I have struggled with my over-sensitive skin for years, trying one soap, cleaning solution, and moisturizer product or another. Forget those pricey organic product touted for everything from scar removal and smoother skin to anti-aging benefits. What my skin really wanted was direct nutrition that nature intended. As I make the move to a zero-chemical home, I have discovered cheap (when I say cheap, read “almost free”) solutions to my skin problems.
This one I stumbled on almost by accident. I was looking for a solution to the daily juicing I was doing to keep my skin clear and my stomach settled. I thought, what if I applied this nutrition directly to my skin? I know a fellow writer (Renee) who uses her leftover daily lemon-water peels as a skin scrub and who has seemingly ageless teenager-fresh skin in her early 30s. Now we have both tried these remedies with much success, and you can too!
Benefits of Kitchen-Found Skincare
- clearer, acne-free skin
- reduced sun spots
- reduced liver spots
- reduced wrinkles and fine lines
- brighter skin
- even skin tone
- reduction of scars and lesions
- reduction of heat rashes in any region
- smoother, silkier skin
- increased sunburn and wind-burn resistance
- improved wound healing
- reduced and eliminated infections in wounds or scratches
- reduced hang nails and stronger nails
- reduced facial hair growth
- firmer and toner skin over a long period of time
- reduced skin allergies
These are the benefits we both have experienced after experimentation. I have been using these about a year and my fellow blogger has been using them about 2-months. We use them in place of soap while showering or washing our faces and have replaced soap for main skin cleansing. (I still use soap in my pits, hair, and nether regions.)
How We Get Our Scraps
Remember I said these are genuine kitchen scraps — this means these are leftovers after processing other foods such as juices, smoothies, coffee, and purees. We have even simply ground up left over vegetable scraps with a little water. Here are our five most basic daily scrub recipes (via the beverages we save scraps from).
Coffee-Sugar Scrub – Leftover coffee grounds make the perfect cellulite scrub and skin toner. The caffeine works to improve micro-circulation and boosts the break-up of fat deposits. Pair it with a little sugar and coconut oil for a moisturizing thigh or arm scrub in preparation for summer clothes! (The coffee can clog a shower drains and the oil may make a tub or shower slippery. Use caution and place a strainer in the shower to catch the grains or simply use an outdoor shower than runs into the garden to add nitrogen to the soil.) Hint: just use sugar or Epsom salt mixed with coffee grounds and a coconut oil moisturizer later.
Lemon-Ginger-Carrot Scrub – This is one of Rene’s most favorite morning wake-up juices (bleh, but she loves it.) I encouraged her to try the leftover ingredients after she strained them out of the water in the blender. The lemon is a definite win as it evens out skin tone, reduces acne, reduces sun spots and liver spots, and tightens skin. It is the best anti-aging serum ever. So are the carrot and ginger; their benefits applied directly to the skin are numerous. I believe for her beverage she adds a half a lemon, peel and all, along with a carrot and a quarter-sized medallion of ginger to five cups water in a blender. Then she strains out the water to drink and now uses the pulp as a body-wash. (She also substitutes beets — soo gross — for the carrot and swore about the week she used THAT pulp-scrub!)
Lemon-Blueberry Scrub – This is one of my most treasured summer drinks. Just 4 cups of cool water, a cup of ice, a cup of frozen blueberries, and a half a lemon, rind and all. After I strain out the pulp and put the juice in the freezer to chill, I take a cold shower and scrub up with it. Its reduces mild sunburns and skin inflammation in just one application.
Summer Tea Scrub – Gee, what to do with all the leftover tea from making iced-tea in summer? We both love opening up the tea bags from mint, black, and even green or herbal teas and mixing the used wet leaves with a bit of lemon juice. They make deliciously gentle face scrubs and masks, and both lemon and black tea are touted as an instant sunburn cure if used as a compress or mask. (I can vouch for this sunburn relief!)
Cucumber-Celery-Mint Lassi – This is a summer treat of mine and seems to be my favorite cure all. Renee prefers parsley to mint and uses that instead. After making our usual 5-cup of cool water and 1 peeled cucumber, 2 chopped celery stalks, 2 teaspoons of fresh mint (or raw parsley) to a blender, we strain out the pulp and use it as a face mask and body scrub. Its the best thing for those heat rashes, acne breakouts, inflamed skin, gout inflammation, hives, acne inflammation, mild sunburn, over heated skin, and chapped skin issues and is an almost instant cure if applied immediately to the irritated skin as soon after the irritation occurs as possible. We then add sugar and a bit of coconut to the liquid part and pour it over ice for a delicious treat.
If you are in the mood for one of the refreshing juice-vitamin-waters above but not ready to take a shower, the pulp stores well in the refrigerator for about 3 days in a sealed container. Use it cold or bring to room temperature before showering and scrubbing down. Remember to rinse the shower out very well and use with the water running to prevent clogged rains. I have never had an issue, but other testers have mentioned having a problem. Enjoy, and come back to share your home trials of other combinations!
Photo credits available upon request.