Although we’re clearly big on science - hence our science-backed protocol for vetting every type:A ingredient - sometimes Mother Nature has it just right. Sure, your medicine cabinet is stocked with super cool creams and masks, but (surprise, surprise) that’s not the only cabinet in your home full of skin care treats. Inside your kitchen cabinets lies a bounty of ingredients that are good for your skin - ingredients which are not only easily accessible and edible, but also fun to use. Take coconut oil, for example, which is a highly effective makeup remover (and a must for making no-butter cookies), and raw honey— honeycomb and all! — which can double as both your oatmeal topping and evening moisturizer (just make sure to rinse off before hitting the sack).
It’s fun to experiment with new skin care products, so we’ve compiled a list of our favorite 100% natural skin care hacks to mix into your daily routine. We do have to remind you that while we love trying out new products, everyone's skin is unique, so you may want to check with your dermatologist first before using these ingredients to give your existing regimen a boost. Read on for seven delicious kitchen cupboard ingredients you’ll never see in the same way again.
Health foodies might keep a jar of virgin, unrefined coconut oil in the pantry as an alternative to butter, but the beauty industry’s also gone, well, completely coconuts for this antibacterial ingredient — which just so happens to smell delightfully like a pina colada (admit it, you love ‘em). This rich, fatty oil obtained from the tropical fruit contains a handful of sweet skin care treats: vitamin E, an antioxidant that helps to protect against dreaded damage from free radicals; a trio of capric, lauric, and caprylic acids that have powerful anti-bacterial properties; and loads of saturated fats (about 12 grams per tablespoon), which help repair your skin’s natural barrier and retain its moisture.
Chances are you’ve heard about natural beauty aficionados cleansing and removing makeup with coconut oil or slathering it on as a nighttime moisturizer. You can use this natural skin care ingredient in the same way, adding it to your routine as a makeup remover, overnight face mask, and skin soother anywhere there’s irritation or dryness. At type:A, we blend just the right amount of coconut oil into our aluminum-free deodorant not only for its powerful antibacterial properties (buh-bye, odor), but also to perfect type:A’s unique silky texture.
The next time you’re downing your daily ACV shot, consider pouring a generous glassful into your next bath. While the smell isn’t for everyone (sure, the soapy water is going to smell a little like you’re soaking in salad dressing), the skin-smoothing benefit of apple cider vinegar’s alpha hydroxy acids may make you a convert. The acids work as exfoliants, removing dead skin cell buildup and unveiling smoother, softer skin in the process.
Apple cider vinegar has also been touted as a natural acne-fighter, thanks to its antimicrobial properties that help reduce bacteria. As an astringent ingredient, it’s also capable of removing oil and balancing your skin’s pH, making that bottle sitting in your fridge a versatile natural skin care powerhouse (who knew?).
Before you start pouring honey all over your face instead of onto your morning toast, remember that not all honey is created equal. For skin care purposes, you’ll want to use raw honey. While its natural antibacterial qualities differ based on the type of honey and how it was harvested, a particularly potent type (like often-buzzed about New Zealand Manuka) may be powerful enough to help with acne breakouts—since many bacteria can’t survive and thrive with honey’s low pH levels.
That’s not the only way this sticky, sweet syrup is a boon to your skin. In the same way honey can soothe an aching sore throat, it can also moisturize and soothe when applied topically. The sugar in honey acts as a natural humectant and emollient, working to preserve moisture, soften skin, and reduce dryness making it the perfect moisturizing mask.
You know the saying: when life gives you lemons, squeeze them right into your skin care routine. Be cautious, however, when it comes to this citrus. The fruit is highly acidic, so its tart juice should only be used in very small amounts and mixed or diluted with other products—like your cleanser or toner—before being applied to skin. That will help you avoid irritation or photosensitivity, which can result from a lemon-produced chemical that could harm skin in the presence of sunlight.
Juicy lemons are loaded with complexion-brightening citric acid and vitamin C, a beloved-by-all antioxidant that helps neutralize free radicals, lighten dark spots, and helps your skin’s collagen (the coveted protein that helps retain your skin’s youthful elasticity and supple texture).
After we learned about the benefits of a Mediterranean-inspired diet years back, we made the switch to olive oil—swapping it in for butter, traditional palm oil, and other less-than-healthy ingredients. The oil’s been nicknamed “liquid gold” since it’s brimming with monounsaturated fat (in case you’re wondering, yes, that’s the good kind of fat), antioxidants (which help prevent premature aging), and a slew of fat-soluble vitamins like A, D, E, and K.
But we’re just discovering the incredible natural skin care benefits that can come from this multi-tasking oil. One important rule: Stick with a premium version to make sure you reap the full benefits. We love Kosterina’s pure, organic, extra-virgin olive oil imported from Greece.
Here’s how to work it into your beauty routine: olive oil adheres to other oil-based products, so the liquid works as a gentle, hydrating pre-cleanser for removing stubborn foundation, liner, and mascara. It’s also a miracle worker for dry skin and irritated or inflamed areas, thanks to a compound called oleocanthal that’s only present in high-quality, extra-virgin forms.
The humble banana, which packs about 422 milligrams of potassium, can do wonders for your complexion. And while some swear by DIY skin-softening banana masks using a paste of the ripe fruit, the peel actually houses plenty of potassium, antioxidants like lutein (which is said to protect your skin against the harmful effects of UV rays), and other beneficial nutrients. Many have claimed that rubbing the peel of a banana against a blemish or scar is an effective homemade treatment—you just might want to do a little explaining first to your family or roommate.
Before you toss your steeped tea bags, consider re-purposing them to rescue dark, puffy under-eye circles (a win for reducing waste too). Tea bags that have caffeine can help refresh the skin under your eyes (a lot like how a steaming cup of coffee perks you up in the morning), and tea contains anti-inflammatory tannins, which reduce the appearance of puffiness and swelling by shrinking the blood vessels around your peepers.
Of course, the benefits vary depending on the type of tea you prefer. Gentle chamomile works to calm inflammation and redness, while jasmine’s antimicrobial properties help with oily-prone skin. And green tea is almost universally accepted as an antioxidant powerhouse, so recycling the bags for your skin can’t hurt for its potential rejuvenating effects.
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