Aloe vera face mask

It is Sunday and if I’m at home I usually dedicate some time to my home spa and some beauty treatments ahead of the busy week. Today is a super plant day!

Aloe vera is a succulent plant with large fleshy leaves with spikes around them. I have never seen aloe vera flowers but they come in different colours from red, orange, yellow to pink. The clear gel stored in those plump leaves is used medicinally and in the beauty treatments. It soothes the skin, heals the wounds and treat sunburns. Helpful in treating allergy rashes, insect bites, fungal infections, ulcers. It works as a great skin moisturiser and thanks to the antioxidants fights ageing. Rich in vitamins and minerals aloe vera juice treats indigestion and soothes any stomach complaints.  Aloe vera is a very popular ingredient in many beauty products so why not to incorporate it in your own DIY beauty projects.

Wikipedia
Wikipedia

To make aloe vera face mask you will need

2 tbs of aloe vera gel

1 tbs of green clay

1 ts of vitamin E oil

2 tbs rose petals infusion

5 drops of rose essential oil

It is actually my first time using fresh aloe which I got from a little shop selling mangoes, coriander and the whole aloe vera plants. Plant has to mature though to be ready to use so I just bought one massive leaf called Aloe King. On the supplier’s website www.aloeking.com it says that aloe vera is “considered one of the most versatile and effective natural healers”. I have also read an interesting and controversial book “Cancer can be cured” featuring the aloe vera as the main ingredient of a recipe to treat cancer.

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Start by making rose petals infusion by covering 1 tbs of petals with hot water and leaving it to steep under the cover for about 10 minutes. Scrape aloe vera gel out of the leaf and blend it for the smooth gel, add green clay and rose infusion to make a paste. Add vitamin E oil and the essential oil. Mix everything up and apply to your clean face with a brush. Leave it on for about 10 minutes then rinse with tepid water. Enjoy the benefits of nourished smooth skin!

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I also loved the stripy pattern inside the aloe leaf. Nature never stop to amaze and inspire me!

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Honey and yoghurt face mask

Today is Full Moon in Leo, very auspicious day. I read somewhere we should avoid any cosmetic procedures during full moon, as well as a day before and a day after it. But today I felt like treating my skin to something nourishing yet gentle and easy to make!

You will need:

2 spoons of honey
4 spoons of yoghurt
1 spoon of rosehip oil
5 drops of lavender essential oil
capsule of vitamin E

Start from mixing together honey and yoghurt. My honey had quite thick consistency but quickly became runny after mixing it with yoghurt. Add rosehip oil, vitamin E oil and finally sprinkle over few drops of lavender oil for beautifully calming and soothing effect.

I like applying a face mask with a brush and by doing so I can also reach my arms and back with no messy fingers or messy floor! Leave the mask for about 10-15 minutes, then rinse it off with lukewarm water. Follow with toner and moisturiser or an oil. I have got combination type skin with an obvious T-zone and loving using oils for the night. It gives me a chance to do a mini face massage. I am generally in love with the oils!

Back to our mask, honey is a natural humectant as it attracts and retains moisture. When used in beauty treatments, it seals in the moisture leaving skin soft and supple. Honey also contains antioxidants which protect skin cells from damage done by free radicals (ageing). Antibacterial properties of honey are useful when treating acne or outbreaks. We all know about Manuka honey and I swear by Manuka essential oil which I use for every spot I get. Best cure ever. Wish I knew it in the old days…

Yoghurt contains high level of lactic acid therefore it removes dead cells and smoothes the skin out. It helps reduce first wrinkles and prevent from appearing new ones. Yoghurt is rich in many nutrients like zinc, calcium, B-vitamins. Zinc will soothe any inflammation caused by acne or rash and help regulate sebum secretion by tightening the pores. Calcium promotes skin renewal. B-vitamins are beneficial for glowing and hydrated skin.

Yet again, most of those simple ingredients you find in your kitchen. Go on then, open your cupboards and fridge, experiment and have fun!

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Oats and banana face mask

From time to time I make family favourites buckwheat and oats cutlets for lunch. Today I had some leftovers oatmeal which made a base for a face mask.

