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...

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5 Comments on "12 Surprising Skincare Remedies"

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Debby

Taking care of my skin has been a major hassle for most of my life, and now I have tips that are truly working. Thank you so much for this article, and I want it to be shared with every girl who has a hard time with her skin. Bless you!

Jenny

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.

hyspin

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.

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