When I was in the first grade, I did my first ever home facial–it was one of those goopy gels that peels off if you let it dry (not that I ever could wait). A passionate DIYer (read: I couldn’t drive, so if I could make it at home, I would), I developed several “whole foods” facials in middle school. From yogurt to oats to tomatoes, I’ve used it all (at least that is how it feels).
Being a grown-up now–or at least passing myself off as one–I have some slightly improved recipes. But let’s start with the key players.
Anti-inflammatory ingredients are important for those of us experiencing redness. Oats–yes, the entire grain–are commonly prescribed to combat redness. Other household items include olive oil, honey, tea (white, green, or black–whatever type of Camellia sinensis you stock) and most fruits. Vitamin C, other vitamins, and antioxidants tend to be effective anti-inflammatory agents.
Those of us with dry or normal skin, a really rich, moisturizing facial can make our skin glow. But moisturizers are good across standard skin types–for instance, most of us could benefit from moisturized lips. Moisturizers tend to involve lipids of some sort that protect the intercellular matrix in skin. Common moisturizing ingredients include olive oil, avocado, raw egg yolk (worry not, we aren’t eating them), and, increasingly, coconut oil. Believe it or not, honey is a moisturizer–it attracts water to the surface of the skin as a humectant.
I recommend using exfoliators with an anti-inflammatory ingredient simply because exfoliators strip you of dead skin and that can irritate the healthy skin underneath. Exfoliators are usually gritty–think coffee grounds, oats, salt, or sugar. However, weak acids also act in an exfoliating capacity–yogurt is commonly used as a base in home facials because of the lactic acid. Another option is to use an aspirin–its active ingredient is a form of salicylic acid, which is effective against blemishes.
For Soft Lips
Mix equal parts olive oil, honey, and brown sugar (1/4 teaspoon each for one or two treatments). Rub the paste on your lips for about a minute, or until your lips are baby-soft. Wash the paste off and immediately moisturize.
Soft Skin Facial
This one is my go-to. Lightly exfoliating, full of antioxidants, and moisturizing, it works for my normal skin.
Mix 3 Tbsp plain yogurt (really, it simply must be plain, otherwise the added sugars in the yogurt can cause blemishes), 2 small mashed strawberries (or one large one. Note that any berry can be substituted: 3 or 4 blackberries/raspberries, 5 or 6 blueberries), and 1.5 tsp of honey. Starting in the middle of your face, start applying the facial working toward the edges of your face. Avoid your eyes (we have plans for those). Take 2 slices of cucumber (or 2 chilled tea bags), place over eyes. Relax for the next 20 minutes. Then gently remove the mask with a warm, damp towel. Rinse with warm water and finish with a final splash of cold water.
Have Yourself a Spa Day!
Make yourself a cup of tea (or pour over coffee–so you can use the grounds in a body scrub), make up a facial, and take 30 minutes to calm down and pamper yourself. Enjoy yourself!
Feeling creative? Make your own facial recipe and share it in the comments!