The Kitchen Cupboard by Kelly

Skincare:  Natural Works?

We can spend a huge amount time, effort and money trying to find the right set of products to address each and every skin care issue we have. We spend that much time and effort as no one product deals with every issue, so we need to spend our money on three or four products at a time.  Taking more time than you actually have in the store aisle reviewing and reading ingredients ‘..with peppermint oil..’ ‘..for sensitive skin..’ ‘…deep cleansing..’ How could you not buy a product with such gorgeous labels?  “This new one must work, the label looks too good!”  You walk to the checkout with one thing in mind..”I hope this one works”

The labels lead us to believe that the bottle of ‘moisturising cleanser with added avocado oil’ will be the next miracle worker, and it must work because the label looks expensive, like something that’s sold in a high end spa.  The price also leads you to think that they must have put really good ingredients into it this time.  But when you look at the ingredient list on most commercial skin care products, they present the same things till about 3/4 of the way down and then you will see that the magic ingredient, that has been promoted so beautifully and expertly on the front, makes up about 0.5% of the total product.

So what did you pay for?  Labelling?  Marketing?  0.5% of Avocado Oil?

Let’s look at one of the main ingredients used in skin care products:

Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES) and Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS)

Both are commonly used in many soaps, shampoos, detergents, toothpastes and other products that we expect to “foam up”. Both chemicals are very effective foaming agents, chemically known as surfactants.

Unfortunately, both SLES and SLS are so very dangerous, highly irritating chemicals. Far from giving “healthy shining hair” and “beautiful skin”, soaps and shampoos containing SLES can lead to direct damage to the hair follicle, skin damage, permanent eye damage in children and even liver toxicity.

Although SLES is somewhat less irritating than SLS, it cannot be metabolised by the liver and its effects are therefore much longer-lasting. This not only means it stays in the body tissues for longer, but much more precious energy is used getting rid of it.

So if one of the first ingredients can do so much harm, and has been printed and included so blatantly in our products, how much care do we think has been given to the remaining products or even the two or three to follow? not including the 0.5% Avocado Oil.

So, what price are you prepared to pay to a) cleanse your skin? b) nourish your skin?  c) tone your skin? d) firm up your skin e) prevent and remove spots/ acne?

NATURALLY – No Small Print

Sure enough, the solution comes with four simple ingredients that do not come with side effects, high cost and ingredient lists as long as your arm.  Tried and tested, for me, they are nothing short of a miracle.

No hype, no talk-up, no marketing, just the facts.

Put them to the test and let me know how you get on.



  • Lemon is antiseptic. Bacteria grows on the skin, hence the need to cleanse thoroughly.  The body’s immune system suppresses the growth of bacteria, but when our immune system gets low, the skins pH will become unbalanced and the bacteria will grow.  This is why we end up with really ashy-type skin.  For this reason, we would need to help out the body’s immune system to neutralise the bacteria growing on the skin surface. (Have you noticed that your skin tends to be more ashy in the Autumn/ Winter months?  The same time that you’re likely to be feeling more run down or get a cold.  Your immune system is trying to tell you something.)
  • Lemon contains fatty acids that nourish the skin.
  • Lemon contains a tremendous amount of melanin which is the substance that gives skin and hair it’s colour.
  • Lemon contains astringent properties

Action: Will cleanse, nourish and restore complexion.

Directions for Use: Rub lemon on the skin.  You can use the peel and actually massage with much more force.  The key is to rub into the skin as much as possible.  It may take a few weeks to notice the benefits.  Remember, it take time to undo what has been done.

If you’re drinking the lemon first thing in mornings as Nadia’s previous posts suggest, you now have a use for the remaining lemon!




  • Blackstrap Molasses contains vitamins and minerals that are healing agents.  The nutrients contained will give the skin cells something to feed on and tone the skin
  • Blackstrap Molasses will work with wrinkles that are developing and will firm a sagging jaw.
  • Blackstrap Molasses will remove pimples and acne.
  • Blackstrap Molasses will cleanse the skin.

Action: Will cleanse, nourish, tone, address acne and restore complexion.

Directions for Use: Apply molasses on skin every day for two weeks and leave on all night.  Work the molasses into the face as you do this, it will lose it’s stickiness.  Keep working it in.  Make sure to cover the whole face. Keep on overnight.  In the morning, the best way to remove it is with olive oil on a piece of cloth.  Splash on some cool water and pat dry your face.  The cold water will tighten up the skin.

