In today’s health and beauty products market, you can’t really use the price tag to determine what’s effective or not. And since you know your body better than anyone else does, why not make your cleansing and conditioning products at home, using ingredients in the house? Not only will they be economical, but also you’ll be able to craft something that does exactly what you want it to do.
Before we start, let’s get a few basic guidelines out of the way:
- Avoid products and foods to which you are or may be allergic.
- Before applying anything to your face or a large area of your body, test it on a small, inconspicuous area (for example, the inside of your elbow or behind your knee). After washing off the product, wait 24 hours to see if you have a reaction.
- Use products and ingredients that are noncomedogenic, which means they “don’t clog pores.” The oils mentioned in this post are noncomedogenic.
- If you have acne or another chronic skin condition, please treat your skin carefully. “Washing your face excessively can be more irritating for people with acne,” explains Dr. Jeffrey Zwerner, senior medical director of dermatology for Teladoc. “This can lead to worsening of the condition, so you really want to use gentle skin care when you’re dealing with acne.”
Brighter, smoother skin is just a few dollars and one trip to the supermarket away! These 10 tips and hacks work equally well for women and men. After all, his-and-her spa days are a thing now, so have fun concocting healthy skin care solutions in your own kitchen!
Cleanser and makeup remover:
- Grapeseed oil. This popular cooking oil, made from the pressed seeds of grapes, is anti-inflammatory and softens skin. Use it directly on the skin to cleanse the face and remove makeup (warm it up by rubbing it between your hands before applying it to your face). Grapeseed oil also makes a great moisturizer; just mix it with a little bit of your favorite lotion.
Exfoliant and scrub:
- Sugar. Good ol’ table sugar makes such a great body scrub that one of the country’s most famous sugar brands has gotten in on the craze. A sugar scrub is super-simple to make: 2 cups of sugar, 1 cup of light olive, canola, or almond oil, and a few drops of your favorite essential oil! Check out the full variety of DIY sugar scrub recipes made with coconut, cucumber, and other everyday ingredients, courtesy of Domino Sugar! (Don’t eat it though!)
- Coffee grounds. What? Yes, coffee grounds. Caffeine has anti-inflammatory properties, which means you can now have your coffee without puffy eyes and dark circles. This mask is just a tad messy but quick and easy. Mix one tablespoon of used grounds (let them cool first) and 1/2 to 1 tablespoon milk into a paste. Let it set for 3-5 minutes. Massage it into your face, let it dry, then rinse it off with cool water. You can make this mask up to two or three times a week as needed. Feeling even more adventuresome? Try a coffee, turmeric, and yogurt mask to brighten your face.
- Eggs. Albumin (egg white) is high in collagen and can help tighten skin temporarily. This wonderful mask, good for all skin types, exfoliates while temporarily reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Beat 1 egg white until frothy. Add 1 teaspoon of oatmeal and 1 teaspoon of honey, mixing vigorously until oatmeal breaks up. Apply the mixture over the face and neck, leave on for 20 minutes, and rinse with a clean cloth soaked in warm (not hot) water. Finish with moisturizer.
- Apple cider vinegar and tea tree oil. In a 3-ounce bottle, pour in 1.5 ounces of raw organic apple cider vinegar, 1.5 ounces of filtered water, and 6 drops of tea tree essential oil. Shake well and apply to face with cotton ball, avoiding the eyes. Follow up with your favorite moisturizer.
- Sunflower seed oil. Who knew you could rub a thin layer of sunflower seed oil directly into damp skin after cleansing? To seal in the oil’s moisturizing properties, follow up with your favorite lotion.
- Oatmeal bath. Oatmeal is the perfect ingredient to soothe skin. Take 1-2 cups of dry oatmeal (right out of the container, not prepared) and grind it with a coffee grinder or blender as finely as possible. Pour the oatmeal powder and 4 cups of whole milk into a lukewarm bath (don’t make the water too hot; hot water aggravates inflamed, sensitive skin). Soak for 20 minutes. For a more concentrated, milky soak, just substitute one cup of powdered milk for the whole milk. You can also add a few drops of your favorite essential oil to give the bath a nice fragrance.
- Tea tree oil. A great antiseptic, tea tree oil is highly concentrated, so a little dab will suffice. Just dip a clean cotton swab in the bottle and apply it to a cut or blemish.
- Sweet almond oil. Massage the warmed oil into cuticles, then push them back with an orange stick (never cut the cuticles). The oil can also be warmed and massaged into nails each evening to condition them and keep the cuticles soft.
- Epsom salts. Whether you just want to soak your feet or your entire body, Epsom salt (magnesium sulfate) is extremely effective in providing relief for sore muscles. To a full tub of warm water, add 2 cups of Epsom salt and a few drops of lavender, peppermint, or eucalyptus essential oil. To help soften skin, add up to 2 cups of baking soda as well. Soak for 20 minutes while treating yourself to a hot cup of chamomile tea with honey and a lemon slice.
If you find a rash or skin irritation that you didn’t notice before, let Teladoc help. As Dr. Zwerner explains, “A rash is basically an inflammation of the skin, whether it’s reacting to something or you just have a tendency toward sensitive skin.” Whatever it is, our board-certified doctors can diagnose and treat not only common ailments such as colds, flu, and allergies, but also skin conditions such as rashes, pink eye, poison ivy, and more. Teladoc is available 24/7 anywhere in the U.S. by app, web, or phone. Feeling itchy and don’t know why? Reach out to Teladoc for relief.