Foods you can make into skin care products

words Al Woods

Once you get into natural skincare, it can be addictive. Pretty soon, looking in your fridge is like looking into your bathroom cabinet. Just about any fruit or vegetable has potential to become an effective skincare product. Your pantry holds some goodies too, like rolled oats and honey.

On the next rainy Sunday afternoon, have some fun giving yourself a natural facial at home using these recipes. You arrive at work on Monday looking gorgeous!

Avocado face smash

Avos are an amazing skin food. The oil in the flesh is rich with Omega 3s and 6s, as well as vitamins E, C and K. If your skin tends to be dry or combination, an avocado face mask is a valuable boost for hydration and skin nutrition.

How to make an avocado face mask:

  • Mash the flesh from a ripe avocado
  • Mix with a teaspoon of lemon juice
  • Apply to clean skin and relax for 15 minutes
  • Rinse off, tone and moisturise

Manuka honey breakout treatment

Whether you’re battling acne constantly or just experiencing a few random pimples, this honey mask is a winner. Use New Zealand manuka honey if you can, because it has extra-special antibacterial properties that help to fight the bacteria that cause acne. A honey mask is also great for cleaning your skin and helping to get rid of blackheads.

How to make a honey mask:

  • Double-cleanse your skin
  • Apply a thin coating of honey to your face, avoiding the eye area
  • Wait 20 minutes
  • Rinse off, tone and moisturise

Rolled oat exfoliator

One of the cheapest skincare treatments you’ll ever find is living in your cereal cupboard – good old rolled oats. They make an excellent exfoliator, however you do need to grind them down a bit first – especially if your oats are the giant wholegrain kind. An alternative to rolled oats is oat bran, which has a fine texture already.

How to make an oat exfoliator:

  • Use a blender or mortar and pestle to grind oats
  • Mix oats with milk to make a paste
  • Apply to face and exfoliate using circular movements (avoid eye area)
  • Rinse off, tone and moisturise

Coconut oil cleanser

Cleansers made with oil do a great job of dissolving makeup, grime and skin oils, which is why we have an oil-based cleanser in our range (Okana Radiant Skin Sorbet Cleanser). We use macadamia oil and apricot kernel oil in our cleanser, but you might find those oils hard to find. An alternative is coconut oil, which is available at the supermarket. As well as cleansing your skin, it will provide a valuable moisture barrier. Probably best used at bedtime, because you might not want an oily layer beneath your daytime makeup.

How to make an oil cleanser

  • Warm about ½ a teaspoon of coconut oil in your hands
  • Rub all over your face and neck, massage with circular motion
  • Rinse or tissue off excess

Cucumber sun recovery treatment

So you forgot the SPF and now your face is pink…whoops! Or maybe your SPF just didn’t go the distance during an all-day hike. Either way, cucumber is the soothing treatment you need for recovery, because it has anti-inflammatory properties to reduce redness and antioxidants to fight sun damage.

How to make a cucumber recovery mask

  • Use a vegetable peeler to peel your cucumber
  • Use the same peeler to make long, thin slices of cucumber
  • Put the slices in the freezer for five minutes
  • Cleanse your skin thoroughly, then apply cucumber strps to the red areas of your face (you might need to do this lying down or they’ll slide off!)
  • Relax for 15 minutes
  • Remove cucumber, then tone and moisturise

Papaya skin peel

Papaya is a natural source of beta hydroxy acid, which is often found in store-bought chemical exfoliation treatments. Hydroxy acids dissolve the glue that makes dead skin cells stick together, so your skin loses its outer layer of expired skin cells. The result is a clean, clear, bright complexion.

How to make papaya skin peel treatment:

  • Mash half a cup of ripe papaya (yellow or pink)
  • Add two teaspoons of melted manuka honey
  • Spread over your face, avoiding the eye area
  • Relax for 15 to 20 minutes
  • Rinse off, then tone and moisturise

Lemon juice age spot treatment

Age spots are the result of a lifetime of fun in the sun. They shouldn’t be confused with freckles, which appear in childhood and fade as you get older. Age spots are usually tan, dark brown or black and start appearing after the age of 50. If you don’t like them, lightening is the solution – but save the treatment for winter, when you’re less exposed to the sun.

How to make a lemon skin lightener:

  • Squeeze a fresh lemon and sieve the juice
  • Apply to the age spot area at night
  • Let lemon juice dry before you apply other night products

Cocoa mud mask for ageing

If you love chocolate, you’re going to adore this skin treatment. It uses finely milled cocoa powder, which is rich in the antioxidants that help to combat skin ageing. Rubbing it off at the end of treatment also has an exfoliating effect.

How to make a cocoa mask:

  • Mix dark cocoa powder with a little coconut oil and honey to make a paste
  • Apply the paste to clean skin
  • Relax for 10 minutes
  • Wet your hands and rub the paste into your skin using circular movements
  • Rinse well, then tone and moisture


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