As a beauty editor at women’s magazines and CNN, author Julie Gabriel had no hesitation endorsing the season’s hottest lipstick shade, or justifying the purchase of the latest anti-aging cream. But after years of following the trends, she began to hesitate as she faced the not-so-pretty side of the cosmetics industry. She left the mainstream cosmetics industry behind, trained as a nutrition specialist and launched her own cosmetics line, Petite Marie Organics.

The Green Beauty Guide is the knowledge-packed proof of Gabriel’s beauty awakening. It offers expert advice to help steer your beauty routine toward a more natural, healthy you. Read and learn about which ingredients to avoid, how the cosmetics industry manipulates product language and just how a seemingly harmless tube of deodorant could potentially harm your health.

But Gabriel isn’t all beauty doom and gloom. She shares the DIY secrets of lotions, washes, toners and other natural beauty elixirs for happy, healthy skin. Here we share five of our personal favorites, each natural skin remedy made with ingredients you can find in the kitchen.

Oatmeal Face Mask with Onion Puree: For Acne-Free Skin

Almost every kitchen has two surprisingly powerful skin treatments: oatmeal and onions. Oatmeal helps clear clogged pores, while onions — yes, onions — are an anti-inflammatory that can help heal acne scars. Take advantage of your leftover oats with this acne-clearing recipe that combines onions, mineral water and — if you desire a mask with thicker consistency — some sweet honey, too.

Oatmeal and Onion Puree Face Mask Recipe

See more surprising uses for oatmeal.

Photo: Marcelo Wain / Istock

Lemon and Yogurt Whitening Face Mask: To Fade Acne Marks

Many drugstore skin lighteners contain hydroquinone, which literally kills melanin-making cells to remove skin coloration, or mercury, which when absorbed in high doses over time, can potentially lead to mercury poisoning. Lemon and Greek yogurt do the trick without the harsh treatments. Use mask as a spot treatment to target particularly discolored areas, or over your entire face for the full effect.

Lemon and Yogurt Whitening Face Mask Recipe

Photo: Stockdisc

Yogurt Face Scrub: For Exfoliation

For the most natural of face scrubs, this recipe combines brewer’s yeast, yogurt, almond meal and Manuka honey (known for its natural healing properties) to rejuvenate blood circulation to the face for glowing, smoother, and fresher-feeling skin.

Yogurt Face Scrub Recipe

Like honey? Learn to be a backyard beekeeper– it’s as easy as gardening, even in the city.

Photo: Alessio Cola

Clay and Eggs Mask: For a Deep-Cleansing Face Lift

Shield your skin from the sun, air and wind with this natural firming mask. Make a small investment in white clay and chamomile oil (two key products for every DIY beautician’s arsenal) to combine with corn flour and egg white, which are always just an arms-reach away in the kitchen.

Clay and Eggs Mask Recipe

Also check out these 14 natural sunscreens to protect your skin from the summer — and winter — sun.

Photo: Pidjoe / Istock

Apple Cider and Aspirin Toner: For Brighter Skin

Don’t get headaches much? You’re lucky — use those few extra aspirin lying around to crush with apple cider vinegar and water into a toner that softens and smoothes skin. Make enough for a month’s supply to keep rough skin, enlarged pores and dull skin at bay (but not headaches).

Apple Cider and Aspirin Toner Recipe

Photo: Pidjoe / Istock

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Reprinted with permission of Hearst Communications, Inc