avacadosAs questions continued to be raised about the cost, safety and ethics of commonly-used beauty products, an increasing number of people are considering making their own natural beauty and skincare products at home.  Ingredients needed for the homemade solutions below are readily available in grocery stores and in fact, many may be in your pantry right now.

Some people believe that you should never put anything on your skin that you are not willing to ingest.  Perhaps this is because our skin readily absorbs whatever is placed on it anyway.  By making your own organic beauty products in your home, you have absolute control of every ingredient that you use.  Cosmetics can be difficult to formulate at home, however facial cleansers, exfoliating compounds, moisturizers, toners and even lip balms are easily made with a few simple ingredients.

Organic Ingredients For Homemade Skin Care Products

The following edible ingredients are excellent ingredients to consider when making your own homemade beauty products.

  • Coffee:  An excellent natural scrub and exfoliator for face and body.  The caffeine in coffee is believed to stimulate healthy skin development.
  • Tea:  Black and herbal teas including green tea, chamomile and others are excellent skin toners and purifiers.
  • Vinegar:  A versatile ingredient for skin care and hair care.  Distilled white vinegar and apple cider vinegar are most often used for clarifying hair and skin.
  • Sugar (Brown, White, Turbinado):  An excellent exfoliating agent for face and body when combined with a natural oil including coconut, almond, avocado, and jojoba.
  • Sea Salt:  When combined with natural oils, sea salt is an excellent exfoliating compound and clarifier for skin.
  • Baking Soda:  Found in every home, baking soda is effective for cleansing hair, skin and teeth.
  • Honey:  Bees provide some of the most healing compounds on earth.  Honey is an excellent moisturizer and healing ingredient that is used to treat acne and dry skin on the face and body.
  • Lemon:  Rich with Vitamin C and citric acid, lemon has naturally strong antibacterial and antiseptic properties.  It is used to balance oily skin, treat acne scars and lighten hair.  It is also used in conjunction with sugar and natural oils to create exfoliating scrubs.
  • Mayonnaise:  This moisture rich sandwich favorite is great for creating luster and conditioning in dry hair.
  • Avocados:  Excellent natural oils and vitamins make this super food ideal for conditioning dry skin and hair.
  • Coconut Oil:  Organic coconut oil has been used for centuries to treat wounds and moisturize skin.  Ideal for dry hair and skin including heels, elbows, hands, and faces.
  • Coconut Milk (not coconut cream from cans):  Used to ease itching and discomfort from eczema, psoriasis, dermatitis, and other dry skin conditions.
  • Fresh Ginger:  The high antioxidant properties found in ginger decrease inflammation on the skin and increases skin’s natural radiance.  It is used to lighten age spots, improve skin tone, fight acne and blemishes. Some studies show that ginger may be helpful for reducing cellulite when used as part of a homemade natural scrub with sugar and oil.
  • Rosemary: (Fresh):  Rich with Vitamin B-6 that is rich with antioxidants, rosemary is an ideal skin toner and may be helpful in fighting adult acne when combined with vinegar and water.

Dry Skin Treatments

If you have dry skin, before turning to the drug or department store, check your refrigerator and pantry.  Many of the world’s most exclusive spas utilize edible organic natural moisturizers including avocados, coconut oil, olive oil, and cucumbers to moisturize skin.

  • Avocado Skin Treatment:  The next time you cut open an avocado, keep the skin.  Turn the skin inside out and rub over dry areas of your face and hands; allow it to soak in for 10 minutes and then remove with warm water and pat dry.
  • Olive Oil:  Dab olive oil under the eyes as a natural, and cheap anti-aging eye solution.  Olive oil is well tolerated in most individuals and is ideal for people with skin sensitivities and allergies.
  • Coconut Oil:  Coconut oil provides excellent hydration to dry skin.  After a shower, rub coconut oil into freshly shaven legs and underarms.  It helps to soothe any irritation from shaving and moisturizes skin.

Homemade Skin Toners

Skin toners are an excellent way to balance skin, fight excess oil and tighten pores.  Unfortunately, many common skin toners available today accomplish this with the use of harmful chemicals and recipes with high amounts of alcohol.  Instead, try the following homemade skin toners to create radiant skin:

  • Apple Cider Vinegar:  Combine 3 parts water to 1 part apple cider vinegar in a small bottle.  Wipe over skin twice a day.  If you have oily skin, add more vinegar, and if you have dryer skin, add more water. 
  • Mint:  Mint is an excellent toner.  Make a tea by soaking fresh mint leaves in hot water for 10 minutes.  You can also use dry mint leaves, just allow it to steep for 20 minutes.  Smooth over skin with a cotton ball. 
  • Caffeinated Teas:  Caffeine is believed to spur the regeneration of skin.  Steep the tea in hot water for 10 minutes and use twice daily.  Use green or white tea as black teas may stain skin.

