The saying ‘You are what you eat’ is a pretty common one, however the less known one ‘You are what you put on your face’ also holds some truth.
Oh you haven’t heard that one? You think I just made it up?
Well never mind, let’s move on.
Many different fruits and vegetables have properties that can be great for the skin as well as your health, and picking the right ones for your skin type isn’t a tricky task.
A range of easy to make and effective face masks can be made in your kitchen, and just to show you how simple it is, I made a few myself (I realise I sound very Blue Peter here).
I made three facemasks, and the basic ingredients for them were foods that you can easily find at your supermarket. Honey, sugar, cucumber, lemon and strawberries.
So what’s so great about them? Read on my friend, read on.
Sugar acts as a natural but gentle exfoliant and is a source of glycolic acid, which breaks down the components that bond skin cells. This helps encourage cell renal and helps generate new skin. It’s also a natural humectant, meaning it draws moisture from the environment into the skin, so as well as getting rid of dry skin, it can help prevent it.
Honey has a number of properties and is a natural antioxidant as well as being a fantastic moisturiser. Manuka honey is said to be the best for the skin, but health food shops price it like that stuff is gold, so if you don’t fancy spending half your rent on a pot of it, any kind of honey will do the job.
Cumber is the best natural ingredient at reducing puffiness in the skin, as the ascorbic and caffeic acid in it helps bring down water retention. It also helps tighten skin and sooths redness with it’s antioxidant properties. Not only that but if you suffer from dark circles then cucumber is good at helping fight that as well.
Strawberries are packed with salicylic acid, which helps remove dead skin cells and tightens the pores. It also helps lighten scars and blemishes, and is a good source of vitamin C. Vitamin C helps with collagen production, which is vital for healthy fresh skin.
I’ve already discussed the benefits of lemons in a previous article, but just for you I’ll run through the basics again. It’s a good exfoliator, it helps brighten the skin and it can help control excess oil.
So after learning about all those benefits I decided to make a few masks of my own, and I’ve categorised them depending on skin types, so pick which one best suits you and give one a whirl.
For oily skin: lemon and strawberries.
Two ingredients. Pretty simple. Just crush four medium sized strawberries then add a teaspoon of lemon juice. It doesn’t look much but as a girl with oily skin, I can state that this mask is beautifully soothing and really does get rid of excess oil without drying your skin out like a old raisin.
For dry skin: Honey, strawberries and sugar.
I used four medium strawberries, two teaspoons of sugar and a teaspoon of honey. Now if any of you are hoping to make a scrub then be prepared to use a lot of sugar. I mean a lot. The honey and strawberries ate up the sugar granules so the sugar took on a background character role rather than the main lead. Still, it felt cooling and refreshing, and very soothing. Perfect for those with dry itchy skin.
For dull skin: Lemon and cucumber.
Cucumber can be a bit of a tricky one to crush up so I recommend using a blender to blitz it up. I cut the cucumber about three cm’s long and blended it with the skin on, then added two teaspoons of lemon juice. This was the hardest mask to actually apply to the skin, and it probably didn’t help that I kept eating it. Cucumber and lemon is surprisingly tasty. It does have a lovely cooling sensation when applied, and leaves the skin feeling firmer, even after one application.
For all these masks I recommend leaving them on the face for about ten minutes to really let them work their magic, but feel free to leave them on for longer. They can be a little more time consuming to make, compared to buying a face mask, but you can make as much or as little as you want, and knowing exactly what ingredients you’re putting on your skin can be reassuring. The only thing that can make it extra tricky is if your house is like mine and the moment you start something you have a creature like this yowling at you.
Yes, that is actually my cat. She makes a lot of noise for such a small animal. Happy mask making!