For A Healthy Glow: Apply + Relax
When signs of aging begin to show, your face is almost always the first place you’ll notice a change. Fine lines, wrinkles, sagging skin, blemishes, and build-ups of other impurities compound over time—or make premature appearances—if you don’t take care to protect your skin.
Harsh substances found in many modern beauty products can actually cause many of these problems. But as consumers everywhere begin to embrace the benefits of avoiding these harmful chemicals, homemade facial masks are at last stepping into the spotlight, right where they belong. Fruits, vegetables, and other common household goods can be used to create nourishing facial masks to rival those of even the most sumptuous spas. The best part? You don’t even have to leave the comfort of your own home.
To be fair, natural skin-care remedies have been around for centuries. Ever heard of Cleopatra bathing in milk? There may be more to this tale than myth or legend—milk, green tea, cucumbers, lemons, bananas, tomatoes, papaya, apples, eggs, avocados, watermelons, strawberries, olive oil, and many other kitchen-friendly combinations have been found to be effective, when used properly, in keeping your skin looking fresh and feeling beautiful. There are even single ingredients that can work miracles all on their own. Honey, in particular, is noted for its antibacterial qualities, assisting in soothing and healing blemishes, removing redness, hydrating, and disinfecting the skin (though be sure to keep this one a safe distance away from your hairline!).
Mixing up a facial mask at home ensures that what’s touching your skin is organic, natural, and free of any harsh chemicals so often found in commercial lines. No matter what your skin type, these simple masks are an inexpensive, efficient, and incredibly easy way to both remove impurities and revitalize your skin—not to mention providing the perfect excuse to sit back and relax with a good book, a glass of wine, or soothing music.
We know you’ll soak up more than just healthy nutrients with the recipes we’ve chosen for you here—you’ll recharge with some much-deserved mental- and spiritual-wellness boosts, as well.
For Moisture: Chocolate + Honey
Best for normal skin types, this all-natural facial mask adds moisture, sloughs off dead skin cells, and leaves your face looking smooth, feeling soft, and smelling deliciously edible.
1 tablespoon of cocoa powder
1 tablespoon of heavy cream
1 tablespoon of cottage cheese
4 teaspoons of honey
1 teaspoon of oatmeal
Mix all ingredients together in a blender; then gently smooth the mixture onto your face, avoiding the sensitive skin around your eyes. Kick up your feet for 10 minutes while the ingredients get to work on your skin, then rinse with warm water.
For Reducing Oil: Yogurt + Yeast
1 teaspoon of Brewer’s yeast
2 tablespoons of plain, full-fat yogurt
Mix together to create a thin paste; pat gently onto oily areas and let dry, leaving on for no longer than 20 minutes. Rinse with warm water, then cold, and blot dry.
For Problem Skin: Peach + Cucumber
Peaches, complete with healthy doses of enzymes and vitamin A, help to tighten pores, while cucumbers provide rejuvenation and nourishment where it’s most needed—preventing water retention and reducing puffiness.
Purée ingredients in a blender and smooth onto face, leaving on for 20 minutes while you flip through a magazine, sip a glass of wine, or simply close your eyes and relax.
To Exfoliate: Citrus + Vitamin E Oil
Save the peels from your grapefruits, oranges, lemons, and limes for this invigorating facial scrub; the acid in the natural oils helps loosen the top layer of dead skin cells while the citrus peel helps to slough it off.
1 tablespoon dried, finely chopped citrus peel, ground in a food processor
1/2 cup of plain yogurt
1 teaspoon of pure honey
1/4 cup of vitamin E oil
2 tablespoons of cornmeal
Blend all ingredients together until well-mixed and gently massage onto damp skin. Rinse with warm water first, then cold. This scrub, though best when used fresh, can be stored in your refrigerator for up to seven days.
For Balance: Avocado + Lemon
Especially effective during harsh winter months, this soothing mask provides all the extra attention your skin needs. Cucumber fights inflammation; avocado moisturizes; lemon juice eliminates dead skin; and mineral-rich green clay cleans the pores. What more could you ask for in a homemade mask?
2/3 cup of mashed avocado
1/3 cup of finely grated cucumber
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
3 tablespoons green clay powder (sold in most natural foods stores)
Blend all ingredients together with a fork in a small bowl. Cover and chill for up to 30 minutes in your refrigerator; the cool temperature reduces redness and irritation. Apply a thick layer to clean, dry skin and allow to dry in place—commit to not answering the phone or the door and allow yourself time to relax. After 10 to 15 minutes, remove with a damp cloth. Splash your face with cool water and pat dry.
A Few Tips From The Pros:
+ Homemade recipes don’t contain preservatives and will not keep as long as typical commercial products. Only mix what you’ll use that day.
+ Apply your beauty treatments over the sink or in the bathtub. You’ll see why once you begin. And don’t forget to plug the drain to avoid unwanted plumbing problems!
+ Always avoid the sensitive skin around your eyes and lips when applying masks.
+ Limit masking to just once a week, as overuse can cause irritation and extra stress for your skin.
+ Take food allergies into consideration before applying edible mixtures to your face. If you’re feeling hesitant, test on a small part of your arm or leg 24 hours prior to masking, just to make sure you don’t have an adverse reaction to the ingredients.
+ Keep in mind that natural skin care is about more than what you put on your body. Your lifestyle as a whole, including staying hydrated, keeping fit, avoiding (or quitting)
smoking, and especially the foods you eat, are essential for maintaining healthy skin.
+ Never apply homemade recipes to abrasions, acne, or breakouts, as it can make the situation worse if you’re not careful. Consult your dermatologist to find what might be right for you, particularly if you have sensitive skin.
+ Finish with your favorite oil-free moisturizer, post-mask.