Oats are great in soothing sensitive skin, especially with breakouts or inflammation. Rich in vitamins and minerals oats moisturise skin and make it feeling soft and smooth. It a cheap little wonder, same like bananas, the next ingredient we need. Packed with nutrients bananas hydrate and nourish skin.

We will also need some carrier oil and in this case I’m using hemp seed oil with its beautiful greenish colour and nutty scent. Its balance of omega 3 and 6 fatty acids will bring relief to dry and stressed skin, especially in winter months. Greenish colour will work well for complexion prone to redness and hot flushes. Hemp seed oil has low comedogenic rate which means it won’t clog your pores.

Soak 3-4 tablespoons of oats with hot water. Wait until it cools down a bit. Add 4-5 slices of ripe banana and mash it all up. Gently pour 1-2 tablespoons of hemp seed oil. Last, but not least add 5 drops of lemon essential oil (optional). Be careful as oats can get a bit runny. When ready, apply to your cleansed face, neck and decolette. Leave it for about 10 min and rinse it off with lukewarm water. To finish off, massage your still wet skin with few drops of hemp seed oil. Voila! Thursday beauty DIY done.

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Carotene rich kiwi and papaya face mask

Kiwi and papaya, beautiful exotic fruits, not only taste delicious but also have lots of beneficial properties in skin and hair care. Both fruits contain plant enzymes, vitamin A, C, E and natural alpha hydroxy acids known as AHAs. Through gentle exfoliation they remove dead skin cells leaving the skin smooth and glowing. Kiwi helps control sebum production and has got anti-inflammatory properties. Papaya contains carotenoids which gives skin beautiful, healthy colour. Both fruits help fighting free radicals and reduce the ageing signs. Facial treatments based on those two super fruits will improve skin’s appearance.

Let’s get started then. This recipe will have tightening properties as well, it will be a bit like making a jelly. I am using agar agar which is a Japanese gelatinous substance from algae, I prefer it instead of any animal based gelatine.

You will need

Flesh of 1/2 papaya

flesh of 1 kiwi

1-2 spoons of agar agar

Rich colours of the papaya and kiwi flesh Agar agar flakes

Cut the fruits into halves and scoop the flesh out. Leave all the seed and piths out, you may need to pass the pulp through the sieve.

Scooping out carotene rich papaya.

Transfer all to a small pot and start heating it up gently. Add agar agar and stir it in.

Adding agar agar to the fruit mix

Keep mixing once heating it up. It will start thickening up so keep stirring until it gets a bit jelly like, but not too thick.

Ready to apply
Ready to apply

Take it off the hob and let cool down before applying it to the face, neck and decollete. If after cooling down, the paste gets too thick anyway, simply heat it up again. Leave it on for about 10-15 minutes, then rinse off and pat it dry. Follow with a floral water of your choice. Why not go on with an exotic theme and choose an orange one? The smell will evoke good mood and a fresh feeling.

Rhassoul clay face mask

I was always into clays as I knew they do lots of good to my skin. I read about Rhassoul clay some time ago in a magazine.  As usual you could write a letter to say what articles you liked the best as I did, and they awarded me with an impressive a kilo of Rhassoul clay! Hooray!!  Since then, I have been a big fan of Rhassoul.

Rhassoul clay comes from Morocco where have been known and used in beauty treatments  for a long time. It is mined in the Atlas Mountains and contains lots of super goodies and minerals. It purifies the skin, tightens the pores, softens the skin and regulates the production of sebum. That’s exactly what I need!

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I am going to mix the Rhassoul clay with honey and rose  floral water. I made some flower infused honey few weeks ago and have been using it for my face. I found this recipe in one’s blog and it turned out quite easy to make and this honey is great. I infused my honey with rose petals and lavender, it smells really nice.  But you can just use  regular honey from your cupboard. You can also swap floral water with a regular water, just use what you have.

