Seven Natural Beauty Tricks From Your Kitchen

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Oil Cleansing

Use olive, coconut, or almond oil with Castor oil to clean your skin instead of a harsh soap. This will cleanse your skin naturally and keep from pulling out natural oils. My personal blend is 25% Castor Oil (don’t use straight!) and 75% sweet almond oil.

How to do it: Rub a small amount of oil onto dry face and massage into skin for several minutes. To remove, soak a clean washcloth in steamy water and place on face until it starts to cool. Gently use the washcloth to wipe your face until the oil is gone. Softest. Skin. Ever! Here’s a website with much more detailed info if you are interested.

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Natural Bronzing

Until I switched to eating healthy, I never tanned well at all! I used to try all kinds of natural “bronzers” and self tanning lotions (cringe on the ingredients!) in hopes of golden skin. Now, I’m excited to be able to tan easily, but for days when I want a slightly more bronze look, I head to the kitchen…

How to Do It: Mix cocoa powder, cinnamon and arrowroot (optional) until you get a shade you like. For me, this was at least half cocoa powder, about 30-40% cinnamon and a little arrowroot, but experiment to get your skin tone. Store in a small jar or container and brush onto skin for an instant bronze look. Bonus: it smells good! You can also mix this into lotion for a liquid version!

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Food Facial Mask

No need to drop a lot of money at the spa for great skin, just rub breakfast on your face instead! Many foods are also beneficial for your skin too!

How to Do It: Use honey, plain yogurt or whipped egg whites by themselves or in combination for a great toning facial mask that leaves skin glowing.

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Naturally White Teeth

Use strawberries (I know they are red!) and baking soda as a highly effective and natural teeth whitener. Oil pulling (swishing oil in the mouth and then spitting) is also an effective way to whiten teeth.

How to Do It: Make a paste of equal parts mashed or pureed strawberries and baking soda. Put in mouthguard or tooth tray and leave on teeth for up to 30 minutes. Repeat a couple times a week until your teeth are as white as you want. To speed things up, swish with 1 TBSP of olive oil each night for 20 minutes and then spit and brush well. This supposedly helps remove toxins too, but I can certainly vouch for its whitening capabilities!

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Natural Hair Conditioner

For an occasional hair strengthening treat, mix up some other breakfast foods into a natural hair mask. This certainly isn’t one for everyday use, but it makes hair shiny and smooth and even works on really curly hair (according to a lucky friend with lovely curls!)

How to Do It: Mix one banana and one avocado and puree until smooth (great way to use over ripe bananas and avocados!). Add essential oils if Banana isn’t your fragrance of choice. Comb through clean, damp hair and put a shower cap on. Leave on for at least 15 minutes and rinse out in the shower. Go sign up to audition for a hair commercial!

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Sugar Scrub

Sugar is not good for your body. It is, however, great for your skin! Since your skin doesn’t metabolize and store glucose or fructose like your fat cells do, sugar is a great way to tighten and smooth skin! Sugar scrubs in stores are expensive! Sugar scrubs in the kitchen are not!

How to do it: Mix equal parts of white or brown sugar and olive or almond oil and add essential oils of choice (optional). To exfoliate skin, rub the mixture onto skin and massage in for a couple of minutes. Rinse off with warm water. Enjoy!

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Natural Microdermabrasion

Ever seen those ads for microdermabrasion (not even sure I’m spelling it right!). Well, they look expensive and I’m leery of the chemicals they might contain. No worries though… the kitchen can help! Baking soda is a very effective natural and gentle abrasive that pulls off dead skin cells and makes skin glow!

How to Do It: Wet face with warm water. Pour some baking soda into hands and massage into your face for at least 3 minutes. It will sting a little (its called abrasion!). Rinse with warm water and pat dry.

Those are all strange kitchen ingredients I’ve put on my face, hair or skin. What are your beauty tricks and tips? What is the strangest thing you’ve tried in the name of beauty?

Shared at Conversion Diary and Fight Back Friday

Reader Comments

  1. Robyn says

    Thanks for the tips — I never would have guessed about the strawberries being good teeth whiteners. I’m definitely going to try that one! Actually, I plan on trying all of these.

    • Ralitsa says

      I use baking soda and lemon juice instead of the strawberries. Only once a week, otherwise you are destroying your teeth enamel.

