kitchen skincare

People have used whole food ingredients to make skincare remedies for as long as we know.

The most tried-and-true remedies are made with simple ingredients, like grains, herbs, oils…

It just takes getting to know these ingredients, and having a go at making the recipes.

From your kitchen pantry, you can make salves to soothe aches, baths to ease itching… you can make the best scrubs, haircare… everything you need!

 If you’re interested in making skincare recipes at home, these are (in my opinion) the best ingredients to have, and to learn more about:

Table of contents:


Why I use it:

Oil softens, nourishes the skin, and reinforces the skin barrier functions. 

What I use it for: 

  • As a base for making herbal infusions. 
  • For oil cleansing
  • As a moisturizing body oil
  • To make salves, and body scrubs. 

What I recommend you get: 

Use supermarket oils, like almond, grape seed, avocado, hazelnut…
Look for unrefined, cold-pressed, or virgin oils. These are minimally processed and retain more of the plant’s nutrients. 


Why I use it:

Honey is nutritious for the skin, antimicrobial, and has a cleansing effect that also promotes healing. It improves functions of the skin (cell turnover) which has a brightening effect.

What I use it for:

  • As a base for making herbal infusions 
  • For face cleansing
  • In facial masks

What I recommend you get:
Local honey, direct from a beekeeper, often found in farmer’s markets. Or in supermarkets, look for raw honey which is not heat processes and retains its nutrients

Apple Cider Vinegar

Why I use it

Vinegar is acidic, and helps to restore/maintain the pH of the skin. It supports the integrity and functions of the skin’s acid mantle. *It’s important to dilute the vinegar before applying it on the skin: 2 tbsp vinegar /1 cup of water

What I use it for: 

  • As a base for making herbal infusions 
  • As a facial toner (at night, to prevent issues with sun exposure) 
  • As a weekly, clarifying hair rinse. Scalp care. 

What I recommend you get: 

Apple cider vinegar with the mother is what herbalist use to make internal herbal remedies, and it’s what I use for external remedies too.

Salt & Sugar

Why I use it

The grains provide a physical exfoliation for the skin.

What I use it for:

  • Body scrubs only. I do not recommend salt and sugar grains for the face.

What I recommend you get:
You can use the cheapest, generic salt and sugar from the baking section. This is a wash-off ingredient, it only provides the physical texture we need (its not for skin nourishment).

Choose a fine grain, which is more gentle on the skin.

Rolled Oats 

Why I use it

Oats are, in my opinion, the best skin care I’ve used. It’s an all in one: cleanser, moisturizer, deep nourishment, exfoliator….

I always grind oats into a fine powder, wether I’m using it in a bath, for a facial mask, or a scrub – it needs to be ground.

What I use it for: 

  • Powdered oats is my secret ingredient for scrubs.It makes the scrub creamy when applied over wet skin! 
  • Facial cleanser and exfoliator 
  • Face and body masks 
  • Bath blends 

What I recommend you get: 

Whole, rolled oats are more shelf stable than buying pre-ground oat flour. I like to grind my oats fresh, before using it in a recipe. Get any brand of whole rolled oats, but not instant oats.

Herbs, dried and fresh

Why I use it:

Herbs are the superfoods of the plant world, rich in nutrients. Learn about your herbs, so that you can know how to pick the best herb for what you’re making.

When it comes to making skincare – any herb that you drink as tea, you can use topically.

What I use it for: 

  • I choose specific herbs for their therapeutic/emotional benefits. 
  • I use herbs in pretty much all of my skincare recipes.
  • Baths, hair rinses, skin washes

What I recommend you get: 

When preparing herbs for topical use, we need to grind it into a powder.
I prefer to buy whole herbs, its more shelf stable than buying pre-powdered herbs. And then I grind it as needed.

Get what you have access to: whether it’s herbal tea bags, bulk dried herbs, or fresh herbs that you dry and dehydrate at home.

Cacao Butter

Why I use it:

Cacoa butter is an occlusive, it helps to protect and condition the skin. Used to prevent stretch  marks.

What I use it for:

  • I add a touch of butter to my salves, to thicken the consistency, and enrich the feel on the skin.
  • In bath recipes, I like to grate cacao butter and add it to salts, and bath bombs.

What I recommend you get: 

Look for unrefined cocoa butter, sold in health food stores and sometimes in the baking section of supermarkets.

Freeze-dried Fruit

Why I use it:

Freeze-dried fruit are full of skin-beneficial nutrients (lots of vitamins, antioxidants, and gentle acids) It also adds color, and scent to recipes.

Because the fruit is completely dried, it can be ground into a powder, and has a long shelf life (as long as you store it properly)

I wrote more about using freeze-dried fruit here: link

What I use it for:

  • I powder them, and add them to scrubs, bath bombs and facial/body mask
  • I infuse freeze dried fruit into oil, vinegar and glycerine.

What I recommend you get: 
In some supermarkets, you might find freeze-dried fruit either in the produce section, or the snack section next to things like nuts and dried fruit.

Freeze dried fruit is different from “dried fruit” Make sure it says “freeze dried” which is completely bone-dry, and can be ground into a powder.

Ingredients Resource
online shopping guide

Check out my guide for where to buy everything from shea butter to medicinal herbs to colloidal oats online.

7 responses to “8 Best Ingredients for Making Skincare at Home”

  1. Hi Militza,

    This is a very interesting subject and good to know. I actually just bought some organic freeze dried packages of pineapple, mango, banana,and apple packages. I am willing to use them for this subject other than eating. I must say I love your posts and keep up the good work! I love it!

    I’ll keep you posted on the outcomes!


    • Hi Isabella! Please share an update on what you make and how it turns out! I think once you make your freeze-dried fruit powder, you might even come up with other ways of using it… over yogurt, icecream… its such a versatile product! I also like to use freeze dried fruit in my herbal tea…. green tea and strawberry is really nice 🙂

  2. Dear,
    Thank you very much for this great information. You have changed my concept of care
    for myself and my family. Many people are now benefiting from the knowledge gained from your teaching.
    I am very grateful

  3. This is a great post! These natural products are usually in most people’s kitchens! Little do they know is that you can use it for more than just cooking!

    • Hi Annie, yes – white vinegar can be used. The compound in vinegar that has skin/hair benefits is acetic acid, and its present in about equal amounts in both apple cider vinegar and white vinegar. For both, they need to be diluted (1 tbsp vinegar – 1 cup water)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *