Skin Deep

Skin remedies that can be whipped up in your kitchen — and cost very little

Anyone who knows me knows that I truly believe you don’t have to spend a bundle on skincare products. Many of my favorites for each and every type of skin can be found at your local drugstore or supermarket; and would you believe some of the most effective treatments can be whipped up in your own kitchen? So before you reach for that pricey scrub (or your credit card), check out these simple recipes that will do your skin good!

Lip Exfoliator

A few years back, I received H.Wood.Beauty’s Lip Tea Scrub as a gift and immediately fell in love. Once I finished this incredible exfoliator, I was inspired to head into my own kitchen to re-create it. After a little trial and error, I discovered that ½ teaspoon of sugar mixed with 1 teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil mimics the consistency of my H.Wood.Beauty favorite for mere pennies. You can use it as a mild scrub for your lips as it will moisturize and remove dead, flaky skin at the same time. The cool part about it is you don’t have to wash it off! Simply lick your lips and leave any remaining oil for extra hydration.

Bath Oil

Bath products make great gifts, but I will never spend money on bath oil for myself. Why? Because safflower oil from the supermarket is better than anything you can buy at a spa or department store. Safflower oil is rich in linoleic acid, which is an anti-inflammatory that helps your skin make ceramides (which are essential for locking moisture into the skin). You can even add a scent to this oil. I use 2 drops of peppermint essential oil in the bath if I need a little help waking up in the morning, or 2 drops of lavender essential oil to relax in the evening.

Puffy-Eye Treatments

Eye creams and masks can literally cost you a pretty penny, but not if you harness the power of products you probably already have in your bathroom. If you have Afrin on hand for allergies or a stuffy nose, squirt some on 2 cotton balls and place them on your eyes. Then, steep two caffeinated tea bags (English Breakfast is great, but not Earl Grey because it has a sun-sensitizing ingredient). Let them cool down to body temperature, place them on your eyes, and lie back for about 7 minutes. For extra relaxation, listen to some mellow music or meditate. Taking deep breaths will also help move excess lymphatic fluid out of the eye area.

Burn Treatments

Forget pricey products from the pharmacy and pick up an aloe plant or aloe leaves instead. In the event you get burned, cut open the plant and apply the juice as soon as possible.

Swelling and Bruising Remedies

Surgeons often recommend taking bromelain to minimize post-procedure bruising and swelling, but most people don’t know this enzyme can be found in a popular fruit: Pineapples. By simply eating the fruit, symptoms can be eased. Also, you can boil oregano in water, let it cool, and then use the liquid on a compress for swollen areas.

Dry Skin

Remember that aforementioned safflower oil? For dry skin, apply 1 cup of it directly on dry areas and add 1 tablespoon of sugar. This combination creates a wonderfully natural exfoliator, especially for the elbows and feet!

Facial Redness

If you experience facial redness, help is as close as your refrigerator. The proteins found in milk are soothing to the skin, so apply cool whole milk compresses on irritated or sensitive skin for 10 minutes or so.


Dermatologists used to recommend applying toothpaste to pimples when zinc was the active ingredient. Most formulations available today no longer contain zinc, so this DIY treatment won’t help breakouts anymore.

Hair and Nails

Adding 2 to 4 tablespoons of whey to your diet can boost the rate of growth and strength of your hair and nails. The other option is to take Viviscal supplements, which is a lot easier!

Dr. Leslie Baumann is a board-certified dermatologist, New York Times best-selling author and CEO of Baumann Cosmetic & Research Institute in Miami.

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