Who knew everyday ingredients could be whipped into effective skincare products?
For the third installment of our Style Science web series, Wonder swapped in the mass-produced and chemical-ridden cult favorites of skincare for the organic and locally made. Vlogger and host Adi Amor took on the week-long swap challenge and if her results are anything to go by (and they are, you should see for yourself!), it’s high time to catch the organic skincare wave. It’s time to buy local, buy organic—or better yet, make it yourself.
It’s a little scary, we know. Trusting ourselves to actually create the stuff we slather on our faces? It’s a job most of us leave to the big bosses of the beauty world, but hey. Don’t knock it ‘til you’ve tried it, right?
Up ahead, we let you in on three DIY skincare alternatives: a caffeine-infused eye serum, a calming oatmeal face mask, and a brightening oat and turmeric mask that smells like spiced biscuits. Let’s get cookin’, shall we?
Caffeine Under-eye Serum
There’s a unique feeling, a mixture of relief and invigoration probably crafted by God himself, that runs through our veins when we finally get coffee into our system on an especially hectic Monday morning. We love our coffee. Love it.
When worked into our skincare routines, coffee becomes a wonder ingredient that proves even worthier of our affections. It’s full of antioxidants, which helps up the skin’s natural defenses. It packs a one-two punch of energy and regeneration, too. The best and most visible effect of caffeinated skincare, though, is its ability to smooth and brighten, which makes it an ideal ingredient for products that target the dull under-eye area.
¼ cup ground organic coffee
Combine the oils with the coffee grounds and mix thoroughly. Let the mixture sit for at least 24 hours before straining with a cheesecloth or paper towels. Using a funnel, pour the strained liquid into a roller bottle or dropper.
We’ve long been fans of caffeine-infused products like The Ordinary’s Caffeine Solution 5% + EGCG, so we were thrilled to be able to put our own kitchen-edition spin on this. Making the caffeine eye serum was a low-maintenance, no-frills procedure and no doubt just about anyone can whip this up. The only challenge here was getting our hands on avocado oil, which, we’ll admit, is not a run-of-the-mill kitchen ingredient. The oil selection is critical to this DIY beauty concoction though, so we resolved to make the trip to the nearest Healthy Options. Avocado oil and almond oil in particular work together to remedy dull, tired-looking skin, aid in skin healing and give the under-eye areas a dose of vitamin E. Since avocado oil acts as a natural sunblock, too, this eye serum can be worked into a daytime skincare routine just as well.
While renditions of this recipe say to steep the coffee in the almond oil and avocado oil mixture for seven days, we opted to let it sit for only 24 hours. This shorter period still allowed us to maximize the active ingredients in the organic coffee. What we got was a rich, tan, concentrated serum that applied like liquid silk. One thing to note about application is that a little goes a long way. A drop is enough for both undereye areas. Anything more and you’ll have streaks of serum running down your cheeks. Remember also to lightly pat on this product with your ring finger, so you don’t tug at your skin or apply unnecessary pressure.
Here’s a fun bonus: we discovered that this serum can double as an under-eye makeup primer. We tried applying concealer over the serum once it set and it glided on like a dream.
Calming Oatmeal Face Mask
As a superfood, oatmeal is recognized as a nutrient-rich ingredient beneficial for health. However, its benefits transcend the dietary. Something of a jack of all trades, oatmeal hydrates, purifies, exfoliates and soothes all at once. It gets the job done gently, too, which makes it a great match for sensitive skin types.
½ cup hot water
Combine the oatmeal and hot water and leave to cook for a few minutes. Add the remaining ingredients to the cooked oatmeal and let the mixture sit overnight.
Who knew the ingredients of a delicious breakfast staple (save for the raw egg whites, of course) made for an effective face mask, too? This creamy face mask was fun to make, but a little sloppy to apply. We suggest that when you give this a go, blend all the ingredients together with a food processor or blender instead of just mixing them together with a spoon to get a thicker, paste-like consistency. In our case, this mask went all over the place with oatmeal clumps falling as the mask dried. A towel to catch excess goo was necessary.
Immediate results after rinsing include: suppler and bouncier skin; this mask was basically a tall drink of water that replenishes and rejuvenates. Here’s a tip: you can put in the fridge to play up this mask’s calming, anti-inflammatory effects.
Brightening Turmeric Face Mask
Turmeric has long been lauded as a miracle ingredient in India and they were surely on to something. Turmeric is armed with anti-inflammatory properties that can calm the skin, and has scar-healing abilities that undoubtedly make dealing with breakouts easier. In its wake, it leaves the skin with a natural, lustrous glow (but fair warning: there might be some faint yellow staining, too).
3 tablespoons of oatmeal
Combine the oatmeal with the rest of the ingredients in a mixing bowl. Add the honey incrementally in order to prevent the mixture from drying out.
It turns out the superfood turmeric is as good for the outside as it is for the inside and this face mask is proof. Like the wash-off mask before this, a blender will definitely come in handy. The dry oatmeal isn’t prepped with hot water to soften or cook it in this case, so expect the mask to be a little tougher and have a rougher consistency. We applied this by patting on the mixture rather than massaging it in as not to aggravate the skin (aggressive physical exfoliants, no matter how natural the ingredient, will always be a no-no). We also thought the serving from this recipe wasn’t going to be enough, but don’t be fooled: this recipe yields two face masks.
Immediate effects include: noticeably tighter, smoother skin that feels energized, too.
Art Alexandra Lara