Monday, June 29, 2015
Summer Time Facial Masks
Summer-time offers a bounty of fresh herbs, fruits and vegetables that in turn supply excellent antioxidants, vitamins and minerals to your body. Those same benefits rub off (literally) on your skin as well. Homemade facial masks are simple to make with the bonus of making your skin absolutely glow. Overly ripe fruit work best so don't throw out any fruit that has over stayed its welcome in the crisper- make it into a healing, beautifying mask!
Some of these masks can be a little messy so wearing them in the shower will not only help you multi-task, it can make clean up a breeze. If you want to use the time to relax (which you totally should!), then wear an old shower cap and lay on a towel to prevent any food spills on areas you would rather keep clean. The mask recipes below make enough for one application. If there is any extra, don't forget to do your neck and decollete!
Sun Defense Mask
A little too much sun on the face is a quick way to age a little too fast. Aloe vera is healing and moisturizing while the plum helps neutralize free radical damage. Blueberries, with their high amount of antioxidants, help protect the integrity of collagen in the skin. The herb thyme calms irritated skin and promotes cellular turnover. You can use this mask everyday until the redness calms down. It is also healing for any area of the body suffering from sunburn- not only the face! (If you are looking for a sunburn remedy that is not a mask, check out this recipe.)
1/4 of a small plum
6 large blueberries
1 tbsp aloe vera
1 sprig of fresh thyme
Pulse all ingredients in a blender until smooth. Apply with clean fingers and leave on for 10 - 15 minutes. Rinse with cool water- do not rub off.
Acne/Oily Skin Mask
The heat, the sweat, the excess oil... it all combines to make a trifecta of misery for the acne sufferer. The clay in this mask deep-cleans by drawing impurities out of the pores. Cucumber is purifying and it also tones and shrinks the pores. Strawberries are great cleansers that also have a natural form of salicylic acid that helps unclog pores... while parsley helps to lighten hyperpigmentation (it evens out your skin tone). Use once to twice a week.
2 inch slice of cucumber
2 leaves fresh basil
5 - 6 leaves fresh parsley
1 large hulled strawberry
Clay, enough to make a paste, about 1 tbsp
Pulse all ingredients in a blender until smooth. Apply with clean fingers or fan shaped facial brush and leave on for 10 - 15 minutes. Follow with appropriate toner and moisturizer for skin type.
Sensitive (Red) Skin Mask
Help cool and calm things down with this mask that includes colloidal oatmeal (ground oats) to soothe irritation, watercress to strengthen skin and improve skin tone and chamomile tea that has potent anti-inflammatory properties. Use once a week.
1 heaping tbsp colloidal oatmeal
1 tbsp watercress leaves, chopped fine
2 tbsp chamomile tea (or enough to make a paste)
Mix all ingredients to form a paste. Apply with clean fingers or a fan-shaped facial brush. Leave on for 10 minutes. Rinse with lukewarm water- do not rub off. Follow with appropriate toner and moisturizer.
Yogurt is my favorite base for a mask. The lactic acid content in yogurt exfoliates by dissolving dead skin cells and promoting the growth of newer, stronger cells for a more youthful appearance. Both blackberries and watermelons have a good amount of antioxidants. Blackberries also have vitamins B, C and K along with omega-3. Watermelon has vitamins A, B and C. Use once to twice a week.
1 tbsp whole milk yogurt
1 inch cube of watermelon
Pulse all ingredients in blender until smooth. Apply with clean fingers or a fan-shaped facial brush. Leave on for 10 - 15 minutes. Follow with appropriate toner and moisturizer.
As we grow older, elastin and collagen start to break down in the skin and we get the saggy, baggy look of old age. This mask, albeit temporarily, will do a wonderful job of tightening things back up. Cucumber also helps to tone and shrink pores. Can be used once a week.
1 egg white of a pastured egg
1 tsp cornstarch
1 inch slice of cucumber
Pulse in a blender until mixed well. Apply immediately with clean fingers or a fan-shaped facial brush. Leave on for 10 minutes- you will not be able to move your face once it has dried. Rinse well. A wash cloth can also be used with upward strokes. Follow with appropriate toner and moisturizer.
This one is hard not to eat before you actually get it on your face! I listed the benefits of using yogurt as a mask above but it is also wonderfully moisturizing. Even in summer, the skin can get dehydrated and make you look older than your actual age. Peaches have antioxidants and are high in vitamin C, while also packing calcium and beta-carotene. Honey is a great humectant, drawing moisture into the skin and keeping it there. Can be used once or twice a week.
1/4 of a very ripe peach
1 tbsp whole milk yogurt
1/2 tsp local raw honey
Pulse in a blender until smooth. Apply with clean fingers or a fan-shaped facial brush. Leave on for 10 to 15 minutes. Follow with appropriate toner and moisturizer.
These masks can be the epitome of homemade if you use produce from your backyard garden. Farmers markets would be another great place to find organic produce. No matter where you get your fruit and veggies from, just get in the kitchen and start mixing. You glow girl (boy- whatever)!