MASKS

Springtime Glow Mask

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This mask is an oldie that I blogged previously for Herb Companion Online. It is one of my favorite masks ever for this time of year, so I'm sharing it again!

This mask contains fresh, abundant plants that you can easily find gracing your own backyard or local area. These greens grow prolifically in my backyard and I'm excited to greet them each spring. It's like being reunited with old friends after the winter.

Dandelions, ground ivy, plantain, chickweed and violet leaf are soothing, healing, nourishing, cooling and toning to skin. The honey in this mask provides gentle moisture, while the kaolin helps to clarify pores, tone and soften skin. It all comes together to add a luminous loveliness to your complexion.

Actually, true story about this mask - after using it one night before a gathering of friends, a girlfriend pulled me aside and questioned the glow on my face with an arched brow - suspecting scandalous happenings prior to my attendance. Ha ha! 'Twas simply this mask!

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While these plants are all abundant and vigorous growers, please do harvest them responsibly and sustainably so that they stick around. :) And for safety's sake, please be sure you have identified these plants properly before using them on your skin. The pictures below can serve as a guide, as can the USDA Plants Database. 

Also, although these plants are very gentle, if you have any plant allergies or sensitive/reactive skin, please first test this mask on a patch of skin for 15 minutes, then wait 24 hours to ensure there are no adverse reactions prior to using it on a larger area.

The botanical beautifiers of this mask...

Ground ivy tones, tightens and cools skin.

Dandelion leaf nourishes and energizes skin.

Plantain heals and soothes.

Anti-inflammatory violet leaf calms skin.

Chickweed cools and comforts.

SPRINGTIME GLOW MASK

1 small handful dandelion, ground ivy, plantain, chickweed and/or violet leaves (whatever you have locally available)

4 T raw honey

6T kaolin clay

1 small chunk fresh aloe (optional)

  1. Gently wash greens under cool water.
  2. Place all ingredients in a blender or food processor. Blend well, adding a few drops of water if needed to get the right consistency. If it gets too runny you can add a bit more clay. It should look like spinach dip when you are done. :)
  3. Apply to freshly cleansed skin and leave on for 15 to 20 minutes. This will make enough to share with a few friends! 
  4. Rinse with cool water and finish with your favorite toner and moisturizer.
  5. Keep this mask refrigerated and use within a few days.

Springtime Beauty: Dandy Cream Mask

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Springtime means dandelions. Soften your skin with this luxurious dandelion treat.

Dandelion has a soothing and toning property on the skin and it is a great addition to any facial treatment.

You can make an infusion (tea) of leaf and flower and apply it straight up with a cotton pad as a nice toner, or add a bit of the infusion when using any cleanser, scrub or mask. Dandelion infusion also works really well externally as a sunburn reliever and has been known to help clear up acne when taken internally as a tincture or tea (the root in particular).

My favorite way to enjoy dandelion in skin care is with a dandelion flower infused cream. It takes only minutes to make and is an absolutely luxurious, skin-softening treat! You can leave it on as a mask, but it can also be used as a gentle cleanser. The lactic acid in the cream gently exfoliates, smooths and softens skin to a petal-like feel.

I mixed this batch up with a little Johnny-Jump-Up (also known as a viola or European pansy) from our fairy garden since they also offer additional soothing properties and the fairy energy was calling to me! 

This cream would also be amazing with the addition of rose petals or lavender buds.

DANDELION CREAM MASK

1 small handful dandelion flowers

Cream (the dairy variety - although you could experiment using coconut cream)

Place the handful of flowers in the top of a double boiler (or a pan that fits nicely inside of a larger pan, but does not touch the bottom). Fill the bottom pan with a few inches of water.

Add cream until the flowers are just covered. Warm the cream on low temperature for 10-15 minutes.

Strain the flowers out through a fine sieve and apply the cream to freshly cleansed skin with a cotton pad or cotton ball. Leave on for 15 minutes, remove with a warm damp cloth and a few splashes of warm water, followed by your favorite toner and moisturizer.

Touch your baby-soft face:)

 

10 One-Ingredient DIY Face Masks

Natural skin care doesn't have to be elaborate or expensive. Even one single ingredient can improve the health and appearance of your skin. Treat your skin to one of these simple, 1 ingredient facial masks. You may already have several of these ingredients in your kitchen. 

HOW TO USE THESE MASKS

  1. Cleanse and exfoliate skin.
  2. Apply the masks as noted below and leave on for 20 minutes.
  3. Gently remove the mask with a warm, damp cloth, followed by rinsing with warm water.
  4. Finish up with your favorite toner and protective moisturizer.

1. Raw Honey 

Honey is a humectant, which means it draws moisture into the skin. It is also anti-bacterial, anti-oxidant and wonderfully moisturizing.

Apply a 1/2 teaspoon of honey to damp skin, massaging in gently.

2. Yogurt

Yogurt offers a cooling, soothing experience for skin. It is great for calming sensitive skin and also offers probiotic support that is great for fighting breakouts. The lactic acid in yogurt also gently exfoliates skin leaving a radiant glow.

Apply 1 tablespoon of yogurt to damp skin. 

3. Oatmeal

Oatmeal is a gently soothing mask, great for dry, itchy and sensitive skins.

Mix 1 tablespoon of oatmeal with enough water to make a paste and apply to damp skin.

4. Spirulina

Spirulina is a blue-green algae that is excellent for regenerating skin. It is rich in antioxidants and helps the skin restore moisture, which makes skin more elastic and supple. It is also a very soothing and calming mask, which is great for sensitive and rosacea skins. You can find spirulina at your local natural foods store.

Mix 1/2 teaspoon of spirulina with a bit of water to make a paste and apply to damp skin.

5. Kelp

Kelp nourishes the skin, while also smoothing, toning and moisturizing. For more ways to love kelp, check out this post.

Mix 1 teaspoon of kelp with enough water to make a paste. Let the mixture sit for a few minutes, then apply to damp skin.

6. Egg Yolk

Egg yolks are loaded with vitamins, minerals and fats, which make it a wonderful nourishing and moisturizing mask.

Lightly mix one egg yolk and apply to damp skin. You can also use the remaining egg white as a firming and toning mask - apply to damp skin and remove when dry. 

7. Banana

Banana is rich in vitamins A, B and E, which help skin to fight off free radicals. It is richly moisturizing and also helps to smooth out the texture of skin.

Mash a small amount of banana and apply to damp skin.

8. Papaya 

The enzyme, papain, in papaya is a natural exfoliant, helping to remove dead skin cells from the surface of the skin, revealing fresh, happy new ones. It is also loaded with antioxidants A, C and E and assists in deeply hydrating the skin.

Mash a small amount of papaya and apply to damp skin.

9. Strawberry

Strawberries contain alpha-hydroxy acids, which help to gently exfoliate and even out skin tone. They are also known to lighten areas of pigmentation, such as freckles - but why would you want to do that? Freckles are gorgeous.

Mash a medium sized strawberry well and apply to damp skin.

10. Avocado

Avocados are loaded with luxurious fats and oils, making them a perfect mask for dryer skin types. It moisturizes, replenishes and gives skin a healthy glow.

Mash a small amount of avocado and apply to damp skin.

For even more fun, try combining these ingredients together to make your own unique mask creation.

Some lovely combinations to try:

Oatmeal, yogurt and honey

Pineapple and papaya

Honey and kelp

Avocado and egg yolk

Strawberry and yogurt