Surprising Skin Savers You Have In Your Kitchen

Wendy Rodewald

Tasty avocado...or luxurious skin treatment? (Answer: both!) Photo: Getty ImagesSkincare expert Suki Kramer founded her natural beauty line Suki in her kitchen in 2002 — now the brand’s products are sold at Whole Foods and beauty retailers around the world. Needless to say, she’s a genius when it comes to homemade beauty recipes. Here, Suki schools us in the ultimate edible skincare ingredients. Let’s get cooking!

The ingredients you find in your kitchen — are they powerful, active, cosmeceuticals? No, of course not. But, can you trust them to be natural, healthful, packed with vitamins, minerals and nourishment, just as if you were eating them? Yes! A pretty good rule of thumb in terms of naturals is that if you can eat it, you can massage it into your skin. Here are some of my all time faves:

Luscious, high in vitamins C and E and a good source of essential fatty acids, avocado makes a nourishing, hydrating face masque especially great for dry or mature skin.
Mash 1/2 of a ripe avocado, adding a teaspoon of olive or sweet almond oil for extra moisture and spreadability. Leave the mixture on your face for 10 to 20 minutes before rinsing off, preferably with a washcloth.

I speak about honey’s miraculous benefits all the time. Keep it in your kitchen to purify pores and help eliminate blemishes and fine lines. Honey can help hydrate the skin by drawing moisture from the air like a humectant, as well as exfoliate without irritation or scrubbing, so even the most sensitive people can use it. Honey makes a great cleanser or mask. To use as a cleanser: Apply a small amount to damp skin and rinse well. As a mask: Apply to dry skin until you can’t apply it any longer (i.e., it’s too darn sticky), leave on for 10 to 20 minutes and then rinse off with damp cloth.

Lime juice
Fresh lime juice is a natural mild tonic astringent that removes excess oil without causing irritation or redness. The fruit’s antibiotic and antiviral properties also appear to fight the inflammation and infection linked to acne flare-ups. Use straight on the skin after your cleanser or masque as a natural toner. Do not rinse.

Reduce puffy eyes by brewing chamomile tea, letting bags cool, and applying to each eye. Leave in place for 10 minutes, and voila! The calming chamomile and cool water work together to help eliminate swelling around the eyes. For intensive treatments at your disposal anytime, freeze the brewed tea in ice trays. Place a cube wrapped in cloth over any area that seems swollen or red.

Olive oil and sugar
Sugar is a natural alpha hydroxy acid and an excellent exfoliate. A homemade sugar scrub will leave your skin looking and feeling soft, radiant and super smooth. Sugar is far superior to salt in that sugar has no rough edges. Mix together about a 1/4 cup of brown sugar and a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil. Rub gently in a circular motion, and rinse with warm water. While still damp from your shower or bath, take some of that olive oil and massage it all over (mix in some of your favorite scent or essential oil first). Olive oil is highly nourishing and makes a fantastic body moisturizer!

Yogurt and oatmeal
Yogurt and oatmeal are also wonderful natural acne remedies (and great for all skin types, really!). Yogurt has mild astringent, soothing and probiotic properties, and its high zinc content will banish your blemishes. It’s a terrific moisturizer and its lactic acid makes your skin smooth, too. Oatmeal is a great gentle natural exfoliate that is both soothing and super softening for your skin and works to minimize breakouts due to clogged pores. Blend together a paste of yogurt and oatmeal, add a dollop of honey, and you have one fantastic acne-blasting mask (and cleansing paste!).

You really can’t go wrong with homemade, natural skin care treatments. Experiment on your own time with ingredients in your kitchen — you’ll have fun and your skin will certainly benefit!