5 Homemade Skin Exfoliants Made From Your Kitchen!

Photo: cottonseedoil on flickr
Spring means it's time to exfoliate away the winter and let your skin glow. But don't worry, you don't need spend much in order to attain healthy skin. Here are a few ways to find ingredients in your own kitchen to make homemade skin exfoliants.

Use these exfoliants by applying to your face in circular motions and leave on for about 15 minutes. After you wash it off, be sure to apply a good moisturizer or sunscreen as your skin will need to be protected once you go out in the sun. And don't go overboard, these exfoliant should be used only 2-3 times a week. Also, read here about why you should drink lemon water for great looking skin.

* The Basic Kitchen Exfoliant: Starting out with the simplest recipe, combine 1 teaspoon of baking soda and 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt. Baking soda will help polish the skin while the sea salt exfoliates. You can also add in some olive oil, which helps to soothe irritation and inflammation.

* Oats, Honey, and Apple Vinegar Exfoliant: If you're feeling more adventurous, take 2-3 teaspoons of raw oats and pulverize them in a grinder. Take the ground oats and mix in honey (the amount depends on how viscous you want the mix to be) and 1/4 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar until it creates a smooth texture. Add in 1 drop of basil oil or tea tree oil, which will help your skin heal faster. Try drinking this oat and kale smoothie for even more beauty benefits from the inside out.

* Argan Oil Exfoliant: Mix together 1 teaspoon crushed almonds, 1/2 teaspoon honey, 1/2 teaspoon milk, 1/2 teaspoon tomato juice and a few drops of argan oil. Argan oil is made from the Moroccan argan tree and is said to have restorative and age-defying effects. It is high in vitamin E and can help with dry skin, acne, eczema and even wrinkles! Argan oil is also delicious in salad dressings. Add it in place of olive oil in your basic vinaigrette, or read here about how various oil can be used for everyday cooking.

* Cucumber and Avocado Exfoliant: Cucumbers and avocados are also good for face masks as they contain soothing oils and hydrating elements. Mixing them with strawberries, honey, oatmeal or ground almonds will help create a thick exfoliant for your skin. Try mixing 1/4 cup each of grated cucumber, diced avocado and 1/4 cup of one of the other ingredients. It will be hard not to try a taste of this delicious concoction!

* Oatmeal, Honey, and Egg White Mask: If you want a more intense mix, combine 1 cup of plain oatmeal and 1/2 cup of honey to one egg white. This will create more of a paste like texture, which will really help hydrate your skin.

After trying these topical skin treatments, read about the best foods to eat for beautiful, glowing skin. Also see this article on the top 5 foods for your skin.

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A Bowl Of McDonald's Oatmeal Equals An Egg McMuffin

Not surprisingly, McDonald's new oatmeal isn't very good for you, at least according to Mark Bittman. In his New York Times op-ed "How to Make Oatmeal. . .Wrong," Bittman maintains that McDonald's new oatmeal is a nutritional disaster. Although "Fruit & Maple Oatmeal" sounds nutritious, when it's a McDonald's product, calories and sugar abound. Bittman compares a bowl of that oatmeal to an Egg McMuffin-only 10 fewer calories-and a Snickers bar: they have the same amount of sugar.

As opposed to "real" oatmeal, Bittman claims that the McDonald's version contains "11 weird ingredients you would never keep in your kitchen." Worse, it even costs more than a double-cheeseburger.

Bittman argues that there are no redeeming features in McDonald's oatmeal: it's less convenient than making it at home, and is only intended to bring more customers into each restaurant for unhealthy breakfasts.

For a healthier (and much more delicious) option, try this recipe for Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal. Later in the day, make these farro-stuffed peppers for a wholesome dose of grains. This farro-orange salad is another good alternative. Ultimately, there are so many great ways to give your body whole grains-avoid the nutritional wasteland of McDonald's oatmeal in favor of these better options. Click here to read Bittman's entire op-ed.