How to Make Pomegranate Juice for Skincare

During the holidays, like many of us, I start to really stray from a healthy diet. For most of the year, I reserve my chips-and-cheese binges for when I get my period, and easily revert back to a diet that consists of more homemade pomegranate juice, steamed vegetables, and morning oatmeal. For the past month, I've been in the throes of holiday binge eating and I've convinced myself that the amount of red wine I'm tossing back at holiday parties is only to counteract the unhealthy treats with antioxidants. In reality, the amount of red wine is just giving me bad judgment calls when I reach for my fifth helping of deviled eggs. Well, my face has said (via breakouts and dry spots) that it needs this unhealthy eating resolved immediately. So, after snacking on pomegranates, a tasty super food that is loaded with vitamins and nutrients, I realized I owed it to my face to start use pomegranate in my DIY skincare regimen as well.

The main reason my pimples stayed around a few days longer after my recent breakout was because I was lazily taking my makeup off with JUST olive oil (something oily babes should never do — always cut the oil with a highly astringent product) and then piling more makeup on for my next holiday party where I knew I would be all about selfies and photo bombs. Honestly, I'm pretty sure my face thought I liked it BETTER with pimples, judging by the way I was treating it.

Now that the parties are over, I'm able to shed some mineral powder and get back in the habit of washing my face correctly. I'm all about pomegranates that will help me go makeup free and give my skin a much needed break.

According to several sources like Eating Well's website, pomegranates have three times as many antioxidants as green tea. Antioxidants work wonders for all skin types because they actually counteract free radicals which can cause outbreaks and other annoying skin conditions. Poms, as pomegranates are affectionately known, are great for acne-prone skin and of course, you can reap even more benefits if you apply the juice topically in addition to sipping on some with lunch. The little seeds of pomegranates are packed with anti-microbial, anti-aging, and anti-inflammatory properties that can also alleviate hyperpigmentation, age spots, and acne scaring. This isn't exactly breaking news though: Poms have been used in medicine and food for centuries by ancient Egyptians and other cultures.

Pom juice and pomegranate oil can be pricy, so the cheapest and fastest way I've found is to make your own for the perfect hair rinse, acne astringent, and body scrub. Here's how!

Step 1: Slice Your Pomegranate

Pomegranates are crazy-looking inside — beautiful, but crazy. Make half inch slices of your pomegranate with the skin. This will make it easier to extract the seeds that hold all the delicious juice and nutrients.

Step 2: Remove the Seeds Into a Strainer

Remove the seeds from each slice of pom into a small coriander. Make sure your strainer is over a bowl or cup so you can catch the juices that will inevitably be released when your tossing the smalls seeds into the strainer. You'll also want be avoiding annoying red stains all over your counter-top.

Step 3: Extract Juice from the Seeds

Sure, you can throw your juice in a juicer if you are just drinking your pom juice, but I prefer the manual method of extracting the seeds with a muddler or mallet because you don't have to deal with the pulp. Carefully apply pressure to your tool on top of the pom seeds and squeeze the juice into the cup. I recommend using half of the pomegranate first and then the next to make sure you get the juice from each of the seeds.

Step 4: Store Your Pomegranate Juice

I put a smidge of vodka (about a teaspoon) into my juice as a natural preservative and store in my refrigerator. A whole pomegranate should keep for at least five days without preservatives in a tightly sealed jar for future use.

Now that you've made some homemade, natural pomegranate juice, you're ready to up our skin and hair game for ultimate perfection. Here are just a few ways you can use your pomegranate juice for all natural beauty.

1. Pomegranate Hair Rinse

A 15 minutes hair rinse can give you some serious vitamins and nutrients, plus add a hint of color. Pomegranates have tannins which are known to have a temporary dying effect, so it's perfect for putting some extra dimension into auburn, red hair, or dark brown strands.

2. Pomegranate Acne Control Astringent

Use a teaspoon of freshly squeezed lemon juice, a teaspoon of witch hazel, and two tablespoons of pomegranate juice for a powerful astringent that will leave your skin feeling refreshed, not dried out. This is perfect for treating inflammation of pimples and of course, toning your skin at the same time.

3. Pomegranate Facial

A gentle exfoliate with pomegranate juice is the ultimate spa treatment for your face. Use your pomegranate juice and add brown sugar to form a scrub and massage onto make-up free skin. Leave your mask on for about five minutes and rinse with lukewarm water. Add a teaspoon of raw honey for extra moisture if your skin is especially flaky this season.

Image: Institute for the Study of the Ancient World, Vinu Cyrus, Shai Barzilay/Flickr; Giphy; Kristin Collins Jackson