Lavinia says, Do as I Do: Complement Professional Skincare with Homemade Masks from Nutrient-Rich Foods
My clients frequently ask me for tips on how to maximize the benefits of salon treatments without overextending their beauty budget. As someone who grew up watching my mother and grandmother whip up homemade skin, hair, and body treatments, I’m intimately acquainted with this subject. During my girlhood in Romania, product shortages were a fact of life—and personal care items were no exception. Yet the women in my family consistently maintained fresh, glowing skin and lustrous hair. Their secret was a beauty routine grounded in traditional knowledge of how to make the most of what nature provides: the organic nutrients, hydrators, and emollients in foods sourced from their gardens and local farmers. I continue to rely on these homemade beauty recipes to complement the advanced professionally formulated beauty products, including my signature skincare line, that help me remain confident that my fifth decade life truly is a “second spring.” In the coming months, I’m going to share these Old World recipes with you in a series of posts on optimizing your seasonal beauty routine with easy do-it-yourself treatments made from nutritious whole foods.
Four Revitalizing Masks for Fall
The following four masks are the perfect way to optimize and extend the results of an intensive fall program of professional exfoliation treatments. Each mask is designed to address a specific issue—whether it’s a dull, lifeless complexion or dry, oily, or combination skin—while improving your skin’s overall health and functioning. All you have to do to achieve great results is prepare the recipe of your choice and keep the following recommendations in mind:
Always apply the mask to freshly washed and toned skin.
Let the mask and sit for the specified time.
Remove with warm (not hot!) water and sponges or a face cloth shower. (It’s easiest to do this in the shower.)
Put the finishing touches on your face with a gentle toner, antioxidant-rich serum, and nourishing moisturizer. Be sure to include a mineral sun block in your routine if you’re going outdoors.
Use professional-quality skincare products that are free of petroleum-based ingredients and harsh chemicals like sodium laurel sulphate, propylene glycol, and synthetic alcohols. Make sure that every component of your beauty regime is as pure and natural as these homemade mask recipes.
Recipes For Every Skin Type
Sour Cream Exfoliating Mask
Women have used fermented dairy products to brighten and soften their skin for thousands of years—according to legend, Cleopatra’s favorite beauty secret was bathing in fermented goat’s milk. This sour cream mask works on the same principle and requires only one ingredient that’s readily available from your local grocery store. Because the lactic acid in sour cream is milder than the fruit acids used in more intensive peels, it can be safely used to speed up cell turnover around your eyes and on the eyelids. The sour cream also cools and refreshes irritated complexions and contains humectants that bind moisture to the skin surface. This mask is such a gentle way of rejuvenating skin that I’ve made it a daily habit. It will leave your complexion feeling like velvet!
Cover your entire face with a thick layer of sour cream. (Be careful not to get any in your eyes when applying it to the eye area and eyelids.)
Wait five minutes before removing.
Egg White Mask for Oily Skin
The combination of egg white, lemon juice, and oatmeal is perfect for oily, acne-prone skin. Egg white and lemon juice both have astringent properties that tighten and tone the skin, while the oatmeal both cleanses and prevents excessive dryness, enhancing your complexion with a soft, fresh glow. Lemon juice also has antioxidant properties and helps lighten brown spots.
Collect the white from 1 egg in a small bowl.
Whisk in 1/2 teaspoon of lemon juice.
Mix with 1 tablespoon of uncooked oatmeal to form a smooth paste.
Moisturizing Egg Yolk Mask
Dry, flaky, irritated skin gains resilience and radiance from the essential fatty acids and healing nutrients in the egg yolk, avocado, and olive oil used in this moisture-replenishing mask. The oatmeal not only sloughs off worn-out skin cells, but also helps reduce itching and inflammation while boosting the mask’s hydrating and antioxidant effects.
Collect the yolk of 1 egg in a small bowl.
Add 1 tablespoon olive oil, and whisk together until the mixture is smooth and creamy.
Mash ripe avocado.
Add the egg yolk mixture and 1 tablespoon of oatmeal to the avocado. Blend thoroughly.
Cocoa-Cinnamon-Honey Mask for Combination Skin
This mask helps balance combination skin, keeping skin soft and supple, while fighting acne—and it smells delicious! All three ingredients contain antibacterials that promote a clear, blemish-free complexion. The cocoa is rich in magnesium, which helps balance hormone levels, and is packed with wrinkle-reducing antioxidants. Its caffeine content improves the appearance of dark circles and puffy under-eye bags. The cinnamon contributes to healthy cellular functioning by stimulating blood flow.
Combine 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa, 1 tablespoon raw honey, and a teaspoon of cinnamon in a small bowl.
With the addition of a whole-food mask to your fall exfoliation program, your complexion will gain the health and strength it needs to withstand the environmental stresses of winter. You can also use the mask year-round to make the most of your salon facials and natural skincare products.