A couple of years ago I began experimenting with making my own skincare products. I really think anything you put on your skin should be good enough to eat. And that some of the post powerful skincare ingredients are already in your kitchen cupboards. Remember that a lot of the ingredients in shop bought products are added simply to preserve the product, rather than for their benefit to your skin. Also, good skincare doesn't have to be expensive! So light the candles, run a bath, put on your favourite music and treat yourself.
I like this particular mask for winter as it restores a lot of the moisture lost by skin exposed to extremes of cold frosty air and dry central heating. The soothing smells also feel in harmony with that sense of cosiness that accompanies winter. If you suffer from acne, the antibacterial and soothing properties of this mask could be really helpful for you.
* little note, just like when I cook, I kind of do things by feel, but I got a good consistency with about 2 tablespoons of oats, 1 of a mix of rose petals and chamomile flowers, 2 tablespoons of honey, and 1 of oil. If that doesn't give you the consistency that you like for a face mask, you can play around with the quantities, but I like to keep the chamomile & rose at 50% or less than your oats. Overtime, the oats will absorb some of the oil & honey.
1. Oats - 2 tbsps
Use a skincare ingredient dates back to Ancient Egypt, especially prized for its moisturising and soothing effects, particularly suited to dry, sensitive or eczematic skin. The fat content in the oats is effective for binding moisture to the skin. I also like the gently exfoliating texture when rubbed on the skin after the mask has been left to sit.
2. Dried Rose Petals & Chamomile flowers - 1 tbsp
Rose is a prized ingredient in skincare for good reason, it has antiseptic and astringent (tightening) properties (hence rose water is a great toner), and for most people helps to soothe redness and inflammation. The scent of rose has been found to alleviate symptoms of anxiety and depression.
Chamomile tea is known as a wonderful drink to promote calm and help you sleep. So it follows that it has similar benefits for your skin, like the rose petals, it is antibacterial, antifungal and anti-inflammatory.
Blend the Rose, Chamomile and Oats into a powder, it doesn't have to be too fine at all. I did this in a nutribullet, but if you don't have a blender a good pestle & mortar would do the job.
3. Honey - 2 tbsps
My favourite ingredient in this mask! Making it yummy enough to eat. Honey's antibacterial properties are well-know and documented, and it also helps to make your complexion glow. Of course, make sure you get the best honey you can, I recommend shopping in the Dublin Food Co-op or at a famers market to buy single origin raw honey.
4. Avocado Oil - 1 tbsp
There are actually lots of recipes out there that recommend the flesh of an avocado for face masks, and while I do love my avocados, sometimes I prefer to eat the flesh! Putting it in your hair and skin can start to get a little messy, so we'll save that one for another time.
By using the oil your mask can last longer, and cold pressed avocado oil is one of the richest sources of oleic acid, which basically means it's an extremely effective moisturiser. If your skin type is quite oily, you could substitute this with another oil, for example jojoba.
For the ultimate beauty treatment, prepare your skin by gently cleansing, and then opening the pores with warm face cloths. Ideally, have a lovely bath with candles lit to soak in while you apply the facemask and give yourself time to soak it up. After about 10 minutes, I like to gently exfoliate with the mask itself. Afterwards, tone with cooled chamomile tea and seal in moisture with some rosehip oil.
Let me know if you try it!