You don't need to look beyond your kitchen for the best skin! Just ensure you have these 12 Kitchen Ingredients for Skin Care stocked and you're all set!
What do you do when you are faced with a problem? You look for solutions - starting with your Mom, and then Mr Google! Now, here's a quote that makes you think differently about finding the answers to problems: "The answers you seek are within you". Deep, isn't it? However, I'd like to tweak this a teeny bit - "The answers you seek are within your kitchen"!
Yes, whatever your skin care problem may be, you're sure to find a solution right inside your kitchen. Thanks to social media, beauty magazines and aggressive advertising, we've been conditioned to look for solutions to our skin care problems on a store shelf or on an ecommerce platform. We spend hundreds of our hard earned rupees and get home cute little bottles filled with toxic substances. And to what end? We usually end up right where we started!
That's why it's worth your time to take a step back from all the glossy ads and pretty bottles and take a trip to your pantry instead. You'll not just save a lot of money, you'll also save the environment and give your skin a new lease of life. What's more, the solutions are instantly available - no need to go out or wait for your delivery to arrive!
Now your kitchen houses many different ingredients, and it can be confusing to choose the right ones. That's why we've drawn up a list of the top 12 kitchen ingredients for skin care that you can use in many different ways to solve an array of skin issues. Let's go!
12 Must Have Kitchen Ingredients for Skin Care
- Raw Honey
Honey is one of the best ingredients you can use for your skin care, thanks to its anti-bacterial, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Honey is an emollient and a humectant; which means that it moisturizes skin and also locks in the moisture for long periods.
Honey can also heal acne and lighten scars or spots on your face. It's also great for symptoms of inflammation, like eczema and psoriasis. However, keep in mind that all these benefits are only available in raw, unprocessed honey which contains bee pollen and other plant enzymes. Filtered honey is devoid of all these and is basically just sweet syrup.
You can simply apply some honey on your face and wash it off after 20 minutes. Honey is also great to add to regular face masks to increase its benefits. You can also use it as spot treatment for scars or rashes and leave it in to work its magic.
- Coconut Oil
Ah yes, the super star of our kitchen and all DIY personal care recipes - coconut oil! Coconut oil is no newcomer in skin care, and you'll also find many products by big brands that contain coconut oil. But there's nothing like using the raw ingredient itself is there?
Coconut oil has fatty acids that give it its moisturizing benefits along with antimicrobial properties. Thanks to this, coconut oil can keep you safe from all kinds of skin problems like cellulitis, athlete's foot and acne. Coconut oil is also anti-inflammatory which makes it a popular choice for skin irritations and issues like eczema.
Coconut oil is absolutely safe for use, which is why it is used even for infants. It also makes a great makeup remover, including removing eye makeup. What's more, it has antioxidants and Vitamins A and E, which offer anti aging benefits. You can apply coconut oil as it is on your face, or mix in some sugar or coffee grounds as a scrub for your body.
- Aloe Vera
Aloe Vera is something most of us have growing in our kitchens and homes, and it is an excellent ingredient to always have on hand. Trust me, nothing in a tube or tub compares to freshly extracted aloe gel! Aloe vera is a great moisturizer and an ideal, non-greasy solution for dry and parched skin.
Aloe vera gel comes in very handy to heal skin conditions like pimples, rashes, sun burn or bug bites. Its anti inflammatory properties also help reduce acne and remove acne scars. It is very cooling and refreshing on its own, but if you'd like some extra boost of coolness during summers, you can freeze fresh aloe gel in ice cube trays and rub a cube all over skin for instant perkiness.
Aloe gel can be combined to any face mask of your choice to add some extra moisturization and anti inflammatory benefits. Another popular option is to dilute the gel with water and an essential oil to create your own personalized face mist.
We know that yogurt is packed with probiotics and is great for gut health, but it's also great for skin! Nearly all Indian homes have home set yogurt or curd, which is perfect. The probiotics also help skin, by soothing skin irritations, reducing the occurrence of acne and healing sun burns.
The lactic acid in yogurt is great to tackle visible signs of ageing like fine lines and wrinkles. It also tackles age spots and reduces pigmentation. Yogurt also promotes the growth of fresh new skin cells, giving that youthful appearance. Be sure to avoid commercial yogurt that may contain additives and preservatives.
Yogurt can be applied as it is on facial skin, or you can mix in some honey for added moisturization and antioxidant benefits. Another option is to add ground oatmeal, for a thicker scrub like consistency.
- Gram Flour
This is something that is not new to Indians; we've all grown up with our mothers insisting on using a gram flour or besan scrub! Gram flour is easily available everywhere and something that is extremely underrated when it comes to DIY skin and hair care!
Gram flour contains zinc that helps prevent acne, which is why this is a big hit with adolescents. One of the main benefits of gram flour is in curbing oiliness. It controls oil production, absorbs excess oil and keeps the pH level of skin balanced. A face scrub made from gram flour also exfoliates, opening up pores and getting rid of blackheads.
You can simply use gram flour paste as a face pack, or add in some honey or rose water for added benefits. Gram flour also helps reduce the appearance of body hair, so it makes for an excellent body scrub as well. Regular use of a gram flour body scrub can cut down on your need to wax or epilate.
What's the first image that comes to mind when you think of me-time or self care? Pretty sure it's the image of a woman with her hair wrapped in a towel and with cucumber slices over her eyes! Cucumbers are definitely cooling for the eyes and skin in general, but it also has many other benefits.
Cucumbers are naturally astringent, making them ideal as a toner to close pores and perk up skin. It also helps pigmentation, which works well for age spots, sun tan and even early signs of ageing. This is also the reason they're perfect for the under eye area, along with ascorbic acid, which decreases water retention and reduces puffiness. Cucumber's natural cooling properties make it ideal for healing sun burnt skin.
