Pumpkin Enzyme Mask

  pumpkin enzyme mask

     One DIY facial mask that I thought sounded better that it actually is was the Pumpkin Enzyme Mask.  What I didn’t realize is that pumpkin is full of many vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, amino acids AND Alpha Hydroxy Acid.  AHA is an acid that is included in many face masks because it gently breaks down dead skin cells.  This is great at exfoliating for acneic skin, or brightening for dull skin.   It does not leave your skin orange and is easy to wear and wash off.  The only downside is you might be tempted to bake a pie so be forewarned!

     The ingredients I used were pumpkin puree, apple cider vinegar, bentonite clay, and cinnamon.  A can will make A LOT, more than you can possibly use.  What I did was only use about a quarter of a can, and after it was prepared put it in a air-tight jar and kept it in the refrigerator.  I used it 2x’s in one week and threw the remainder out just to be safe.  I made myself a pumpkin pie smoothie with the unused 3/4 of a can so it did not go to waste.  You could also freeze it and defrost as needed whenever you want to make the mask.

     I really enjoyed the mask,  It smelled and felt great and afterwards my skin was smooth, felt clean and looked “brighter”.  Also after the 2 times I used the mask most of my pimples had healed.  So I would definitely give it a try.  As far as measurements I used a teaspoon of bentonite clay, a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar and a enough cinnamon to make sure that it smelled pleasant.  Let me know if you try it or have tried it and what the Pumpkin Enzyme Mask did for you!


Raw Honey Face Mask

     raw honey face mask

     Raw honey can be a great face mask all by itself.  I always have raw honey in my cupboard for adding to my tea or oatmeal, but I never thought about using it on my face until recently.  After reading about other people’s positive experiences I decided to try it myself.  It is surprisingly pleasant and left my skin feeling soft and nourished.  Here are some reasons why a raw honey face mask might be just the thing your skin needs right now:

1) It is antibacterial/microbial.  If your acne is caused by bacteria the raw honey can kill it.

2) It does not disrupt your skin’s pH or natural oils.  It’s pH is at an ideal level for your skin (4.5) and prevents bacteria growth.

3) It contains many vitamins, minerals, enzymes, amino acids, and antioxidants to nourish your skin.

4) It is a natural source of gluconic acid-a mild hydroxy acid, which is good for cleansing and exfoliating.

    I take the raw honey and massage it into my face and then let it sit on for about 10 minutes.  It is a good idea to do before you get in the shower, because I have tried doing it at night before bed and no matter how sure I am that I washed it all off, my hair will start to stick to my pillow case!  Anyways, warm/hot water and a washcloth just dissolves the honey away so there is no sticky residue.  I follow it with a little bit of Argan Oil to moisturize.  This is a great mask for acneic, damaged, or dry skin 1-2x’s a week.

Soothing Oatmeal Face Mask

oats-400x400     I always keep a couple of pounds or organic rolled oats in my cupboard.  Oats are extremely underrated.  They are very healthy and not expensive.  Besides all of their internal benefits, you can use the same rolled oats that you eat to make a great mask to soothe your skin.  This mask is great if you have been exposed to sun, just have sensitive skin or are experiencing a sore breakout.  It is especially great in the winter if you have dry skin and need to turn your combat dry flaky skin.

     First I take my blender and add a half a cup of rolled oats.  I did half a cup which was plenty, I actually used some for the rest of my body as well (great idea if you apply in the shower).  I am sure a food processor works best but I do not have one, and if you don’t either the blender worked just fine.  I blended them for a couple of minutes until they were fine and powdery.  Then I added a 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp raw honey, and a splash of hot water and blended with a spoon.   It should be on the thicker side like a paste and not watery.

     While I was in the shower I applied it to my freshly clean face so that it could be absorbed by the skin better, I also waited a few minutes so that the steam would open my pores.  If you have extra by all means use it all over like I did.  Apply with care as you do not want to get honey or cinnamon in your eyes, and gently massage into the skin.  Leave it on till the end of your shower and then rinse off and cleanse skin again.  Don’t worry that smooth feeling will not wash away!  Then apply whatever your treatment serum/toner and moisturizer you use.

