Not so long ago, a smooth and glowing face was thought to come with a heavy price tag. High-end cosmetics dominated the beauty market as we all swore by the science behind it. If it’s expensive it must be good, we believed.
The awareness of harmful chemicals used in conventional cosmetic products has been growing exponentially in the last decade or two. Luckily, we know by now that beauty is as far away as the kitchen cabinet!
Proven formulas for simple, all-natural and cheap home remedies for lastingly clear face are no longer a secret. Preparing them is fun and empowering. You know you’re in control of what ends up on (and inside!) your skin. Not only are home remedies effective and nurturing for the skin, but they also boast the added bonus of being an environmentally friendly option. Learn how to prepare your own DIY zero-waste face masks, cleansers, and toners for a shiny complexion. Bellow, we’ll give you a rundown of the most effective natural ingredients and the best recipes to try at home tonight.
What Are the Best Natural Ingredients for a Clear Face?
Regular application of face masks and peelings helps maintain healthy and glowing skin. The goal is to keep your facial skin free of debris and dead cells in order to allow your pores to “breathe”. Clogged pores are at the root of pimple trouble. They can get clogged because of the skin’s overproduction of its own oils as well. Very often though, poor face cleansing routine aids the development of pimples since impurities get stuck on pores causing comedones (blackheads and whiteheads). Keep your face clean, healthy and glowing with simple and proven recipes.
The famous bee product is not just one yummy and super healthy alternative to sugar. Honey is an age-old beauty secret and a go-to cure for a whole range of ailments for centuries. Skin uses for this ancient cure are not unheard of – people used it for treating wounds and preventing scarring.
Honey is a natural humectant, because it’s hygroscopic, which means it has the ability to absorb moisture from the air when exposed to it. So, when applied to the skin, it prevents it from drying and locks in the skin’s natural moisture. This, of course, promotes cell renewal and maintains the skin in good function.
Many cosmetic products are based on honey as the active ingredient, but, in fact, you can freely use raw honey on your face just like that. And you get all the benefits, if not more, compared to honey-based conventional cosmetics. You can simply apply it to your face before bed, as an overnight face mask. If you’re not comfortable with the stickiness (though it’s not as messy as you’re probably imagining it), you can do a 30-minute leave-on honey face mask three times a week.
Recipe for a beautifying honey face mask
1 tbs raw honey
1 tbs ground bee pollen (optional, you can go either with just the honey or combine it with milk, lemon or apple cider vinegar)
Apply to the whole face evenly excluding the eye area and wait for 30 minutes before rinsing and ending with a natural moisturizing cream.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Another one that’s been around since the ancients. Evidence was found that Hippocrates, the old Greek founder of Western medicine, hailed it for its antibacterial properties. It’s also mentioned as a remedy in many historic documents. Nowadays, it’s still a staple in natural skincare as a perfect skin cleanser.
Apple cider vinegar is a natural astringent, which means it contains naturally-occurring chemicals that act to constrict and shrink the skin pores. This makes the skin tighten and look smoother. It also prevents bacteria and dirt from getting into the pores and fights inflammation. It’s especially recommended for oily skin types and acne-prone skin. Apple cider vinegar can also be used to soothe sunburns, sore muscles, help against dandruff and much more.
Make sure you’re using unpasteurized apple cider vinegar. The supermarket shelf one is usually pasteurized, which means it was exposed to high temperatures to make it clear. This process, however, kills most of its enzymes and lowers the nutrient content. Therefore, try farmers markets or natural food stores to find raw apple cider vinegar. It should be opaque and possibly with little pieces of matter flying around – no worries, that means it’s the real deal.
Recipe for a purifying apple cider vinegar face mask
Dilute one part of apple cider vinegar in two parts filtered water.
Use a cotton pad to gently dab it onto your face in a generous amount. Leave on for 30 minutes (a light tingling sensation and itchiness is normal), then rinse and follow up with your regular moisturizer. You can also apply from the same mixture to acne breakouts or scars or to age spots overnight.
Even though the use of natural oils on skin has gained more widespread acceptance as of lately, smearing oil over your face instead of the pan may still feel weird to the skeptics. Don’t worry, once you get over the initial weirdness at the first use, it later becomes as normal as anything.