  2. Daria says

    I’ve heard of mixing baking soda and peroxide as a tooth whitening paste, but never strawberries!  Very interesting.  Certainly cheaper than the gels you can buy from dentist for hundreds of dollars.
    Also I may try the oil cleansing.  I found out recently that I have rosacea so I have to be careful with my cleansers, so this seems like an all natural treatment that would be good for it.  The only thing I’m not sure of is the steaming part, as rosacea flushing will be more promenient with hot water and I’ve been trying to use only cold water on my face.  I will look into it.

    • says

      A better safer whitener is activated charcoal. Strawberries are acidic and as a result can strip the enamel from your teeth where as charcoal just absorbs the tannins that are staining your teeth.

      • Sara says

        Charcoal doesn’t have the best taste, just a warning (neither does baking soda) :P I once was poisoned as a kid (ate the wrong leaves in the garden) and had to eat activated charcoal. Not a good memory.

  3. says

    I love the ideas! I have started using more natural items as cleansers and such, especially coconut oil as a moisturizer.  Before I got pregnant, the oil-cleansing method did not work very well for me, so I switched to using baking soda as a cleanser, apple cider vingear as a toner, and coconut oil to moisturize, and tea tree oil for spot treatment.  Once I got pregnant though, the baking soda was too drying, so I just use a creme cleanser from Aveda (not as natural, I know!) and coconut oil to moisturize. My skin is probably better than it ever has been in my life!  If I could find a more natural cleanser, I would switch…

      • says

        I’ll have to try it again. The last one I tried was a little too drying and at this current point in time, I need something the cleans but really moisturizes.  I’ll look again!

          • Marsha says

            I use your homemade shampoo as a face and body wash also. A lot of cleansers cause major breakouts on my face, but your shampoo followed by cider vinegar rinse, sea salt spritz and coconut oil as a moisturizer do a good job. Not breakout free, but VERY minimal and I think that is just because my face is adjusting

        • Amanda says

          I make a homemade bar soap that has sea kelp, coconut oil, hazelnut oil, bentonite clay, and tea tree oil in it and it works great on acne prone skin. I formulated it for my sister who had spend a lot of money on proactiv and stuff like that, we haven’t used anything since.

          • Courtney Pearce says

            Now that is a recipe that I would love to have… Would you be willing to share the recipe?

  4. Jxnklm says

    That oil pulling hurts my teeth; what do you think that’s about?  I stopped using commercial toothpaste about a year ago.  I use baking soda and some sea salt (Himalayian ?) and essential oils for taste.  My teeth are not sensitive any more!!!

    • Ryandkels says

      I haven’t done oil pulling exactly like you’re supposed to, but I often rub some coconut oil on my teeth and let it sit there for a few minutes before brushing my teeth, and you’re right, I started noticing my teeth hurting a little and being more sensitive. Anyone know why this would be? I want to try oil pulling, but I’m nervous about my teeth hurting…

      • says

        I’ve heard of some people having this reaction to oil pulling. It
        could be that it is pulling a lot out and making them sensitive, or
        that you need to remineralize them first. Have you tried a toothpaste
        with calcium in it for a while first to help strengthen teeth?

  5. Jeanne G. says

    Coconut oil is great for scalp massages and helps your hair grow, if you want it to get longer. You can use a small amount as a leave in or more as a deep conditioner– but you have to wash it out (probably with shampoo) if you don’t want to look greasy. At least if your hair is like mine. I have heard it doesn’t show in thick, dark hair, but mine is thinner and light brown.

  6. Anonymous says

    I’ve also read that the pit in an avocado is great for massaging the bottoms of your feet. Bonus! And olive oil is also good for moisturizing the skin.

  7. Donna says

    I like using grapeseed oil on my legs when they are dry. Be careful about staining if you use too much though.

  8. Ryandkels says

    I use coconut oil or organic unrefined shea butter for moisturizer, and I brush with either coconut oil or baking soda. Sometimes I will use apple cider vinegar as a conditioner. I tried using raw apple cider vinegar for a toner like you suggested in a different post, but holy cow the fumes burn my eyes and mouth and nose! I’m careful not to get it around my eyes, or right under my nose, but those fumes are strong and no matter what I do it burns for a minute after applying. Am I the only one with this issue??? I’d like to use it for my toner, but It’s just really hard to get over that burning after I put it on. Any ideas?

