The Homemade Spa

How to turn ingredients from your kitchen into luscious natural skin care products

| March / April 2005

DO YOU PANIC when you have to buy a new moisturizer? Have security cameras captured you wandering the drugstore aisles, shiftless, trying to make sense of the bewildering array? Oily skin. Dry skin. Sensitive. Combination . . . You didn't know your face required a chemistry degree!

And when the season throws wintry cold and stuffy heat into the mix, treating one problem often contributes to another. First your cleanser dries you out, and then your moisturizer makes you break out. Could the culprit be all of those mysterious (and potentially toxic) methyls, ethyls, and propyls that you can't even pronounce, let alone identify? Time to simplify.

Everything your skin needs for proper health can be found in your kitchen. The rule of thumb: If you wouldn't eat it, rule it out. People have been rubbing on comestibles for centuries. It's a natural, gentle, effective way to get that spa-day shine -- and whatever you don't use, bottle up and give away. Everyone needs a little pampering at this time of year.

There are a few basic rules when it comes to skin care: Remove dirt and surface oil, but don't strip away all your natural hydration. Moisturize, but don't clog pores. Exfoliate to remove dead cells, but not so much that your skin becomes irritated. With that in mind, delve into the following edibles, which can be used on all types of skin.

Dry Skin Succulents

Olive oil is a powerful moisturizer that doesn't clog pores. It's particularly good for hands, feet, and lips, but use it wherever you are dry or chapped. Get the best quality you can -- extra virgin contains the most skin-protecting antioxidants, and a little goes a long way.