Spring is the season of renewal, with signs of change visible all around you. This is an opportunity to let go of the old to make way for the new. Perhaps your body and mind are ready to step outside into longer days and brighter sun, but don’t forget about giving your skin a fresh start, too. Now is the ideal time to give dull, dry winter skin a much-needed reboot, using ingredients nature gave you.
You can pay a lot of money for “natural” skincare products that are often filled with harsh chemicals, or you can make your own truly natural products with ingredients you probably have at home. The old adage, “Beauty comes from within” holds a great deal of truth. When your body is healthy, hydrated, and fuelled by an abundance of fresh fruits and veggies, you can see this written all over your face (and hair, teeth, and nails). You glow, you shine, and you radiate vitality. So it makes perfect sense that the same healthy ingredients that keep your body running optimally can also work wonders on your skin.
These five recipes will gently slough away dry skin cells and renew your skin with a burst of hydration.
1. Gentle Oat Cleanser
You can purchase fine oat powder, but the rolled oats you have in your pantry will do the trick. Oats contain saponins, which act as a mild cleansing agent, and oat powder is an exfoliant that can brighten the skin. They are gentle enough to be used daily. Oats are also high in antioxidants to replenish tired skin.
- 1 teaspoon rolled oats (finely ground)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons water
Grind rolled oats in a food processor or blender.
Mix oat powder with cool water to form a milky paste.
Apply to skin and rinse with cool water.
2. Herbal Facial Steam
If you’ve ever had a facial, you know how the process begins—with steam. This opens pores for the next step in your skincare regimen, and it’s incredibly hydrating. You can use any herbs that you find appealing or that work well for your individual skincare needs. Lavender is a popular choice because of its calming effects and anti-inflammatory properties, rosemary can soften and rejuvenate skin, and rose petals and chamomile are said to smooth fine lines and wrinkles and de-puff under-eye swelling. Alternatively, you can use a few drops of these herbs and flowers in essential oil form.
- 1/2 cup dried herbs (e.g., lavender flowers, rosemary, rose petals, chamomile)
- 2 cups filtered water
Boil water. Place herbs in a medium-size bowl. Pour boiling water over herbs, cover bowl with a small towel or lid, and let steep for two to three minutes.
Remove bowl covering, drape a towel over your head and shoulders, and hover your face a few inches above the bowl to steam. Stay for 10 minutes. Pat face dry.
3. Coffee Cacao Mask
You really can’t beat the aroma of this mask, not to mention its ability to rapidly brighten skin, reduce inflammation, and revive a dull complexion—all thanks to the caffeine. Cacao powder is a great source of antioxidants, the lactic acid in milk is said to create a smoother complexion, and honey locks in moisture. This mask is easy to make, works like a charm, and you won’t believe how radiant your skin looks after just 15 minutes.
- 1/2 cup organic ground coffee beans
- 1/2 cup organic cacao powder
- 1 cup milk
- 1 tablespoon honey
Mix all ingredients in a bowl to create a paste. Rub between hands to warm and soften the paste, then apply to skin and let sit for 15-20 minutes.
Rinse with lukewarm water. You can store extra paste in the refrigerator for up to one week.
4. Brightening ACV Toner
Toner is one of the easiest skincare products to make at home, for a fraction of what you’ll pay in the stores. Apple cider vinegar can balance the natural pH of the skin, lighten sun and age spots, and brighten the skin. If the smell is bothersome, you can add a few drops of essential oils, like lavender or chamomile.
- 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 cup filtered water
- 5-10 drops essential oils (optional)
Mix ingredients together and store in a glass bottle (does not need to be refrigerated).
Shake before use. Close your eyes and mist onto skin. Do not rinse off.
5. Hydrating Face Serum
Face serums are thought to have myriad benefits, from hydrating the skin to smoothing fine lines to lightening sun spots. You may need to purchase a few items to make your own serum, but it’ll last you awhile since you only need to use a few drops at a time.
DIY face serums are typically made with a base (carrier oil) and essential oils. Because there are so many carrier and essential oils, you’ll want to experiment with a few combinations to figure out what your skin likes best. Some carrier oils are heavier than others, so perhaps you’ll want to make two batches—one for daytime and one for nighttime. For this recipe, we’ll use sweet almond oil, which is full of vitamins and minerals that can help reduce the appearance of dark spots, fight wrinkles, and firm the skin—plus it’s lightweight so it absorbs easily. We’ll add frankincense, which is said to have regenerating properties and the ability to even out skin tone; and geranium oil, which not only smells divine, but can promote radiant skin.
- 1/2 cup sweet almond oil
- 10 drops frankincense essential oil
- 10 drops geranium essential oil
Mix ingredients in a small bowl (use a measuring cup to make pouring easier) and pour into a glass bottle.
Use a few drops morning and night. Remember: less is more! You can cover your whole face and neck with just a few drops.