NOTE: Honey can be used in place of Blackstrap Molasses.




  • Bentonite Clay is a powerful clay and is one of the strongest clays.
  • Bentonite Clay works similarly to charcoal in that it can absorb many times it’s own weight, thus making it able to draw out impurities from the body.
  • We have a similar chemical composition to the clay found in the earth.  The only difference is that it is an inorganic form and we are made up of organic matter.  The body can still  convert the inorganic matter to organic so it will absorb the minerals in the clay and that will serve to replenish or revive the skin.
  • Bentonite Clay has a tremendous therapeutic effect and can bring back the pH balance.  It will remove a lot of the Uric Acid and Purine Acid out of the system.  We have learned previously, restoring the pH balance to skin will remove the ashy-type complexion.
  • Bentonite Clay is able to accelerate cellular growth, helping cells to perform more effectively and healthfully.
  • Bentonite clay will tighten up the skin, encourage the removal of wrinkles and sagging skin.

Action: Will replenish, tighten, restore and purify skin.

Direction for Use: Mix 1 cup of clay and enough Olive Oil to be creamy.  The olive oil makes it softer and smoother when applying to the skin.  Stir the mixture well.  You can leave it on for 15-20 minutes or let it dry.  It will tighten up the skin.




  • Witch Hazel is an astringent as lemon is. An astringent is a substance that causes contraction of tissues on application.
  • Simply, it is an agent that tightens everything up, firms and brings everything back to proper balance.

Action: Will firm the skin.

Direction for Use: Apply to the face with cotton wool and let dry.

NOTE: Distilled Witch Hazel is recommended.


As I mentioned before, I know it works.  I want you to try it and tell me about your results.  I can’t wait!…

17 thoughts on “The Kitchen Cupboard by Kelly

  1. Lovely post. I swear by Bentonite clay for my face and hair. I mix it with olive oil and honey. Works like a charm. Never tried the witch hazel but I wouldn’t mind trying it as a toner.

    So true about the stuff in our products. We think because it has fancy labeling that it is somehow good. Since making some of my own products, my skin and hair has flourished because I know exactly what’s in it. I also support companies that use all natural ingredients as well.

    • Thanks for your reply. I love making my own products – look out for recipes and more info soon. Likewise, let me know what you’re brewing up. I love to learn.

  2. Thanks for this post Kelly!!

    Since Nadia’s post on the benefits of lemon I no longer drink soft drinks, i drink lemon water and have noticed a difference in my skin and hair.

    I read online that rose water and lemon juice makes a good skin cleanser, but i wanted to know, does the lemon directly on skin act like a bleacher, as it so acidic? I know that when ingested the acid turns alkaline, but is that the same for the externally? I love my chocolate skin and have NO intentions of trying to make it lighter!!

    • Hi T,

      There are many recipes and forums out there that tell you that it does bleach your skin, but the fact is that lemon will remove the top layers of dead skin cells and reveal possibly a lighter shade if a darker not so ‘healthy’ layer is on top. I addressed the issue of bacteria on skin that can change the complexion. Diet and the immune system can alter the colour of the skin on your face. Also, these recipes call for a mixture of other ingredients like salt , milk, sugar, cucumber, tumeric, glycerin, almond paste and many others that you will not be using and an activating time that usually spans overnight. If you were to follow these recipes, it would still be very slow-going. Also, if you are using the lemon and not feeding your skin with blackstrap molasses/honey you may not get the results you are after. The blackstrap is what adds the shine and healthy complexion. You would have to be following a skin lightening regime over a good period of time to see those kinds of effects. If you are worried about lightening your colour, ensure you use the honey and keep away from UV rays and sunbathing during the process.

      BTW – Well done on the soft drinks!!! Do try to incorporate 1 glass of cloudy apple juice a day and/ or 1 glass of carrot juice (don’t mix) to alkalise your body at least 5 hours apart if consuming both. Making your body less acidic will reap many benefits.

  3. Hi Kelly, Great post. This is good for someone like me who really needs to keep up a consistent skin regime but maybe don’t have the funds to buy top end high street brands.

    Question: How can i incorporate these natural ingredients into a skin care regime, like cleansing, toning & moisturising? How often should i do each of these? Should i rub lemon daily to cleanse and use the distilled which hazel to tone and then use a natural oil to moisturise after? And the molasses and bentonite are weekly treatments?

