While spa treatments are no doubt relaxing, there’s no need to book a pricey facial to reap the benefits of a skin-softening treatment. Just turn to your kitchen for inspiration—chances are, your cupboards are already lined with the following ingredients that, when mixed together, create yummy concoctions that are deliciously good for your skin. Feel free to nibble as you nourish!
Olive oil: This common pantry staple is liquid gold for any natural face- or body-mask lover. Extra virgin olive oil (and make sure it’s unrefined extra virgin because this has gone through the least amount of processing and contains no added chemicals or artificial flavors) is loaded with vitamins E and K and squalene (a nourishing fatty acid), which help moisturize skin. Pair it with sea salt for an exfoliating scrub, with strawberries for radiance, or with milk and turmeric to soothe irritated skin.
Brown sugar: There’s nothing sweeter than a brown sugar scrub. It smells great and leaves your face smooth and supple. Because it has smaller particles than white refined sugar, it’s a gentle exfoliator. According to Livestrong, brown sugar contains glycolic acid, which fights bacteria, and it is a natural humectant, which retains moisture. Plus, it can be paired with a variety of ingredients you might already have in your cupboard. For a particularly nice scrub, combine Manuka honey, brown sugar, coconut oil and a drop of your favorite-smelling essential oil for a special personalized treat.
Sea salt: Not only does a pinch of sea salt make just about any food taste better, it also does wonders for your skin. These days you can find sea salt offerings at every spa and in a myriad of expensive products like cleansing oils, scrubs and moisturizing creams. But really, anyone with a bottle of sea salt at home can benefit from its antimicrobial and absorbent assets. “Minerals, such as calcium, magnesium and potassium [in salt] help moisturize and firm skin,” Ashely Brown, Too Cool for School’s director of education, told Allure. Mix about half a cup of sea salt with our friend olive oil and a few drops of essential oil and you have the perfect homemade scrub. For a delectable recipe, combine equal parts raw honey and pink Himalayan sea salt for an exfoliating homemade face mask.
Bananas: What’s in bananas that make this fruit so awesome for skin? It’s loaded with vitamin C, vitamin A, antioxidants and manganese—all of which help with boosting hydration, reducing inflammation and fighting acne. Be sure to mash up and use the banana right away; otherwise it will turn a rather unappealing brown. An easy DIY banana face mask recipe for brightening is one banana, a tablespoon of honey and a splash of lemon juice.
Honey: As you might have noticed, honey pairs well with every above-mentioned ingredient. A natural antibacterial, honey is full of antioxidants, so it’s helpful for acne, cleanses pores and provides a moisturizing boost. In addition to all the tantalizing concoctions mentioned above, you can also do a light homemade face mask of pure raw honey—just smooth it onto damp skin and rinse off after about 30 minutes.
Important note: Always test these ingredients on a patch of skin before full immersion, just in case you have a reaction.
If you don’t have the time or patience to raid your kitchen pantry for an at-home spa day, check out our skin care line, made with organic botanical ingredients.