Natural Face Mask

While in my quest for having a healthy environment, I decided to begin by reducing (the first R of the 3 R’s in going green) my dependency on petroleum based products. I thought, it can’t be that hard until I realized how many products have petroleum based products in them. The whole issue of the environmental impact of the beauty industry is a topic to be discussed later.

Before I tell you how to make the mask, first I’m going to explain what the ingredients are and why they are in this.

Oatmeal

Its not just good for your heart, its good for your skin, too. For over 4,000 years, oatmeal has been used to soothe irritable skin. Its jam packed with antioxidants and is a natural emollient. It reduces redness, exfoliates, softens skin and gently cleans. Its great for oily and/or acne prone skin.

Milk

Like oatmeal, Milk is packed with antioxidants and vitamins but it also contains Lactic Acid which works has an exfoliant. The lactic acid will dissipate the “glue” that holds dead skin cells on your face. In addition, it is high in protein (amino acids) which help promote healthy skin structure and they also stimluate the skin’s natural moisture barrier. Even before Cleopatra was bathing in milk, women have been using it has a regular part of their beauty routine.

Also, you can experiment with all kinds of milk: rice, goat, camel, coconut, etc.

Carrot

The main reason is Vitamin A. There are tons of products out there that promote the use of Vitamin A on the skin. Most manufactures create a synthetic version of carrots called retionl, retinal, retinyl, etc. I’m not going to go into all the amazing things about Vitamin A, all you need to do is search the internet!

Carrots provide Vitamin A in a format that is non-greasy and non-comedogenic. Besides being good for oily skin its absolutely wonderful for mature and/or aging skin.

Potato

If you’ve ever heard about “The Wrinkle Cure” from Nicholas Perricone, MD, then you’ve probably heard about the wonders of Alpha Lipoic Acid. Well, potatoes are loaded with it (no punn intended). Whats so amazing about Alpha Lipoic Acid? Its an “universal” antioxidant, meaning it can be soluble by fat and/or water. It fights free radicals at any level of a cell. It also increases cellular metabolism therefore increasing its ability to heal. It regenerates faster and inflamation is reduced! Its no wonder why so many pharmaceutical and beauty companies use it in their (expensive) products.

Castor Oil

If you’re like me, you probably immediately thought that it was like petroleum jelly aka Vasoline. Nope, its completely natural and good for the environment. It is a vegetable oil made from the castor bean (its technically a seed not a bean). Its been used for centuries and in medicinal practices to clean wounds. Yes, oil can clean! But be ware… it cleans really good! I would not ever recommend using it alone to clean your skin, unless of course you are cleaning a wound because it will dry your skin out.

Olive Oil

Besides the fact that its an amazing natural, non-comedogenic moisturizer, its really high in antioxidants and vitamins, particularly Vitamin E. Like the castor oil, it will actually cleanse your skin by binding to the dirt on the surface.

The Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup ground oatmeal
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 very small carrot
  • 1/2 small potato
  • 1 tbsp castor oil
  • 1/2 tbsp olive oil

Directions:

This recipe yields enough for your face and most of your body.

Grind the oatmeal to as fine of a powder as you can manage (the clumpier it is, the messier it gets).

Peel half of the potato, cut in half and reserve the half with the peel for later. Peel the carrot. If you have a juicer, juice the potato and carrot and reserve the juice for later. Otherwise, blend, mix, process or grate the potato and carrot to as finely as possible. Separate the juice from the bits as best as possible. You can toss the bits or cook them in an omelete!

Warm the milk. If you are using a microwave be aware that the milk will bubble up (aka foam in your latte)!

Mix the potato and carrot juice and milk together in a bowl. Add the oatmeal until you get a nice thick paste. Add the castor oil and olive oil. If you have dry skin, put about 1 tbsp olive oil instead of 1/2 tbsp. Mix well.

Take the half of the potato with the skin on and grate the cut side to get the juices flowing. Rub that on your dryer areas such as elbows, heels and knees. Apply the mask to your face. you don’t need to put on very thickly – it won’t hurt but it won’t work any better, either. Apply the rest on your body. Don’t forget your underarms as they are usually dry from excessive use of antipersperant.

Wait about 15 minutes then rinse with warm water. Don’t use hot water as it will strip away the moisture in your skin. After you are finished, splash cold water on your face to close your pores.

Now enjoy your rejuvenated skin and feel good about yourself because you did something good for your skin and its good for the environment.

Variations, suggestions, etc

Try substituting different milks such as buttermilk, camel, rice and other plant based milks.

Try substituting the olive oil with jojoba, avocado or coconut.

Try adding herbs such as lavender (soothing), chamomile (skin lightening), aloe vera, mint, etc.

If you suffer from severe acne, try smashing up some banana and/or adding mint. Both are very good for helping clear up acne.

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