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Skincare 101

At-Home Facial Remedies With Ingredients That Work

If you're looking to solve skincare concerns with natural ingredients you’ve got at home or can buy from the store in a wink, look no further. 

Here are some fun and safe ideas for at-home facial remedies that are easy to make and that can work surprisingly well. 

From cleansing and toning to moisturizing and even peel-off masks, DIY facials––with the right ingredients––can be good for your skin, good for the planet, and good for your pocketbook. 

Most importantly, they’re fun to make. 

Here are some trusted ingredients for at-home facial use and how you can create some top-caliber formulas to try at home.

Why Use At-Home Facial Products?

Making your own at-home facial solutions is rewarding in a variety of ways. 

First, it’s fun. At-home beauty routines often start in our younger years, and putting together (safe) ingredients at home is a ritual unrivaled at middle-school sleepovers. 

But making and trying DIY facials is fun no matter your age!

Second, you'll know exactly what’s in them. If you have sensitive skin or you just like to be careful with what you put on your skin, making your own formulas can put your mind at ease. 

Third, you can save money on skincare spending if done right. According to a recent survey, women spend an average of $3,756 a year on their appearance. If you're spending hundreds of dollars a year on moisturizers and serums, there may be some savings opportunities in making your own formulas. 

Finally, another plus in using your own ingredients for facials and skincare is that you'll be catering to your skin's specific concerns. That’s the goal, anyway. Whether you have dry skin, sensitive skin, or your skin is acne-prone, you can learn and adapt the natural ingredients that address these problems on your own. 

Importantly, you should understand that “DIY” can conjure up alarm for dermatologists, and making your own cosmetics requires some responsibility.

“When I hear people talking about putting this, that, and the other kitchen ingredient on their face, I get a little nervous,” laughs Dr. Lilliana Ramirez. “While all of the ingredients here are safe and can even be beneficial for most people’s skin, take your time and go easy with DIY makeup. Keep application times short if you’re doing something like a facial, and watch for any signs of sensitivity. For example, I generally advise avoiding potent essential oils, which can trigger inflammation and irritation. Be safe, be smart, and have fun!”

Here are some ingredients and recipes blessed by the dermatologists at Nava MD. 

Where to Source Ingredients For Facial Products

The great thing about at-home facials is that you probably have many of the ingredients at home already. Others you'll be able to find easily in large grocery stores or your local health-food store. From oatmeal and apple cider vinegar to essential oils and rose water, these are products that you can stock up on and experiment with to your heart's content. 

You can also pick up many DIY facial ingredients online. 

At-Home Facial Recipes We Love...And That Really Work

We've put together a collection of at-home facial formulas with ingredients known to have dramatic results and that focus on a wide variety of skin concerns. From toners to moisturizing masks, we've got everything you need to create your very own homemade skincare heroes. So, grab yourself some clean cosmetics jars and bottles and get ready to have some fun experimenting and getting creative. 

We recommend sterilizing all bottles and jars in boiling hot water before use to keep your DIY facials as fresh as can be. Investing in a pack of mini wooden beauty spatulas will also ensure your products are applied hygienically and performing at their best. 

A Balancing Facial Mist

Apple cider vinegar sometimes gets hailed as a cure-all in the alternative health industry. While it can do some heavy lifting, in this case it’s at its most simple: watered-down. Apple cider vinegar has antibacterial and keratolytic properties, meaning it helps to soften, and it contains malic acid, a gentle chemical exfoliant. It’s become a darling in the skincare industry. 

Address problematic skin and protect the skin barrier with this versatile facial mist. It's easy to make, lasts for weeks, and can refresh and moisturize at a quick misting. 

  • Clean 2-ounce mist spray bottle
  • 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar
  • Distilled water to fill

Add apple cider vinegar to the bottle and top up with distilled water. Pop in the fridge and use it whenever your skin needs a pick-me-up. This toner can be used after cleansing or any time you need to cool down. 

Replenishing Rosehip and Vitamin C Moisturizer

Perfect for aging and dry skin, this natural moisturizer is bursting with hydrating ingredients and is gentle enough to use on sensitive skin. And it feels and smells divine! 

  • Small clean glass cosmetics jar
  • 2 tablespoons of melted shea butter
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of rosehip oil
  • 1 teaspoon of sweet almond oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon of jojoba oil 

Add all ingredients to your glass jar and stir to ensure all ingredients are combined. Secure the jar with its lid and leave to solidify. This should take around 2 hours. Use a wooden spatula or small spoon to mix the ingredients to a creamy consistency. Apply sparingly to skin wherever it needs moisture.

Because shea butter can be comedogenic depending on our skin, this one may be ideal for those with dry or sensitive skin more so than those with acne-prone or oily skin. Start small and see how your skin likes it.

Rejuvenating Honey and Brown Sugar Scrub

Physical exfoliation can do wonders for your skin when done right, and honey is one of nature’s wonder-ingredients, with antibacterial, antimicrobial, and moisturizing properties. Support glowing skin and slough away dead skin cells with this delicious honey and brown sugar scrub. It's gentle but thorough at the same time. Just try not to lick the spatula! 

