By Molly Majewicz
As someone who has struggled with acne for years, I have tried almost every single product on the market, from over-the-counter cosmetics to prescriptions, and even the as-seen-on-TV products like ProActiv or EpiDuo. Last summer, I made the promise to go all natural with my skin care products, convinced that the obscene amount of chemicals in my regimen weren’t helping my skin, but actually hurting it. To my surprise, and relief, using a natural skin care regimen cleared up my acne, reduced my acne scars, and improved the overall quality of my skin. In addition to being better for me, these natural concoctions were actually cheaper to make than their drugstore counterparts. Below are some of my favorite skin care recipes.
Make-up Remover — A lot of makeup removers that say they are oil-free actually replace the oil with all sorts of chemicals. In fact, oil is the most effective way to remove makeup, it just matters which type of oil you use. Mixing jojoba oil and vitamin E oil, and using a cotton round to wipe your eyes clean, will effectively take off make up and moisturize your eye lids, and also rejuvenate the dark circles below your eyes.
Toner — Facial toners are notoriously full of chemicals. Apple cider vinegar makes a great replacement; it has the same astringent properties, but it is all natural. It’s also antiseptic and antibacterial, and it clears away excess oil and extra makeup. It can also help reduce old acne scars. Dilute the apple cider vinegar with water, using the ratio 1 part vinegar to 2 parts water. Use a cotton ball or cotton round to apply all over the skin, then let your skin dry.
Moisturizer — Unrefined, organic coconut oil is the miracle product: it is antibacterial and anti-fungal, as well as super moisturizing and gentle on sensitive skin. Coconut oil also reduces redness and fights bacteria on the skin. Additionally, coconut oil is noncomedogenic, meaning it doesn’t clog your pores, like the natural oils your skin secretes.
Mask — There are several recipes for masks that I like to use, below are my three favorite.
- Egg Whites: Surprisingly, egg whites are great for reducing oil and tightening pores, besides being healthy for you to eat. To use as a mask, separate the whites from the yolk and then use a cotton ball or your fingers to apply all over your face. Let the mask sit for 15 minutes up to an hour (as long as you want). Wash them off when your face feels tighter.
- Baking soda: It can eliminate breakouts, reduce redness, exfoliate your skin, and also wears down old acne scars over time. To make the mask, mix 2-3 tablespoons of baking soda with water until it forms a paste. Then apply the mixture all over you face. At first, let it sit for 10-15 minutes, then wash off. As your skin becomes accustomed to the baking soda, you can increase the amount of time it sits on your face.
- Coconut oil and raw honey: Mix an even amount of raw, unprocessed honey and coconut oil until they’re blended well. Apply all over your face (warning: the mask may drip!) and let sit for 15-20 minutes. Then, wash off with warm water.
Anti-Aging Cream — While it easy to replace your moisturizer and face masks, finding a replacement for your anti-aging cream is more difficult. This is a great recipe that easy to make at home:
- 1/4 cup — pure almond oil
- 2 tablespoons — coconut oil
- 2 tablespoons — beeswax
- 1/2 teaspoons — vitamin E oil
- 1 tablespoon — shea butter
- Essential oils — a few drops of your choice of scent
Put all the ingredients in a glass jar. Take a pot of water filled with 3-4 inches of water and heat until simmering. Place the glass jar with the lid off into the water and keep it there, stirring occasionally, until all of the ingredients have mixed together. Once they’ve all blended together, remove the jar and pour the melted ingredients into a smaller glass jar (optional). Let the mixture sit at room temperature until it is firm. Apply in the morning and at night.
Spot Treatment — Tea Tree Oil; it is extremely potent, but when used in small doses on small areas of problematic skin, your pimple problems will disappear overnight. Use a q-tip or your finger to apply a drop or two on individual blemishes; let sit overnight. Wake up and those blemishes will be severely reduced or gone. It smells pretty bad, but is highly effective.