      Oatmeal is very calming to the skin, it contains components that offer anti inflammatory and anti itch benefits to the skin.  Cinnamon encourages collagen production and increases blood and oxygen flow, and is also anti inflammatory.   Raw honey is antibacterial, viral and fungal and has long been touted for its wound healing properties.  All of these are beneficial inside of the body as well but they work really well together to form a nice soothing mask.  Repeat 1-2 times a week and most of all ENJOY!

Acne Ointment

calendula-oil     A wonderfully effective yet surprising treatment I came across only a month ago that has really helped my acne.  I put it on some blemishes at night and in the morning found most of the swelling and inflammation was gone and healing noticeable.  So how did I decide to purchase this random item? While I was on vacation in Lake Tahoe I came across a locally made product advertised for healing cuts, burns and abrasions.  I decided why not try it for acne?  When I started noticing an improvement I thought I can’t be the only one so I did a little research online and sure enough it had lots of support and is very easy to make yourself.  If you are not up for that, it can also be purchased online at Vitacost from a company called Herb Pharm.

     Calendula has long been touted for its skin healing capabilities.  It is a special variety of marigold which is part of the daisy family.  It has anti bacterial, fungal and viral capabilities.   When combined with olive oil (I recommend using extra virgin organic variety if making yourself) which also has been used for the skin historically it is really quite a powerful combination.  I know if you have acne the last thing you want to do is put oil on your face but it does work for most people. High quality olive oil is known to kill not breed bacteria.  On a comedogenic scale it score a 2 which means that it has low potential to clog pores.  I do not recommend putting it on unblemished because it does have potential to clog pores.  As soon as your blemish has healed you may stop applying it to that spot.  Although I have never tried it I plan on making my own when I run out of my current bottle.  I just need to start growing some Calendula meanwhile:

– First I assume you will be growing them yourself or acquiring them fresh, I have yet to come across dried Calendula for sale.  Prior to making the mix you must set the flowers out to dry and wilt.  Depending on the climate it may take a few hours to a few days.

– Place the dried Calendula in a mason jar. Pour extra virgin organic olive oil into the jar and stir well and cap the mason jar

– Place in a brown paper bag and away from sunlight and heat to prevent oxidation.

– After 4-6 weeks, strain the herbs out. Pour the infused oil into dark glass bottles and store in a cool dark place.

– Enjoy and let me know if it works for you!

Detox Clay Mud Mask


     Here are the ingredients that you will need to create your own Detox Mud Mask: Bentonite Clay, Apple Cider Vinegar, Aloe Vera Gel and Water.  Take one tablespoon of clay.  Add a teaspoon of vinegar and then a squirt of aloe gel and a splash of warm water and mix.  The type of clay I use is called Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay.  I picked it up at a local health food store, but you can order it from Vitacost.  I used Bragg Apple Cider Vinegar with the “mother” in it.  The aloe that I used is by Aubrey Organics (also available on Vitacost), it is the purest that I could find with no fillers.  Keep in mind always refrigerate after opening. Mix together and adjust to achieve the desired consistency.  I think it works best when it is creamy but not so wet that it is dripping off your hands and running down your face.  It will appear greenish brown in color and have a smell but it shouldn’t be very strong.

     After thoroughly cleansing your skin apply a generous amount to the entire face except around the eyes.  The skin is very delicate in that area and does not need the mask. Just go to the top of the cheek and let your eyebrows and nose works as a frame around the rest of the eye.  Bentonite clay is very popular for mud masks and detoxifies the skin by drawing out impurities.  The apple cider vinegar works to correct the pH of the skin and it kills bacteria as well.  Because it is very powerful and drying I have added the Aloe Vera because if you do have any active pimples it will help to heal and soothe them.  Also it adds great consistency and allows you some time to put it on so that you do not have to rush before it starts drying in the bowl.

     After you apply the mask you will start to feel it tighten as it dries.  Leave on until it is mostly dry.  Do not leave on any longer if it is getting so dry and tight that is is starting to stretch and hurt your skin, usually 15 minutes does it for me.  Finally use a wet warm towel to gently re-wet the mask while it is on your face so it is easy to wipe off and remove.  Gently pat dry and follow with a moisturizer.   I recommend this mask for oily blemish prone and normal skin.  Repeat 1- 2 times per week.  As always let me know how this recipe works for you, or if you have any other masks that you have discovered. ENJOY!