    • says

      Have you tried diluting with water? If you have any chamomile or
      lavender flowers (dried or fresh) you can make an infusion with these
      in water and mix half and half with the vinegar to dilute it. You can
      also just dilute with water and it should make it more mild. The only
      caveat… once you dilute, it is better to store in the fridge.

    • Ralitsa says

      Undiluted apple cider vinegar burns your skin. I use one cup of green tea mixed with 1/2 cup of apple cider vinegar and few drops of lemon juice as a toner.

    • Alison G. says

      I had the same problem when I first used the Apple Cider Vinegar as a toner. I wet a cotton ball with Rosewater then add a few drops (6-10) of the ACV with a glass dropper. Works great and doesn’t burn! Also, I’ve been washing my face with ground Oatmeal, Almond Meal and buttermilk powder mixed with Rosewater, witch hazel, baking soda, a little carrier oil (jojoba oil, grapeseed oil, or sweet almond oil or a mixture there of) honey and a couple drops of essential oils. (I use Thyme, Lavender, Rosemary, tea tree, Chamomile (Blue or Roman) or a mixture there of). I know it sounds like A LOT but my face has never been smoother and my pores have never looked smaller!!! Oh also, after washing my face with this mixture I use some baking soda as an exfolient. After that is when I use the ACV with the Rosewater.

        • Alison G. says

          Sure :) I don’t use exact measurements but it goes something like this…

          SOLIDS
          1/4 cup ground oats
          1/4 cup Almond Meal (Bob’s Mill or you can grind almonds)
          2 Tbsp Baking Soda
          1/2 tsp Activated Charcoal

          LIQUIDS
          3 Tbsp Rosewater
          2 Tbsp Witch Hazel
          1 tsp Honey
          1/4 tsp Oil (I only add this sometimes so it’s optional and you can use any oil that is best for your skin)
          Essential Oils (see below)

          I add the solid together then the liquids. If it comes out too thin just add more ground oats. If too thick add more Rosewater. For the EO’s I add 4-6 drops Tee Trea, 3-4 drops Lavender, 1 drop Roman Chamomile, 1 drop Thyme, 1 drop Neem.

          Now, like I said, it’s not an exact science when I do it. Sometimes I only add the Tea Tree. Sometimes I add a big pinch of bentonite clay. Sometimes I don’t put the honey or the carrier oil. It all depends on what my skin is doing at the time. Hope this helps! Let me know if you have any questions :)

          • Alison G. says

            Oh I forgot…. in the SOLIDS I sometimes add the powdered Buttermilk. I get the kind in the packets and I use 1/3 of the packet. That comes out to about 1 Tbsp. Sorry!!

          • GIANGEET says

            GOOD 4 U ALLISON! THROUGHOUT THE YRS I HAVE MADE VERY SIMILAR MIXES FOR BOTH FACE & BODY, VARYING THEM AS TIME GOES BY. AND THEY ALL WORK WONDERS. IT’S AMAZING HOW BIG BUSSINESS MAKES US BELEIVE THAT WE HAVE TO BUY THEIR PRODUCTS FOR WHATEVER REASON THEY GIVE US. BUT WE KNOW BETTER. IT’S A LOT HEALTHIER TO USE NATURAL HOME-MADE FRESH PRODUCTS. AND WE CAN ACTUALLY PRESERVE THEM W/ NATURAL PRESERVATIVES LIKE ASCORBIC ACID (FROM VITAMIN C), GRAPESEED EXTRACT, VITAMIN E, ETC. PLUS IT’S FUN TO MAKE OUR OWN STUFF

  9. Lauren Trussell says

    Quick question on the oil cleansing for face – is it ok to do this every day? I’ve read it should only be done once per day max or even only every few days, especially for sensitive skin. If I work out in the morning and need to wash my face before work, is there a natural wash I can make at home for day? Or to use in general if I can’t tolerate OCM too often?

