4 Superfood-Packed Beauty Products You Can Make in Your Kitchen

Your entire beauty routine—cleanser, toner, serum, mask—can come from your kitchen.
Ever toss your kale and berries into your blender and think "Facial mask!"?  (Us, too.) Of course, your skin-care products can come directly from your kitchen, and not the beauty counter, says green-beauty savant Deborah Burnes.

Should you love the idea of being able to identify everything that goes on your skin, her new beauty how-to book is your guide.


In Natural Beauty Skin Care: 110 Organic Formulas for a Radiant You!, Burnes provides enough simple DIY recipes for homemade  cleansers, toners, and masks to address any special quirks your skin might be harboring (like dry but breakout-prone tendancies).

“I want to empower you to take beauty into your own hands,” says Burnes, who's been known to hit up a hotel’s breakfast buffet for ingredients if she forgets her beauty products on a trip (oatmeal, yogurt, and honey can double as a mask!).

Burnes’ horticulturalist grandfather inspired her to begin making concoctions at a super early age, and she even healed her friends’ acne with her own formulations (where was she when I was a teenager?). After attending cosmetology school and officially studying chemistry and medicinal herbs, she launched Sumbody, a non-toxic beauty and spa brand based in the Bay Area.

So why “put herself out of business,” as she jokes, by sharing her beauty recipes? “I just want to create an awareness [so consumers] can make positive choices,” says Burnes. “What I love about this is you and your friends can buy [ingredients] in bulk, save tons of money, and have an evening where you make your own beauty products,” she says.

Read on for four DIY beauty recipes that will cover your entire skin-care basics—from a cleanser and toner to a serum and mask—all made with ingredients from the kitchen, like rooibos tea, chia seeds and honey.

Image: Jenna Cantagallo
Image: Jenna Cantagallo

Honey & Chia Seed Cleanser

Yield: About 4 ounces
Time: 15 minutes (not including the time it takes to brew the tea)
Good for: All skin types

"A lot of people like microbeads because of the exfoliation, but they're actually destroying the water ways," says Burnes. "Chia seeds still exfoliate (gently), and they have essential fatty acids which are extremely beneficial to your skin."

1 1/2 tablespoons rooibos tea, prepared and cooled
1 Tbsp chia seeds
4 Tbsps honey
1/4 tsp lemon juice

1. In a small bowl, combine the tea and chia seeds. Let stand for 5 minutes.
2. Add the honey and lemon juice and mix well. If it’s too thick after a few hours when the chia seeds bloom, add another teaspoon of tea.
3. Transfer to a small airtight container.

To use: Wash your face with a dime-size amount of cleanser. Rinse completely.
Storage: Store in the refrigerator for 10 days to 2 weeks.
Use: Twice daily

Interesting factoid: Naturally caffeine-free, rooibos tea contains high levels of skin-loving vitamin C.

Image: Jenna Cantagallo

Mint Toner

Yield: About 4 ounces
Time: 30 minutes
Good for: All skin types, unless you have rosacea (this can cause redness)

"This is great if you're prone to breakouts," says Burnes. "It stimulates the skin, it's anti-aging, and balances your pH level. And it's really invigorating."

For tea
1 cup distilled water
1 bag mint tea
1 tsp dried or fresh rosemary

For toner
1/2 Tbsp aloe vera juice
1/4 cup witch hazel hydrosol
1/4 cup of prepared tea

1. On the stovetop in a small pot, simmer the water, teabag, and rosemary until the liquid reduces by half. Strain the tea and cool.
2. In a medium bowl, add the aloe vera juice and witch hazel to . cup of the mint-rosemary tea. Stir.
3. Using a funnel, transfer to an airtight container.

To use: Lightly moisten a cotton round and wipe over your face and neck, or spray on using a mister bottle.

Storage: Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 1–2 weeks.

Use: Twice daily
Need-to-know factoid: Aloe comes in several forms; the recipes in this book leave a variety of them, from juice, to gel, to jelly. They are all a bit different in consistency, and if you use the wrong one, it will affect the outcome of your product—however, it will not affect the benefits of the product. If you only buy aloe in one form (juice is the most common), be aware that recipes that call for jelly will be a bit runny, but usable.

Image: Jenna Cantagallo

Vitamin C Serum

Yield: 1/2 ounce
Time: 30 minutes
Good for: Anti-aging

"With this serum, we're getting the bioflavonoids from the peels, as well as vitamin C," says Burnes. "It's in a system that your skin can actually utilize and metabolize, and it's really effective. You virtually save hundreds of dollars because those store-bought vitamin C products can be really expensive."

For the tea
1 cup distilled water
1 tsp citrus rind

For the serum
1/2 tsp rose hip oil
1 tsp prepared citrus rind tea
1 tsp aloe vera jelly

1. On the stovetop in a small pot, bring the water to a boil. Remove from the heat and add the citrus rind. Steep for 15 minutes. Strain and cool.
2. In a small bowl, combine 1 teaspoon of the prepared citrus rind tea, the rose hip oil, and aloe vera jelly. Mix well.
3. Transfer to an airtight container. This serum is fluid enough that you can keep it in a dropper bottle for ease of use.

To use: Apply 5–10 drops of serum after cleansing skin.
Storage: Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.
Use: Twice daily

Image: Jenna Cantagallo
Image: Jenna Cantagallo

Dead Sea Mud, Kombucha, & Brewer's Yeast Mask

Yield: About 2 ounces (approximately 3 mask applications)
Time: 15 minutes
Good for: All skin types

"Dead sea mud is such a powerful ingredient," says Burnes. "It's full of algae, which is a great anti-ager, and pulls all the toxins from your skin. Kombucha is loaded with really beneficial bacteria. If you get acne, the brewer's yeast is a great source of vitamin B which detoxifies your pores. And maple syrup is a natural glycolic acid which helps dissolve your dead skin cells."

2 Tbsps Dead Sea mud
2 tsps arrowroot
2 tsps rose hydrosol
2 tsps brewer’s yeast
4 tsps unflavored kombucha
1/2 tsp maple syrup

1. In a small bowl or mini chop, combine all the ingredients and mix well.
2. To balance the texture, you can add more clay (to thicken) or kombucha (to thin).
3. Transfer to an airtight container.

To use: Apply 1–2 teaspoons of the mask to your face, starting at the bottom of your neck and spreading upward, avoiding the eyes, nostrils, and lips. Leave on for 5–15 minutes. Rinse off with warm water.

Storage: Store in the refrigerator for up to 1–2 weeks. You can also prepare several applications and freeze in single-serving portions for up to 4–8 months.

Use: Once per week.

Tip: If you don't have rose hydrosol on hand, replace it with an additional teaspoon of kombucha.

Ready to go on a DIY spree? Here are 3 recipes to make your own cleaning products. And check out our expert guide for giving yourself an at-home pedicure.

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