Spa in the Kitchen: Facials

CATEGORIES: Sara, Spa and Body

This post is part of a week long spa feature. Other posts include:
Sugar Scrubs
Hair Treatments
Super Smoothie

My cute friend Emily introduced me to homemade facial treatments at one of our annual
Girls Weekends a few years ago. I wasn’t sure about slathering the colorful goo on my face, but once I saw the wonders they did for my skin I was quickly a believer! There’s a reason that the beauty treatments you see in stores and spas get most of their main ingredients from nature. That’s where the good stuff is!

I will have you know that I experimented with a LOT of stuff this week and some of it was down right nasty. Other things looked and smelled yummy but didn’t do squat for my skin or hair or whatever it was I was treating. So I want you to know that everything I post this week is stuff I actually use and love. Hopefully you’ll find something you love too. Let’s get on with it!

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Before you start any facial, make sure you start off with clean, make-up free skin. To really sooth, start off with a steam. Steam hydrates, warms the skin, and opens pores. Plus it feels really really good.

Instructions: Bring a pot of water to a simmer. I put lemon slices and mint leaves in mine. Lavender is also awesome, especially with lemon. When water comes to a simmer, remove from heat. Let it cool off for just a minute and then with a towel over the back of your head to trap in steam, lean your face over the pot. NOT TOO CLOSE. Just had to make that noticeable to avoid necessary lawsuits 🙂 Don’t scorch your face, okay? Just get close enough that you feel the warm steam all over. I stay there until I can’t feel the steam any more- do it for as long is comfortable and then pat your face dry. (Buy some lemons and some mint and when you’re done with your face steam, make some of this!)

For me, next comes exfoliation. I can’t tell you how much I love a good scrub. It sloughs off dead skin cells leaving your skin soft and smooth.

This one stars oatmeal, which is one of the most popular and most effective natural products for your skin. Not only are they ultra moisturizing, but they contain saponins which help gently clear dirt and grime out of your pores (see ya blackheads!). Oatmeal is also soothing, and great for sensitive skin.

Oatmeal Exfoliator:
2t oats
1t baking soda
warm water

Place oats and baking soda in a small bowl and add small amounts of water just until it comes together in a spreadable paste. About 1 1/2 t should do it. Use your fingers to rub it on to your face in circular motions. Massage for 1-2 minutes and then rinse off with warm water and pat face dry.

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I loved this mask, it was so super soothing. I combined 3 of the very best natural sources for skin treatments. Plain yogurt contains lactic acid which helps reduce the size of your pores. Yogurt also moisturizes and reduces oiliness. Honey brightens, tightens, and smooths. It’s well known for fighting both acne and wrinkles too! And of course Cucumber soothes and softens skin.

Honey Yogurt Mask
1/2 T honey
1 T plain yogurt
1 t cucumber pulp

Warm the honey in the microwave for just a few seconds. Just to make it easier to stir. Add yogurt and combine. Use a microplane or a fine-holed cheese grater to make the cucumber pulp. Add it to the honey-yogurt mix. Chill if you want a cool mask, or just use as is. Apply to your face, pop a couple of cuc slices on your eyes and chill out for about for 3-5 minutes (or longer if desired). Rinse with water and pat face dry. Moisturize after.

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I think of all the face treatments, this was my favorite. It smells so yummy and it’s bright pink. How fun is that? Strawberries contain vitamin C, antioxidants, and alpha-hydroxy-acid. The cornstarch dries on the skin soothing irritation and leaving it super soft. This is a great one for oily skin.

Tightening Strawberry-Lemon Mask

1/4 C roughly chopped strawberries
3 T corn starch
1/2 t lemon juice

Use a mini food processor or a fork to mash the strawberries into a pulp. Stir in lemon juice and corn starch. If the mixture is too runny to stay on your face, add more corn starch. Smooth onto skin and let sit for about 20 minutes or until dry. Rinse off with water (and a wash cloth helps) and pat skin dry. Moisturize after.

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If there is a super-food of natural beauty treatments, it’s the avocado. It’s been used for years by just about every culture for heath and wellness purposes. Skincare is no exception. It’s one of the best natural moisturizers there is. It’s also filled with monounsaturated fats, Vitamin B and E, and has way more potassium than a banana. Avocado is especially soothing on sunburned skin.

Moisturizing Avocado Treatment:
1/2 mashed Avocado.
Apply plain avocado to the skin, or use one or more of these add-ins:

Honey– brightens, tightens, and fights wrinkles and acne
Oats– moisturizes and mildly exfoliates
Yogurtrefines pores and sooths irritation
Egg white– great for oily skin
lemon juice– great for oily skin
Egg Yolk– great for dry skin
Olive Oil– extra softening and moisturizing

Let sit on skin for a few minutes and rinse off with luke warm water. Pat skin dry.

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I really hope you all try some of these out. They really work! I spent all day pampering myself in preparation for this post- and it feels great.

If you have any great facial tips, please leave them in the comments.




  1. I had no idea you could do so much with some of these everyday things! Can’t wait to try them out – my skin is in a crisis right now ever since having my baby!

  2. what awesome recipes! i actually drink lemon mint /ginger water all day long. recently, i gave up my numerous diet soft drinks in favor of a more healthy alternative and i feel much better. no tummy aches! i never thought to steam my face with it, though. usually i use a pre-bottled stam from dr. hauschka. thanks!

  3. These sound wonderful! I am adding a couple of items to my grocery list for this week – looks like I have a day of pampering coming up!

  4. I love at home “kitchen” ingredients facials. thanks for the new ideas. BTW, sugar is a great exfoliant on it’s own, I love to use it after I wash my face about once a week.

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