        • Lauren Trussell says

          Another idea I found and have been using for the past few days is a natural almond oil cleanser. You mix 1 teaspoon honey, 1 teaspoon sweet almond oil and 2 tablespoons organic whole milk. My almond oil has a few drops of lavender essential oil mixed in and it makes the cleanser smell lovely. I pop it in the microwave for just a quick second to mix the honey in well. Pour the liquid into your hands and massage into face for a couple of minutes, then rinse and pat dry. Soft and smooth and very gentle for sensitive faces like mine! This quick cleanser works for me on off nights from OCM.

  10. says

    Thanks for a great post, I’m thrilled to have found your blog! I intend trying several of your ideas.  I have a very sensitive dry skin, and have been making my own toner for some time (half rosewater, half witchazel, 1 tsp glycerine, bottle and shake well), and I love sweet almond oil and coconut oil as moisturizers.  I’m going to try your oil cleansing :)

  11. Destinee Fiecko says

    Hello! According to http://oilpulling.com/index.htm , the only oils that you’re supposed to use for oil pulling are cold-pressed or refined oils. The ones they recommend are sunflower oil and sesame oil. Maybe recommending olive oil is the reason some people are experiencing pain of the teeth and gums? Thanks for the tips though! I’m new to your blog and am finding it very informative! Thanks for everything you do!

  12. says

    Thanks for all these great tips! i definitely need to try the natural hair conditioner because every store bought item i have tried just doesn’t work!!  i am not a fan of bananas but if it works i could learn to love them!!

    not sure if anyone else mentioned this but another great facial scrub is oatmeal and honey. it gets a little messy (when the honey warms up from your body temp, honey dripping everywhere!) but leaves your face feeling GREAT!

  13. Nairedd says

    Do you have any suggestions for acne prone skin? I have tried prescription stuff as well as Proactive. I am 31 almost 32 and I feel more insecure then I did when I was a teenager.

    • says

      Are you eating wheat and dairy? I used to have acne also and it went away completely when I removed wheat from my diet. I’ve also seen other cases where it was caused by an underlying food allergy. Also, fermented cod liver oil and gelatin internally might help.

      • Morneau_for_4 says

        Good advice. I didn’t realize that my acne, which was chronic for about 20 years, was actually a reaction of my body trying to get rid of the toxins in my body. I changed to a good fat diet, no sugar, no grains (like the food plate you recommend), and after a few eruptions to sweep the toxins, it cleared up. Good food is amazing. We always treat it topically, but it’s usually within.

    • Melanie says

      Im 47. Nothing EVER worked for me until a couple months ago. I had a very bad bright red rash, (a reaction to a medicine that was prescribed), that covered my face, neck, & chest. I didnt wanna leave the house!! Of everything I googled I chose 3 things to do. (1) I wiped down the rash daily with a dilution of organic apple cider vinegar (oacv) & water (50:50). (2) I drank an oacv “cocktail” first thing in the morning, everyday, on an empty stomach. (I can give you the recipe if you wanna try it). And (3) I applied a 50•50 mixture of honey and cinnamon (ceylon) to the rash, everyday, for 20 minutes. Everything must be organic. Non-organic ingredients are stripped of beneficial stuff when its processed and wont work. The rash was stubborn, it took a good 2-3wks to go away. But when it did, not only was the rash gone, my face was unbelievably clear! My gosh, I wouldve killed for this recipe in HS!! My mom spent so much money on so much stuff that only made my face worse. And the whole time, there was this cheap, easy solution. Now I know everyones body is different. This was a miracle thing for me. I hope it is for you too, if you decide to try it.

  14. Ursula says

    My daughter had a bad case of rosacea in her early twenties, and despite all sorts of harsh medicated products it did not improve. I told her to wash her face with full fat organic plain yogurt, nothing else, and it healed in a week. Rinse it off with tepid water, not cold. When she has a flare-up now (which is rare) she just goes back to yogurt and it works every time. If you have a problem with rosacea, you might want to try this.

  15. says

    Thank you for all these tips! I am very intrigued with the oil cleansing. I followed the link you shared, and have a question: It says to do it regularly, but not frequently. What does that mean? Not every night? If so, what would you use to cleanse when not using the oils? Thank you!

    • says

      Once your skin adjusts, a warm washcloth will work in between oil cleansing, or I use microfiber now, which removes all dirt and bacteria without stripping natural oils.

