Making your own skin care and pampering face masks is cost effective, easy—and a great way to use up fruit that is on special in the supermarket or sitting in your fruit bowl going past its best.
There are a huge number of natural products that you can use to treat your skin, but two of the best facial ingredients are yoghurt and honey. Yoghurt contains high amounts of Lactic Acid, an AHA proven to help refine the pores, as well as exfoliating the skin and stimulating collagen production. It’s not a harsh acid and is gentle enough that even the most sensitive skins can use it.
Honey is a natural humectant, which, in laymen’s terms means it retains water to help keep the skin soft and moisturised. More than that, it also functions as an antimicrobial agent and therefore is ideal for gently treating acne prone skin while softening and plumping the appearance of any other skin type. These ingredients are ideal to add to your natural recipes to bind the ingredients together—so they actually stick to your face.
(to soften and soothe dry skin)
2 tablespoons plain yogurt (choose a full fat organic yoghurt)
1 tablespoon honey
1-2 tablespoons cooked & cooled oatmeal
Mix all the ingredients together until a smooth paste is formed. Spread over the face and leave on for 10-15 minutes. Wash off with a warm washcloth.
(to treat acne)
NB: OK, forgive me, it’s not ‘natural’ but it is very popular and saves you buying products that are loaded with parabens and phthalates. Please bear in mind that a certain amount of aspirin will be absorbed by your skin into your body. This one is great for acne or breakout prone skin as the aspirin contains salicylic acid which is a beta hydroxyl acid or BHA which penetrates the skin deeply to unclog pores and exfoliate. Proceed with caution if your skin is sensitive. Of course, do not use if you have an aspirin allergy.
5 uncoated aspirins
2-3 tablespoons plain yogurt
1 dollop honey
Mix the honey and yogurt in a small bowl. Drop the aspirins into the yogurt, and wait for them to dissolve. If you’re impatient like me, add a few drops of water/aloe juice to help the tablets dissolve faster. Mix into a paste, and leave on the face for 10-20 minutes. You can gently scrub it off and use it as an exfoliant.
Avocado Banana Facial Mask
(dry or mature skin)
This wonderfully moisturising and nourishing mask is a super treat for dry or mature skin—and a great way to use up old bananas and avocados! Bananas are a powerhouse of B vitamins as well as containing magnesium and potassium.
1/2 overripe banana, mashed
1/2 overripe avocado, mashed
2 tbsp plain yogurt (full fat)
1 tsp olive oil
Combine all the ingredients in a small bowl and mix well. Apply the mixture to clean face and neck. Leave on for 20 to 30 min. Rinse with plenty of warm water.
Exfoliating Tomato Facial Mask
(oily or acne prone skin)
Tomatoes have an astringent effect on the skin so they leave oily and acne prone skin feeling clean and fresh. They also contain loads of vitamin C and A so they give the skin a brightening boost. Oats are soothing and anti-inflammatory addition, perfect if you are suffering from sensitive, itchy, inflamed or irritated skin.
1 overripe tomato
1 tsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. instant oatmeal
Puree all ingredients in a blender. Apply to your face and leave for about 20 minutes. Rinse with plenty of warm water.
Egg & Honey Mask
(dry or mature skin)
This wonderful mask contains honey which stimulates and smoothes the skin, egg and almond oil to moisturise, and yogurt to tighten pores.
1 tablespoon honey
1 egg yolk
1/2 teaspoon almond oil
1 tablespoon yogurt
Mix together all the ingredients and apply to the face. Wash off with warm water after 15 minutes.
Pineapple exfoliating & moisturising mask
(dull skin that needs brightening)
Pineapple contains a powerful enzyme called bromelain. Bromelain has been shown to be anti-inflammatory as well as a powerful cleanser. The enzymes and fruit acids in pineapple brighten the skin beautifully by exfoliating the skin. Use a good ‘physical’ sunblock afterwards.
4 large pineapple chunks
3 tablespoons of olive oil
1 tsp raw honey
Pop all ingredients into a blender, then apply to the skin. Leave for 20 minutes then wash off with warm water and a soft wash cloth.
Sugar Body Scrub
Sugar is a natural form of glycolic acid which can be used to exfoliate dead skin cells from the surface of the skin as well as stimulate new cell growth.
1 Cup of brown sugar
Olive oil – mix in enough to dampen the mixture.
Rub onto wet skin during bath or shower for soft and glowing smoothness!
Je t’aime Hayr is a passionate advocate of holistic health and beauty, believing that a healthy diet feeds the skin from within, while contributing to your overall health and wellbeing. Visit her blog at www.greenqueen.co.nz for health and beauty product reviews and recipes. Photo: Getty Images
- Green Queen: DIY hair recipes
- Green Queen: Living Nature
- BeautyBlog: Origins Oil Free
- Green Queen: Lead Free Lips
- BeautyBlog: Skin workshops