One time, (probably when browsing skincare and eczema stuff online), I read someone say, “Never put anything on your face that you wouldn’t eat”. Do I agree with this? Not necessarily. Certainly I agree with staying away from harmful chemicals, but there are topical things that can really help that I would NOT pour down my throat.
However, I’ve tried some ‘natural’ (meaning edible) things in recent times for my skin. Here are my personal reviews of a few ‘remedies’:
SUGAR. I tried this in conjunction with honey, making a sort of scrub for the face. I think that sugar crystals are way too abrasive to use on sensitive skin, even if it IS dry and flaky. Using a washcloth very gently is likely a better alternative. However, if you have real dry lips, making a little scrub with sugar and some type of oil HAS worked well for me.
HONEY. I read online somewhat recently about using a honey and oatmeal mask. How it was so great for the skin, etc etc. I mixed up oatmeal and honey and applied it….. and then my skin began to tingle and burn a little. I don’t notice any allergy or side effects when eating honey, although it’s not like I tend to eat it straight, just if it’s IN things like cereals. I didn’t note that the honey did anything for my skin. And of course, after this honey face mask experiment, I found out I was sensitive/allergic to something in beeswax, i.e. bee propolis, so I connected this to why the honey mask made my skin feel so unsettled and promptly tried to stop eating anything with honey as well. But, you might have better effects when trying it.
VINEGAR. I wrote about my experience with this a while back and how applying straight vinegar to already irritated skin is exquisitely painful. Then I tried diluting it with water (about 1 Tbsp vinegar to 1/4 cup of water). It does seem to mildly soothe itching and it did not make my skin any worse. But, I got tired of smelling like a giant pickle and having my husband avoid hugging me.
OLIVE OIL. Really any kind of oil is a great and cheap makeup remover. After my favorite Almay makeup remover pads were found to have aloe vera when I read the ingredient list, I stopped using them and switched to using olive oil, and later grapeseed oil to remove makeup at night. Excellent for removing makeup. You can put it on a Q-tip if you’re trying to remove eyeliner. I also tried using olive oil to wash my face (look online for tips…. usually they say to use 1 part castor oil to 3 parts olive oil – the castor oil is supposed to draw out impurities), but I didn’t have any castor oil. I appreciate the feel of moist skin as much as any dry-skin afflicted person, but this left an uncomfortably greasy feeling. I also tried olive oil as an overall face moisturizer…. but to be honest, I felt like it was suffocating my skin. And, this might be coincidental, (as I couldn’t pinpoint ANYTHING with my wildly fluctuating skin at the time), but when I stopped using olive oil as a moisturizer… my skin got a lot clearer and softer. My theory was that it was preventing my skin from making its own moisture.
GRAPESEED OIL. So now this is the only oil that I use on my face. I use it as a makeup remover and I also use it under my moisturizer. I use it on my body too after I get out of the shower or bath. I love this stuff and you can read more about it in my current skincare routine post.
OATMEAL. This is my super great winner out of all natural remedies. Not only do I eat oatmeal every morning, but I gently wash my face with it morning and night! (At night, I first wash with a very gentle Paula’s Choice cleanser). You can put oatmeal in a food processor and make very fine ground oat dust, which is what I do. You can also use quick oats in a pinch, but it’s messier in the bathroom and can clog up the sink. I also put a handful of the dust in my bathwater. This has been WONDERFUL at soothing any flares and my face felt very soft and soothed afterwards.
Are there any other natural remedies I have missed? I’ve also read about yogurt masks, but since dairy doesn’t seem to like my skin when I eat it, I’m reticent to put it ON my skin.