One of the main tenets of Ayurvedic medicine is that you should not apply anything topically that you would not also ingest. That being said, I am very particular about what I include in my Ayurvedic skin care routine.

Though I have carefully selected a few Ayurveda-approved products, I prefer to create my own cosmetic treatments in the kitchen! A number of common kitchen ingredients are actually highly beneficial for your skin. Because these ingredients are free of chemical additives, they usually out-perform processed alternatives, especially on sensitive or irritated skin.

Below are a few of my favorite Ayurvedic skin care “recipes.”

Tropical Exfoliating and Moisturizing Mask for Sensitive, Dull Skin

Ingredients:

  • Half a medium banana.
  • 1 Tablespoon of honey.
  • 2 Tablespoons of cooked oatmeal.

Try to actually put this one on your face instead of eating it! In all seriousness, this Ayurvedic skin care mask is incredibly soothing and balancing. It’s suitable for most skin types, and the benefits of each ingredient work in tandem to restore your skin’s supple brilliance.

Bananas are rich in potassium, which hydrates and moisturizes skin. Vitamins C and E work to brighten and exfoliate the skin, vitamin A evens skin tone and zinc kills acne-causing bacteria.

Honey provides an additional anti-bacterial punch, making this a great mask for acne-prone skin. Like bananas, honey also moisturizes and soothes the skin to tame redness and inflammation, and both are excellent sources of skin-protecting, anti-aging antioxidants. Finally, honey helps to open your pores, allowing the exfoliating components of banana to penetrate and clear them out.

Oatmeal provides a nourishing boost to this mask, as it is a powerful moisturizer and anti-inflammatory. Oatmeal also contains acne-fighting zinc and pore-clearing saponins.  Finally, oatmeal works to absorb excess oil and restore the pH of the skin.

There’s very little this mask doesn’t do! It hydrates and moisturizes to treat dryness without leaving skin oily; it clears pores, exfoliates, and fights acne without drying or irritation; and it firms and brightens skin without leaving skin taught. There are few women I know that wouldn’t benefit from this one!

Skin-Brightening Apple Cider Vinegar Toner for Oily, Acne-Prone Skin

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tablespoon of organic apple cider vinegar.
  • 1 Cup of organic green tea.
  • A handful of mint.

This skin brightening toner is best for oily or acne prone skin. Though soothing green tea and mint offset the drying and acidic qualities of the vinegar, this toner may be too harsh for dry or sensitive skin.

Apple cider vinegar is excellent for oily, acne-prone skin because it dissolves dirt and oil and tightens pores without over-drying. Beta-carotene in apple cider vinegar also brightens the skin and protects against future damage.

Steep green tea with crushed mint leaves, allow it to cool, and strain the mint. Then add your tablespoon of apple cider vinegar. Creating a tonic with detoxifying, anti-inflammatory green tea and soothing mint combats any redness and tingling from the vinegar. If your skin is sensitive but you still want to give this one a try, add two tablespoons of Aloe Vera to soothe inflammation and moisturize the skin.

Yogurt and Tea Tree Oil Mask for Oily, Acne-Prone Skin

Ingredients:

  • ¼ Cup of plain, full-fat yogurt.
  • 2 Drops of tea tree oil.

Yogurt is incredibly moisturizing and healing. That being said, it does contain certain exfoliating acids that may make it irritating to extremely dry, sensitive skin. However, it is suitable for the majority of acne-prone skin types.

Yogurt is full of lactic and alpha hydroxyl acids, which exfoliate, unclog pores, and brighten skin. These acids work in tandem with anti-bacterial tea tree oil to fight and prevent inflammatory acne. High levels of zinc in yogurt further boost the acne-fighting effects of this soothing mask.

Yogurt is incredibly moisturizing, and tea tree oil is cooling and soothing. The two together are great for soothing redness and irritation. They further improve complexion by evening skin tone and minimizing lines.

If your skin is particularly oily and acne-prone, try adding a teaspoon or two of lemon juice to the mask. Lemon, like yogurt and tea tree, is anti-bacterial and exfoliating. Lemon juice curbs oil production, and its high levels of vitamin C protect against oxidative damage. Be advised that the acidity of lemon may be too irritating for drier skin.

Nourishing Avocado Matcha Mask for Dry or Irritated Skin

Ingredients:

  • Half a medium avocado.
  • 1 Tablespoon of melted coconut oil.
  • 1 Tablespoon of Matcha powder.

If you’re skin is extremely dry, or if you suffer from an inflammatory skin condition like eczema, rosacea, or psoriasis, this is the mask for you! That’s because avocadoes are full of nourishing, anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids.

The addition of coconut oil deeply moisturizes and heals dry skin. Coconut oil also contains medium chain fatty acids that kill acne-causing bacteria, making it one of the few effective treatments for skin that is both acne-prone and extremely dry.

I suggest adding Matcha to this mix because it is an incredibly effective way to reduce redness and inflammation. Matcha contains a powerful antioxidant called ECGC that is responsible for most of the herb’s anti-inflammatory properties. It also contains tannins that shrink pores, reducing excessive oil production.

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