Kris Carr

Blog Post

Make Your Own Natural & Amazing Skincare (recipes included!)

Hiya Gorgeous!

Today I’m super excited to announce our new beauty editor… Danielle Shine!

Danielle is a Natural Foods Chef and Health Coach who specializes in making DIY beauty recipes. She’ll be sharing her talent with us here at—and I’m so excited to have her on board!

This week, Danielle will be showing us how to use common kitchen ingredients to make our own beauty products and skincare at home.

How cool is that? While you’re whipping up that morning smoothie or healthy dinner, why not add some skin and haircare recipes to the menu too.

Without further ado, here’s the amazing and wonderful beauty advice from Danielle…

Kitchen Cupboard Skincare Essentials

by Beauty Editor Danielle Shine

Having just spent a small fortune on the latest n’ greatest brand-name skin care products promising to make my skin look clearer, glossier, brighter, healthier, *insert-more-desirable-words-here* I did NOT want to hear this news, but boy am I glad I did!

I’d just scored the job of all jobs: I was a fashion PR girl in London, destined to live a life FILLED with glamour, style and sophistication! Only… I wasn’t feeling so fabulous because my skin was constantly dry, dull and flaky—prone to breakouts any day of the week, usually right before important meetings, first dates and anything remotely exciting requiring me to look and feel my absolute best.

I was tired, broke and desperate.

I’d begun asking anyone with normal-looking skin to PLEASE HELP ME, buying anything and everything recommended in a bid to bring back healthy skin that would make me feel confident. And then finally someone told me:

“Beauty products are highly overrated and filled with all kinds of nasty chemicals that confuse your body. You have all you need at home in your kitchen cupboards, start there…”

The day I received this advice had been a long one. I was tired and desperate to go home and scrape off the thick-as-cement foundation I’d applied that morning to hide all the multitude of issues I was dealing with underneath. I had one more meeting then I was done…That was THE meeting that changed the skincare game for me!

Long story short, I met an A-list celeb client who was visiting the office for a fitting.

She took one look at my makeup-drowned-face, promptly telling me I had to:

  1. Clean up my diet (light bulb number one)
  2. Go back to skincare basics by ditching expensive products in favor of more natural, gentler and more effective solutions often found in my kitchen cupboards!

Because I’m not one to keep anything health-supportive to myself, here are some of the BEST kitchen cupboard items I’ve found to be incredibly effective when it comes to skincare…

Food-Based Beauty Recipes

Cacao Butter

If you’re a chocoholic like me, you’ll already know this healthy fat-filled plant butter is the main element you need to create a healthier version of your favorite chocolate bar, but did you know cacao butter is also used in MANY beauty products like body lotions, lipsticks and face creams?

Cacao butter is included in mainstream beauty products because it soothes sensitive skin and helps reduce inflammation. Rich in vitamin E (far more than shea butter, another common ingredient used in commercial moisturisers and stretch mark creams), cacao butter also contains Vitamin K and health-supportive fatty acids including oleic, linoleic, arachidic and palmitic which lubricate the skin, forming a protective healing layer to lock in moisture and promote healing.

How to use at home:
Warm a little in your hands and massage it into arms, legs, elbows – anywhere you need extra moisture!

Break off a 1-inch piece and drop it into your next bath. The hot water will melt its buttery goodness which can then be absorbed into the skin, leaving it silky smooth minus any synthetic chemicals!

Coconut Oil

Most commonly known as the sweet-smelling, deliciously-decadent oil that complements MANY real-food-recipes, coconut oil is truly the gift that keeps on giving. Thanks to its potent antioxidants, antibacterial properties and moisturizing fatty acids that possess potent disinfectant and antimicrobial properties, coconut oil possesses the power to moisturize, safeguard and help skin heal FAST!

A little goes a LONG way, but have fun experimenting its effectiveness via the suggestions below.

How to use at home:
Massage 1 teaspoon worth onto skin before shaving. Using coconut oil in place of overpriced chemical-laden shaving creams is a much safer, more simple and sterile way to nix unwanted hairs on your body while moisturising those areas too.

Massage 1-2 teaspoon/s over makeup, following with a warmed facial cloth to easily, effectively remove every last bit of the day—including all the microscopic grime, bad bacteria and dirt build up that naturally accumulates on your skin.

