A few simple ingredients found in your kitchen can make great homemade face masks
Growing up in Bangalore, my mom couldn’t just drive to Macy’s and pick up the latest version of an Este Lauder face mask or Olay face scrub nor could she hop on to her lap top and research the best products for skin care.
Instead, she had to rely on knowledge passed down through the ages by her mother and others about the powerful wonders of everyday foods. She would scour through her kitchen and collect all sorts of spices and food to create her own home remedies.
Ayurveda has been a long standing tradition in South Asia. Recently, however, the western world has also embraced the notion of using natural ingredients for skin care purposes and to treat common health problems. It’s a win-win situation.
Not only does this save us money (which in this economy is always a perk), but also research has proven that organic, homemade products can be just as effective as and much better for our bodies than their chemical-infused counterparts.
The best part is that these face masks can be easily whipped up from ingredients you already have lying around your kitchen. There are three basic components that serve as the foundation to all five of these masks: honey, plain yogurt, and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.
Honey is a natural moisturizer packed with powerful antioxidants that can help treat wounds, function as a sunscreen preventing sun damage and premature wrinkles, and revitalize tissue growth.
Yogurt brightens and moisturizes your skin as well, but it is also rich in zinc and active antibacterial cultures that help reduce and prevent acne, blemishes, and when used regularly, skin discoloration.
Bursting with vitamins such as vitamin A and E, fresh lemon juice’s acidic nature helps treat inflammation and brighten skin with regular use leading to lightening of scars and diminishing discoloration.
Mix a tablespoon of honey, two tablespoons of yogurt (preferably organic or homemade) and a bit of lemon juice together in a bowl. Next, add one of the below ingredients and you have a simple but powerful natural homemade face mask ready to go.
Keep on the mask for at least 20 minutes up to an hour. Wash your face with warm water and you skin will be glowing. Repeat on a regular basis (3-4 times a week) and you’ll be surprised by how amazing your skin will look in a few weeks!
Aside from tasting amazing with almost any dessert, blackberries, blueberries, and strawberries, are bursting with natural antioxidants such as vitamin C, E and A that fight wrinkles and remove dead skin cells which reduces and prevents the accumulation of blackheads and whiteheads.
The slightly rough texture of blended blackberries and strawberries also serves as a natural exfoliant scrubbing away impurities and leaving a fresh, tightened layer of skin that brightens one’s complexion. Throw a few blackberries, strawberries and blueberries into your blender and puree until you have about ¼ cup mixture ready to add to the base mask.
Already famous for its nutritional benefits, this “superfood” is also a key ingredient in many store bought face scrubs. Grounded almonds help exfoliate skin leaving it revitalized removing dead skin cells and dirt.
The natural oil in almonds moisturizes and soothes your skin while reducing inflammation. Use about one tablespoon of crushed almonds in addition to the base. To simply the process, ground a few handfuls of almonds and store them in a jar in your pantry for easy access
Masoor Dal (Red Lentils)
Masoor dal is not only a delicious classic South Asian dish, but it is also a powerful purifier when used a part of a skin care regimen. Grind these lentils into a powder and add at least one tablespoon to your homemade face mask to clean, tighten and brighten your skin.
Growing up, most of us have been to at least one South Asian wedding event where the guests rub a turmeric based paste on the brides face and arms, but this supercharged ingredient is South Asia’s best kept secret that the western world is just getting exposed to.
Turmeric helps treat acne, reduces black heads and the appearance of dark spots, heals dry skin, and slows the aging process by preventing wrinkles.
Keep yourself looking young by adding one teaspoon of turmeric to your homemade face mask mixture, but make sure to leave the mask on no longer than 20 minutes.
Prolonged application of turmeric can give your skin a slightly yellow tint. While it may not be overtly obvious, it’s noticeable enough to receive comments from people throughout the day. (Yes, I am speaking from experience here.)
Why spend hundreds of dollars a year on facials and spa appointments when you can freshen and soften skin at home? The protein in egg whites help fight acne and absorb excess skin oil while the enzymes in egg whites such as lysozyme helps preserve skin elasticity and shrink pores leaving skin looking smooth and tight.
Crack one egg, save the yoke in a separate container and add the egg white into your base face mask. Mix it all together thoroughly and your homemade face mask is ready for use.