Caffeine is believed to spur the regeneration of skin.

Facial Cleansers

Commercial facial cleansers can be expensive and filled with harsh chemical compounds.  Here’s some alternatives to try:

  • Lemon Yogurt Cleanser:  Mix 1 Tablespoon yogurt, 1 Teaspoon lemon Juice and the zest of 1 lemon.  Soak a cotton pad and smooth across skin to remove makeup.  Rinse with warm water and pat dry.
  • Chamomile Herbal Tea Cleanser:  Brew 1/4 cup of chamomile tea and mix with 1 Teaspoon olive oil, ¼ cup liquid castile soap, and 8 drops of favorite essential oil and mix well.  Wash face with mixture just like an over the counter cleanser and rinse well.  Follow with natural toner and moisturizer.
  • Oatmeal:   Mix ½ cup old-fashioned oats with 2 Tablespoons warm water and mix into a paste.  Rinse face with warm water and then massage oatmeal into skin in circular motions.  Rinse well with warm water and pat dry.  Add 1 Tablespoon of honey to the mixture if you have any blemishes or acne to speed healing. Important Note:  do not allow oatmeal down the drain as it can clog drains.  Use a strainer or catch oatmeal in a paper towel.

Facial Masks And Scrubs

  • Moisturizing Scrub:  In a food processor combine 1/2 cup raw almonds, 1 Tablespoon honey and 2 Tablespoons coconut, olive, almond, or olive oil until a paste forms.  Rub on face in a circular motion and allow to sit for 15 to 20 minutes prior to rinsing off.  Skin will be refreshed, toned and moisturized.
  • Moisturizing Mask:   In a food processor combine ½ cup yogurt, ¼ cup honey and ½ of an avocado until smooth.  Smooth onto face and neck and relax for 20 to 30 minutes.  Remove with warm water and pat dry; skin will be moisturized and radiant.
  • Clarifying Scrub:  Mix ½ cup plain yogurt, ¼ cup grapefruit juice and ½ cup cornmeal together and place in the refrigerator for an hour to thicken.  Massage into the face and hands to remove dead skin and to clarify.

Hair Treatments

  • Dull Hair:  Massage ½ cup plain yogurt or sour cream into damp hair and let sit for 20 minutes.  Rinse with warm water and then shampoo as normal; hair will be shiny and manageable.
  • Dry Hair:  Mix ½ cup honey and 2 Tablespoons olive oil together and apply to damp clean hair.  Cover hair with plastic wrap and a warm towel for 30 minutes.  Rinse with warm water and shampoo and condition as desired.
  • Product Buildup:  Mix 2 Tablespoons baking soda with 1 Teaspoon of water and mix until paste forms.  Add a little bit more water as necessary.  Massage into scalp and damp hair and let sit for 20 minutes.  Rinse thoroughly with water and then shampoo as normal; the buildup of hair products will be removed.

Organic Lip Balm And Lip Scrub

  • Beeswax And Honey Balm:  Grate 1 Tablespoon of unbleached beeswax and mix it with 1 ½ Tablespoons of coconut oil, avocado oil, or castor oil together in a double boiler and melt slowly while stirring.  Remove from heat and add honey and 5 drops of favorite essential oil.  Pour into small containers and let sit for 1 hour.
  • Brown Sugar Scrub:  Combine 1 Tablespoon brown sugar with 1 Teaspoon natural oil and rub into lips.  It will remove dead skin and leave lips soft and moisturized.
  • Peppermint Balm:  Grate 1 Tablespoon of beeswax and mix together with 1 Tablespoon shea butter and 2 Tablespoons of almond oil in the top of a double boiler, stirring until melted and combined.  Remove from heat and add 7-10 drops of peppermint essential oil.  Pour into containers and let sit for 1 hour.

Body Scrub

  • Coffee Scrub:  Combine 1 cup of caffeinated coffee grounds with 1/3 cup natural oil (coconut, olive, avocado, jojoba or other) and place in a jar.  Use in the shower to slough off dead skin and rinse well.
  • Brown Sugar Scrub:  Combine ½ cup brown sugar, 1 Tablespoon honey, and 1 Tablespoon natural oil.  Use all over the body to gently remove dead skin while conditioning and soothing.
  • Sea Salt Scrub:  Combine 1 cup of natural oil with 2 cups of coarse sea salt (or Epsom salt) and add the zest of a lemon or an orange.  The salt and oil conditions skin will removing outer layers of dead skin and leaves skin hydrated.

Notes & Side Effects

Individuals with allergies or sensitivities to any of the above food products should avoid them in their skin care products as well.


Kathleen McCoy is professional beauty, education and healthcare analyst and writer. A University of Maryland graduate, Kathleen has traveled and studied extensively throughout Europe, the Middle East, Africa and North America covering skin care and natural beauty techniques from around the globe.

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