Sweet Almond Oil

A great health-supportive oil to move from your kitchen to the bathroom to take advantage of its many healing benefits. Sweet almond oil is packed with vitamins E and A, monosaturated fatty acids, protein, potassium and zinc that support, strengthen and soothe skin FAST.

When applied topically, the Vitamin E in sweet almond oil helps promote softer, smoother looking skin. It also aids in protecting the skin by actively reducing free radical damage that contributes to premature aging.

Vitamin A is often celebrated for its effective wound healing abilities. Aside from its powerful ability to reduce acne, it also supports production of collagen responsible for keeping skin supple and wrinkle-free.

How to use at home:
Dark under eye circles BE GONE! Gentle massage 2 drops onto the skin around your eyes, using very light touch, two to three times throughout the day and watch the darkness turn to light.

Want longer, more luscious lashes? Combine 1 teaspoon sweet almond oil with 1 teaspoon castor oil, find a spare mascara wand and paint on this magical mixture before bedtime.

Vanilla Extract

Got organic vanilla extract? Don’t just use it in baking! Vanilla extract has long been used to reduce skin infections and support wound healing. It houses potent anti-inflammatory properties that help soothe irritated skin and provide protection from free radical damage. It also contains essential B vitamins including niacin, thiamin, riboflavin, vitamin B6, and pantothenic acid which (internally and externally) help maintain healthy-looking skin.

How to use at home:
Ditch synthetic, chemical-laden perfumes and create your own instead! Combine 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract with 2-3 tablespoons of sweet almond oil (depending on your preference of scent) in a darkened spray bottle which will keep it fresher for longer—up to 6 months. Shake well before each use and spray on pulse points for best results.

Create a delicious-smelling, antioxidant-rich bath by blending 1 tablespoon vanilla extract + 1 cup oatmeal + 1 cup water + ½ cup baking soda. Pour this sweet-smelling paste under running water to infuse into your bath. The oats will soothe dry, itchy skin while the baking soda will help to remove bacteria and any odours from the day.

A few more fun foodie ingredients to consider playing with…

Organic cornstarch

Most commonly used as a thickening agent in liquid-based foods like soups, sauces, gravies, custards and yogurts, cornstarch can also perform a variety of helpful beauty roles too. Given its main role is to absorb moisture, it’s best used in place of things like talc powder and dry shampoo (when paired with a little baking soda). A little sprinkled directly onto an unruly knot will help to lubricate the fibers of your hair, making it MUCH easier to manage!


Weird but true, this yeast-y beverage makes the BEST rinse and setting lotion for your luscious locks (your hair!). Best used when flat not fresh, the sugar and protein in beer work to thicken your hair, so the next time someone offers you a ‘cold one’, say yes, open it up and leave it for a couple hours, then *BOOM* hello amazing hair treatment! Oh, and ladies, do NOT worry about any weird beer smells, the odor disappears as soon as your hair dries, I’ve tried and tested it.

Liquid Chlorophyll

Was it just me who jumped on the bandwagon of adding liquid chlorophyll to water a few years ago or did you do this too? Back then it was quite pricey, though nowadays it’s much cheaper and easier to find. Essentially, chlorophyll is to plants what haemoglobin is to blood: an extremely VITAL part of healthy (plant) life. Aside from it being a great addition to your diet, it makes for a wonderful antibacterial, anti-inflammatory toner for your skin also! Apply a little on a cotton bud and pat onto any areas that may need a little extra love and attention – chlorophyll is an excellent wound healer.

Your turn: Did this article inspire you to try this at home? Let us know! And if you’re already tinkering with making your own beauty products, tell us about it in the comments below. We’d love to try them out!

Peace & beauty,

Add a comment
  1. Elizabeth says:

    So excited to see this…I’ve been following Chef Shine for. Long time and love her!! I use many of these ingredients at home but didn’t know about the vanilla extract. As a health and beauty blogger I am fortunate to try some wonderful natural skincare , but there are so many things you can make yourself at home. Fun to learn something new and I look forward to hearing more from Chef Shine.

  2. Chris Evans says:

    These are great! I’m allergic to a few chemicals that are in almost all the traditional skin care products and shampoos., so always looking for ideas for substitutes. I’d love to hear some ideas on shampoo.

