Before starting this blog, I didn’t know a lot about do-it-yourself projects, especially those involving beauty and skin care. After trying out an egg and olive oil treatment on my hair as a kid—and living through the embarrassment of having greasy hair for days—I stopped experimenting with at-home remedies. Now it’s my favorite thing to test out different ingredients and share.
Got a fruit or veggie? Yep, I’ll find a way to put the food on my face, although I did stop sharing pictures of myself with masks on (thanks to the hubby).
As I get older, getting compliments on my skin (which I attribute to my coconut oil moisturizing regimen) totally makes my day. I love telling people that I slather myself in coconut oil!
What food do you love putting on your face? Here are 15 of my favorite kitchen beauty ingredients.
1. Coconut oil
Benefits: Coconut oil has a hundred uses, from helping to boost circulation to healing injured skin [source]. It’s also a great source of antioxidants and energy [source], enables you to cope with stress [source], and is an anti-inflammatory that can moisturize and protect your skin [source].
So not only should you be ingesting it, I highly recommend adding coconut oil to your beauty routine. It does cause some people to breakout on their face, but that shouldn’t prevent you from enjoying coconut oil’s benefits elsewhere.
Benefits: Your body will love the “good” bacteria in yogurt. But it’s not just your digestion and immunity that benefit. Yogurt also comes with a good dose of calcium and vitamin D, enough for an adult’s daily need. Even better if it’s Greek yogurt, which has additional protein.
Choose the plain kind without added fruit, because those are high in sugar content. You can always add your own fresh fruit, which tastes better anyway.
Other ideas: Boost your dark hair color with yogurt, or mix it with strawberry for a delicious face mask.
3. Brown sugar
Benefits: There may not be much nutritional value in it, but you can’t beat the taste and texture of brown sugar. And what would baking be without it? But, fortunately, it also makes one of the best scrub bases out there!
Benefits: Few of us can truly start a day before having a cup of coffee. But, apparently, coffee also improves cholesterol, which lowers the risk of heart attacks [source]. Think about that the next time you order a latte (but watch the other ingredients you add in because they can do the opposite).
Other ideas: Many choose to make soap with coffee—this vanilla latte sounds delightful, while this kitchen soap seems so useful! Other ideas I love are an energizing body scrub, bronzing butter bars, a foot treatment with bananas, and this coffee mask for puffy eyes.
5. Baking soda
Benefits: We use it for baking and cleaning, but this wonder powder can do just about anything. Baking soda can be used as an all-natural cold & flu remedy, to relieve sunburn, cure stinky feet, and even protect your teeth.
How I use it: Baking soda is a great exfoliator, so I always include it in my 4-step facial. And I learned that washing your hair with baking soda will remove some of the color in your hair—it was a real lifesaver when I dyed my hair dark. WAY too dark.
Other ideas: You can make various bath bombs with baking soda or simply add it to your bath soak. Toothpaste and deodorant can be made on the cheap with this basic kitchen ingredient plus coconut oil. And it can also replace shampoo!
Benefits: What can’t that little honey bear do? Used in healing for ages, honey contains powerful antioxidants with antiseptic and antibacterial properties [source]. And you should definitely try local honey to help with allergies!
Benefits: This richly colored Indian spice is a powerful antioxidant, and it has even been connected with blocking cancerous cells. Turmeric is also recommended in joint pain and as an anti-inflammatory [source].
How I use it: In a quick and easy face mask, it can create that glowing skin.
Benefits: Everyone’s favorite treat contributes to a healthier heart and reduces stress. What’s even more surprising is that dark chocolate can prevent diabetes and even induce weight loss [source].
Benefits: All those vitamins and minerals it contains are doubled in benefits by its low cholesterol and fat. Pineapple keeps your gums and eyes healthy, has anti-inflammatory and anticancer properties [source], and it strengthens the bones. The high concentration of bromelain in pineapple reduces inflammation, swelling and bruising.
How I use it: Nothing compares to an exotic treat such as the pineapple and papaya facial.
How I use it: Aphrodisiac or not, vanilla is a major ingredient in my beloved man magnet body spray. It’s also perfect in bath salts and sugar scrubs and makes a great gift as soap made with dried roses.
11. Kosher salt
Benefits: This perfectly natural mineral gets a bad rap sometimes, but your body needs it! Salt helps the body regulate the electrolyte balance in your cells. I happen to be a fan of kosher salt because it contains no additives.
How I use it: First, I make myself a margarita… and then this refreshing body scrub.
Benefits: Aside from your morning jar of overnight oats, you might want to upgrade this cereal to a trusted DIY beauty ingredient. Oats can help regulate your skin’s pH levels, relieve redness and itchiness when used in the bath, and turns out to be helpful in treating many different dermatologic conditions [source]. Moreover, it gently exfoliates, making it ideal for face scrubs.
How I use it: This oatmeal bath soak is perfect when you’ve had too much fun in the sun.
13. Apple Cider Vinegar
Benefits: Isn’t ACV the best? Yes. Potassium, pectin, malic acid, calcium, enzymes, proteins, and good bacteria all contribute to what makes apple cider vinegar so versatile.
How I use it: An at-home skin peel made with ACV and applesauce is still my favorite facial treatment.
14. Green Tea
Benefits: There are different teas you can use in your beauty routine, but antioxidant-rich green tea is by far our favorite. And while drinking a cup of hot green tea is definitely a health booster, you’ll love all the ways you can use green tea for your skin and hair to reverse the effects of aging [source].
15. Olive Oil
Benefits: Olive oil is an antioxidant and antibacterial, it’s filled with vitamins A, D, E, and K, and of course, it’s moisturizing. It appears that applying olive oil to the skin after sun exposure might even fight cancer cells [source]. And while drizzling olive oil on your salad might make it tastier, using it in your homemade beauty routine might be even better.
How I use it: I still love using olive oil to deep condition my hair.
Other ideas: Use an olive oil based facial cleanser for its anti-aging properties or make a DIY makeup remover. You can also make scrubs for your feet or for cellulite, and even use olive oil in your home manicure.
This post was medically reviewed by Dr. Jennifer Haley, a board-certified dermatologist with extensive experience in medical, cosmetic and surgical dermatology. Learn more about Hello Glow’s medical review board here. As always, this is not personal medical advice and we recommend that you talk with your doctor.