Stroll down the anti-aging aisle at any drugstore and you’ll quickly see how easy it is to spend a small fortune on lotions and potions aimed at minimizing wrinkles and sagging. But before you empty your wallet, open your refrigerator—you probably already have many of the ingredients you need to whip up your own anti-aging masks, scrubs, and creams at home.
Not only are ingredients like fruit, dairy, and nuts packed with youth-boosting antioxidants and acids, but unlike commercial skin-care products, which are fortified with vitamins that lose potency over time, fresh foods provide active vitamins that your skin can make use of right away. And it’s easy, too: If you can make a smoothie, you can make the following treatments. Just remember that these recipes should be stored and handled like fresh food: Unused portions should be refrigerated and discarded within one week.
Rice is a traditional ingredient in Japanese skin care that’s rich in vitamin E and helps exfoliate and smooth skin. This cleanser can be moistened with plain water, but rice milk is a better choice because it adds a hit of retinol-building vitamin A and protective calcium to the mix.
¼ c brown rice flour (or rice bran flour)
2–3 Tbsp unsweetened organic rice milk
MIX the brown rice flour with rice milk to form a smooth paste.
MASSAGE the mixture onto the skin in a slow, circular motion. Rinse with tepid water and follow with toner and moisturizer.
Your skin gets drier (and duller) with age, but this super-hydrating cream can keep it looking radiant with hydrating aloe vera, brightening fresh lemon, and the yogurt’s exfoliating lactic acid.
½ c plain organic Greek yogurt
¼ c cucumber, chopped and seeded
¼ c aloe flesh, peeled and chopped
½ lemon, juiced
LINE a mesh strainer with a few layers of cheesecloth and set it over a bowl. Puree the ingredients in a blender or food processor, then pour into the strainer. Cover the bowl, and place in the refrigerator for at least a few hours or as long as overnight. Transfer the thickened yogurt mixture to a clean bowl. The leftover liquid can be discarded or mixed with rice flour or almond meal to create a quick facial scrub.
APPLY a thick layer of the cream to your face and leave on for up to 30 minutes. Remove the mask with a moistened washcloth, and follow with toner.
Antioxidant-rich blueberries and raw almonds—packed with essential fatty acids and vitamin E—are the base for this beauty-boosting mask and scrub combo. Whole oats are included for their anti-inflammatory properties, while fresh milk and honey help cleanse and brighten skin.
¼ c fresh organic blueberries
¼ c raw almonds
2 Tbsp whole oats
1 Tbsp honey
1 Tbsp whole organic milk
COMBINE ingredients in blender or food processor and puree until smooth, adding additional milk if necessary.
APPLY generously to moistened skin and let dry for 20 minutes. Gently massage the mixture in a slow, circular motion until it crumbles away. Rinse with tepid water, then follow with toner. Use weekly.
Blackberries are an exceptionally potent source of antioxidants and are loaded with vitamins A, C, and E, all known for their abilities to reduce and even improve signs of aging. This scrub gets a secondary boost of vitamin E from walnuts, which also act as a gentle exfoliant.
½ c walnuts
½ c fresh organic blackberries (or black raspberries)
COMBINE the walnuts and berries in a blender and puree until they form a smooth paste. Add a little water if necessary.
APPLY a generous amount of the paste to moistened skin, then gently massage in a circular motion. Rinse with tepid water and follow with a gentle cleanser and toner.
Avocado is packed with oleic acid, making it a highly moisturizing base for a face mask. It also contains a hefty portion of vitamin E, which helps improve skin’s texture while fighting damage from free radicals that cause aging. The lactic acid in yogurt gently loosens dead skin cells, giving your complexion a fresher, brighter appearance. And wheatgrass juice adds a punch of anti-aging powerhouses vitamins A and E. (If fresh wheatgrass juice is unavailable, use reconstituted powdered juice instead.)
½ ripe avocado
2 Tbsp plain organic greek yogurt
1 Tbsp wheatgrass juice
PUREE ingredients in a blender. Apply a thick layer of the puree to your face, and allow it to dry for 15-20 minutes. Rinse with tepid water, and follow with toner.
Chia seeds aren’t just a hot superfood to eat; they also offer a huge rewards when it comes to skin care. This mask uses the antioxidant-loaded seeds as a gentle exfoliant along with the deep-cleansing power of honey. Green apples contain an impressive combination of polyphenols, flavanoids, and alpha hydroxy acids that can help brighten, soothe, and plump skin.
½ c chopped raw green apple
2 Tbsp chia seeds
2 Tbsp honey
COMBINE apple, chia seeds, and honey in a blender or food processor and puree until smooth, adding a little water if necessary. Allow the mixture to sit for 5 minutes after blending.
APPLY the mixture liberally to dry skin. Massage in a slow, circular motion. Rinse with tepid water. Follow with toner.
When it comes to anti-aging, don’t forget to treat the skin below your face—and nothing beats a good, moisturizing body oil. This simple blend combines three light, penetrating oils that can be found in most grocery stores: avocado oil, virgin coconut oil, and sweet almond oil. Look for virgin or cold-pressed oils; they contain a larger portion of beneficial components like antioxidants and fatty acids.
¼ c avocado oil
¼ c sweet almond oil
¼ c virgin coconut oil, melted
COMBINE the oils in a 6 to 8-ounce bottle and shake well.
APPLY from shoulders to toes daily. It also makes an excellent massage oil.