    • kris says:

      Here’s a shampoo recipe that Danielle created for us: Hope that helps! xo, kc

      • Elissa says:

        Chiming in to say how much we love that recipe Kris, Chef Shine’s shampoo is a firm favourite in our house. Even my husband uses religiously because it helped solve his dandruff problem, he calls it his ‘no-poo-poo’ and travels with a bottle of it when away from home. Thankful to you and Danielle for sharing 🙂

        • kris says:

          So happy the No Poo Shampoo recipe is a hit in your home! Thank YOU! xo, kc

        • Danielle says:

          Elissa, your comment makes me smile BIG! I love reading about how your hubby loves my No Poo Shampoo recipe, and how it has helped clear his dandruff, wonderful news. It’s such a simple-yet-effective recipe, I make it in bulk for my dad who also used to have a dandruff issue (but no longer does!). Thanks for taking the time to comment x

        • Danielle says:

          Elissa, your comment makes me smile BIG! I love reading about how your hubby loves my No Poo Shampoo recipe, and how it has helped clear his dandruff, wonderful news. It’s such a simple-yet-effective recipe, I make it in bulk for my dad who also used to have a dandruff issue (but no longer does!). Thanks for taking the time to comment x

    • Danielle says:

      Hi Chris! Shampoos are notorious for housing hidden chemicals that can mess with our immune system. Aside from my simple-but-effective No Poo Shampoo recipe Kris has already linked you to, I recommend looking for brands offering products free from: SLS, parabens, dyes, gluten, artificial colors, iodine, glycols, sulfates, artificial fragrances, phosphates, pesticides and of course, animal testing. Hope this helps!

  3. Pam says:

    Good info but would love recipe for moisture lotion for face or how to create your own foundation that is healthy for your skin..

    • kris says:

      Thanks for the suggestions Pam! Will keep them in mind for the future. xo, kc

    • Danielle says:

      Hi Pam, great ideas for possible future posts perhaps! I’m currently playing around with making more health-supportive foundations, so stay tuned!

      And in terms of a good face moisturizer, you can simply use a high-quality organic jojoba oil (I like the Naissance brand). A few drops are all you need to maintain healthy pores because jojoba oil is such a close match to the sebum (oily substance) our skin naturally creates!

      With that said, if you’re looking for something a little more intense re: healing and restoring, mix together 1 teaspoon each: argan, carrot, olive, sesame seed and sunflower oil. This concoction provides great levels of Vitamins A & E + also helps protect the skin against UV rays. Just remember to always choose organic oils where possible, you can store this mix in a dark bottle in a cool place for up to 4 months x

  4. Mojca says:

    Love these suggestions and love that you’re on board of Kris Carr’s wellness cruiser Danielle! I love making my own lotions and potions and looking forward to more ideas & inspiration from you! Xx

  5. Dory says:

    Hello, thank you for the blog. Some very yummy ideas?. I do want to caution folks regarding almond oil. I recently took the a class on skin care and the use of oils such as washing your face with oil and diy uses. Apparently, almond oil and others can become rancid very quickly. Jojoba is probably the most stable. Just a note

    • kris says:

      Thanks for the note Dory! Danielle recommends applying it under the eyes and to the lashes so these simple applications should work, as long as the sweet almond oil is stored properly and hasn’t gone bad. We’ll look into jojoba as an alternative. Many thanks! xo, kc

      • Dory says:

        Also love evening primrose for it’s high concentration of omega 6 and others for it’s anti inflammatory properties

        • Danielle says:

          A great oil Dory! It seems to minimize irritation and redness for many of my friends who have suffered with eczema. Not to be used as a permanent treatment for skin irritations (because I’m a firm believer in doing further ‘digging’ to find the source of the problem which often lies in the gut) but definitely a great oil to apply topically every now and then x

    • Danielle says:

      Hi Dory, great comment – I think you might have been warned about using straight almond oil perhaps…also known as ‘bitter’ almond oil which is different to the sweet variety. Bitter almond oil is more of an essential oil which must be diluted in a carrier oil before being applied to your skin. Technically, you can dilute bitter almond oil in sweet almond oil which is always fun, so long as you aren’t allergic to almonds! And always remember a little goes a long way x

  6. Steph & Miriam says:

    Woo hoo! WE LOVE CHEF SHINE!! Mum and I first saw Danielle speak at a health event in London a few years ago, we’ve followed her ever since. It’s so cool to see her writing for you Kris, good on you for supporting someone so caring and genuine. I had no idea half our kitchen cupboard was re-useable in the bathroom, epic, seriously. I have the dryest elbows and am sat here now rubbing in cacao butter, SO AMAZED at how good they feel already – Danielle YOU ROCK!! Thanks to both you Kris and Chef Shine, mum and I have switched from junky diets to eating more plant-based meals. Mum is no longer a type 2 diabetic (go mumma!) and we both feel so much happier in our skin. THANK YOU!!

