The skin is by far the largest organ of the human body. It is extremely sensitive to external factors, such as ultraviolet radiation, dirt and cold weather as well as emotional influences like stress. All these conditions have adverse effects on the skin. The good news is that most problems can be prevented by proper maintenance and care. The skin produces millions of new cells a day, regenerating itself completely within 30-40 days, depending on the person's age. Around the age of 35, however, the skin's natural rejuvenating processes begin to slow considerably. At this time, the skin can greatly benefit from a facial mask. There are two basic types of masks: relaxing and stimulating. Relaxing masks moisturize the skin and refresh the complexion, stimulating masks promote blood flow and smooth and firm the skin. Before applying a mask, cleanse the skin with a facial toner that contains lemon balm or witch hazel.
The proper application
Begin by covering the chin area with the mask then move up to the cheeks and forehead. Apply it to the nose next, moving outward toward the cheeks. Always leave space around the mouth, eyes and eyebrows. Lastly, spread it on the throat, moving from bottom to top.
Treat yourself to a facial mask once or twice a week. Apply a stimulating mask before going out or a relaxing mask at bedtime and leave it on for 20 mins. Always use fresh ingredients. You can prepare the mask on demand or in advance and keep it refrigerated.
Strawberries stimulate the skin
Strawberries are an invaluable addition to a stimulating facial mask. They are rich in vitamin C, which perks up tired skin, giving it a fresh, healthy look. They also contain sulphur, which has cleansing and anti-inflammatory properties that help to remove impurities from the skin's surface and reduce redness and swelling. Strawberries gently refresh and exfoliate the skin via natural fruit acids and enzymes, producing a radiant complexion.
Honey relaxes the skin
Because of its antibacterial action, honey is often used in cosmetics, helping to disinfect and heal minor blemishes. Rich in natural sugars, enzymes and acids, honey is effective against inflamed and swollen skin, renewing it and promoting healing. It can also freshen dry, stressed and sensitive skin.
Whole-wheat flour protects and renews skin
Fresh whole wheat flour contains vitamin E, an antioxidant that binds environmental toxins, promotes cell respiration, stimulates the production of anti-inflammatory compounds and slows the aging process of the skin. It has also been suggested that the vitamin may help to lower the risk of skin cancer. It is not surprising then, that many suntan lotions and after-sun products contain vitamin E. Facial masks containing flour made from whole wheat can likewise help to protect and renew the skin. Whole wheat flour, which contains extra fiber, may provide additional exfoliating benefits, sloughing off dead skin cells.
Extra Tip : Try to use soft or distilled water when preparing facial masks. Hard water contains high concentrations of minerals and other substances that may provoke an allergic reaction. If you use tap water, boiling or filtering it is also a good idea.
- 4-5 very ripe medium sized strawberries
- 2 tsp. heavy cream
- 1 tsp. honey
- Carefully rinse strawberries in lukewarm water and dry with a clean cloth or towel.
- In a small bowl, mash the fruit with a fork.
- Add the cream and honey, and mix well
- Apply the paste generously to the face and throat, keeping it away from the eyes
- leave the mask on for 20-30 min
Contraindications : People with sensitive or sunburned skin could have an adverse reaction to strawberries. Test on a small area first to assess your skin's reaction
Whole-wheat flour mask
- 1 qt. water
- 4 tsp. dried or 8 tsp. fresh rose petals
- Peels from 1-2 organic oranges
- 2-3 tbsp. milk
- 2 tbsp; rose water
- 2 tsp. honey
- 4 tbsp. whole wheat flour
- Boil the water and remove from the heat. Add the rose petals and orange peels, cover, and allow to steep until lukewarm or cool.
- In a separate pan, heat the milk, floral water and honey; remove from the heat. Add the flour and whisk into a thick paste.
- Apply the warm paste uniformly to the face and neck. Leave it on for 15-20 mins.
- Carefully wash off the dried mask with the fragrant rose-orange water. Pat Dry.
- Apply your favourite moisturizing cream to the skin.