The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
5 Powerful Skin Care Products Found Right in Your Kitchen
Don’t have a personal esthetician on speed dial? No problem. You don’t even need to go as far as the spa—just the kitchen. Whether you’re going natural with your skin care or need a powerful skin care treatment in a pinch, you can find plenty of inflammation fighters, toners, cleansers and exfoliators right in your fridge and cupboards.
Keep reading for some of our favorites—and the easiest ways to use them in DIY treatments.
There’s a reason you see so many skin care products infused with green tea on the shelves. The compounds in the brew help eliminate free radicals and reactivate dying cells on the upper layer of the skin. Researchers think green tea may have benefits for those with rosacea, psoriasis and wrinkles. But it’s not just green tea that’s good for your skin. Chamomile has anti-inflammatory properties and moisturizing agents that make it ideal for soothing sensitive skin while improving elasticity and texture. And black tea is rich in flavonoids shown to decrease photodamage and inflammation.
Just apply a cooled tea bag directly to areas in need of TLC (hello, under-eye bags!) or brew a couple of cups and transfer to a spray bottle to use as a toner. If you’re in the mood for DIY that’s a little more involved, mix green tea leaves with honey and equal parts baking soda to create a soothing, moisturizing mask.
It’s no surprise that honey can bring dry skin back to life—research has shown the ingredient has potential in the treatment of wounds and burns. One review of the past decade of experiments, case studies and clinical trials concludes that “As a dressing on wounds, honey provides a moist healing environment, rapidly clears infection, deodorizes and reduces inflammation, edema and exudation. Also, it increases the rate of healing by stimulation of angiogenesis, granulation and epithelialization, making skin grafting unnecessary and giving excellent cosmetic results.”
Apply to common dry areas like elbows and knees to give skin a sweet, healing treat. Leave on for half an hour or so—just remember to wipe and rinse off before getting dressed.
3. Brown Sugar
Eating spoonfuls of sugar may not be good for you—but put it on your face and it’s a different story. Sugar is a natural source of glycolic acid, an alpha hydroxy acid that encourages cell turnover—you’ll find the ingredient in skin care and on spa menus.
That and its small particles make it a great natural exfoliant—just make sure you reach for brown sugar if you’re using it on your face—it’s softer and easier on sensitive skin. Pair with an oil like jojoba to gently scrub off dead skin cells on your face and lips.
4. Soy Milk
However you take your coffee, make sure you’ve got soy milk in the fridge for the skin benefits. Topical application of soy has been shown to reduce hyperpigmentation, enhance elasticity, control oil production, moisturize skin and even delay hair growth (our chin hair thank you, soy).
To get the benefits from head to toe (while totally pampering yourself), take a milk bath. Or, combine soybean oil, shea butter and cornstarch on the stove to create a rich body butter you can slather on every morning.
Skin care brands have hopped on the oil cleansing wagon, packaging together oil-based formulas into products that give a deep cleanse without drying out skin like normal cleansers do. But you can put together your own oil cleansing routine just as easily … and customize it to your skin needs.
Start with castor oil as your base—it’s antibacterial and great at dissolving grime. Then, add a second oil. Avocado oil is great for dry skin, jojoba will help those prone to acne and almond oil is great for those with oily skin. If you have oily skin, you’ll want more castor oil in your mix; if it’s dry, you’ll want less. Mix the two, rinse your face and massage the mixture into your skin for a few minutes before letting it sit. Rinse with very warm water and wipe off with a washcloth to reveal clean, glowing skin.
YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
Last week, the Peruvian Palm Oil Producers' Association (JUNPALMA) promised to enter into an agreement for sustainable and deforestation-free palm oil production. The promise was secured by the U.S. based National Wildlife Federation (NWF) in collaboration with the local government, growers and the independent conservation organization Sociedad Peruana de Ecodesarrollo.
The rallying cry to build it again and to build it better than before is inspiring after a natural disaster, but it may not be the best course of action, according to new research published in the journal Science.
"Faced with global warming, rising sea levels, and the climate-related extremes they intensify, the question is no longer whether some communities will retreat—moving people and assets out of harm's way—but why, where, when, and how they will retreat," the study begins.
The researchers suggest that it is time to rethink retreat, which is often seen as a last resort and a sign of weakness. Instead, it should be seen as the smart option and an opportunity to build new communities.
"We propose a reconceptualization of retreat as a suite of adaptation options that are both strategic and managed," the paper states. "Strategy integrates retreat into long-term development goals and identifies why retreat should occur and, in doing so, influences where and when."
The billions of dollars spent to rebuild the Jersey Shore and to create dunes to protect from future storms after Superstorm Sandy in 2012 may be a waste if sea level rise inundates the entire coastline.
"There's a definite rhetoric of, 'We're going to build it back better. We're going to win. We're going to beat this. Something technological is going to come and it's going to save us,'" said A.R. Siders, an assistant professor with the disaster research center at the University of Delaware and lead author of the paper, to the New York Times. "It's like, let's step back and think for a minute. You're in a fight with the ocean. You're fighting to hold the ocean in place. Maybe that's not the battle we want to pick."
Rethinking retreat could make it a strategic, efficient, and equitable way to adapt to the climate crisis, the study says.
Dr. Siders pointed out that it has happened before. She noted that in the 1970s, the small town of Soldiers Grove, Wisconsin moved itself out of the flood plain after one too many floods. The community found and reoriented the business district to take advantage of highway traffic and powered it entirely with solar energy, as the New York Times reported.
That's an important lesson now that rising sea levels pose a catastrophic risk around the world. Nearly 75 percent of the world's cities are along shorelines. In the U.S. alone coastline communities make up nearly 40 percent of the population— more than 123 million people, which is why Siders and her research team are so forthright about the urgency and the complexities of their findings, according to Harvard Magazine.
Some of those complexities include, coordinating moves across city, state or even international lines; cultural and social considerations like the importance of burial grounds or ancestral lands; reparations for losses or damage to historic practices; long-term social and psychological consequences; financial incentives that often contradict environmental imperatives; and the critical importance of managing retreat in a way that protects vulnerable and poor populations and that doesn't exacerbate past injustices, as Harvard Magazine reported.
If communities could practice strategic retreats, the study says, doing so would not only reduce the need for people to choose among bad options, but also improve their circumstances.
"It's a lot to think about," said Siders to Harvard Magazine. "And there are going to be hard choices. It will hurt—I mean, we have to get from here to some new future state, and that transition is going to be hard.…But the longer we put off making these decisions, the worse it will get, and the harder the decisions will become."
To help the transition, the paper recommends improved access to climate-hazard maps so communities can make informed choices about risk. And, the maps need to be improved and updated regularly, the paper said as the New York Times reported.
"It's not that everywhere should retreat," said Dr. Siders to the New York Times. "It's that retreat should be an option. It should be a real viable option on the table that some places will need to use."
Leaked documents show that Jair Bolsonaro's government intends to use the Brazilian president's hate speech to isolate minorities living in the Amazon region. The PowerPoint slides, which democraciaAbierta has seen, also reveal plans to implement predatory projects that could have a devastating environmental impact.
Last week we received positive news on the border wall's imminent construction in an Arizona wildlife refuge. The Trump administration delayed construction of the wall through about 60 miles of federal wildlife preserves.