Blog

7 Beautifying Baking Ingredients

As some of you might know, I have a bit of a history with cake and beauty. I've always been a total girl's girl--you know, hooked on dresses, lip gloss, fancy skin cream and the like. I've also always been obsessed with baked goods (what gave that away?). So, in light of wanting to make these two passions my career, by the time I was 26, I decided to marry my fascination for cake with my love for all things girly together in one sweet flurry--I created a collection of bath and body products made from high quality "baking" ingredients, blended and whipped together in the same way we would make sweet frostings or batters. It took about a year researching ingredients and recipes, and of course serious concocting in the kitchen, but finally the initial line of "cakey" lotions, suds and scrubs was born. After a year of studying and working with of the best natural oils and butters on the market, I learned that we can achieve the most gloriously gorgeous skin using just a handful of these chemical-free, all-natural ingredients. And even though I left the company in the hands of my business partner several years later, my love for gorgeous skin and hair lives on--I continue to smother my skin in the very same ingredients we use to bake our beloved cakes and confections--they're just too good and always in my pantry. Besides, us baking junkies cannot live on baked goods alone, right? We all love our skin and hair to feel nourished, youthful and glowing (you know, for those days we actually leave the kitchen). So let's talk beauty, baby: *As with anything that you're applying to your skin, you'll want to do a little patch test, before using all over your face or body, particularly if you have sensitive skin. HONEY Aside from its divine taste and texture, honey is said to have countless health benefits and medicinal uses, a lot of which have to do with its anti-bacterial and antioxidant properties, among others. Honey seems to be a heal-all, including working as a treatment for cuts, wounds, sore throats, hangovers, energy-boosting and many more. But honey also boasts several beauty benefits. It is known for its soothing properties and for being a natural humectant (naturally attracts and retains moisture), so needless to say it's a sweet addition to any beauty routine. Here are some (of many) ways I like to use honey in my beauty routine: You can learn more about the benefits of honey here.

7 Beautifying Baking Ingredients via Sweetapolita

SUGAR So it's true, sugar isn't necessarily the most magical ingredient for the inside of our bodies--we know this. (Which is why we all keep our sugar intake to a minimum, right? Right. Ahem.) But, sugar is a fabulous beauty ingredient. It's also helpful that it's likely always in your cupboard, ready and waiting to beautify the baker (that's you). One of the main benefits of sugar (when used on the skin) is that it contains glycolic acid (Alpha hydroxy acid). Glycolic acid penetrates the skin easily, and is said to reduce wrinkles and remedy hyper-pigmentation (along with many other skin conditions). With its ability to "peel away" dead skin cells, it is a natural exfoliant, revealing the healthy, live cells beneath which gives our skin that vibrancy and glow we all yearn for. The sugar granules themselves are also an exfoliant and are a great way to bind other skin-saving oils (eg. olive oil) to create the ultimate natural skin product. (It's also handy that sugar acts as a natural preservative, giving our homemade beauty products a longer shelf life.) You can use any type of sugar in your beauty routine, but just note that the finer the sugar granule, the gentler the exfoliation. You can use it on its own, but I find it's easier to combine with some olive oil, coconut oil or other beautifying base-oils, such as sweet almond oil or jojoba oil (these are found at health food shops or online). From finest to most coarse, I use brown sugar, caster sugar (aka superfine sugar), granulated sugar, or raw sugar (aka turbinado sugar). You can, though, use any kind of sugar you may have or come across. Just remember that if you are using on your face, I would stick to brown sugar or caster sugar and apply in small, gentle circles before rinsing thoroughly. For your body, any of the sugars would work well--I use turbinado mixed with some lavender white sugar (and oils) for my body scrubs, and apply 3 times per week (the sugar dissolves down the shower drain). I don't, however, recommend using a sugar scrub in the tub--the granules tend to sink to the bottom and can aggravate your, um, parts. Let us stick to the sink or shower for our exfoliating adventures. EGGS With their protein-richness and nutrients, it's not a surprise that eggs can make a nourishing and natural beauty ingredient. Both egg whites and egg yolks can be used in at-home beauty care, both for nourishing facial and hair treatments. While I have to admit that I don't feel particularly comfortable rubbing raw eggs on my face, but I have been known to smother my rather large, frequently coloured and potentially dry hair in whole eggs for a rich boost of moisture and shine. There are many egg-based hair treatment recipes out there, but I like to keep it simple--break an egg (or in my land of big-hair, 2 eggs) into a bowl and whisk (scrambled eggs, anyone?). Get into the shower and work the mixture into dry hair from root to ends. Leave on for 10 minutes before rinsing with COOL water, not hot water, or you will end up with cooked eggy bits in your mane, and that's never good. Once completely rinsed, shampoo and condition as usual.