    Help me out please coz i’m one who spends a little fortune on skincare. I’m using Liz Earle products at the moment as this is the only brand that has worked for me. I have sensitive skin and can react to products so a natural alternative would be a life saver!

  4. Wow. I love this. Thanks Kelly. You learn something new everyday indeed.

    I was aware of the lemon as a skin cleanser but never tried it. I also understand that people use it as as a deodoriser under the armpits.

    Like Mercz I am a Liz Earle products user and my skin reacts badly to change. But I am interested in testing these out. Looking forward to the recipes from you.

  5. Hey Nads,

    The key is to learn how to build up your own regime as with your hair. My skin is sensitive. I mean it’s the kind that will leave burn pacthes if I use the wrong cleanser or cream.

    The aim is to make sure that your skin is being cleansed without stripping it.

    I use the lemon every day or every other day depending on the condition of my skin.

    I use the witch Hazel every day.

    I use the blackstrap Molasses 1 x per week.

    I use Bentonite 1 x per month at the moment, but I should be doing 1 x per week.

    A quick 10 minute boost for your skin: 1 teasp. Honey and 1 teasp. nutmeg. Leave on for 10 mins and then wash off as if exfoliating. Skin will feel nourished and all the white micro spots will be scrubbed out. I think I mentioned this to you before. Apologies if you know this already.

  6. Hey Nik,

    Thanks for your support!

    My skin doesn’t like change either. Do a bit here and there. If you don’t want to do the lemon. Do everthing else and see how you go.

  7. Thanks for the reply Kelly. Yes you told me about the nutmeg and honey but thanks for reiterating, I completely forgot. I’m one who definitely needs regular exfoliation as i have those white grains in my pores if i don’t, and as i always have honey and nutmeg on hand it’s going to be an integral part of my new up and coming skin care routine. Which may consist of:

    Lemon as the cleanser,
    Honey & Nutmeg for exfoliation
    Bentonite clay face mask
    Molasses overnight treatments
    Distilled Witch Hazel & Rosewater Toner
    And… a natural oil to moisturise (not sure which one yet)

    It’s about just taking the leap. As you said maybe transitioning bit-by-bit might make it easier.

    Oooohhhh, I’m all excited now. I love using natural things on my hair but my skin has taken me a bit longer. Not sure why. But you’ve just given me the nudge i need.


  8. Sounds great!!!

    Whatever oil you use, add a little Vitamin E oil. Apricot Butter, Mango Butter and Avocado Butter also work wonders. I bet you knew that already, though. Just for publlic record…

    • Thanks for that. My face tends to be quite oily so my quest is to find a light dry butter/oil that leaves very little greasiness. you’ve started me off here, i know i wont be able to stop. lol

      I took your advice and cleansed with lemon this morning. I drank my lemon water using the juice of half a lemon. I used the ‘shell’ of the lemon that was left after squeezing out the juice to cleanse my face, cutting it in half. I rubbed it all over my face before stepping into the shower and rinsed it off last with water. I then got my face muslin (that comes with the Liz Earle skin cleanser) and ‘polished’ my face using just the warm shower water, rubbing in circular motions. I don’t have any witch hazel, nor have i decided what oils i will use yet so i finished up with the Liz Earle Toner and Moisturiser.

      WELL…. amazing!! Liz Earle has brought the best out of my skin (so far) and i didn’t think my skin could look or feel any better. But after using the lemon this morning i noticed my skin felt TIGHTER, SMOOTHER and SOFTER. Incredible. All that after only one use. Can’t wait to add the rest of the regime.

      I’M SOLD!!!!!

  9. Oh, I also wanted to ask you, do you use distilled witch hazel from the pharmacy, the one that contains alcohol? Or do use the distilled witch hazel floral water (just distilled witch hazel, no alcohol)?

  10. Love the update!

    I use Organic Distilled Witch Hazel. I get mine from a lady on ebay at the moment, because I can trust it.

    Just distilled Witch Hazel – No alcohol. 🙂

  11. Going through my bathroom and doing a clear out. It’s mad how many products one accumulates …hoardes – coughs/clears throat. Have only tried the lemons so far and I am liking it.

  12. Pingback: Doing The Natural Skincare Thing – Cleansing « Nadia's Notes

  13. Pingback: Doing The Natural Skincare Thing – Toning « Nadia's Notes

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