Unless you’re a card-carrying at-home beauty enthusiast, there’s a good chance your kitchen (or, for the slightly less domestically inclined, nearest grocery store) holds an endless array of skin care possibilities you didn’t even know about. We’re shining some light on a few of our favorite DIY beauty ingredients proven to play an indispensable role in limitless, seriously effective—and cheap!—concoctions for every skin woe you could ever dream of. Let your imagination run wild.
This sweet, sticky substance is so good for your skin, it’s kind of crazy. It’s extremely soothing to all skin types and its natural antibacterial properties make it the perfect non-drying spot treatment for breakouts. (Just make sure not to get your hair caught in it.) For best results, go for raw or unpasteurized honey rather than the stuff that comes in a container shaped like a bear.
We don’t recommend that you eat raw eggs (salmonella!), but you should definitely put them on your face. They’re gross to deal with, but an egg white mask is totally worth the effort thanks to the nourishing, toning protein content. Allowing the egg white to “harden” on your face forms a film that tightens and firms the skin and diminishes the appearance of large pores. You can then use the yolk in this DIY hair treatment.
Rich in assorted vitamins and minerals, bananas function as a great, if unexpected, natural moisturizer. They contain vitamin A, which fades dark spots and smooths skin texture, and a mashed banana combined with brown sugar creates a nourishing all-natural scrub suitable for even the most sensitive skin.
It’s a good thing pumpkins are ubiquitous as the weather cools, because that’s exactly when your skin needs their moisturizing properties and gentle chemical exfoliation the most. Like carrots, pumpkins gets their orange coloration from super-antoxidant carotenoids, which use enzymes to smooth and soften even the most sensitive and damaged skin. Next time you carve a festive jack o’lantern (you’re never too old), set the pulp aside and use it as a mask later on.
There’s a reason why so many lip plumping formulas contain cinnamon: It’s one of the best ingredients for stimulating blood vessels, which results in a visibly plumper, smoother appearance. Because of its coarse but non-abrasive texture, it also makes a great face and body scrub. We like to mix 1:3 parts cinnamon with honey and use it as a face mask for a pore cleansing, circulation-boosting treat that tastes as good as it works.
Not only can enough vodka trick you into thinking you’re better-looking than you actually are—sometimes all you need is a good buzz to make you feel like a million bucks—but it can also prove to be a valuable asset to your beauty routine. It’s an astringent that works wonderfully as a non-irritating (who would have guessed?) toner to tighten up pores and refresh the skin, and it actually makes a great antiseptic treatment for wounds (yes, including that zit you just picked.)
Turmeric is one of the most popular ingredients in South Asian beauty recipes—in fact, it’s kind of the best-kept beauty secret of Indian women, who use it to address just about every skin concern you can think of. Its antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, and sebum-regulating properties are indispensable in fighting acne, but just one thing: It’ll stain your skin a slightly yellowish tone, which gives a great glowing effect on the medium to dark-complected and a less desirable look to fairer skin tones. Fortunately, the issue is easily solved with a bit of toner on a cotton pad.
Sandalwood is another natural antiseptic that works beautifully to relieve and disinfect cuts, wounds and blemishes. It’s excellent for soothing rashes and irritation, and its essential oil can be used as a moisturizer for all skin types. A paste of sandalwood and turmeric powders and water is super-effective in eradicating pimples, and unlike some of the other natural antibacterials on this list, you’ll actually want to go around smelling like the stuff.
Mint has a whole host of health and body benefits, but what you probably didn’t know is that it’s a great source of salicylic acid—yes, the same stuff that’s in that zip-zapping cream we love so much. The juice of mint leaves are wildly effective in soothing inflammation in acne-prone skin, as well as brightening thanks to its natural inclusion of vitamin B.
Read more: Weird Beauty Products That Actually Work