  • Small clean glass cosmetics jar
  • 1 tablespoon of fine brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of raw honey

Combine the sugar and honey together in the jar. Stir thoroughly to ensure both ingredients are combined well. This scrub can be gently applied and massaged morning or at night to remove dead skin cells and leave the skin feeling soft and smooth. Because it can be a little “sticky” you may prefer to use this one during a warm shower. Store in the fridge to keep fresh. 

Clarifying Steam Treatment

Did you know that steam can enhance circulation, soften skin, and open pores allowing for better absorption of skincare formulas? Create the ultimate spa experience at home by making your own steam treatment. 

  • A heat-safe bowl
  • A towel
  • 4 cups of boiling water
  • 4 drops of lavender essential oil
  • 4 drops of rosemary essential oil

Pour boiling water into the bowl and add essential oils. Cleanse your face before steaming. Immediately drape a towel over your head and the bowl, keeping your face about 12 inches from the steam. Enjoy 5 minutes of relaxing steam therapy. Follow with your usual moisturizer or serum to lock in moisture and rebuild your skin’s protective barrier.

Soothing Aloe Vera Mask

If you suffer from red, sensitive, or inflamed skin, you need an anti-inflammatory treatment that promises to be kind while delivering results. Aloe vera, known for its soothing and cooling qualities, is the star of this hydrating and calming mask. We love this one because it feels and smells so fresh, especially on a hot summer evening.

  • Small clean glass cosmetics jar
  • 4 tablespoons of aloe vera gel (easily found in most drugstores)
  • 2 drops of tea tree oil
  • 1/2 peeled and finely diced cucumber

Blend together all ingredients by hand or using an electric blender. Apply with a facial brush or your fingertips. Leave on the skin for 10 to 15 minutes. Follow with toner and moisturizer. 

Hydrating Anti-Aging Sheet Face Mask

Yes, they might make you look silly while you're wearing them, but sheet face masks are an efficient way to deliver nutrients, moisture, and other great supporting ingredients to your skin. If you don't want to pay out for store-bought sheet masks, why not make your own at home? This hydrating anti-aging sheet mask will deliver hydration and vitality in one go. 

  • Blank sheet mask (available online) or make your own fabric mask from a template
  • 1/2 teaspoon raw honey
  • 3 tablespoons of cooled hibiscus tea
  • 4-6 drops of rosehip seed oil

Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Drop your sheet mask into the mixture allowing the ingredients to soak into the fabric. Apply to cleansed and toned skin for 5 minutes and rinse thoroughly. Follow with your usual moisturizer or serum. 

Calming Oatmeal Mask

With just two simple ingredients, you can make a calming face mask that is suitable for all skin types––but especially the sensitive or irritated. Oatmeal is one of the best ingredients you can use on dry and sensitive skin and has proven to be effective with skin conditions like eczema, rashes, and particular offenses like poison ivy itching. Here, it's combined with yogurt for a calming and creamy face mask that cools, nourishes, and soothes. 

  • 1/3 cooked oatmeal
  • 2 tablespoons of plain natural yogurt

Combine oatmeal and yogurt and mix through to create a rough paste. Apply with a spatula or your fingers and create a thick layer, paying particular attention to dry or irritated areas. Leave for 10 minutes and rinse thoroughly. Follow with your usual face moisturizer or serum. Bonus points if you’re putting it on insect bites or burnt, irritated skin.

Amazing Agar-Agar Peel-Off Facial

Yes, you read that right. You can make your own peel-off facial at home. And it all comes down to a pretty unique ingredient called agar powder, or agar-agar as it’s also known. Made from seaweed, agar is often used as a vegan and vegetarian alternative to gelatin. You'll find it in most Asian and health food stores. When combined with milk, honey, and vitamin E oil, this super-hydrating and nourishing mask will restore that feeling of radiance to the skin and leave it smooth. Plus the agar is just plain fun to experiment with.

  • 1 tablespoon of agar powder
  • 2 tablespoons of hot steamed milk
  • 1 teaspoon of Manuka honey
  • 2 drops of chamomile or lavender essential oil
  • 1 vitamin E oil capsule

Mix all ingredients together until you have an even consistency. Apply the mask while it’s still warm and leave for 20 minutes. You should now be able to lift the corners and start peeling the mask away from the skin. Work upwards towards the forehead. 

Final Thoughts

If you're wondering how to give yourself a facial at home with natural and nourishing ingredients, there are so many possibilities. DIY facials have never been more accessible with ingredients available locally and online. 

Whether you're allergic or sensitive to certain ingredients, or just want to learn how to make your own effective skincare products, the recipes above are a great place to start. 

If you're looking for professional assistance, Nava MD is here for you. We help men and women access personalized custom prescription skincare formulas for common conditions like acne and rosacea, as well as anti-wrinkle solutions. They're customized to your needs, and you have ongoing access to your online dermatologist. The process is fast and easy, with your formula sent to your door if approved. Learn more by clicking here.

Keep reading about "DIY" skincare in our latest deep dive on the connection between gut health and skin health. It's real, and your diet affects your skin!