Thursday, May 26, 2011

Good Enough to Eat: Face Masks

After a long winter, some of us are left with dull, dry skin. Spring is the time to rejuvenate, but spa treatments, cosmetics and creams can be expensive and often disappointing. Beautify from the inside out, and try experimenting with some DIY beauty treatments. They are simple to make, gentle and natural. Most importantly, be aware that what you put into your body affects its appearance significantly. Adequate sleep, exercise, and healthy eating are the best beauty treatments of all.

Carla Emery suggests starting by identifying your skin type:

What you put on your skin should be appropriate for its type. Only very oily skin should be dosed with highly acid treatments like citrus fruits (lemon, lime, grapefruit), Concord grapes, strawberries, or apples. If you don't have very oily skin but want an acid skin treatment, use fruits that are a little less acid than the previous list - peaches, apricots, grapes other than Concord, and tomatoes. If you want a beneficial fruit treatment whose acidity is about the same as that of normal skin, use bananas, green peppers, cucumber, watermelon, or persimmon. If you want a treatment that will moisturize dry skin using substances very low in acid, go with carrots, iceberg lettuce, cantaloupe, avocado, or honeydew melon.

What could be better than playing with food, as well as enjoying an improved complexion? A variety of fruits, vegetables and other ingredients can be combined to make a mask. Here are some basic mask recipes to get you started:

Egg White Mask

This helps drag blackheads and whiteheads out of your pores. Slightly beat an egg white and spread it fairly thickly over your face. Let it dry. Do the same thing with another egg white right on top of the first.

Oatmeal Mask

Mix together 2⁄3 c. oatmeal and enough honey to make a pasty consistency. Optionally, add 2 tsp. rose water.

Honey/Lemon Mask

Mix 2 T. slightly warmed honey with 1 t. lemon juice. Put the mixture on your face and leave for about a half hour.

Brewer's Yeast Mask

Mix yeast with enough water to create a paste. Smooth it over your face (not into eyes!). Let dry. Then remove with warm water. Do this 1-2 times a week. For dry skin, add 1 T. wheat germ oil or 1 egg yolk to mask. You can also add 3 t. brewer's yeast to milk or fruit juice and drink it daily.

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