By Michelle Buf­fardi

1. Lis­ter­ine
Lis­ter­ine Orig­i­nal Anti­sep­tic Mouth­wash fights bac­te­ria in your mouth, so why not your toes? The anti­sep­tic prop­er­ties of the alco­hol in the mouth­wash work along with oth­er key ingre­di­ents in the bad breath-fight­er (euca­lyp­tol and sal­i­cy­late) to kill bac­te­ria and cause dead skin cells to shed, leav­ing room for healthy new skin cells to grow. If you’re going to soak your pig­gies in it, choose the orig­i­nal for­mu­la, not one with arti­fi­cial fla­vors or col­ors.

2. Black Tea
Black tea: it’s good for way more than Chai. It’s packed with polyphe­nols (the same good stuff found in wine, choco­late, and berries) and potent antiox­i­dants (which enforce cell mem­brane). Trans­la­tion: black tea extract pre­vents wrin­kles. Black tea is also great as an astrin­gent and for blem­ish con­trol.

3. Laven­der
Laven­der is quite pos­si­bly a mir­a­cle plant. It’s used to treat skin prob­lems such as acne, wrin­kles, pso­ri­a­sis and eczema, can soothe itch­i­ness or dry skin and sun­burns — and if that’s not enough, it’s also known to be an aphro­disi­ac. You can safe­ly apply Laven­der Essen­tial Oil right on your skin (unlike some oth­er essen­tial oils which must be dilut­ed).

4. Kefir
While alpha hydroxy acid is not a secret skin­care ingre­di­ent — it’s con­stant­ly name-dropped and is used in every over­priced beau­ty pro­duct promis­ing younger-look­ing, blem­ish-free skin. But you don’t have go to the cos­met­ics coun­ter for pricey creams, try the dairy depart­ment instead. Life­way Orig­i­nal Plain Kefir, a cul­tured milk bev­er­age sim­i­lar to yogurt and but­ter­milk, con­tains alpha hydroxy acid nat­u­ral­ly, in the form of lac­tic acid. The acid acts to bal­ance the acid­i­ty of skin (and hair) and remove dead skin with­out grit­ty par­ti­cles. Use it as a facial cleanser, mois­tur­iz­er, mask or hair con­di­tion­er.

5. Toma­toes
You say toma­to, we say great skin. Toma­toes are known to make a killer addi­tion to a sal­ad, piz­za or sand­wich, but since they con­tain the antiox­i­dants lycopene, beta-carotene and vit­a­m­in E, also help refine large pores and soothe skin. Time to add some to your med­i­cine cab­i­net as well as your ‘fridge. Try Gar­den Toma­to Com­plex­ion Soap.

6. Oil
Add oil to greasy skin? Seems very, very wrong, but it’s known in the skin-care biz as “like for like.” Mir­ran Raphae­ly, CEO of Dr. Hauschka Skin Care, Inc. says, “It might seem coun­ter­in­tu­itive to apply oil to an oily com­plex­ion, but it’s actu­al­ly a very log­i­cal solu­tion. Your skin is smart, and knows whether it’s suf­fi­cient­ly pro­tect­ed. When it’s dry, it pro­duces more of its own oil. Like­wise, it pro­duces less when it’s bal­anced. When peo­ple use harsh, dry­ing prod­ucts, they’re rob­bing the skin of its defens­es. This trig­gers the seba­ceous glands to pro­duce even more oil-per­pet­u­at­ing the prob­lem.” Cas­tor oil, olive oil and sun­flow­er seed oil help skin bal­ance exces­sive oili­ness, while also min­i­miz­ing the appear­ance of blem­ish­es.

7. Green Apple
An apple a day keeps… pim­ples away? Green apples con­tain quercetin, a fla­vanol known for its antiox­i­dant and anti-inflam­ma­to­ry super pow­ers — just the things to scare pim­ples away. Incor­po­rate green apples into your diet, or try this green apple & hon­ey mask.

8. Pota­to Slices
It’s no big secret that cool cucum­bers applied to your lids pep up tired or puffy eyes, but you can swap raw pota­to slices for the cokes for an even greater ben­e­fit; pota­toes are load­ed with vit­a­m­in B which reduces inflam­ma­tion. Either rest slices on your closed eyes for 15 min­utes, or grate a pota­to, strain the juice, and soak a cot­ton pad with it and apply to tired lids.

9. Egg Whites
You’ve got egg on your face. Don’t wor­ry, you haven’t made a major faux pas, you’re just try­ing to firm up your skin and min­i­mize pores. The pro­teins in the egg bind to your skin and draw out the oil, and when it dries, tight­ens up your skin and shrinks enlarged pores. Whip the whites into a foam and apply to your face, let dry. After 10 to 15 min­utes, rin­se. Use the reserved yolks to make home­made pud­ding or crème brulee.

10. Apple Cider Vine­gar
Yes, you should avoid sun­burns alto­geth­er for tru­ly beau­ti­ful skin, but should the sun’s rays get the best of you, apply­ing Organ­ic Apple Cider Vine­gar to your crim­son out­er lay­er will pre­vent peel­ing and blis­ter­ing. Soak a tow­el in the vine­gar and apply it to the affect­ed area, or if you’re over­done all over, add some to cool bath water and soak until soothed. Apple Cider Vine­gar is also great for acne, as a skin ton­er and to pre­vent dan­druff!

11. Mela­ton­in
In the same way free rad­i­cals in the envi­ron­ment cause rust on met­al, the same mol­e­cules cause your skin to “rust,” or age, as well. It turns out that Mela­ton­in, a nat­u­ral antiox­i­dant best known for sleep reg­u­la­tion (it’s often used to fight jet lag) can also reverse the effects of aging.

12. Gold
The gold again­st your skin lends pop to your out­fit, but has lit­tle ben­e­fit to your der­mis. But rub on Gold Revi­tal­iz­er, and you’ll neu­tral­ize the pore-clog­ging pos­i­tive found in the envi­ron­ment, result­ing in smooth, baby butt-soft skin.

Ladies, have you tried any of the­se treat­ments? How did they work for you?

Black Girl With Long Hair

Leila Noel­lis­te, founder of Black Girl with Long Hair (April 2008). Social media, pop cul­ture and black beau­ty enthu­si­ast. bell hooks’ hair twin…

Leave a Reply

4 Comments on "12 Surprising Skincare Remedies"

Notify of

Hel­lo Leila,

Great tips! I tried the egg white mask and you were right, it did make me feel as if my skin is tighter and my pores small­er. I have vis­i­ble pores on my face and I’ve been try­ing to find a nat­u­ral solu­tion. Do you have any oth­er sug­ges­tions? Thanks!

Jarmelia- Lia Naturals Handmade Soap

I have heard of Lis­ter­ine for dan­druff. My grand­moth­er told me about it when I was teenager, it works. I soaked a cot­ton ball with it and rubbed my scalp down. 

Thank­ful­ly, since using sham­poo bars and co-wash­ing, I don’t have a dan­druff prob­lem.

Ro @ Eat Live Move

I made my own Kefir once after try­ing a friend’s. It wasn’t that great. How­ev­er after read­ing this post, I’m def­i­nite­ly recon­sid­er­ing it.


Oil cleans­es has def­i­nite­ly been a great addi­tion to tak­ing care of my skin. I do more oil cleans the soap wash­es now. I even found that acne forums lots of peo­ple use it there. Though I don’t real­ly have an acne prob­lem.