Boredom knows no bounds during self-isolation and you’ve done it all already: completed an online course, video chatted all your friends, found an at-home workout routine, re-organized the kitchen. You’re really running out of ideas on how to keep busy.
And you notice that you’re running low on certain beauty products but instead of being able to run out and grab new products, you’re thinking of getting creative: you’re looking for natural alternatives for your favourite skincare items.
These natural alternatives can most likely be found in your pantry right now and are just as beneficial, if not more, than your $50-$100 skincare item sitting in your bathroom. We feel your pain. You have that ‘nice’ moisturizer that cost you an arm to purchase and use it so sparingly because you fear it running out and you only have one arm left. Many of your favourite skincare items are made up of ingredients that have derived from naturally occurring substances. We’ll show you how to use household items from the kitchen and turn them into natural skincare products that you can use in place of your typical skincare routine steps.
9 Natural Alternatives To Your Skincare
Rice water is a great natural alternative for typical cleansing products. Known for its anti-aging, anti-oxidant properties, and ability to treat inflammation and sun damage, rice has been at the center of many skincare products and brands and is commonly used in the cosmetic industry in many of your favourite skincare products.
Rice naturally contains antioxidant-rich components such as ferulic acid, gamma-oryzanol and phytic acid which treat skin conditions like alopecia and eczema. Inositol is a main compound found in rice water and is proven to show improvement on moisture, sebum, elasticity, and wrinkles and protection against UVB-radiation damage on the skin. Pitera, is a natural substance produced during the fermentation process of rice water that can support cell regeneration which supports the anti-aging of skin.
To make rice water cleanser, we recommend to ferment your rice water, use one cup of the rice and three cups of water and soak for 20 minutes. Once soaked, strain out the rice (which you can use for cooking later) and store the strained water in a jar at room temperature for two days. You’ll know it’s ready when it starts to smell a little sour. Dilute the mixture with water and the solution is ready to use.
To cleanse your face with rice water, you can splash a handful of the solution on to your face and pat in. No need to rinse off, you can leave the rice water on overnight so that your skin can absorb all the vitamins and minerals. You’ll notice a brighter complexion and radiant looking skin with continued use.
Coffee can be great for making a gentle scrub you can use on your skin as a natural alternative to your favourite exfoliating products. It’s cheap, effective at scrubbing away dead skin cells, and can be found in the pantry. Not to mention, it smells delicious.
Coffee is made up of naturally occurring ingredients that have numerous benefits for your skin. A 2013 study showed that caffeic acid, a natural antioxidant found in coffee, boosts collagen levels and reduces the premature aging of cells. Caffeic acid also has antimicrobial properties, which means that it helps protect the skin against germs.
If you want to make a coffee scrub, add 1/2 cup of fine coffee grounds with a 1/2 cup of melted coconut oil and mix. Make sure to use fine grounds as it is much more gentle on your skin and remember to not be too harsh while scrubbing.
If you want to make a natural alternative to an exfoliator for your skin but the smell of coffee isn’t your thing, then you can try a sea salt scrub. Sea salt is proven to balance skin and protect your skin barrier because of the properties that are found in sea salt like magnesium, potassium, calcium and sodium absorbed from the sea and these ingredients are also found in the skin. Some of the other benefits of sea salt on the skin such as improving skin hydration, reducing inflammation and redness.
We recommend to use himalayan or celtic sea salts if you have them on hand. Mix one tablespoon of sea salt with two tablespoons of raw honey. Gently rub into skin in circular motions and leave for 15 minutes and rinse. Soft, supple, hydrated skin will be revealed after your rinse.
Raw honey is a great natural ingredient commonly found in the kitchen that can be used as an alternative skincare product for different skin-related issues. Honey contains proteins and amino acids, vitamins, enzymes, minerals are known to be an antiseptic and can help reduce acne. It can be used as an exfoliant because the organic acid found in honey acts as a chemical exfoliator to gently shed skin cells. Honey is also known for its anti-inflammatory properties which soothe sensitive or irritated skin. Honey is also a humectant, which means it has the ability to hold in water and moisture.