    • kris says:

      You are both amazing, Steph & Miriam! I share your excitement for having Danielle on board. Lots of love to you and your mama! xo, kc

    • Danielle says:

      Hey Steph, hi Miriam! Thanks so much for taking time to comment and share news of your mom’s epic health transformation, this has made my day! Sounds like you two are living your best lives now, cheers to that amazing feeling. Be sure to stay tuned, lots more geeky, healthy goodness coming x

  7. Renee says:

    Wow!! Thank you soooooo much for those easy fun tips!

  8. Susan Iseman says:

    Thanks Kris: So helpful, as always. Can you make share some info about deodorants? Brands, etc that are safe- knowing aluminum not the best option. Thanks!

      • Danielle says:

        Great share Zoey, this article really helped me locate my fav deodorants way back when I decided to make the switch!

        Hi Susan! Natural deodorant is such a love of mine – I like to switch it up and try different things in addition to making my own which is always fun. One thing I will say is: if it’s your first time switching from conventional to natural deodorant, it’s important to be aware that, depending upon the PH level of your skin, you may have a reaction to natural deodorants housing baking soda…quite a common thing, so perhaps patch test first to ensure it’s the right one for you x

  9. mary says:

    Excellent tips..

    Would you happen to know of a great way to PREVENT & TREAT traveller’s diarrehea? I have used probictos and charocoal to no help..


  10. Nancy says:

    Thank you very much! I love making my own home-made health care products. Would you happen to have a recipe for a nourishing eye cream? I’m in my early 50’s and would like to keep my eyes bright and gorgeous! Thank you!

    • kris says:

      Thank you for the suggestion! Danielle has a tip under Sweet Almond Oil above, but we will see what she can whip up in the future 🙂 xo, kc

    • Danielle says:

      Hi Nancy, LOTS of ideas, but one very simple recipe (in addition to the sweet almond oil suggestion in my post above) involves breaking open 1-2 capsules of Vitamin E gel and applying the oil underneath your eyes before bedtime. Why at night? Because Vitamin E oil is super sticky, best applied and left to work it’s oily magic when you’re asleep. And don’t forget: when applying oil/cream around your eye area use your ring finger – it’s the weakest finger that won’t pull/tear the super delicate skin around your eyes x

  11. Erin says:

    Thank you so much for such great ideas! I love learning about kitchen pantry items for beauty. I’m only familiar with cocoa butter in lotion form, but it sounds like Danielle is referring to a raw format?

    • kris says:

      Hi Erin! Yeah, Danielle is referring to Cacao butter. You’ll have to warm it up in your hands a bit before use (similar to coconut oil). Hope that helps! xo, kc

    • Danielle says:

      You got it sister! I’m talking about raw cacao butter – the same stuff used to create raw chocolate (I may be drooling as I type this…). Comes in chunky solid blocks that are creamy/beige in color x

  12. Routh says:

    I’ve have been told by a dermatologist that moisturizing your skin is all fine and well but not the same as the anti-age formulas found in skin care products (like the ones they sell). Is this true and is there a natural alternative to anti aging formulas.

    • Danielle says:

      Hi Ruth! Such a wonderful, rather in-depth question that really warrants more than just a straight Q/A here. Re: anti-aging and skin, I believe – and am learning – that it all has to do with your gut health first. What foods you eat and how you feed your body in all the ways (mental, physical, emotional) all play a role in how you look and feel. Yes, skincare products specifically formulated for anti-aging purposes do house a wealth of ingredients that have been cultivated to support certain parts of your skin. With that said, I wouldn’t be able to recommend one specifically, but perhaps an area I can look into for a future post… Danielle x

  13. Erin says:

    What great information! Thank you! What would you recommend to reduce the appearance of facial scars?