  16. Aysha Julie says

    Your site if fabulous.  Thanks for all the info, we are ditching the chemcials  and I’m even trying to go no poo!  My husband and I have started to use Tuna (you giys might know it as Nopal, a type of cactus in the aloe vera family) as a facial cleanser and body wash.  It seems to be naturals soap and has wonderful grainy bits in it too so you do actually feel clean too.  My skin has never felt and smelt better.

  17. Wideawake306 says

    I use coconut oil as a moisturizer after washing my face at night. I have acne, so many times washing my face irriates it a little too much. Coconut has antibacterial properties to protect, and moisturizes : )  I’ve also heard it’s great as a hair mask, I’ll be trying that next!

  18. Cheryl says

    Just wondering, why is it bad to use straight castor oil? I am new to the ocm and have been massaging a little straight castor oil on, then top it with more coconut oil or olive oil to dilute it a bit. Is that ok? Or maybe I should get another jar and mix them together in their proper ratios?

  19. Lelecano says

    I have used coconut oil for my daughters bum when she was a baby and it kept her clear of diaper rash. Although now she has excema below her bum on the back of her legs, I use coconut oil but it doesn’t seem to be enough. Any tips on excema?

  20. geideja says

    Saw this post on the natural skincare forum. Some of your tricks aren’t safe.

    We shouldn’t use strawberries to whiten our teeth because it will damage the enamel because of sugar.

    Another thing about Natural Microdermabrasion, you said it stings because it is called abrasion. No, it stings because it is very alkaline and really bad for our skin. Baking soda’s pH is 9 (which is equivalent to SLS) and our skin is between 4.5 to 5.5. In the long run, it will damage the skin barrier. Scrubbing it with baking soda can increase moisture loss and decrease the ability to keep bacteria on your skin in check.

  21. says

    Eggs in my hair! Once a week makes hair grow. I just mix one raw egg with my shampoo. Must rinse with cool water so not to” cook” the egg on your head. Or my favorite hair mask: avocado, egg, honey and olive oil, blended until smooth and let sit in my hair for 20 min.

  22. Havita says

    I have some gingivitis and have so desperately wanted to get into the habit of oil pulling to help reverse the condition. (I also use the tooth powder recipe on your site) However, each time I try (I’ve tried coconut oil, olive oil, and sesame) I have such a terrible gag reflex that I can’t make it more than a minute. I try distracting myself, breathing deeply through the nose, etc., however, each time I can’t make it long. What am I doing wrong and what can I do to get past this?

  23. ayushi says

    HI
    MY FACE AND SKIN BECOME DULL DAY BY DAY..
    BECAUSE I DID NOT TAKE MY PROPER MEALS AT TIME JUST BECAUSE THAT I M VERY FIGURE CONCIOUS AND I M ALWAYS SCARED OF BECOME FATTY..AND THE RESULT OF ALL THIS THAT MY FACE IS LOSING ITS GLOW AND BECOME DULL A WELL AS SKIN BECOMES DARKER..
    SO PLEASE SUGGEST ME ABOUT IT I WANT TO BE SLIM ALWAYS AND WANT GLOWING FACE IN ABOUT A MONTH SO PLEASE HELP..
    THANKS

  24. Sophie Jonas-Hill says

    I used the OCM twice a day and my skin looks amazing – I’ve had no problems at all and have been doing it for six months, maybe I’m just lucky? I use just pure organic olive oil. I wouldn’t want to try anything that’s an acid as a teeth whitener though, but I might give the charcoal a go. My big hunt at the moment is hair conditioner, nothing I’ve found is working on my hair the way conventional stuff does, I find all the oil treatments refuse to wash out even after two shampoos – but I’m still looking. Going to try Katie’s shampoo next and have just set my hair in pin curls with the salt spray, though I fear I may have over done it – my hair feels a bit gritty!

  25. Brandy Lynne says

    I love love love all of these all-natural remedies. I will definitely try and post results. Thank you, all, so much!!!

  26. Sara says

    I’m also going to post here to warn people: don’t put anything on your teeth without knowing anything about the chemistry it does! You only have one set of teeth, don’t ruin them to get them white.

    Any fruit, also strawberries, is acid. Wait at least 30min before brushing your teeth (or a similar action), otherwise you’ll be damaging your enamel. Also, baking soda damages enamel. Please don’t overdo it. I’m European and I sometimes wonder at the fluorescent smiles I see on television… there’s a difference between getting your teeth ivory and ruin them. Also bear in mind that each person has a natural teeth color, and rather than fixing stuff later, don’t drink tea/coffee/… (or rinse thoroughly afterwards) or smoke.