Face masks are usually used as a way to pack on the moisture essential skincare ingredients into your skin after washing. Because of its many positive benefits, a honey mask comes at little to no cost, with just many benefits. It was good enough for Cleopatra back in Egyptian times, so it’s good enough for us! Use 2 teaspoons of raw honey and gently massage all over your face. Leave it on for 15-30 minutes then rinse with lukewarm water.
Another natural alternative you can use in place of face mask products is avocado. Instead of making avo-toast tomorrow, try making an avo-mask. Some of the antioxidants that are found in avocados are vitamin A, D, and E and are known for their ability to treat sun-damaged skin, anti-aging properties and hydration. The natural antioxidants found in the avocado can also help treat psoriasis and eczema.
It’s important to get your fatty acids in your diet but fatty acids are also great for skin and avocados are full of them as they help with skin restoration. These natural essential fatty acids and oleic acid in avocado oil encourage collagen synthesis, which is the process of creating new connective tissue, thus improving elasticity of skin. You want to get that youthful, bouncy skin? We’ll show you how:
To make an avocado mask, mash 1 ripe avocado with 1/4 cup of raw honey into the mixture to make it more viscose and for even more skin benefits. Pat the mixture on your skin and leave on for 20-30 minutes then rinse. Voila, baby-like skin underneath.
Turmeric is a powerful ingredient, in the spice rack, and on the skin. The natural active component of turmeric, curcumin, is shown to decrease UV damage and clear up acne. Historically, traditional Indian societies have used turmeric for a number of ailments because it is packed with so many benefits. It is becoming a popular ingredient in many skincare products with brands but you can achieve the benefits of turmeric without the price tag.
Mix 1/2 a teaspoon of turmeric with 1 tablespoon of the raw honey you can find in the kitchen. Massage this on your face and leave on for no longer than 15 minutes and rinse. If left too long, the turmeric can stain your skin.
Almond oil is a great natural alternative to those expensive moisturizing products we all love so much. It is inexpensive, easy to find and smells great. Almond oil is known to hydrate the skin because it is rich in antioxidants like vitamin E and fatty acids which are easily absorbed into skin. Almond oil is also proven to rejuvenate the skin with its emollient and sclerosant properties and, therefore, has been used to improve complexion and skin tone.
Apply a thin layer of almond oil to the face at the end of your skincare routine to reap the benefits of this natural skincare product. Avoid if you have a nut allergy.
Aloe Vera may be one of the most popular natural home remedies for treating skin wounds, rashes or sun burns. You’ve all seen it, that aloe plant sitting in your mom’s house with a couple of its branches chopped off and it looks hilarious. But this plant can do much more than just treat burns. The gel from the aloe plant is rich and contains many active ingredients including anti-inflammatories, vitamins, minerals, saccharides, amino acids, fatty acids, enzymes, lignin and salicylic acids. These treat skin conditions like frostbite, psoriasis and cold sores and infections.
If you’re not experiencing any type of irritation, you can use aloe vera as a moisturizer. Apply it directly to the face or mix with a gentle oil like almond oil. The amino and fatty acids will promote cell regeneration for younger looking skin and the salicylic acids will keep acne at bay.
Is Natural Skincare Really Better?
It’s tempting to say that natural alternatives are better than traditional commercial skincare products out there. In the realm of skincare, natural doesn’t always mean better. This really comes down to your skin type and needs. There are numerous skin conditions out there that do need chemical and prescribed ingredients to treat them. Also, going completely natural and introducing a set of new products and ingredients might send a shock to your skin so we would recommend trying these one at a time and testing them for a period of time to see if it works with your skin.
We also recommend using these remedies as a once in a while remedy in some cases. The reality is, just because an ingredient occurs naturally, doesn’t mean it can’t irritate our skin. Your skin is complex and sometimes, things just don’t work out – even if it is organic.