This mask is loaded with natural exfoliating acids and antioxidants. It can brighten your skin, calm breakouts, and soften the appearance of fine lines and sun damage (from the summer!)
It’s also a great way to use all those leftover pumpkin GUTS lying around after you carve. :)
Purée the fresh pumpkin pulp into a thick paste. Add the egg (this acts as a binder). If your skin is dry, stir in a splash of omega-rich almond milk and the honey. For oilier complexions, instead stir in apple cider vinegar or cranberry juice. Mix well. Apply the mask, leaving it on for 15-20 minutes, depending on your skin sensitivity. Rinse with cool water and moisturize as usual.
This one’s easy! All you need is 1-2 slices of peachy goodness. Have the rest as a snack while you make your skin nice & smooth. :)
Why It Works
Peaches are rich sources of skin-renewing alpha-hydroxy fruit acids, which get rid of dead cells, and vitamins A and C to nourish new ones. Peach juice helps unblock pores, fight blemishes and may even lighten age spots and minimize wrinkles. Its astringent, toning effects are especially effective for oily skin.
How To Make It
For a simple skin pick-me-up, cut a slice of a juicy peach and massage the flesh on your face. Leave the juice on for 20 minutes, then rinse with warm water. Or rub the inside of the skins of a peach on your face for a few minutes at bedtime and let the juice absorb overnight.
Don’t throw out those avocado peels! Because you don’t need a lot of avocado to get the moisturizing benefit, the small amounts left over on the peels are usually enough for your whole face.
The best time to moisturize is when your skin’s already exfoliated, so try this recipe after you’ve scrubbed those dead skin cells off.
Natural Beauty - Strawberry Exfoliant
Ingredients: Only Avocado. Peels should suffice
Why It Works
Loaded with vitamins A, B, C and E, as well as potassium and fat, avocado is the perfect moisturizer. This natural soother is ideal for mature and weather-worn skin, reducing roughness, cracking and irritation. The oil found in the peel of the avocado contains a humectant, a substance that locks in moisture.
How To Make It
Take a spent avocado peel and using gentle upward strokes, lightly massage your face with the inside of the peel. You can either leave on as a nighttime moisturizer or, for daytime, wash your face with it gently, rinsing three or four times with warm water; pat dry.
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Now that summer’s almost done, this recipe seems a tad more appealing (although it’s cheaper in the summer, I prefer wearing these masks outside. The thought of wasps/bees/bugs getting all excited to be around my face totally turns me off).
Wear an old T-shirt before trying this recipe (or something you don’t mind getting dirty). Strawberry stains can be tough to get out, so if you get any on you, rinse & wash right away.
You can use this goop on your face, body or even on bikini zones: it can minimize ingrown hairs & remove dead skin cells. ATTENTION FELLAS: This exfoliant is perfect for you too! It’s great for sensitive shaved skin and can prevent breakouts.
Tip for Vegans: Make recipe with molasses instead of honey, but expect it to be a little more sticky.
Ingredients: Strawberries (about 8-9 medium sized, or 4-5 larger) & honey (molasses if vegan). Makes 2 mask mixtures.
Why It Works:Each strawberry packs a mighty dose of exfoliating vitamin C and alpha-hydroxy acids, which help remove dirt and dead skin cells. AHAs also help reduce pore size and minimize ingrown hairs due to shaving, especially important for men. Perfect for oily skin, strawberries improve texture, minimize greasiness, and encourage a healthy, radiant complexion.
How To Make It: With a fork, mash strawberries into a paste. Add 3 tbsp of honey & mix. (Be sure not to over blend or the mask will be runny.) Apply directly to your skin and let sit for a few minutes. Rinse off with water.
I’m all about making dietary decisions that reflect your lifestyle and for some people, that lifestyle includes a sweet tooth that just won’t quit. Example: ME.
Mmmmmm…. sugar. I love it, I love it, I love it.
While yummy, sweet fruits & yogurts can help, sometimes we can’t seem to shake our addiction to the simple, yet complex, dangling carrot that is sugar.
