If winter weather's got you down, take a little time to rejuvenate yourself -- and your skin -- with these five fun facial recipes you can make at home with ingredients you probably already have in your kitchen.
To moisturize your skin and leave it super soft, try this chocolate facial mask, which comes courtesy of Spa Index. It smells heavenly -- and it won't cost you any calories. Blend 1/3 cup cocoa powder with 3 tablespoons of heavy cream. Stir in 2 teaspoons of cottage cheese, ¼ cup honey, and 3 teaspoons oatmeal. Use an immersion blender to puree the mixture, and smooth it on your face. Relax for 10 minutes, and wash off.
Looking for a little exfoliation action? Then you may enjoy the exfoliating banana oatmeal mask suggested by Rozanne Zbinden, mompreneur, esthetician, and owner of the Cielo Spa Day Spa. Peel a medium ripe banana, mash it, and add in 1/3 to ½ cup of oatmeal a little at a time. Continue until all of the oatmeal is moistened. Apply to your face evenly, and leave on for 15-20 minutes. Rinse with warm water. "The fruit enzymes in the banana are a great natural exfoliant," says Zbinden.
If pollution and grime have left your skin dull, try this avocado cleanser. Simply beat one egg yolk until it's light and frothy, and add 1 mashed avocado and ½ of whole milk. Use an immersion blender to puree the mixture and use as a cleanser. You can refrigerate the mixture and use it for up to four days.
For dry, chapped lips, Zbinden suggests a natural lip exfoliant -- simply mix a teaspoon each of honey and brown sugar, and massage into your lips. Rinse with warm water, and apply petroleum jelly to seal in moisture.
Finally, your pantry is probably already home to one of the strongest natural anti-aging ingredients: tea. "Green tea and white tea extract are both rich in natural ingredients known as polyphenols, and have potent antioxidant properties. Research shows that they not only fight both environmental and metabolic free radicals, but also repair damaged DNA, which is often associated with skin cancer," says Dennis Gross, M.D., a practicing dermatologist and board certified dermatological surgeon in New York City. Get an instant eye lift when you freeze green or white tea bags and apply them to your eyes nightly to deflate puffy undereyes and decrease swelling.
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