Sunday, July 11, 2010

DIY: Jessica's Favorite Face Mask

Some skin care secrets are too fresh, and too wickedly simple to make at home, to make it into the Apothecare line of skin care products. My "Land of Milk & Honey" Toning Facial Cleanser & Moisturizing Mask is just such a beauty secret. And once you try it, believe me, you will be sold on it! The beauty in the recipe is that it is so simple and can be made with ingredients from your local Sunflower Market, Sprouts Market, Whole Foods, or the Fort Collins Co-Op. The catch is that the efficacy of the formula rests on the quality of the always opt for the freshest, organic, and all-natural ingredients that you can find. Get ready for glowing, gorgeous skin!

"Land of Milk & Honey" Toning Facial Cleanser & Moisturizing Mask
- 1 (8 oz.) container organic, plain Greek-style yogurt (w/live active cultures and at least 2% fat...must not have flavorings, thickening agents, or preservatives)
- 2 tbsp. local raw, unfiltered honey (Madhava Honey ~ Lyons, CO)
- 10 drops lavender essential oil (Ananda Apothecary ~ Boulder, CO)

Add honey and essential oil directly to the yogurt container. Stir well with a clean spoon. Keep refrigerated between uses, and use within 2-3 weeks.

To cleanse and condition the skin on your face and neck, do the following:
  • Rinse face with clean, warm water

  • Using spoon, scoop about a tablespoon of the yogurt mixture into the palm of your hand and rub into face and neck, just as you would any other cleanser

  • Rinse skin with warm water and pat dry with a clean towel

  • Take another tablespoon of yougurt mixture and gently smooth it all over your face and neck...leave on for 10 minutes to fully condition
  • Rinse off face mask with warm water and pat skin dry with your towel
So really, how does this work? Well, yogurt is naturally acidic, and so makes a great toning treatment for skin, especially oily and blemish-prone types. It also has mild bleaching action, and so helps to reduce redness. It is mildly exfoliating and very cooling on the skin, and is full of milk proteins and fats that both aid in removal of dirt and debris from the skin (the cleansing step) while nourishing and moisturizing (the mask step). Greek-style yogurt of at least 2% milk fat must be used because it is thicker than regular yogurt, having been strained, and has enough natural fats present to make it an effective face cleanser and conditioner.

Honey, especially the raw and unfiltered kind, is chock-full of potent antibacterial, antimicrobial, and skin healing compounds. That's one great reason why you'll find it as an ingredient in many of the Apothecare products! Honey is also a natural humectant, which is a fancy way of saying that it helps draw - and keep - moisture in thirsty skin. And in the Rocky Mountains, we must all admit that our skin needs a long, deep drink more often than most ;-)

Lavender essential oil is perhaps the anathema of all essential oils. Antimicrobial, antibacterial, antiseptic, skin soothing, mind calming, and overall, just a really nice oil that everyone appreciates. It is great for dry to oily skin, and all the skin types in between! Lavender is one of the most gentle essential oils, and one that can even be used with babies and children. Perhaps the most widely-loved essential oil on the planet today, and has been used for ages for its therapeutic benefits to skin and mind.

So, go ahead, pick up these 3 easy-to-find ingredients at your favorite natural grocer, and try this amazing formula out. In between treatments, you can always use any of the Body Luxuries All-Natural Cleansing Cream Bars to keep your skin in tip-top shape, but for all skin we recommend doing this intensive yogurt mask treatment 1-3 times per week.


Jessica & Steve

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