Do it yourself skin care in the form of masks, scrubs, moisturizers and toners are cheap and effective natural solutions for treating common skin complaints such as dry skin, acne and enlarged pores. Most of these ingredients can be found in your pantry or refrigerator. It’s always a good idea to do a patch test on your jawline to test for an allergic reaction or for sensitivity to these ingredients. The natural ingredients below can be used alone or combined.

Baking Soda

The fine granules of baking soda, make it an effective non-abrasive skin exfoliant. To make a scrub using baking soda, combine just enough water with 1 tablespoon of the baking soda to create a paste. Once you have made a paste, gently apply with your fingertips in a circular motion. Splash your skin with cool water to completely remove it from your skin.


Avocado contains the antioxidant vitamin E and vitamin A. The omega 6 fatty acids contained in avocado are moisturizing to the skin. For a simple and hydrating mask, mash a fresh avocado and apply to your skin. Keep it on for 10 to 20 minutes and wash it off using cool water and a soft wash cloth.


On your skin, oatmeal acts like a sponge, soaking up impurities. Oatmeal is known to soothe dry, itchy skin and to smoothen out flakey skin. To use oatmeal as a scrub and a mask, mix one tablespoon of oatmeal with enough water to form a paste. Gently massage the mixture into your skin and leave it on for 10 to 15 minutes until it dries. Rinse the oatmeal off with lukewarm water and complete this facial with a splash of cool water.


Yogurt naturally contains lactic acid, an ingredient found in many over-the-counter skin care products. Lactic acid is a natural wrinkle fighter and exfoliator. Zinc, another important component of yogurt helps to reduce redness and swelling in the skin. If you don’t have a dairy intolerance or allergy, give it a try. Simply apply enough plain yogurt to cover your skin, avoiding your eyes. Once the mask has dried, remove with cool water and a wash cloth.


Bananas are the ultimate skin tightener. When used regularly, bananas can soften and moisturize the skin and reduce the appearance of fine lines. Mash up a ripe banana and apply it to your skin including the neck and décolleté area. Leave it on until the mask dries. Remove it with cool water and a soft wash cloth.


Lemons contain vitamin C, an antioxidant that works to protect and repair skin cells. The alpha hydroxyl acids contained in lemon juice tone the skin and minimize the appearance of enlarged pores.  Lemon juice contains natural antibacterial properties and when used regularly it can be an effective treatment for mild acne. Squeeze the juice of a half of a lemon in a bowl and dilute it with 4 tablespoons of water. Use a cotton ball to apply the mixture to freshly washed skin. Splash your skin with cool water to remove any excess toner.


Honey is a humectant. This means that it helps to retain moisture in the skin. When honey is mixed with water it forms hydrogen peroxide which is a natural antibacterial and skin brightener. Honey can also be used as spot treatment for acne lesions. Mix two tablespoons of honey with one teaspoon of water. Apply using your finger tips or a clean make-up brush. Leave the mask on your skin for 10 to 20 minutes and wash off with cool water.

About the Author

Dr. Olivia Rose graduated from the University of Guelph with a Bachelor of Science Honours degree in Nutritional and Nutraceutical Sciences and in 2006, she graduated from the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine.

In addition to her private practice, Dr. Rose is the director of Fertility Acupuncture Services, a mobile service that brings acupuncture to couples undergoing in vitro fertilization and intrauterine insemination at Toronto fertility clinics. Her special areas of interest include infertility; children and teen health; stress management; weight loss; heart disease; digestive and immune health; skin rejuvenation and pain management. She is a birth doula and has additional training in cosmetic acupuncture and needle-less therapies for skin rejuvenation and joint pain.

Dr. Rose is a sought-after lecturer for community organizations; a freelance writer and mentor to new graduates. She has been interviewed by various media outlets including Global Toronto’s, “The Morning Show”, “News at Noon” and “News Hour”. In her free time, she unplugs at the spa and she enjoys spending quality time with her husband, son and tea-cup Yorkie. For more information on Dr. Rose's practice and special events, please visit -