a great natural toner, especially when mixed with other skin-loving ingredients like tea tree oil and coconut water for added moisture. 

If you're looking to get rid of blackheads without using harsh treatments, then rubbing a slice of lemon along areas where you are prone to the pesky suckers will help a great deal. Lemons are rich in citric acid and vitamin C, which are great for neutralizing free radicals and promoting collagen stimulation. Lemon juice also great for internal cleansing when squeezed into hot water as a morning drink, as when they are ingested they become alkaline and help to calm the digestive system. And let us not forget - a spritz of chamomile infused lemon juice is the most effective old-school way to lightening our locks come summertime! 

Avocado // One of my personal favorite toast and chip toppings, ever. Avocado is also an amazing source of omega-9 fatty acids, making it quite a multi-tasking skin and hair treatment that helps to repair, nourish, and moisturize. Rich in vitamins and minerals, this creamy superfood makes for an ultra-effective anti-aging and moisturizing face and hair mask when applied on its own. I also love to slice sections of avocado and place under the eyes (10 minutes will do) for a brightening, dry skin fix. 

Honey // You're sweet as honey, honey. Yes, honey is a great natural sweetener to use in place of refined sugars, but it's also beneficial to your skin's health. It's a great source of antioxidants, amino acids, and contains hydrogen peroxide, making it anti-bacterial and great for healing the skin. Honey is the perfect natural first-aid skin ingredient for use on problems ranging from acne and scarring, to healing cuts and preventing infections. It covers the skin in it's golden balmy texture but allows it to breathe, and therefore, heal faster than it could on its own. 

My favorite way to use honey on my skin is to mix it with yogurt for an anti-bacterial, moisturizing, and resurfacing mask. It also makes a great natural exfoliating scrub when mixed with sugar and massaged gently into skin on face, or body! 

Coconut Oil // I've spoken in depth about my favorite uses for this skin-loving oil, here. It's important that you use the unrefined, virgin, and unbleached kind when putting this on your skin, or in your body for that matter. It's a great natural moisturizer to help rehydrate dry skin, that also helps balance your skin's pH levels which leave it in a happy state. It's even recommended by dermatologists for use on eczema and psoriasis due to it's anti-inflammatory (it contains polyphenols!) properties. 

The oil also makes for an uber-nourishing hair mask that tames frizzies and flyaways. Since it can be quite greasy, I recommend only applying it from mid-lengths through the ends and then washing out with a clarifying shampoo and conditioner. 

Chamomile (Tea) // Chamomile has been used in practice of traditional medicine for thousands of years and was especially favored by the Romans and Egyptians. Chamomile comes from a flower similar in appearance to the daisy and contains active bisabolol, which boasts both anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Chamomile is a natural acne-fighter and works especially well when used topically as a daily toner for the skin, calming and reducing any inflammation. 

I has also been used as a natural skin-lightening agent since ancient times by the Romans, and as a hair lightener by the Egyptians, who favored a lighter, almost brassy hair color. This wonder leaf works great for softening skin, tightening pores, and over time fading scars and any existing hyper-pigmentation in the skin. 
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2 comments

  1. This is such a good post!! I think I might have to have yoghurt baths from now on (but only for my face though.), I sometimes use olive oil as a moisturising mask, the effects aren't amazing but my skin does feel less dry and flaky!

    Yet Another Makeup Blog.

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    1. Thank you! Yogurt baths would be quite luxurious :)

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