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Try to do peeling before applying any face mask, it will clean all pores and prepare the skin for the mask. Mix the clay with  water, then add some honey and few drops of an essentail oil. I will chose rose again to match the floral water, it smells amazing! Mix it all for a smooth paste and apply to your face, neck and decollete. Leave for about 10 minutes and rinse it off when you feel the mask gets too tight. Follow with cold water and your toner, or again floral water.

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Beautiful mud! Great for body wraps as well/

Chamomile inspired face mask

I have been waiting to write about this beautiful yet humble herb. I love chamomile! The smell so herbal yet a bit flowery. It helps me when my stomach is upset or when I just want to ease my mind. I remember myself as a little girl going to the fields and trying to find these sort of daisy looking flowers. I wasn’t always successful and often mixed them with other similar looking plants.

Chamomile is famous for its soothing and calming properties so works well for all irritations, acne, it is popular in treating eczema. Chamomile is an excellent not only to skin but the whole body and mind too! It works as a mild sedative, relaxes muscles and will bring a good sleep. I love this a bit bitter taste of chamomile tea. I just know it’s pure power of nature. Why don’t we restore all that powerful knowledge about herbs and plants and use it for our good? It has been used by people since the beginning of our civilization and it is still here. Unfortunately, modern life puts us away from the nature and all natural remedies.

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I felt like my skin needs a bit of nourishment so decided to use an egg and and chamomile as I have been out in the sun and wind for the past few days. So to start, I use pestle and mortar to crush chamomile flowers. You can even use chamomile tea bags instead. Just open them and pop the content out. Add chamomile flowers to an egg yolk, add squeeze of lemon, a bit of honey and mix it all. As it gets a bit runny, I add some clay to thicken the mask, the best would be yellow one to keep the colour synchronization!  When ready, apply to your face, neck and decollete. Once removing it, the chamomile particles will act as a gentle scrub and will leave your face smooth and bright.

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As Full Moon is approaching ( 3rd of July in UK ), it is a good time to moisturize, nourish, make masks, do massages. Start today and you will see the results!

Papaya face mask

Papaya face mask

I always like using fruits or vegs in my home made cosmetics and masks. Apples, carrots, cucumbers, bananas. All fruits are great for your skin as they contain natural exfoliating enzyme which removes all dead cells and make skin smooth and radiant.

Papaya – what a beautiful fruit it is! Rich in colour, full of potential. Packed with vitamins C and E and beta-carotene which is very beneficial for the skin. I felt very inspiring after reading all good things about papaya at blog http://prakritiherbals.wordpress.com/ and decided to include papaya not only in my beauty treatments but also in my diet as it helps with digestion.

 Again, a very simple mask. Mash and blend ripe papaya with some honey and a bit of yogurt, not too much as it will go all runny. Apply to your face, neck and decollete. I do it even on my shoulders! Rinse with lukewarm water. It leaves your skin smooth and glowing.

Yogurt face mask

Yogurt, not only yummy and healthy, is also good for your skin. It works as a natural moisturiser. It improves skin colour and texture, reduces pores and nourishes the skin with all essential minerals and nutrients. Yogurt contains also lactic acid which smoothes all lines. It helps with acne too.

For this mask, mix half of the cup of yogurt with 2 spoons of lemon and orange juices, add squeeze of honey. I tend to use soya yogurt as it is my favourite, but diary one will be great too. Apply to your face, neck and décollete, rinse it off after 5-10 minutes. Your skin will be fresh and young!

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Lavender clay mask

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Sometimes, our skin suffers from spots or blemishes and green clay is very good for all impurities. I use to mix a bit of green clay just with a drop of water and treat any spots with that paste. Green clay eases the inflammation and helps the spot to disappear. This simple mask will help to bring shine and smoothness to your skin as well as will clear it from any unwanted “surprises”.

I use lavender flowers in this mask, but you can use any dry flowers you have, camomile would do the job too. Grind lavender flowers, add 1 spoon of honey, few drops of Vitamin E and mix it with water. Then gradually sprinkle 2 spoons of green clay, adding some more water if necessary. Try to get a consistency of a smooth paste, not too thick. Apply to your face, avoiding eye areas. Don’t let the mask to dry out too much on your face and rinse it off with lukewarm water.

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