  27. Amanda says

    I love making natural cosmetics, but is there a way to use cocoa as a colorant for lotion without it staining the skin? I just want lotion, not a bronzer, but it’s a gift and I want it to be a tan-ish brown color….

  28. Julie says

    For your skin I would caution the use of coconut oil if you break out. It is NOT noncomedemic meaning it can clog pores. I would also not use baking soda as an exfoliant on your skin because it will through your skins PH way off because it is

  29. Vivian Westwood says

    I have been on the Lady Soma Detox 3 times in the past year and have experience exceptional results each time! I feel so clean internally afterwards, plus I have higher levels of energy and clarity of thought. The 7 days of cleansing is intense but the results are worth the effort!

    I am very careful to drink plenty of purified water (8 – 10 cups) each day during and after the cleanse. I really love how I feel during and after the detox – it’s amazing!!

  30. AH says

    I use fresh lemon juice as a fruit acid facial exfoliant…much less irritating than a gritty scrub, and it leaves my skin smooth. I only leave it on for 5-10 minutes before rinsing and moisturizing with coconut oil.

  31. Kunal Khosla says

    hey katie i like your smile :) and more over i like this whole post which is too interesting i promise i follow this post from my heart

  32. Diana says

    Best hardening face mask ever: WHEAT GERM!! This stuff is so “strong” when it hardens, I caution you to be extremely careful not to put in sensitive areas around eyes or below jaw line or right around nostricls. I use the bones in my face as boundaries. Eye socket area outside the bones around the eyes, and the jaw line are great! Everywhere else on the face? Perfect! I don’t mix anything but water with the wheat germ, or when I esp. want a really clean feel, I’ll use lemon juice, but be careful with that if you have sensitive skin. It may sting a little bit if you have any sensititive spots on your face re your skin or have any small cuts that can happen sometimes (i.e., you went out hiking and caught a switch somewhere in the face from backlashing branches! ). But the sting for me has never lasted more than a few moments and I’ve been using this face mask for 20 years now!

    I don’t measure anything anymore, sorry! I use about 1/4-1/2 t of ground wheat germ that I initially ground up in my blender and keep in a jar in the fridge. I add just enough liquid to make a paste (as liquidy or dry as you will get to feel is best for you over time. No way to know which you prefer till you try, unfortunately ).

    You need to apply the paste somewhat quickly as the mixture hardens up fairly fast, then I apply all over my face, just avoiding points I mentioned above – not in and around eyes, keeping to above eyebrows and outside the eye socket area, never below jawline (ouch!!) and avoiding right around the nostrils. If you can stand the idea of sleeping with this mixture on, that works the best but even 1/2 hour will give great benefits. I use the overnight method when I need an esp. radiant-feeling skin the next day, like for my little sister’s wedding in 1997! I felt really super great that day with radiant skin and lovely makeup job and great dress!

    To remove, to take your morning shower and _gently_ soften the hardened wheat germ mask and gently wash away. It’s easier in the shower, though you can do in sink. It just takes more effort as this dries on really nice and well.

    Boy oh boy, for the next few hours, you’ll realize there are breezes in the daily air you walk around in your now baby-soft skin never feels, the results are that good!

    I have never found any other face mask that cleanses and cleans so thoroughly or so gently. It’s a food product that you can put inside your body, so the outside of your body loves it just fine. I’m lactose- and gluten-intolerant, but have never had any reactions to this. If in doubt, though, I’d do the usual test, mix this up and try on a small spot on your jawline to see if your skin likes it. Should be safe enough if after a few hours, you still don’t feel any reaction at all. Good luck!

  33. Rachel says

    I just want to say THANK YOU!!!! Ihave been using proactibe for years and my skin was clear except for a plague of blackheads I could never rid myself of. I switched to the oil cleansing method all at once and threw out all my nasty chemicals. I was going for broke here. I must say my skin has never looked better!! It improved the first day and two weeks out Im still way better off than any day on proactive. Cancelling my proactive subscription has been more difficult than switching to oil. Thank you for saving my skin and my wallet!!!

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