WITH TEMPERATURES RISING and March a mere week away, it’s nearly time to shed our scratchy scarves and take off our woolly hats to reveal our summer faces to the world.
In other countries, the big reveal can be your summer bod, but with bikini-appropriate days few-and-far between in Ireland, it’s our faces that we should focus our attention on.
Winter can wreak havoc on your face for a myriad of reasons. The cold air has a lower humidity, which means that months of battling bitter and whipping winds will dry out your skin.
The problems are aggravated further by a lack of Vitamin D from the sun and from cranking up the heat in houses which adds warmth but doesn’t add to the amount of moisture in the air. And finally (in my case), spending an extraordinarily long time scalding the beejaysus out of yourself in a hot shower will not help matters.
There’s been a huge awareness in recent years of the benefits of eliminating manufactured food with artificial ingredients from our plates and moving towards a diet full of fresh, wholesome ingredients. That same self-care can be extended to the outside of the body.
So for those of you interested in skincare masks that don’t have a million chemicals, here are 4 All-Natural Skin Masks to get you ready for summer that can be made at home with 4 ingredients or less.
For each recipe, mix up all the ingredients to form a creamy paste (a food processor makes this very easy). Then do your face mask thang (a.k.a. apply generously all over face and leave on for 10-15 minutes before rinsing off.)
For Dry Skin
- 1 avocado
- 2 tablespoons plain yogurt
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon honey
If you want to bring back hydration to your dry winter skin, you need a creamy mask.
Avocado and olive oil contains omega fatty acids that will help seal cracks between skin cells, whilst the honey and yogurt contain cooling ingredients that will make your create a soothing balm for you skin.
For Oily Skin
- 1/2 cup cooked oatmeal, cooled (important!)
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 egg
The acid in the lemon juice goes to work removing excess oil and dead skin cells (it’s all those alpha hydroxy acids packed in there);
Oatmeal is rich in lipids (fats/oils) which helps to form a barrier which seals in moisture and protects the skin.
Meanwhile, the acid in the lemon juice and the protein in the egg works to remove excessive oils from your skin, as well as tighten your pores. If your skin is extra oily, remove the the egg yolk and only use the egg whites.
For Acne-Prone Skin
- 1 mashed banana
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
For acne-prone skin, bananas are perfect as they are rich in potassium and vitamin A which can heal and hydrate dry skin, as well as aid in the fading of acne scars.
Turmeric powder, set to be a huge health trend in foods this year, can destroy acne bacteria that causes inflammation, whilst the baking soda will absorb excessive oil from your skin. Watch out with the turmeric measurement if your skin is especially fair, as too much can stain.
For Sensitive Skin
- 1 tablespoon yogurt
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1 teaspoon cocoa powder
Yogurt contains lactic acid which helps to dissolve dead skin cells, whilst the creamy velvet texture can help to gently soothe sensitive skin.
The antioxidants in cocoa powder are called Flavanols and they can further calm irritation that sensitive skin might have. Meanwhile, the honey brightens the natural glow of the skin, and tightens the pores in the skin, as well as the added benefit of being antibacterial.