Photo and intro by Gabrielle. Expert advice by Rachael Weesjes.
My new friend, Rachael, is an esthetician. In April, she generously shared her best skin care tips, and lucky for us, she also offered to share her fabulous at-home concoctions to solve our skin concerns. These are natural, food-based, creams and cleansers — I’m betting you’ve got all the ingredients you’ll need in your kitchen right now. So let’s get started! Glowing skin, straight ahead!
ACNE-PRONE AND OILY SKIN
A lot of people avoid the word oil when it comes to buying products for their skin. They think they have oily skin already and that’s a bad thing, so adding more oil to it will make it worse. But I wish everyone would throw that mindset out the window today and never let it back in!
Oil dissolves oil. Say it with me: Oil dissolves oil. Cleansers for oily skin tend to be drying, so your sebaceous glands, which are microscopic glands in the skin that secrete the oil, are going to go into overdrive because they are getting the message that all the oil is gone and they then produce even more oil than before. That leads to more blocked pores, more blemishes, more oil, more cleansing, and round and round it goes.
Let’s start with a cleansing option. You’ll need two oils for this part. First is castor oil. This is your base oil and you will not be using a lot of it. For oily skin you will use 30% castor oil to 70% of your secondary oil choice. You might want to tweak the amounts depending on your own personal results. You know those travel-sized shampoo bottles? Perfect size in which to mix your cleanser.
Your secondary oil will be a vegetable oil or sunflower seed oil or sweet almond oil. I like extra virgin olive oil. Castor oil will remove the impurities in your skin, has anti-inflammatory properties, and will heal your skin as well. The EVOO prevents dryness. Remember, if you use too much castor oil you will end up with super dry skin.
Once it’s mixed, pour a puddle into the palm of your hand, rub your hands together to warm it, and start to massage your face. For the castor oil to do its job properly, massage for five minutes. I say five because everyone always does three! Then, take a hot washcloth and lay it over your face, leaving it there until it’s cool. Wipe away the oil with the washcloth. You will probably have to repeat this step two or three times to make sure you’ve removed all the oil. This is actually where many people stop because they find that their skin is moisturized enough just from the cleansing. And you can stop here if this is how you cleanse your skin frequently, but if you want that little extra treat of a facial you can continue with the next steps. I will add that if you start to do the oil cleansing method, you really should do it only at night before bed; if you are washing your face at night, there is no need to wash it in the morning. And bonus! A lot of people don’t find the need to cleanse every night once they start with this method.
Next is toner. Mix two teaspoons of organic apple cider vinegar – it must be organic – and two teaspoons of tap water. Dip a cotton ball into the mix and wipe your face. If you find the vinegar too strong of a smell, wait five minutes after toning and then rinse with water. Otherwise, continue on with the facial. If you find your skin reacts to the vinegar, dilute it more with the water.
On to exfoliating! Grind one tablespoon of oats, add one tablespoon of honey, apply to your face, and rub in gentle circles for three to five minutes. Rinse off with water.
And now for the mask, which is my favorite step because you get to be a scientist and mix up ingredients any way you want! This one is a lemon and egg-white mask. Lemon is rich in Vitamin C, it’s great for getting rid of sun spots and uneven skin tone, and it will help exfoliate. You will notice tightness once you apply the egg whites, but that will go away once you remove the mask.
Beat one egg-white until it’s frothy. Add lemon juice (the equivalent of half of a lemon) to the egg-white, apply it to your face avoiding the eye area, leave on for 15 minutes up to 30 minutes, and rinse off with warm water.
I like to use coconut oil as a finishing cream. Choose the organic, unrefined kind. It is a hard white substance when cold, but at 24 degrees Celsius it melts and becomes oil. Melt about half a tablespoon in your hands, and massage your face with it.
You may find that your skin will get a bit worse before it gets better. Apple cider vinegar will definitely open up blockages and a lot of oil will be released, which can cause more breakouts. But be patient: it will subside once your skin adjusts to how nicely you are treating it!