7 Beautifying Baking Ingredients via Sweetapolita

COCONUT OIL Let's just call this the sweet-miracle ingredient. I keep a big jar of this stuff in my kitchen and bathroom at all times--it's readily available at grocery stores, health food stores, online, etc. (try Trader Joe's Organic Virgin Coconut Oil) and I use it often. At only about 50 cents per ounce (or less if you buy in bulk), it's hard to find a reason not to. The actual health benefits of coconut oil are seemingly endless: When used in cooking and baking, it has been scientifically linked to such things as weight loss, increased energy and lower blood cholesterol levels, just to name a few. If that's not enough of a reason to start buying it by the truckload, let's talk about how it can make us even more dazzling. Back in my body-lotion-making days, I couldn't get enough of coconut oil in my formulas--it's so rich and creamy and leaves the loveliest sheen to the skin. (And no chemicals. Imagine?) You can use coconut oil straight out of the jar as a nourishing and effective makeup remover, body moisturizer (it's a bit greasy for a face moisturizer though), massage oil, deep hair treatment, hair-styling cream to ease frizz and add sheen, lip balm and more. Here are just a few of the ways I love to use coconut oil in my beauty routine: Learn more about the health benefits of coconut oil here (there are plenty!). OLIVE OIL With large amounts of vitamin A, D, and, as well as vitamin E (a powerful antioxidant--antioxidants kill free radicals which cause our skin to show the signs of aging), olive oil is another miracle oil of sorts--its uses and benefits are seemingly endless, for both health and beauty. Back in the very beginning of my natural-beauty-product-making days, while researching all of the various oils and their properties, I remember being shocked to discover all of the amazing beauty benefits of olive oil--an oil I thought was just for cooking. I immediately started using it as a moisturizer and nail oil for weeks before working it into some of the product "recipes." I noticed a remarkable transformation in the softness, sheen and texture of my skin. Just remember that olive oil imparts a subtle and distinct "olive oil" scent. Here are some ways in which you use can olive oil in your beauty routine: Learn more about the many health benefits of olive oil here. COCOA BUTTER Dessert for your skin! Okay, so you may not already have this in your pantry, unless you're making your own chocolate, but this makes for not only an amazing baking ingredient (try it--it's awesome), but incredible asset to your natural beauty ingredient arsenal (you can buy it at health food stores or online, such as on amazon: Cocoa Butter). Cocoa butter is high in antioxidants and is extremely nourishing. Much like chocolate, the cocoa butter itself is solid at room temperature but begins to soften and melt with the warmth of your hands, so it makes an ideal massage bar and body butter--it's creamy, rich, nourishing and velvety. It also has the most delightful-but-subtle chocolaty confection scent to it, naturally--pure decadence for your skin, lips and nails. My aunt and uncle used to work in a chocolate factory, and I remember when I was a teen, they would bring me home huge chunks of cocoa butter. I loved using it as a body butter then, and I love it now. (However, if I was writing this blog then, I may have to told you that to achieve the ultimate goddess-like tan, you should smother yourself in it and lay on a scorching black roof with your best friend whilst listening to Guns 'N Roses. That would have been very, very bad advice.) But, I can tell you that cocoa butter does have some amazing uses for natural beauty and care . . . Here are some of the ways you can use cocoa butter in your beauty routine: BAKING SODA So it does seem a little strange to be using the same thing for our beautiful-ness as we do to deodorize our refrigerators and bake our cakes with, but it seems there are countless ways to tie this everyday ingredient into our skin and hair care routines (you'll just want to keep the box of baking soda in the fridge, in the fridge). And since you likely always have baking soda on hand, it just might be time to give it a few other cheap and cheerful purposes. Think purifying and clean. Super clean. Here are some nifty ways you can work this clarifying ingredient into your beauty routine: So there we have it! There are so many more, but these are the ingredients I use the most in my beauty routine. And if you're not the type of person who feels comfortable smothering and slathering kitchen cupboard ingredients on themselves, try looking for beauty products that contain one or some of these ingredients--I bet you'll notice a difference. And if you're eager to get buffing, here's the 5-minute brown sugar body scrub I make and use 3 times per week for a gorgeous, super-healthy glow:

Decadent Brown Sugar Body Scrub

  • 2 cups turbinado (raw sugar (or 1 1/2 cups turbinado plus 1/2 cup lavender sugar, if you have it))
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  1. In a wide-mouthed glass jar, add all of the ingredients and stir to combine. Keep lid on jar between uses.
  2. Apply to body in a circular motion and rinse. Use up to three times per week.

In a pinch, you can use straight turbinado sugar and olive oil--it will still be a decadent exfoliation and nourishing treatment for your skin!

*images via shutterstock  Do you have other ways in which you incorporate baking ingredients into your beauty routine? I'd love to hear about them! See you soon with a baked good recipe!

Leave a comment

Next Post Previous Post