DIY Soy Beauty Products That Are Really Good For Your Skin (And Vegan-Friendly)

With an alarming amount of soy in my diet, it's no wonder that DIY soy beauty products have always peaked my interest. When I first became a vegetarian, I couldn't begin to count the amount of people that told me how much healthier eating my fake soy meats were than eating real meat — of course, that was 20 years ago. At that time, I had no concerns about the health aspect of my diet, but the popular opinion on soy quickly changed. About a decade later, the dangers of soy seemed to be in ever media outlet and anyone with vocal chords was telling me how unhealthy my vegetarian diet was. Still, I wasn't trying to make any major changes. My vegetarian beef stroganoff is off the chain.

Not only was I steadfast in my eating habits, I also had an inkling that this vendetta against soy wasn't forever. As research continued to develop, I knew eventually, the masses would jump on the soy train again whether it was skincare or soy nuggets. According to sources at Mayo Clinic, soy is rich in fiber, B vitamins, calcium, and omega-3 fatty acids. Soy has also been used to for hormone replacement therapy in women. Although it has been said that some women react differently to soy, I can only assume that everyone will be thankful for soy controlling the wrath that is my hormones during my future menopause.

Sure, there are still a lot of soy-haters out there that believe this multibillion dollar industry is hiding the negative effects on our bodies, but there are some benefits from applying soy topically that few can argue with (and it's way less risky than ingesting the stuff). Soy is great for all skin types, but especially combination skin and those suffering from eczema, psoriasis, and acne. Soy has the ability to moisturize dry areas of the skin while simultaneously decreasing oily parts of skin. Soy can help remove dirt, oil, and bacteria without stripping the skin of its natural oils.

According to sources at Livestrong, soy is rich in vitamin E, an amazing, natural healing agents for stretch marks, scars, and last summer's bug bites. Just like in food, soy is incredibly versatile and not just for cleansing. Soy milk cleansers are easy to make and afford. Fortunately, for those who just don't have time to DIY, Fresh's Soy Cleanser is a great way to introduce soy into your beauty routine. I used this cleanser for years because it was gentle enough for my sensitive skin and not heavily fragrant.

Fresh's Soy Cleanser, $15, Sephora

Personally, I've had many reactions to drinking soy milk, but I've chalked it up to the likelihood of soy being processed on the same equipment as peanut-based products, because these beauty DIYs have never given me trouble. However, as with any new product, check with your doctor if you've had any allergic reactions while eating soy before you use it topically in your skincare. For anyone looking to make a soy based cleanser or body butter on the cheap, the recipes below are a great place to start.

Crunchy Betty's Exfoliator

This recipe is definitely one of my favorite ways to exfoliate. Exfoliating is an important step in any skincare regimen in order to remove dead skins and make room for new skin cells. Just use half a teaspoon of ground nutmeg and one teaspoon of soy milk. Make sure your soy milk is high quality to ensure you get those nutrients. Massage your exfoliate gently on your face and neck, rinsing well with warm water.

Soy Body Butter

Being rich in vitamin E means that soy is a great ingredient to make a homemade body butter. Melt about two ounces of cocoa butter on a stove top with low heat. Next, add two tablespoons of soybean oil and one tablespoon of vegetable glycerin oil. For fragrance and added skin benefits, I like to add 10 drops of sweet orange essential oil. Store your new body butter in a sealable jar, preferably tinted, and apply as needed.

Image: Mc559, Trey Ratcliff/Flickr; Kristin Collins Jackson