Fueling your body with healthy food is a great step towards a healthy lifestyle, but what about the rest of your body. True, your diet affects everything from your bodily functions to balancing your skin, but there are other ways to tend to your body besides what you put in your mouth.
Your skin is your largest organ. What you put on your skin enters your bloodstream and, in turn, affects your entire body. Pretty crazy. So, take a second to consider what you are putting on your skin each day. Have you taken the time to read the ingredients? There are many harmful chemicals in various store bought skin products from makeup and moisturizers to face masks. Not to mention, the plastic containers that house these products get dumped into landfills and enter our waterways and seafood, which, indirectly, still affects you. So, treat yourself ( and the environment)! Do yourself a favor and take face masks into your own hands…literally.
Enter food based masks. This ever-so-convenient and healthy choice of skin care is a must. You switch up the ingredients each time you create a mask based on what you have around the kitchen/garden. Here is a list of actually effective and actually approved-by-professionals natural DIY face masks.
Avocado + Coffee Grounds + Full-Fat, Organic Milk
If your skin is craving hydration, this mask is perfect for you. Avocado contains powerful natural oils that calm inflamed skin, improve skin hydration, and help repair your skin barrier. On top of all of this, avocado contains pantothenic acid, which can help reduce the effects of sun damage, as well as vitamin E, an antioxidant that potentially helps to prevent early signs of aging.
Mix it with some coffee and you create an inflammation reducing concoction of goodness. Coffee is chock-full of antioxidants that reduce inflammation. Antioxidants put out the damage caused by harmful sun rays on the skin.”
Don’t worry about precise proportions of ingredients because homemade face masks are not an exact science. Try mushing half an avocado mixed with the grounds leftover from your morning’s coffee until it’s a smooth paste. Add a little bit of whole milk until it’s a consistency that you can spread on my face. The milk does more than make the consistency thinner. Milk is a wholesome moisturizer full of enzymes, protein, fat, and calcium. It can help repair skin and brighten it.
Aloe Vera + Turmeric + Lemon
The benefits of this mask are remarkable, especially if your skin has acne scarring. Aloe vera has amino acids as well as two compounds called auxin and gibberellins, which promote wound healing. Aloe reduces inflammation and is great for treating sunburns, redness, and scars. Mix these with lemon juice to brighten your skin.
Lemon is rich in alpha hydroxy acid, citric acid, and salicylic acid. These all play a role in brightening the skin, reducing hyperpigmentation and acne scars, and giving an overall glow. The acidity in lemon juice helps tone the skin and improve its elasticity. It also brightens skin.
Try keeping an aloe vera plant in your kitchen for easy access. If you are a notorious plant killer, don’t worry, aloe plants are pretty much impossible to kill. Just cut off a stalk, squeeze it out into a bowl, and mix in the juice of about half a lemon and a big tablespoon of turmeric. Be careful of the turmeric, it can stain but it’s worth it as an ingredient.
Turmeric is another inflammatory fighter, making it useful in treating a variety of skin conditions ranging from acne to aging skin. It can help prevent pores from becoming blocked.
Oatmeal + Full-Fat Yogurt + Honey
Good news, more anti-inflammatory wins! If your skin breaks out a lot or is easily irritated by products, this anti-inflammatory option is a good fit for you. Oatmeal is a great ingredient in face masks. It’s hypoallergenic, moisturizing, and exfoliates. It contains amino acids, which nourish skin growth and repair while stimulating collagen production. It also contains avenanthramides, compounds which are great for soothing and healing dry, irritated skin.
Honey is a popular natural ingredient in masks designed for acne-prone skin because it has skin-calming and antimicrobial properties. Yogurt is great in masks too. It can reduce acne due to its alpha hydroxy acid. Yogurt contains zinc, B vitamins, lactic acid, and calcium, which all help with hydration and rejuvenation.
Oatmeal is an awesome base for lots of face masks. You can grind a handful of rolled oats finely in a coffee grinder, then mush it into about 1/3 to 1/2 cup of full-fat, organic yogurt, and incorporate a bit of honey with a fork. let that sit for a few minutes for the oats to absorb the yogurt, then spread it all over your face (and even your hair).