I don't know about you, but weather changes tend to make my skin get drier and more sensitive. In Upstate NY, it could be humid and 90 degrees and then rainy and 60 the next day. In the winter, the change in temperature affects the skin even more.
The way I have always looked at it is that we only have one skin. One face. You want to treat it with respect and nourish it with love--and wholesome ingredients!
We're going to be making a wonderfully soothing mask today with clay. I love clay when used in skin care. I have several kinds at home: rhassoul, French Green Clay, bentonite clay, White Kaolin Clay, and Pink Kaolin Clay. When you're oily, or for me in the summer, I love to use French Green because it draws those impurities right out of your skin, tightens the pores and you can feel it working as is tightens.
I actually make a big container of green clay mask one night a week for me to use throughout the week--why pay $90 for a clay spa mask for your body when you can do it at home so affordably?
Today, though, we're going to work with Pink Kaolin Clay. Unlike the others clays you're more likely accustomed to, this clay is ideal for dry and sensitive skintypes. I won't draw oil out or make your skin feel as if it might crack since the mask is so tight. It is not like that at all.
In addition to the clay, you'll need milk and honey. You can use variations on the milk--buttermilk, skim, whole, half and half--whatever you have. I actually am using Meyenberg Goat's Milk. This is probably my favorite goat's milk to use and it is fairly accessible.
In fact, I recently saw it at Wal-Mart in the refrigerated grocery section right by the soy milk and coffee creamers. Buy yourself a quart--use it for this recipe if you'd like, bathe in it---dip sliced cucumbers in it, chill, and put on your eyes for 15 minutes to soothe--you'll find a purpose for it!
I also use Aloe Vera Juice. You can find this at health foods stores. I like to buy NOW brand. I drink aloe vera juice for my health--NOT all say you can drink it though, so please make sure you do not drink aloe juice unless it clearly says you can.
You do not have to use aloe vera juice to make this mask. You can leave it out and add water or more milk. I just happen to love aloe in my products because it is so soothing.
Lastly, you will need honey. You absolutely can buy the bear squeeze container of honey at your local grocery store. There is nothing wrong with it. I love honey--I buy local honey from various farmer's markets. In fact, the honey I am using now is Buckwheat Honey sold at the Rochester Public Market. I strongly recommend buying buckwheat honey over other forms, as studies have shown this deep, dark honey to have the most health benefits and skin benefits because of the higher levels of antioxidants.
Benefits of these natural ingredients
Pink Kaolin Clay--this is uber gentle. It won't draw out natural oils, nor will it strip the skin. It is a very gentle, natural exfoliant and aids in boosting circulation
Goat's Milk--The pH level of this milk is very similar to our own skin. It protects the skin and is rich in lactic acid, one form of Alpha Hydroxy Acid. This is the most recommended AHA for very sensitive skin. It increases the radiance in the skin and makes it looker plumper and more youthful.
Aloe Vera Juice--this super soother can restore the acid pH of the skin. It is mildly astringent, very protective, helps to prevent excess oil production, and helps to reduce scarring. It is cooling and soothing on irritated skin.
Buckwheat Honey--I think this is the best honey across the board. It is dark and rich--and very sweet. A little of it goes a long way in your tea--but the benefits to your skin are wonderful. This honey in particular has a high level of antioxidants, making it a great choice for your skin. Honey is mildly antibacterial as well, so this can help prevent acne. You can even cleanse your skin with plain old honey! It possesses true facial benefits.
How to make this mask:
- Grab a small bowl and add about 1/4 cup or so of pink clay.
- Add 2 t. of honey.
- Pour in a splash of aloe juice.
- Add 1 T. milk.
This can be any consistency you like. Some people like to brush the mask on and "paint" it into the skin. I do this with a strawberry mask I make. Some people like a thick facial mask. It is all a matter of personal preference. I have taken a picture of the thickness I like--see the mask on my hand in the picture above to get a general idea.
Apply liberally to the skin. You can use this everywhere you feel you need it to clean, damp skin. I do this as a spa facial on my face and neck.
Leave it on anywhere from 5-10 minutes. Splash face with warm water. Rub gently with a washcloth. I use Norwex baby washcloths on my face because they are very, very gentle for the skin. Make sure the mask is rinsed completely. I recommend following with my facial mist--you can spritz chilled green tea on your face, too! Just don't use anything with alcohol.
Store in the fridge and be sure to discard after 5 days.