It’s Valentines week! And everything is pink, red, and amazing (I’ll have my own pink, red, and amazing recipe to share tomorrow!). In all that hubbub, and expense, expectation, and media flurry it’s easy to not feel very loved. But having some self-love techniques in your back pocket is an easy way to layer on some care in a time that can get moving very quickly and often feel pretty lonely (no matter how paired up you may be).
I am a big lover of hot baths, Epsom salt soaks, and face masks. Masks are often pricey, and full of ingredients I can’t pronounce. Lately I’ve been researching properties of different herbs and household items, and figuring out the best ways to incorporate them into my home beauty routine. These four masks are my go-to’s. The base for a couple of them is powdered bentonite clay (here is an affiliate link. It’s $10 for a tub that will last a long time).
Lately I have been looking for some help with the dark circles under my eyes. What began as a hunt for a great concealer has turned into a search for ways to eliminate them (other than sleep. Because, you know. Hah.). I’ve been reading quite a lot about what can be used in to aid with brightening skin and helping with dark spots and discoloration.
I don’t typically do all these masks in a row, but usually just whip up a couple a week, depending on my skin needs. I do this on top of my typical care (washing with a charcoal soap, toning with apple cider vinegar, and moisturizing with coconut oil). The clay mask can be used on its own with just water, or half water and half apple cider vinegar (but warning! It will make your skin red for about 30min). It is great for drawing out junk, and leaving your skin feeling really tightened and smooth, I always apply coconut oil afterwards.
The honey mask, and the scrub will both keep in large quantities for quite some time (great gift!), but both clay masks should be made in small quantities and used immediately, as they can dry out and then become unusable.
Charcoal is kind of a miracle worker (we use it for stomach bugs, bloating, gas, externally for teeth whitening, and in this mask!). I love it in this mask because it is a skin brightener, and it’s really absorbent. So it’s a good one for when I am feeling extra greasy. But, fair warning, it can be pretty drying, so make sure to moisturize afterward if you have dry skin. And, when applying it, don’t avoid your under eyes!
This mask is my favorite for whenever I have a breakout. Turmeric is really great for inflammation and swelling, if you have a big break out, or a blemish that is inflamed, treating with turmeric is a great way to help the swelling and puffy or red look diminish. (you can also just mix some turmeric with coconut oil and dab it on as a spot treatment, but don’t sleep with it on, it will stain your pillows!). It is also a skin brightener so I use this as an aid in my quest for less dark under eye circles, so again, don’t avoid putting it under your eyes. I leave it on till it’s fully tight and dry – about 15 min.
Just.Honey. I’ve shared about my love of honey face masks before. They’re incredibly hydrating, inexpensive, as simple an ingredient list as you could ever want, and are a great easy way to feel pampered without any work. Raw honey is best, but I’ve used regular old honey and it’s ok too. If you are giving it as a gift and want to spice it up a bit, you can add a tiny drop of lavender oil to make it feel more cozy and spa like. Raw honey as a regular mask is amazing, especially in the cold and skin killing winter months, this will leave your skin feeling nourished. Bonus! Licking your lips is not only safe, but totally encouraged.
This last one is better used as a scrub since it can be a bit messy and it also has benefits that are great for your whole body. However, I use it sometimes as an in-the-bath mask and let it sit for quite a bit and love the effects. Coffee is great for exfoliating, skin brightening, and it diminishes cellulite (only works for a bit though, but.. still, weird, right?!). I just use my left over grounds from my morning coffee, add in honey, and a little charcoal to up the brightening factor. I love to use it in the shower as a total body scrub. You could also substitute the honey for coconut oil and drop the charcoal and still have great effects.
These masks are full of nourishing ingredients that make frequent appearances in my diet as well as my beauty routine (I try to live by “if you wouldn’t put in in your body, don’t put it on your body”)! Let me know if you have any other questions or want to know more.
Happy Valentines Day! Don’t forget to celebrate the love affair that should last our whole lives, Self Love!