Using Real Food for Natural Face Masks

Real food face mask 1

When you visit the spa in an attempt to make your skin look better, one of the most common treatments you’ll get is a facial that uses a face mask. While face masks at spas are often highly effective, visiting a spa on a weekly basis may not be in your schedule, and often harsh ingredients and chemicals are used.

However, you can make your own natural face masks at home – using ingredients that you might already have in your kitchen. Homemade natural face masks are also relatively easy to make, and it is easy to double or even triple the recipe to share!

Oatmeal Face Mask

You’ve probably heard that oatmeal is good for soothing flaky itchy skin related to sunburn or other irritations, but oatmeal is also an ideal ingredient for a facial mask for people with dry or dull skin because it’s moisturizing and nourishing to the skin and pores without being oily.

Prepare an oatmeal face mask by combining 1/4 cup oat flour with 1 tablespoon heavy cream. [We at The Kicking Kitchen would also suggest substituting coconut oil or nut milk for the heavy cream.] Stir the mixture to make a thick paste and gently spread it over your face while standing over the sink.

Let the mixture rest on your skin for about 20 minutes before rinsing it off with lukewarm water. If you have very dry skin, following an oatmeal mask with a night cream or moisturizer can make an ideal evening treatment.

Avocado face maskAvocado Mask

In many parts of the United States, avocados are available pretty much year round. While the antioxidants, vitamin A and healthy fat content is good for your body when you eat it, it’s also a great ingredient for use in a topical face mask for the same reasons, and you’ll notice that your skin feels tighter and your pores look smaller after using an avocado mask.

To make an avocado face mask, combine 1/2 avocado with 1 tablespoon olive oil in a small bowl. Mash the avocado and olive oil together with the back of a teaspoon to fully combine them.

Use the mask by gently spreading the mixture over your face with a towel around your neck to keep the mask from getting messy. Let it stay on your face for about 15 minutes before rinsing with lukewarm water.

Honey Mask

Honey is antibacterial and has long been used in natural remedies for pimples and blackheads. However, honey can also be used in a face mask to help soothe inflamed skin and to restore natural moisture content to the skin.

You can make a honey face mask by simply warming a small amount of honey in the microwave or on the stovetop before gently rubbing it over your face. Just make sure it isn’t too hot before you put it on your skin! Leave the mask on for 15 to 20 minutes before thoroughly washing it off.

You can also add a small amount of another moisturizing ingredient like heavy cream for a mask that isn’t quite as sticky if you wish.

Taking a trip spa for a facial is a great way to get your skin looking its best, but for many busy people, it just isn’t in the cards on a weekly basis. For others, a spa visit is a bit too expensive to add into the monthly budget. These things should not hold you back from having the healthiest skin possible! When you just don’t have time to visit the spa or a visit seems too expensive, make your own face mask and reap the benefits of well-maintained skin – even in the comfort of your own home.

Marcela De Vivo is a freelance writer from Los Angeles and has contributed to many health and beauty blogs. She loves treating herself and her daughter to a spa day and loves recreating her favorite treatments at home. Find more beauty tips and tricks on her Pinterest.

Photos: Creative Commons

The 7-Day Breakfast Experiment

 

Every day our bodies give us different signs or symptoms of balance or imbalance – a headache, stomach ache, acne, etc. Rather than trying to hide these symptoms by popping a pill, it’s worth trying to understand why you’re feeling these things in the first place. Even our emotions and mental clarity is worth some investigation. Feeling light and happy? It may be due to your diet! Have a headache often? Perhaps you’re missing some nutrient-rich sustainable foods in your diet, or are getting too many processed foods, or both. When we get these signs, it’s our job to figure out what is going on.

THe 7-Day BReakfast Experiment from The Kicking Kitchen

Photo: SteveLegato.com

The more you can tune in to your body, doing your best to figure out what is “off,” the healthier and happier you’ll be. This can definitely take some practice!

As a way of tuning into your body and learning to listen to its messages, explore eating a different breakfast every day for a week. Write down what you eat and how you feel – the good and the bad – both right after eating and again two hours later. Sit quietly after you eat and reflect. Note how your energy level, your moods and your physical symptoms are affected by the food in your body. Then, you can make changes in these choices to improve your diet and health. 

Below are some various suggestions for each day of breakfast. You may wish to substitute other options for your experiment.  

 

Day 1:  Eggs

Day 2:  Scrambled tofu with tamari soy sauce

Day 3:  Oatmeal or any grain product

Day 4:  Boxed breakfast cereal

Day 5:  Muffin and coffee

Day 6:  Fresh fruit

Day 7: Fresh vegetables

 

What I ate                                 How I feel right after eating                   Two hours later

 

Day 1 …………………………………………………………………………………………….…….……………..……………

Day 2 ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

Day 3 …………………………………………………………………………………………….…….……………………………

Day 4 …………………………………………………………………………………………….…….……………………………

Day 5…………………………………………………………………………………………….…….………………………..….

Day 6 …………………………………………………………………………………………….……..…………………………

Day 7 …………………………………………………………………………………………….…….………………………….

You may discover from this exercise that you are unusually sensitive to certain foods or that certain foods just don’t sit well with you, especially the highly processed food choices. A food sensitivity or allergy, or feeling tired, unhappy, unfocused, having aches and pains, may be your body’s way of telling you to start eating foods more appropriate for your current life goals.

 

Adapted from Integrative Nutrition.

 

Warm Winter Oatmeal Smoothie

 

 

We love our smoothies, and drink them almost daily, year-round. However, with the cold winterwarm oatmeal smoothie recipe months we often want something warming rather than an ice-cold smoothie. This recipe is a yummy example of how to make a smoothie for the colder months. It’s just like having  your oatmeal in a smoothie! And stay tuned for more cold-weather smoothie tips!

Warm Berry Oatmeal Smoothie

Makes about 1 1/2 cups

Ingredients:

¼ cup tablespoons rolled oats, uncooked

3 tablespoons raw almonds, soaked for several hours

½ teaspoon cinnamon

1 cup water

½ cup fresh berries of choice, at room temperature

honey to taste

Directions:

Add oats to blender and blend until finely ground. Add almonds, cinnamon, berries and water. For most blenders, add very hot water. For blenders with the “soup” feature (like Vitamix and Blendtec), cold or warm water is fine. Blend until smooth and creamy. Blenders with soup feature will heat the mixture as it blends (about 1 minute 30 seconds to 2 minutes). Other blenders – simply blend until smooth, about 30 seconds. Add honey to taste, blending briefly to combine honey with smoothie. Sip from a mug or enjoy in a bowl with spoon.