    • Danielle says:

      Hi Erin, great question – one close to my heart because many years ago, I fell (badly) during a half marathon and split my chin open! I had to have emergency plastic surgery that left me with a hugely visible scar I thought I would have to live with for the rest of my life. Back then, even though I wasn’t as engaged or interested in natural skincare support or eating only foods that support my wellness, I was desperate to try anything and had great success with liberal application of fresh (chemical-free) aloe vera gel which can succesfully soothe all kinds of damaged skin and also help regenerate skin tissue.

      With that said, healing/what to use all does depend upon what type of scarring you have -old or new/acne or trauma – but please know there are many natural things you can call upon to support… Again, another possible post I could potentially write and share in future! Thanks for the inspo x

      • Erin says:

        Looking forward to reading it! I break out in horrible acne whenever I am exposed to mold…I know crazy, right? We just replaced our mattress and it was laying on 20 year old box springs…..can’t even tell you how disgusting it was…blah! Anyway, boom….massive cystic acne breakout which is finally resolving. So mostly new scars with a few old. I bought some Derma E scar gel but am curious what you would recommend. Thanks!!!!

  14. Marci says:

    Unfortunately, coconut oil is a no-go for me as it horribly clogs my pores. My best friend lost her hair to chemo and had a dry, itchy scalp. Someone told her to apply coconut oil, which she did. The next morning she woke to a scalp covered with tiny pimples. Evidently. I’m not the only one!

    • Danielle says:

      Hi Marci, you are not the only one and coconut oil is NOT the cure-all it has been previously marketed as, thanks for highlighting this important factor. I believe anything we choose to put in or on our bodies must be done so based on our own bio-individual needs and reactions. Patch-testing is a great way to ‘taste-test’ something on your skin before adopting a full-on routine using a particular product/ingredient.

      I also believe that 99.9% of the time most skin issues are linked with a deeper issue within the gut. Starting there via a ‘microbiome’ (poop) test to check out the health of your gut garden (gut bacteria) is – I believe – one of the fastest, most effective ways to identify any anomalies that may be taking its toll on your outsides/your skin. In theory, once the gut is strengthened/healed, any natural ingredient applied topically should just be a great, health-supportive ‘add-on’ that’s employed more as a fun, enjoyable part of a bigger self-care ritual. Sending love – minus the coco oil 😉 x

  15. Lisa says:

    Thank you Danielle shine for great tips – wonderful addition to KC team we need more of these tips ! Please keep them coming !

  16. Al says:

    Hi everyone!
    Great to find this kind of info!
    I’m trying to make soap for washing dishes by hand (no electricity,here!); any ideas?
    Because 1) I can taste and smell recular dish soap (I’ll be like “Hey! Has anybody been washing my dish and/or chop sticks?!) ,and
    2) I’m pretty sure mammals weren’t meant to eat soap…
    Thanks and love!!!

    • Danielle says:

      Hi Al!

      1) I loathe regular chemical-laden dish soap too – like you, I can taste soapy residues easily (eww!)
      2) You’re correct, mammals were definitely NOT meant to eat soap!

      Aside from some great, more in-depth recipes available online that walk you through how to make your own non-toxic dishwashing detergent, here’s what I whip up every now and then when my fav non-toxic, eco-friendly products aren’t available to me… I combine: 1/2 cup liquid castile soap + 3 tablespoons distilled or filtered water + 2-3 drops organic essential oil (I use tea tree because I’m an Aussie who has been using it for years for its antibacterial properties) + 1 tsp white vinegar. Shake well and store in a cool cupboard when not in use. If you’ve not used distilled water in this recipe, be sure to use this up within 1 week. Hope it does the job. If you’re not satisfied, definitely check out some of the great non-toxic recipes available to you online, or perhaps check good ol’ Google to see if you can locate any good, sustainable brands you could order/trial. Sending all the non-toxic, de-greasing love x

  17. Kristina says:

    Hi ,
    This is just awesome! Could you please suggest how to get naturally clear and glowing skin for black woman like me.:(
    I am proud mom and school teacher who have to work around 15 hours a day. Your suggestions will be highly appreciated. Thanks

  18. Elena says:

    I agree that Sweet Almond Oil is really packed with Vitamin E! I have been using it for such a long time now. It really works wonders.

  19. Andrea says:

    I have been obsessed with natural skin care! This write up was so fantastic with a ton of useful information! I have just recently found an ebook with recipes and directions to make your own products and I’m in love!

  20. zaynclinic says:

    your tips is really amazing it’s really work and its very benefical thanks for sharing

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