Taking care of your skin can get expensive. Between products you buy and the occasional professional treatment, your skin can seem to get the most pampering out of any other part of you. However, considering how simultaneously delicate and important your skin is, it does deserve the help. So, how can you treat your skin right, without emptying your wallet in the process? Well, there are actually a lot of natural skincare ingredients out there that you likely already have lying around your house. Or, at the very least, they aren’t expensive to get. Of course, when it comes to skincare, you can definitely get pretty creative. So, check out the list below and see what you can make do on a dime.
- Coconut Oil
If you’ve been riding the health food wave, there’s very little chance that you DON’T have coconut oil in your kitchen cabinet. But, did you know that you can use it as a moisturizer in a pinch? Most coconut oil is solid at room temperature, giving you the perfect travel-friendly moisturizer for those times you can’t afford some $40 cream. Simply scoop out a couple spoonfuls into a clean jar, and rub your finger on the solid oil to melt it for application. If you don’t want it looking all lumpy in your jar, you can pop it in the microwave (if it’s microwave safe) for a few seconds to melt it just enough to flatten out. Then put it in the fridge for a little bit to re-solidify. Sure, there are other oils out there that may be a little more luxurious on your skin – almond oil being one – but you’re less likely to have a bottle of almond oil at your disposal. Plus, coconut oil smells nice and tropical, meaning you’ll feel a little exotic, even in the dead of winter.
- Kiwis and Strawberries
You may be wondering how these two fruity breakfast staples could ever be natural skincare ingredients. Well, they’re actually great cleansers. And, while they won’t power through tough makeup at the end of the day, they’re excellent for waking up your skin in the morning. The key is that these two fruits are acidic for skin brightening, but not too much (they won’t burn like lemons). And, they both have little seeds that can help exfoliate your skin and kick flakes to the curb. Just use a fork and mash up ripe kiwis or strawberries (or both!) and put them in a jar in the fridge. However, make sure you don’t let them sit too long – fresh fruit will go bad!
You’ve probably heard of a lot of high-end scrubs that use sugar and salt as their natural skincare ingredients as exfoliating agents. And, that’s for a good reason – it really works to give you that bright, fresh, tingly feeling. There are loads of natural sugar scrub recipes online, or you can make your own with coconut oil, sugar, and a little bit of vanilla. It’s best for in the shower, since the sugar will dissolve and won’t make a mess in the bathroom. And, if sugar is a little too harsh on your skin, you can trade it in for ground almonds to get a good scrub that won’t scratch.
- Essential Oils
Which ones, right? The chances are that even if you don’t use essential oils a lot, you probably have at least a few hovering around your house. And, while you can only put so much stock in the articles that claim oils can cure anything from headaches to cancer, they do have plenty of uses. Aromatherapy is one. For example, there’s nothing like rubbing a lavender oil/coconut oil mix on your wrists at night to help you sleep (just a drop of lavender oil per spoon of coconut oil will do). Otherwise, certain oils are great for helping bust acne or calm skin as natural skincare ingredients. Tea tree oil is an amazing antiseptic, for example, while lavender helps soothe sensitivity. You can even make your own foaming facial wash, with castile soap (see #5).
- Castile Soap
It’s a wonder that more people don’t use castile soap these days. Actually, it used to be quite popular. Basically, it’s a simple soap made with olive oil and sodium hydroxide. The nice thing about it is that you can actually count (and pronounce) the ingredients on the label. And, it is usually really concentrated, so a little goes a long way. If you go for the liquid form, which is available at major retailers, you can buy a big bottle for a little less than $20. And, if that seems steep, consider that it may last you for a year or more. To make your own foaming facial wash, just put about two tablespoons of liquid castile soap into a bottle with a foaming pump. Add around ten drops of tea tree oil or lavender oil, depending on the effect you want. Lastly, fill it with water until about an inch or two below the rim of the bottle. Stick in the pump and you have a natural face cleanser that will cost you less than a dollar menu item.
Even if you’re living paycheck to paycheck, you probably have a big bag of oatmeal somewhere in your cupboard. From cookies to breakfast, this staple is everywhere. But, yes, it can go on your skin, too. In fact, oats are one of the favorite ingredients of big natural cosmetic companies. And, the reason is because they are really soothing and nourishing for skin. But, they have a texture that can’t be beat. Simply get a cheesecloth and put some oats into the middle. Tie the ends of the cheesecloth together, and throw the bundle of oats into the bathtub. You now have an oat-infused soothing bath, which is great for sensitive skin. And, you can grab the bundle and scrub it on areas that need exfoliation.
Whether you’re into DIY or you just need to save some money, cosmetics can absolutely be a homemade affair. And, the list really doesn’t end there. Do some of your own research on natural skincare ingredients, and you’ll be surprised just how extensive it gets. You may never buy another manufactured product again!