To cleanse dry skin, use the oil cleansing method described above, but adjust your oil amounts. Your mixture will be a blend of 10% castor oil to 90% of your secondary oil. Again, extra virgin olive oil is my favorite choice.
Pineapple coconut water is a brilliant toner for those of us with dry skin. So refreshing with just a simple swipe over your face with a clean cotton ball. And to exfoliate, grind up some oatmeal, mix with yogurt or kefir, apply to your face, and leave for ten minutes before rinsing off. If you enjoy a good mask, mash half of a very ripe avocado and add approximately a quarter cup of honey. Apply to skin and leave on for ten minutes, rinsing completely with a washcloth. As for finishing cream, my newest discovery is cold-pressed avocado oil. It is very concentrated in vitamin E and other antioxidants. Just a dab of avocado oil on the cheeks and forehead, then massage in. It takes about ten minutes to absorb. If it takes longer, you’ve applied too much.
Again, I favor the oil cleansing method, but an anti-aging cleanser’s ratio will be 20% castor oil to 80% secondary oil. For toner, dip your cotton ball into pineapple coconut water and swipe all over your face.
Lack of moisture in the skin is definitely going to make fine lines more pronounced. Since aging skin shares the same concern as dry skin, the exfoliation technique is the same: oatmeal mixed with yogurt or kefir, applied and left on for ten minutes before rinsing off.
I have two mask options for aging skin.
For the first mask, mash up one ripe banana and mix with two tablespoons honey. Apply to your face, leave for ten to 15 minutes, and remove. The banana is going to tingle like crazy; if you feel it burning, remove immediately. If you have sensitive skin, you might want to do a test patch first. Bananas are known as nature’s Botox. Yes, you read that right! Bananas leave your skin firmer, the vitamins A and B will fade dark spots and lighten the skin tone, vitamin E fights free radical damage, and the potassium is very hydrating. Honey is a lot of things including anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial, but we’re using it in this facial because it will help reduce the appearance of fine lines.
Another anti-aging mask option is mixing a half tablespoon of L. Ascorbic Acid (vitamin C) and one teaspoon olive oil. Apply to face carefully. If it gets in your eyes, it will burn.
I tried to find an easy-to-make-with-pantry-items anti-aging finishing cream, but none of them felt right to me so I will just tell you what I do for my clients with mature skin. This will be the most expensive part of any of the facial steps I’ve listed, but it’s absolutely divine. Two tablespoons each of sweet almond oil and rose hip seed oil, and ten drops each of cypress oil, which is very firming for the skin, and geranium oil, which regenerates the skin. You can store this in a glass amber bottle. Use only at night, and don’t use too much unless you want to be super greasy.
A few additional notes from our own personal esthetician: Any mixture using fruit or eggs needs to be made and then used right away; there is no storing of that kind of thing. Which is one thing that freaks me out the most about store-bought beauty products: some of the stuff I used had a shelf life of up to two years! And make your at-home process as easy as possible so you’ll treat your skin regularly. I keep a container with ground oatmeal in it to make it easier to scoop out whenever I need it.
Oh, goodness. Don’t those sound fantastic? I want to head straight to the kitchen to mix up some skin care! I’m definitely feeling empowered to treat my skin kindly and gently — and cheaply! Thank you a hundred times over, Rachael. What about you, Friends? Any homemade skin care recipes that have worked for you? And have you tried any of the solutions Rachael suggests in the post? How did they work for you?
P.S. – If you’ve got a few insider tips from your own career, would you be interested in sharing them with the rest of us? Let me know!
19 thoughts on “Recipes for Homemade, All Natural Facials”
Rachel, these are fantastic! Thanks for sharing.
