3 DIY skin care remedies for common conditions
Skin is your largest organ – and just like internal organs, it can benefit greatly from the healing powers of herbs and natural ingredients. Why spend your hard earned cash on products loaded with preservatives and chemicals that can truly cause harm when there are items readily available in your kitchen or garden that you can use to pamper that lovely skin of yours?
Below are some DIY herbal skin treatments you can craft at home that won’t break the bank and help relieve some very common conditions. Caution: you might be tempted to eat some of them.
SOOTHING PUMPKIN MASK
Great for stressed, dry or irritated skin, but suitable for all skin types
Pumpkin is loaded with beneficial vitamins and enzymes — and when combined with the moisturizing, anti-bacterial power of honey, soothing oats and almonds, and circulation stimulating herbs — gives the skin an incredible boost.
You will need:
- 1 can organic pumpkin, or 2 cups pureed / cooked pumpkin
- 1/3 cup organic oats
- 4 tbsp organic honey
- 1 tsp organic olive oil
- 1/2 cup raw organic almond milk
- 1 tbsp dried sage or a small handful of fresh sage leaves
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
Put all ingredients into a food processor and mix away. Apply to clean skin and leave on for 15-20 minutes, then wipe off with a warm, damp cloth and enjoy renewed, soft skin.
Leftover mixture can be covered and refrigerated for use within 1 week. If you want to make just enough for one mask, cut this recipe in 1/4.
LEMON CHAMOMILE SUGAR SCRUB
Great for congested and acne-prone skin, but suitable for all skin types
Exfoliate, tone and hydrate all in one scrub! Lemon is high in vitamin C, is a natural astringent and helps even skin tone. Sugar exfoliates and contains glycolic acid, while honey has anti-bacterial as well as hydrating properties, and chamomile soothes skin and provides anti-oxidants.
You will need:
- 1/2 cup raw organic cane sugar
- juice and zest from one organic lemon
- 1 tbsp organic honey
- 5 drops vitamin E oil
- 2 tbsp organic olive oil or jojoba oil
- 1 heaping tbsp dried chamomile tea (one tea bag)
Mix sugar and chamomile tea into a bowl. In a separate bowl, combine olive oil, honey, lemon juice, lemon zest and vitamin E. Pour liquids into sugar mix and stir. Use in gentle circular motions on skin to slough off those dead skin cells and leave a beautiful glow.
Any leftover scrub can be refrigerated and used within 2-3 weeks.
LAVENDER LEMONGRASS LOTION
A light, nourishing, all-over lotion for stressed skin in need of repair
This is my favorite all-over lotion. It smells fresh, is highly soothing and leaves a non-greasy hydrated feeling to your skin. The only specialty-buy for this recipe is the emulsyfying wax, which I purchase from Mountain Rose Herbs. E-wax is essential to bind the lipids with the water based elements, so you have a nice, smooth texture. This recipe is chock full of beneficial ingredients for healthy skin, including the incredibly nourishing coconut oil, healing aloe vera gel and soothing lavender combined with rejuvenating lemongrass.
I recently made a huge batch for my lovely lady friends over the holidays and the good reviews keep coming in. For you gents who want a nice woodsy smell, substitute the lemongrass with sandalwood, sage or patchouli oils. Yum.
You will need:
- 1 part vegetable based emulsifying wax (E-wax)
- 1 part organic shea butter or cocoa butter
- 1 part organic virgin coconut oil
- 10 parts filtered or distilled water
- 5-10 drops vegetable glycerin
- 1 part pure aloe vera gel (I use the edible kind)
Amounts of the following depend on how much base lotion you are making:
- 5-15 drops lavender essential oil*
- 5-15 drops lemongrass essential oil*
- 3-7 drops tea tree oil (optional for those who have problem skin: acne, fungal infections, etc)
- 3-5 drops vitamin E oil
* note, if you do not have essential oils, you can still receive the benefit of these herbs by creating an infusion, and use the results in place of your plain filtered water. Here’s how to make a lavender infusion.
Slowly heat solid lipids and emulsifying wax until liquified with a stovetop double boiler or in a microwave at 1 minute increments. I have created a makeshift double-boiler with a pyrex measuring cup inside a pot with water, so it doesn’t have to be fancy.
Warm up water separately. You’ll want the water to be the same temperature as the liquified lipids and wax mixture when you are ready to combine.
Slowly pour water into melted wax mixture and stir. Keep stirring, while adding the aloe vera gel and vegetable glycerin. Once mixture has cooled, stir in essential oils, tea tree oil and vitamin E.
This lotion will keep for at least 3 months, and as long as 6 months if kept refrigerated.
Great skin starts from within, so remember to drink lots of water and consume healthy, liver supporting foods as well!
Hailing from Los Angeles, CA, our guest blogger Kelly is a student of western herbalism and holistic nutrition as well as an explorer in the world of meditation and mindfulness. Also a professional artist/designer of 16 years and a drummer, she is constantly exploring ways to enhance performance and access creative potential through resources that are provided to us naturally, both internally and externally out in the world. She is interested in helping others find honest, practical, economical and organic ways to adapt to the challenges life throws at us and to live healthy, balanced and empowered days – with joy and without deprivation.
Originally from the midwest area of U.S.A. — “land of meat and potatoes” — Kelly has begun creating and compiling plant-based recipes for a cook book, hoping to inspire those who are trapped in the habits of poor eating and mindless consumption to transform their unhealthy eating habits while enjoying one’s experience with food and improving overall being.