Healthy Skin Care

DIY Facials: Your Kitchen’s Best Skin Care Products

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By Henry Ford Health System Staff

One of the secrets to obtaining a youthful glow is loving the skin you’re in. And while pampering yourself with regular facials can cultivate clearer, smoother skin and fewer wrinkles, it’s also tough on the pocketbook.

The upshot: out-of-the-box, at-home remedies can soothe and nourish your skin at a fraction of the cost. These do-it-yourself treatments deliver the same moisturizers and antioxidants, but in a more natural form — and you don’t even have to leave home to experience the perks. Here, five kitchen staples that double as ingredients for your next facial:

  1. Olive oil. Famous as a heart-healthy fat, olive oil also helps cleanse, protect and moisturize the skin. “Olive oil breaks down the natural oils that build up in our face and also works as a makeup remover,” says Jungho Kwon, M.D., a dermatologist at Henry Ford Health System. “Just dab a small amount onto a cotton pad and gently massage the area. Then wash it off with warm water.”
  1. Coconut oil. Coconut oil displays antimicrobial activity, so it can help fight bacteria causing acne. It can also help soothe inflammation related to acne. Simply apply coconut oil daily to acne-prone areas.
  1. Honey. Used for centuries to treat wounds, honey allows skin to breathe while simultaneously imparting healing properties. The thick goo has potent antibacterial effects, which combat acne by unclogging pores and clarifying complexion. Plus, studies show honey acts as a powerful antioxidant and natural moisture retainer to soothe angry skin and prevent wrinkles.
  1. White or green tea. Steep white tea bags in water and apply the cooled bags to puffy areas beneath your eyes. The hefty hit of antioxidants and caffeine can help de-puff your eyes almost instantaneously. Unlike berries, which boast antioxidants but could also stain skin, white tea is 100 percent stain-free.
  1. Yogurt. Slather yogurt on your face like a mask, with a dab of honey. (While any style will do, Greek yogurt may be easier to apply because of its thicker consistency.) Not only does the lactic acid in the yogurt act as a natural exfoliant, but sensitive complexions might also benefit from yogurt’s soothing live active cultures.

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While many kitchen staples are safe for skin, some may irritate it, cause breakouts or even stain your face. A few tantalizing options to avoid: deeply hued berries (unless you add just a dab of mashed-up fruit to yogurt or coconut oil), citrus, vinegar, and “hot” spices like cinnamon and cayenne pepper.

“To stay safe, test home remedies on a small area like the inner part of your arm before you apply it all over your face,” Dr. Kwon says. And, if you have an underlying medical problem, talk to your doctor before you get busy mixing facial ingredients in your kitchen.

Finally, don’t forget to keep using sunscreen with your new DIY routine. The best anti-aging product on the market is sunscreen, according to Dr. Kwon. She recommends a daily routine of cleansing, moisturizing and then applying sunscreen.

For an appointment with a dermatologist, visit henryford.com or call 1-800-HENRYFORD (436-7936).

Dr. Jungho Kwon is senior staff dermatologist and sees patients at Henry Ford Medical Centers in Troy and West Bloomfield (on Farmington Road).