I occasionally turn to my kitchen pantry for a DIY no-frills face cleansing regime since my journey started to educate myself on healthier alternatives for the little things we eat and use every day. Skincare is definitely on the list. The task of looking for effective skincare products with the least chemicals and even lesser packaging materials is more daunting nowadays as the number of brands and product range increased with more advanced research and development.
What used to be a simple clean + moisturize procedure has since morphed into a multiple-step skincare routine that requires ever more products. There is no way I can fit so many fancy products in my tiny bathroom, so I zoomed in on some of the edible key active ingredients and made them on my own. I am lucky that I do not have sensitive/ acne-prone skin or allergy reaction to these food ingredients. But I will always test new ingredients on a small patch first (behind the ear or back of the arm) before applying on the entire face and neck.
So what can be made from my kitchen pantry? Many skincare products sitting on the shelves have drawn their inspirations from natural food like fruit, honey, oat, seaweed, olive oil, etc. I simply bump up their concentration level in my homemade version in place of chemicals with names that I can’t pronounce, like 100% raw honey facial cleanser, or a 50% oatmeal + 50% banana mask.
I like to make them in really small batches, sometimes enough for only one application for items such as facial masks, to ensure freshness and to avoid contamination and the inconvenience of storage. I use various recipes in rotation, depending on what ingredients I have in stock.
One of the first few items that I DIY-ed and still using now is a toner made with only apple cider vinegar and filtered water. I tried making my own after reading how apple cider vinegar benefits skin beyond the kitchen.
I have been using the one from Bragg, the raw, unfiltered and organic version with the “mother”- the beneficial enzyme, visible floating around when the bottle is shaken. This is more expensive than the filtered ones, but a little goes a long way, after dilution, it costs less to make than buying the commercial toner.
I dilute 1 part vinegar with 8 parts filtered water, making 100ml or less each batch and store it in a clean glass bottle. There are recipes out there that use more vinegar than mine but I thought it would sting my skin and choose the safer, more diluted recipe.
Here’s another variation of the toner : some afternoons, I would save a few tablespoons of strong green tea from my teapot to mix with the vinegar instead of filtered water for extra anti-oxidant properties. I usually make just enough for one application as this mixture needs to be store in the fridge.