5 All-Natural DIYs For Amazing Skin

Hold on to your oil-absorbing wipes, folks: It’s about to get real hot and sticky up in here. This time of the year, our cold-weather-related dry-skin woes seem like a distant memory as our foreheads turn into oil slicks and our skin reddens in the rising UV index. And, don’t even get us started about our summertime foot situation. 

But, never ones to complain without making a plan of action, we decided to DIY our way to skin happiness this summer. After all, homemade skin care is cheaper, more natural, and more customizable — and we can do it all without leaving the safety of air conditioning (or a well-placed fan, at least). 

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To help us on our quest, we called in Anit Hora, founder of the Brooklyn-based apothecary skin-care line Mullein & Sparrow. Hora is an herbalist and holistic aesthetician, but she started out with a career in fashion, which explains why the packaging of her products is so incredibly attractive. But, what’s inside those gorgeous containers is pretty special, too. Inspired by the self-care regimens of Ayurveda, Hora uses simple, plant-based formulas that are extremely effective.

Continue reading for five recipes for summer skin-care products you can make yourself. 

Photographed by Mike Garten.

Floral-Oats Cleanser
To gently yet thoroughly clean problematic summertime skin, Hora recommends making this cleanser. “Oat flour is really great for eczema or any other skin ailment since it exfoliates without irritating,” she says. She mixes the oat flower with a variety of ground-up dried flowers, making a powder that can be stored and kept indefinitely. Hora says you can mix the powder with water for everyday use, or, if you want more hydration, she suggests combining it with aloe gel. 

What you’ll need: 
1 tbsp oat flour
1 tbsp rose powder
1/2 tbsp chamomile powder
1/2 tbsp lavender powder

If you can’t purchase powdered flowers, Hora recommends putting dried ones in a food processor and blending until the powder texture is achieved. Combine the ingredients, and mix with the liquid of your choice.

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Photographed by Mike Garten.

Fennel-Mint Foot Scrub

Let’s start with our least-glamorous gripe: hot, gross feet that get so bad, we feel guilty getting pedicures. According to Hora, though, we don’t need to suffer. “We’re going to use fennel seeds because their grainy texture makes them perfect for exfoliating dead skin and callouses, and [they] add a bit of oil as the humectant base,” she says. “There’s a bit of mint oil in there, too, which is great for cooling your feet.” 

What you’ll need:
2 tbsp fennel seeds, crushed slightly
3-4 tbsp of any vegetable oil 
5-10 drops of mint essential oil

Mix all of the ingredients in a bowl, and get to scrubbing. Hora recommends doing this in the bathtub or shower since the process tends to get messy.

Photographed by Mike Garten.

Papaya Brightening Mask
Meet your new favorite face exfoliator. “Papaya enzymes are great for gentle chemical exfoliation,” Hora tells us. “It helps even out your skin tone while lightening and brightening dark spots.” Utilizing oat flower and sugar for gentle physical exfoliation, this mask will leave your skin smooth and refreshed.

What you’ll need:
1 tbsp papaya pulp
1 tbsp oat flour
1 tsp sugar

Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl, and then apply as a mask. You can gently massage it in during application for some extra exfoliation. If you have a lot of spots, Hora suggests leaving the mask on for 20 minutes. Otherwise, she says five minutes once a week is sufficient.

Photographed by Mike Garten.

Oily Skin Scrub
For areas of your body that tend to break out in the sweatier months, this scrub is a life-saver. “It’s great for those little summer bumps we all get,” Hora explains. The oats provide soothing exfoliation, while the witch hazel, an astringent, dries up excess oil. “And, the witch hazel is just really refreshing!” Hora says. 

What you’ll need:
1/2 cup oat flour
1/2 cup almond meal
1 tsp sea salt
Witch hazel

Combine the dry ingredients, and then use enough witch hazel to make a paste. Gently scrub any problem areas on your body, like your chest, back, and arms, and rinse off.

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Photographed by Mike Garten.

Cucumber-Clay-Aloe Mask
This mask is made up of skin-care superstars. “Cucumbers are cooling and hydrating, which helps with inflammation,” Hora says. “Plus, they’re safe to use around your eyes.” The white clay helps absorb impurities, while the aloe hydrates. “This is perfect if you get a little too much sun,” the herbalist explains. 

What You’ll Need:
2 tbsp cumber pulp 
1 tbsp white clay 
2 tbsp aloe gel

Mash the cucumber or pulse it in a blender until a pulpy consistency is reached. Then, mix all the ingredients in a bowl until you form a paste. Bonus: If you want some extra-cooling action, simply refrigerate the aloe before mixing in.