Puppies, kittens, freshly baked cookies…all things, universally, most of us wouldn’t mind smothering ourselves in. Toxic, acidic chemicals? Not so much. But why, then, do we shell out half of our paycheck on beauty products that are only damaging our skin? It’s time to acknowledge the natural, organic beauty remedies that are most likely stored away in your kitchen or bathroom cabinet.
These natural fruit acids dissolve and regenerate the top layer of dead skin cells without abrasion. This results in reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, particularly around the eyes (woohoo!). In higher concentrations, AHAs are known to stimulate collagen production, boosting your skin elasticity and firmness.
Glycolic Acid, derived from sugar cane, is widely popular for having the smallest molecules in the class of AHAs, meaning it will be able to reach the deepest layers within your skin. It is also highly recommended as an effective exfoliator.
Now it’s time to DIY. Create a homemade Glycolic Acid peel, with pineapple, papaya, gelatin and honey. All you have to do is blend chunks of the fruits until they are pureed, stir in 2 tablespoons of unflavored gelatin and a teaspoon of honey, and heat your mixture on a low temperature for one minute. Afterwards, let the gelatin become slightly firm while it refrigerates.
Michaela Schmitz, a certified Aesthetician, highly recommends face masks made with fruit acids. “A natural home remedy for sagging skin is a face mask made from pureed kiwi and papaya. I love the results from enzyme exfoliators like cherry, cranberry, mango, and pumpkin. All of these are rich in antioxidants and gentler on the skin than some of the harsher chemical peels.”
2. Olive Oil
Calling all fatty acids! Organic olive oil is your ticket to a radiant, rejuvenated complexion. Bursting at the seams with Omega-3s, this favorite fatty acid will restore your dehydrated skin with much need moisture. Massage a small amount of olive oil on your face and gently remove with a warm washcloth before snoozing. Another alternative is adding olive oil to your meals, which is a great substitute for butter. Think that adding oil directly to your skin will clog your pores? Think again. Ironically, the more we use oil-inhibiting products loaded with astringents and chemicals, the more oil our skin produces. Sooner than later you’ll be soft and supple.
3. Apple Cider Vinegar
What do Katy Perry, Scarlett Johansson, and Jessica Alba all have in common? Besides their obvious stardom and beauty, they are all champions for incorporating apple cider vinegar into their skin care routines. To even out your skin tone, mix equal parts apple cider vinegar and water to create a toner to spritz on your face. To offset its acidity, be sure to always add water to the apple cider vinegar before applying it to your face. You can also dab it on with a cotton pad and some chamomile tea, which will feel more tender to your skin and avoid stripping your natural oils. Had a long day? Pour some apple cider vinegar into your bath, and reap the benefits of purified pores. You’ll tighten your skin, balance out oils, and quickly notice a clear, even complexion. Note: if you have sensitive skin, it’s advised to only use apple cider vinegar two to three times per week.
4. Lemons and Sea Salt
Lemons and sea salt are natural antiseptics, and aid in removing dirt, bacteria and oil from pores. If you’re feeling citrusy, cut a lemon in half and sprinkle it with sugar, then apply it directly to your face. You’ll be banishing blackheads and acne, reducing the appearance of wrinkles, and brightening your skin all at once. Plus, experience some aromatherapy.
Sea salt has potent antibacterial properties to pull out the excess oil from your pores and clear. Combine a teaspoon of sea salt with water to create a paste, or add a tablespoon of sea salt to a spray bottle filled with warm water.
5. Green Tea
Dr. Jacquelyn Dosal, a Board-Certified Dermatologist with Skin Associates of South Florida, suggests a simple add-in to your daily routine. “Drinking 2+ cups of green tea daily is beneficial for many parts of the body, including the skin” she remarks. “Green tea has one of the highest concentrations of antioxidants, necessary to fight off environmental stressors. You can also cool down the green tea, put it in a spritzer and use it as a toner, but be sure to throw it away after two or three days.”