Since 96% of cucumbers is water, it goes without saying that it's great for hydrating skin. Refrigerated cucumber slices are great for refreshing and cooling the eyes. It can also be pureed and mixed with other ingredients like yogurt or sandalwood powder for a refreshing and moisturizing face mask.
When speaking of kitchen ingredients that have natural benefits, who can leave out turmeric? While the world has woken up to the many healing benefits of turmeric in food and drink, there are still many other skin care benefits lying to be unearthed.
Turmeric is loaded with antioxidants that fight free radicals that can cause premature ageing and reduce the health of your skin in general. What's more, turmeric is also anti-inflammatory, so if you suffer from conditions like acne or other skin irritations, turmeric is the spice for you.
Turmeric also improves complexion, literally giving you that golden glow. However, it needs to be used in moderation to avoid a yellowish tint. Just mix a little bit of turmeric into your regular face mask - a little will do since turmeric is so potent. Turmeric works well with honey for moisturizing, healing and cooling the skin.
If you're trying to eat healthy, you know that oats is a great solution. Besides, it's so easy to make and is a good option for busy mornings. Since every home is sure to have a jar of oats, you might as well use it for your skin, since oats is great for your face along with your waistline!
Oats is an excellent cleanser, since it contains natural saponins that clean out the pores and give facial skin a good scrub. It also possesses antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that makes it great for all skin types. It can treat dry and flaky skin as well as psoriasis. It is also great for oily skin as it absorbs excess oil, thereby reducing pimples and acne.
Using powdered oats makes it easier to get these benefits. Mix it with yogurt, honey or water to make a paste and use on your face or your body for some intense cleansing, moisturizing and exfoliation - all in one go!
Lemon is common in DIY hair care solutions, but it's just as effective for skin care. With Vitamin C being all the craze these days, you don't have to look farther than your kitchen to get this nutrient in all its natural glory! Lemon juice is one of the best natural toners out there, and is perfect for oily skin since it absorbs oil and balances the pH of skin.
Another benefit of lemon is as a natural bleaching agent. This makes it a great pick for evening out the complexion of certain parts of the body, like the elbows and knees. It's also great to lighten yellowish nails and make them bright and healthy looking. Lemon juice also tightens skin and lightens scars.
Lemon juice is fairly easy to use - simply use a cotton wool to dab all over your skin. You can also make a face mist by diluting lemon juice with water. Grind lemon peel and add in yogurt or honey for a nourishing and detoxifying face pack that'll make you glow.
- Raw Milk
Cleopatra knew a thing or two about skin care - why else would she bathe in raw milk? Milk is intensely hydrating, thanks to its lactic acid which acts as a moisturizer and an exfoliator, cleaning out the pores and getting rid of blackheads. Milk also contains natural AHAs (Alpha Hydroxy Acids) - an ingredient that is bottled in expensive little tubs and jars!
Milk is also naturally soothing and is a great solution for healing acne scars as well as sunburn and other skin irritations. Milk also has a natural acidity, which makes it a good exfoliator and also balances out the pH level of skin.
Milk is a one stop solution for many problems. It can be used as a cleanser by rubbing it all over your skin. It is also an effective makeup remover, including eye makeup. It is a great ingredient to add to other ingredients to thin it out when making your own face mask or face scrub.
If you're a coffee fiend and absolutely need your cuppa to start your day on the right foot, you'll be glad to know that coffee also works as well on the outside as it does on the inside! You may have noticed that there have recently been a slew of products in the market with coffee in it. You don't need to empty your wallet on them when you can use coffee straight from your kitchen!
The very texture of coffee makes it perfect for a scrub and it is great to get rid of dead skin cells and exfoliate skin. Coffee can also reduce cellulite by dilating blood vessels directly under the surface of skin. Some studies also show that coffee can counter photo-ageing, that is ageing due to sun damage.
You can use coffee as a scrub by mixing it with coconut oil. Regular use of this scrub can smoothen skin, even out your complexion and also prevent skin infections, since coffee has CGAs that have anti bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Coffee can also treat under eye circles - just soak cotton pads in cooled coffee and apply under the eyes.
If you search for fruit facials, you're most likely to find that the main ingredient in them is papaya. You'd think that it was due to the pulpy nature of the fruit's flesh which makes it great to apply on the face, but it's much more than that! Papaya is packed with a whole range of nutrients that are excellent to fight visible signs of ageing.
The antioxidants in papaya fight free radicals, which are the number one cause of premature ageing signs like fine lines and wrinkles. Papaya also contains compounds that improve skin elasticity, keeping it youthful and taut. Papaya is rich in beta carotene, papain, chymopapain and other plant enzymes that tackle inflammation and pigmentation.
You can straightaway apply mashed papaya flesh on your face and leave it on as a face mask. Or you could freeze some of it to use as an instant treatment for sunburn. To reduce pigmentation, you can mix other lightening ingredients like lemon juice and honey to create your own custom face mask.
Although we haven't listed it here, the most important skin-friendly ingredient in your kitchen is water. Drink lots of water to flush out all those toxins, nourish skin from the inside and to keep your body, skin and hair healthy.
All the ingredients mentioned here are completely safe to apply on your skin - after all, you do eat them without trouble! However, if you have food allergies, you need to be careful about what you apply. For instance, those with a lactose intolerance may have reactions on applying raw milk to the face. Always do a patch test on a small part of your body before applying it all over your face. Rest assured, you can enjoy healthy, glowing skin without spending a bomb or absorbing a slew of chemicals!
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