About Face: Skin Care

By Michelle Lanh Suggs – December 4, 2013

As we lead busy lives, it's sometimes easy to forget the simple, but important, things. Proper skin care is vital, especially when it comes to your face. From applying makeup during the workweek to biking at high speeds along a dirt trail, our faces are exposed to more hardship than we realize. And with cold weather rolling in, our skin needs to be nourished to the fullest.

Indulge yourself with these luxurious and fresh home facial masks. If you don’t already have some the ingredients in the fridge or pantry, they’re affordable and easy to find at the local grocery store.

Don’t forget to cleanse your skin thoroughly before applying masks. A great natural cleanser is equal parts castor oil and extra-virgin olive oil. You might think that this much oil would make your skin even more oily, right? Actually, the best way to fight oil is with oil—the right kind of oil, that is. Oil cleanses the skin of dirt, helps reduce the bad oils your skin creates, and acts as a natural moisturizer. If you still have doubts, use Dior Cosmetics Instant Gentle Cleansing Oil ($36). Or, create your own cleanser and luxurious homemade facial masks with one of these following recipes.

Skin Brightening Mask
1/2 cup unripe papaya, diced
1 teaspoon plain yogurt
1 teaspoon honey

Blend ingredients in a food processor until smooth. Apply to clean skin, using fingers; leave on for 8 to 10 minutes. Rinse with warm water and pat dry.

Papaya has an enzyme called papain that helps dissolve dead skin cells. Yogurt has lactic acid that improves skin texture, while honey retains moisture.

Wake Me Up Mask
2 tablespoons freshly ground coffee (extra fine)
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
3 tablespoons whole milk, heavy cream, or yogurt
1 tablespoon honey

Mix all ingredients in a small bowl. Apply to face in the morning; leave on for 15–20 minutes. Scrub lightly while rinsing in the shower.

Coffee reduces puffiness and swelling and also, like cocoa, detoxifies the skin. Milk is an excellent natural moisturizer. This anti-aging mask is perfect in the morning before you get started with your day.

Intense Moisturizing Mask
1/2 cup steel-cut or instant oatmeal
Juice from 1 whole orange
3 tablespoons plain Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons honey
2 teaspoons dried orange peel (check out the spice aisle)

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl. Stir until combined with a thick consistency. If it is on the runny side, add more oatmeal. Spread onto your face in an even layer; leave on for 15–30 minutes. Rinse with warm water.

Oranges are full of antioxidants, which help repair and prevent damage of the skin. Oatmeal and orange peel are excellent exfoliators.

Skin Smoothing Mask
1/3 small banana
1/2 kiwi
¼ avocado
1 tablespoon buttermilk

Puree the banana, kiwi, and avocado in a food processor until smooth, then mix in the buttermilk; blend for a few more seconds. Apply onto face and leave for 15–20 minutes. Rinse with warm water.

Avocado removes toxins while softening the skin. Kiwi is extremely high in antioxidants, and its seeds gently exfoliate. Bananas help with skin elasticity, and buttermilk rejuvenates the skin.

Sleek Cleanser (for normal skin)
One part castor oil
One part EVOO

Mix the two ingredients and rub all over face for 1–2 minutes. Place a hot and slightly damp cloth on the face until it cools. Wipe oil off with same cloth until face is clean.

For oily skin, mix three parts castor oil with one part EVOO. For dry skin, mix one part castor oil with three parts EVOO.


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