In fact, coconut oil can be a simple, cheap and very nourishing makeup remover. To use coconut oil as a face cleaner, apply some on a cotton pad and rub your face to remove dirt or makeup, eyes included. Rinse with warm water and apply your usual moisturizer.
Do make sure you’re using organic, extra virgin coconut oil variety. This is very important, you don’t want to be adding pesticide chemicals to your eyes and facial skin.
An often repeated piece of advice says that people with oily skin should steer clear from coconut oil. As paradoxical as adding oil to already oily skin sounds, this is a myth. Coconut oil aids your skin’s natural function and balances out sebum production in the skin. It can be an excellent remedy for a shiny T-zone. Still, as with any other product, try it for yourself and make sure your skin responds in a positive way before you continue using it.
Yogurt for Exfoliation
Have you heard yet of the wonders of regular exfoliation? Exfoliation, or peeling, refers to the process of rubbing a certain substance onto your skin to remove dead cells and dirt from the outermost layer of the skin. This promotes cell renewal which rejuvenates the skin and results in a smoother, brighter complexion.
One way to exfoliate is to use a product that contains an acidic substance. This is called chemical exfoliation. The acid acts to dissolve and shed dead cells, leaving your skin soft and clean. A very good example is yogurt, which contains lactic acid.
Exfoliation mask with yogurt and honey
2 heaping tablespoons of yogurt
1 teaspoon raw honey
Mix well the two ingredients until they combine well. Dampen your face either with a washcloth or with a wet hand. Apply the mask and keep still for 15 minutes. Relax. Wash off and follow up with a moisturizer. It’s best if you repeat this at least once a week.
Another way to mash up a natural chemical peel is by using a product that contains enzymes, which act in the same way as the acid. Good examples for such products are strawberries, papaya, avocado or berries. Feel free to toss one of these in the recipe above to enrich its beautifying benefits.
Almond or Coffee Exfoliation
Then we also have physical exfoliation, which we do by using abrasive substances to mechanically remove the unwanted stuff from the skin’s upper layer. Physical exfoliants are also known as face scrubs. Now did you know there are amazing natural DIY face scrubs out there that work so well you will never feel the need to buy one again? Here are two recipes I’ve tried and used for a long time.
Coffee grinds exfoliator recipe
2 teaspoons coffee grounds, leftover from a brew
2 teaspoons cold-pressed olive oil (coconut or almond oil is also fine)
1 teaspoon brown sugar
First mix the sugar and the wet coffee grounds. Then add the oil and mix until it all combines well. Wet your face. Warm up a bit of the mixture between your fingers and gently massage your face with it. Wash off once you’ve covered all areas. It’s a good idea to do this scrub in the shower, as the steam will have opened your pores allowing for better cleansing. Use any leftovers on your body.
Another version of the above recipe, equally as effective, calls for substituting the coffee grounds for almond meal. Another option is to use:
2 parts almont meal mixed into
3 parts raw honey and
1 part oil (coconut, olive or jojoba oil all fit well)
Lemon is another natural astringent. It is also antibacterial and packs a lot of vitamin C − a famous antioxidant. The process of oxidation occurs naturally in our bodies, producing the so-called free radicals. These are the bad guys in your body since they attack healthy cells and can cause damage to tissue. Antioxidants slow down the process of oxidation and neutralize the free radicals. Therefore lemons and other antioxidant-rich foods are healthy both for the inside, as well as the outside.
Additionally, lemon contains citric acid, which has an exfoliating action. All of these beneficial properties combined make lemon juice-based face masks and cleansers a very good idea.
Cleansing lemon-honey mask
1 teaspoon of lemon juice
2 teaspoons of raw honey
Mix the ingredients well and apply to a slightly wet face. Leave it on for about 10 minutes, then wash away. Follow with your regular moisturizer.
Home Remedies for Pimples
What are your options once you do wake up to an annoying zit on your face? There’s no room for despair. Many natural ingredients are effective in helping your skin deal with inflammation and act to reduce and quickly heal pimples.
Among the best home remedies for keeping acne in check are the above-mentioned lemon juice and apple cider vinegar. Warm compresses with either of these products diluted in water can make a difference with acne after a week of consistent application twice a day.
Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is a natural antiseptic because it possesses anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties and can also reduce inflammation. This all makes it a great go-to product for fighting pimples or acne breakouts.
How to use tea tree oil for acne?
One way is to add a few drops to your usual face cream. Another way is to apply it directly to the skin, but beware! Tea tree oil is an essential oil, so it’s too strong to go to your skin directly as it can cause irritation. You need to dilute it first in a so-called carrier oil. Carrier oils are plant-derived natural oils that are safe for application to face, such as coconut oil, almond oil, avocado oil, etc. Mix a few drops tea tree oil with one of these and apply to the acne area.
Many people swear by the power of this antioxidant-rich herb. Green tea also contains polyphenols, which have anti-inflammatory properties, making it effective in healing breakouts and preventing scars. Drink a warm cup of this tea daily to detox your body, but do not waste the boiled leaves! Save them after steeping and use them topically to treat acne.
Add a little bit of honey to the wet leaves and mix well. Try to break down the leaves to get a more homogeneous paste. Apply it to the acne-affected area and leave it on for up to 20 minutes. You can immediately notice the soothing effect.
Another way to use green tea for acne is by preparing a green tea toner. Boil two cups of filtered water. Pour one over two tablespoons of green tea and immediately pour out the water through a strainer to catch the leaves. Pour the rest of the water and let it steep for about 10 minutes, covered. Let it cool down. Use a cotton pad to generously apply it all over your face. You can either leave it on overnight, or you can rinse it. Repeat the toning twice a day.
Another well-known skincare favourite, aloe has been widely used for treating wounds, burns and inflammation. Aloe is one of the strongest skin moisturizers existing in nature, and much more. It boasts strong anti-inflammatory properties. Aloe also contains salicylic acid, which is a medically proven substance for acne treatment. With all of this, its effectiveness in treating acne shouldn’t come as a surprise. Use the pure pulp from fresh cactus leaves instead of aloe-based cosmetic products.
Nature’s own antibiotic, garlic, is claimed to help calm down painful pimples. First clean your face well. Use a pestle to crash one or two garlic cloves and soak a cotton dab in the garlic juices. Apply on the affected skin. Let it act for about 15 minutes and then rinse.
Home Remedies to Clear Acne Scars
Acne can leave behind annoying scars and some of them last for a really long time. Luckily, there are natural remedies that can help you reduce acne scars and restore a clear face again. Lighter, more shallow scars, as well as spots and discoloration, can all be successfully addressed with a consistent application of all-natural home remedies.
It’s extremely important to start treating scars early on. This way natural remedies can be more effective and have higher chances of succeeding. You want to start treating your post-acne breakout skin for scar prevention as soon as the inflammatory breakout has healed.
That being said, it’s equally as important that you don’t start too early! For example, do not start exfoliating while your skin is still dealing with a bad and inflamed acne breakout.
After the breakout has healed though, it’s a good time to start with daily exfoliation. Any one of the chemical peels or scrubs explained above can help you prevent post-acne scars. By removing dead cells from the skin you stimulate the skin’s natural renewal process. The new skin that grows will be healthy and without the previous discoloration or spots caused by the acne.
The key to preventing acne scars is to keep new acne breakouts in check. Therefore, a regular and consistent skincare routine forms the basis for a clear, scar-free complexion. Refer to the natural ingredients we mentioned as useful pointers, but do explore more recipes on your own. Find what works best for your skin and stick to it.
However, by no means do these few paragraphs exhaust the subject of dealing with acne scarring. If you really want to dive into the subject, check out our dedicated articles on How to Treat Pimple Scars and Severe Acne Scars.
Anyone can maintain a clear face in a healthy, natural way. Cost-effective and eco-friendly home remedies to help you keep a clean face are within your reach. One secret to healthy, glowing, clear skin on your face is to keep it clean. Use age-old remedies such as honey, apple cider vinegar or milk and yogurt to give yourself effective cleansing facials. Practice regular exfoliation using coffee grounds or almond meal. Do not neglect beneficial oils in your routine. Once you have to face pimples and acne, or the scars they leave behind, resort to natural remedies too.
The following article might also interest you: 9 Skin Lightening Home Remedies That Work Surprisingly Well