Making your own skin care products at home

Healthy foods turned into healthy products

By Tara Evans - Executive Producer

ALTAMONTE SPRINGS, Fla. - When you think of skin care products, you usually think of brightly colored boxes or tubes from your local beauty store or spa.

[WEB EXTRA:  Skin care | Part II | DIY skin-care recipes]

But it turns out you can make products in your own kitchen that skin care experts say work just as well.

"Start having fun with your skin care again, start having fun with your food again because you'll find out that they both really do coincide with how your skin looks and how you feel," said CJ Jackson of Healing Revolutions Wellness Spa in Altamonte Springs

Jackson is a holistic health practitioner, who believes in finding items in your kitchen that you might not even realize can double as skin care products.

"Potatoes are great for under the eyes. It's actually the juices, the starches in the juices, that are great for that," said Jackson. "You want to see the versatility of what you have in front of you. A lot of people say, 'Look, it's a blueberry, I'm supposed to eat it.' But they don't think about blending that up with something and actually putting it on their skin. Like a really good organic yogurt and mixing it up with blueberries, it makes a really good mask."

Jackson recommends a daily facial routine that includes a cleanser, a moisturizer and a toner.

"For a cleanser, I recommend African black soap, which you can find online. It is a little drying to the skin, though, so what you want to do is add a little bit of honey to it, or vegetable glycerin, and both of those are natural humectants so you're going to be able to moisturize and soften the skin while you're cleansing it," said Jackson.

"After you've washed your face, you want to moisturize your face, and you can actually use natural organic coconut oil. But you don't need a lot, just a little because it's so oily. After you moisturize, you can use witch hazel. It's a great toner for the face, but you can also have some fun with it too. Aloe juice is phenomenal for the face as well, but what you want to do is, you want to put them in a little sprayer so you can just spritz the toner right on your face to finish up."

If it's a full treatment you're looking for, Jackson said you can start with a homemade scrub.

"The scrub is there to help get rid of any dead skin or anything like that," said Jackson. "If you're going to detox, you want to use a salt, which will help pull toxins out of the skin. Sugar helps to tone the skin and it acts as a natural humectant."

Once you rinse that off, Jackson said you can make a mask choosing a different recipe depending on what you want to accomplish.

"You can actually blend up some avocado and tomatoes with garlic and use it on your face," said Jackson. "It smells like pizza but it's edible and very effective."

We wanted to see how easy it was for an average mom to whip up her own spa treatments so we turned to Orlando Moms Blog blogger Lane Alexander. She's a mom and teacher as well, so convenience is key.

"I also love being in the kitchen and making things so I'm not opposed to taking things I already have and making them into skin care products," said Alexander.

We had Alexander try out Jackson's quick sugar scrub, which is just natural cane sugar, honey, and coconut oil. Alexander said it was fast and easy to make, and could definitely feel it exfoliating. Then, she thoroughly washed it off.

"I feel like I came from a spa and my skin is rejuvenated," said Alexander. "It smelled good while I was doing it, which was a perk for me."

Then it was mask time. For Alexander, we chose a mask that's supposed to tighten and firm. It's just a simple combination of honey, coffee, cocoa powder and plain Greek yogurt.

"It looks like a cookies and cream yogurt," said Alexander. "I mean, I would probably eat that."

Once she put it on, we said goodbye for the night so it had time to set and work its magic. Then she checked back in with us a couple of hours later.

"I have to say my skin feels really good," said Alexander. "I would definitely do this mask again. I have the ingredients in my fridge about 90 percent of the time, which I think is a plus."

"I think in our minds, if it's not in a beautiful package and we haven't spent hundreds of dollars on it, it's not effective, but that's not true," said Jackson.

Here's a list of some other kitchen beauty aids Jackson mentioned:

Turmeric: "This spice can help moisturize, lighten skin and reduce acne, but you have to be careful because there is a pigmentation there that may last a couple of days because it's yellow."

Coconut oil/milk: "Even washing your hair in coconut milk is wonderful, it's rich, it's creamy and just putting coconut oil in your hair and letting it sit for awhile really moisturizes the hair and the skin and gives it a nice sheen. You can even take a teaspoon of it, just ingesting it really helps with skin."

Coffee: "Coffee is great for stimulating the skin. It's great also for tightening and firming."

Oatmeal: "Oatmeal helps with skin irritation, it helps calm skin irritation. We like to do that one with aloe too, aloe juice, aloe gel-- those are good combinations for soothing the skin."

Tea bags: "You can do tea masks. We'll actually take tea bags and chill them and put them over the eyes, you know like cucumbers and things, you've seen it in the movies. But there's a reason they do that, because it does work. It cools down, it's the chlorophyll and it just has that cooling effect which helps."

Matcha green tea: "It's a powdered green tea, and it's kind of expensive. You can order it online, but be aware that those are very high-quality ones for drinking, so you can order something that's a little bit lower quality but has the antioxidants that it needs to really help the face."

Cucumber: "Cucumber juice is a great toner as well. It's filled with chlorophyll. There's also a recipe with carrot juice, beet juice, cucumber juice and aloe vera juice mixed together-- that's another really great toner."
 

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