Do you have an alternative toner to organic apple cider vinegar + water? I used to use the formula you mention here but it was bleaching the hair that frames my face
Hi Sarah, you could try using green tea. Make a strong cup of it and fill a little bottle with it. You could use a spray bottle and then spray it on a cotton pad or just right over your face and let it dry. Hope that helps!
I love Oil Cleansing Method and use 1:1 castor oil to olive oil.
I’ve been really getting into all natural skincare lately! I’ll have to give these a try!
I make my own vitamin C serum. 3/8 tsp, l ascorbic acid, 1 tsp. glycerin, and 1 1/8 tsp. water. Mix well and store in a dark colored glass bottle. Keep it in the fridge to stay fresh. There are recipes online for varying strengths, this one is 15% vitamin C. Store serums can run in the 100’s of dollars and have preservitives. Making it yourself is easy, very cheap, and preservative free!
Thank you so much for this! I’ve been using castor oil / jojoba oil for around a year (with good results) and now I’m excited to try the toners and masks.
any tips for the very very VERY sensitive, or rosacea-prone? i’m thinking the green tea might be a good one to try!
Green tea is a good one to try for sure! Also, honey and natural yogurt are worth a shot. I would recommend doing a patch test first to see what kind of reaction you get. Maybe on your neck first? My sister has sensitive skin and she went ahead with putting coconut oil on her face and she broke out with acne. It went away but it is a bit of a bummer for the week that its there!
Does the oil cleansing method remove makeup too, or should you remove makeup before cleansing with the oil blend?
Hi Lisa, it will remove make up too. Sometimes if it is late at night and I’m lazy I will use just olive oil to remove my eye makeup. Warm a bit in your hands and rub on your lashes and lids, then remove with a warm wash cloth.
So great! Thank you! Any suggestions for those with Sebhorreic Dermatitis? I never know if I should treat it like dry skin or oily skin because my skin is naturally dry but reacts to too much oil.
Sorry Rachel, my reply went as a comment down below.
Loved this article, thank you! How often do you recommend the masks?
Once a week would be ideal!
Have you seen a doctor, Rachel? I would say most individuals who live with that condition probably use a cream recommended by their doctor. I know I have heard of people using dead sea salt with decent results but everyone is different right? Sometimes its trial and error but those can lead to flare ups which is an uncomfortable side effect.
How do you feel about comedogenic ratings? Castor oil gets a 1 rating which is lower than coconut oil, but I’m wondering if that should be a concern? I used to use coconut oil and have been told that it is pore clogging (comedogenic) so I am looking for alternative oils. I believe in the oil cleansing method but so far some of them have made my skin worse (jojoba combined with black cumin seed oil). I would love to get your opinion.
I think because everyone’s skin is different those ratings might not always be as accurate. I’ve been using coconut oil every day for a year and my skin looks better than it has in years. But if you have acneic/oily skin I would definitely take those ratings into consideration. Jojoba is a 2 and if you found that made your skin worse than maybe stick to the oils that are a zero or a 1. You might really like argan oil! Great for hair and skin!
This is a very late comment, but I’ve been using your cleansing method for my skin for a couple months now, and at first I noticed a huge improvement, but now my skin is terrible. I’m sure I must not be using the proper measurments for my skin. Traditionally my skin has been medium dry with some oilyness in the T-zone area, but I recently moved to the East coast where it’s been hot and humid all summer and my skin was breaking out horribly. I’ve been doing the oily skin/acne prone routine every night. Should I switch to the dry routine instead? I’d like to know what you recommend, because I have enjoyed using natural products and loved the initial results I had. I know you mentioned skin may get worse before it gets better as your body purges the impurities, but should that still be the case? Thank you so much for you help! My skin has always baffled me. It’s sensitive so that could be part of my problem. I have noticed excessive drying for the last few days. Thanks again!
My own vitamin C serum. 3/8 tsp, l ascorbic acid, 1 tsp. glycerin, and 1 1/8 tsp. water. Mix well and store in a dark colored glass bottle, also get so many new tips from this article.