Now, you’ll see plenty of extreme lifestylers who will tell you that sugar is poison, lethal etc. They compare it to toxins like nicotine or anthrax. It’s not. But is it healthy? Not according to your body. Sugar has no nutritional value. None. It DOES cause sharp fluctuations in blood sugar levels (which is why we crave it when we’re tired). Those sharp fluctuations cause ultimately lead to….
When I say sugar ‘addiction’, I’m talking about a dependence on it’s taste & the effects it produces in the body. If thinking about drinking your coffee black, or giving up chocolate chip cookies makes you anxious, you might be affected.
Some people, in an effort to reduce calories, will turn to artificial sweeteners, some of which can be quite processed and full of chemicals. While they are free of sugar calories, they have similar effects on the body to real sugar, including fatigue & cravings for sweet foods & carbs. There are other natural sweeteners that you can use that will not only satisfy your sweet tooth, but give you a nutritional edge. Enter agave.
What is Agave?
Agave is a plant that produces agave nectar (or syrup), a natural sweetener that you can use in place of sugar, honey or other sweeteners. Agave nectar consists primarily of fructose and glucose.It’s glycemic index & glycemic load are much lower than regular sugar (sucrose), but you can still over-do it if you eat too much. Agave nectar (unlike honey) is vegan.
Agave nectar can be used as a substitute for sugar or honey in recipes. Because it dissolves quickly, it’s really easy to use in beverages or smoothies. All agave nectar is “cooked” in high temperatures , so if you’re a raw foodie, you should invest in the raw form.
Even though it has a lower glycemic index, agave sweeteners are SWEETER than regular sugar, about 1.4 to 1.6 times sweeter.
Light Agave: Mild, almost neutral flavor. For use in light or mild tasting recipes or drinks.
Amber Agave: Medium, caramel flavor.
Dark Agave: Unfiltered so it’s strong & distinct, more intense carmel flavor. and imparts a distinct flavor to dishes, such as some desserts, poultry, meat, and seafood dishes.
Raw Agave: Mild & neutral, like the light form. Produced at temperatures less than 118 °F (48 °C) to protect the natural enzymes.
I’ve screwed up EVERY Agave recipe I’ve tried while trying to use it as a substitute in sugar recipes, BUT I know for a fact that other people have done it successfully! If you’re not sure about using it as a substitute, find agave based recipes from people who’ve tried them and know the exact directions & measurements to produce the yummy. Get ready to play around a bit at first.
How to Use Agave in Your Recipes… (see full article here)
Agave Recipes You Can Try (via MadHava)
Jojoba oil is relatively easy to find in natural health stores or online and is similar to the oil our own bodies produce (makes it a very effective hair oil)/. You’ve seen it on labels & in commercials for some of the biggest hair companies, but now you can make your own jojoba oil conditioner at home.
Rejuvenate your balls (eye balls) with this puffiness reduction mask.
Tip: Waste not, want not… I recommend using a small potato, or planning this with a friend to reduce waste. You can also cook unused portions for a snack later.
Eye Puffiness Reduction Mask
2 tablespoons grated raw potato
1 teaspoon instant coffee liquid.
1 teaspoon grated broccoli
Blend potatoes & instant coffee. Add broccoli and blend until homogenized in texture (using a blender helps).
Apply under eyes and leave for 20 to 30 minutes, removing with cotton pads and water. Coffee increases blood circulation for better oxygenation, and potato enzymes extract toxins. Broccoli is rich in vitamin K, which counteracts the appearance of skin darkness and bruising.
Exfoliation Enzyme Mask
1 teaspoon mashed papaya
1 cube pineapple or 1 1/2 teaspoon pineapple juice
1 teaspoon cornmeal
3/4 teaspoon finely ground sea salt
Blend all ingredients in a mixer, adding sea salt last. Apply to entire face, save for eyes, using a mask or foundation brush for even application.
Leave on for 3 to 5 minutes before rinsing. The mask gently removes dead cells without irritating, leaving skin velvety smooth. Follow with moisturizer.