Tag: face mask

DIY Brightening Face Masks

Title Photo

Hello! We are back with part 3 of 6 of the DIY face mask series, and today it’s all about brightening. I love brightening masks because over time they aid in evening out skin tone, lightening dark spots, and giving skin an all over glow. Just as in the other posts, you’ll find masks for sensitive skin, normal skin, and oily skin. But don’t forget, if you are allergic to any of these ingredients when ingested, then you will also be allergic to them topically. If you aren’t sure, do a small test patch for 15 minutes to be certain! So, let’s get to it!

Sensitive Basil

Ingredients

  • 2-3 sprigs of fresh basil
  • 1 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Directions

Muddle basil in the squeezed lemon juice like you would in a cocktail. If you don’t have a mortar and pestle (which I don’t), use the end of a spatula or wooden spoon. Apply the mixture to the skin and let sit for 10 minutes. Rinse off with warm water.

Benefits

  • Basil — Basil is great on the eye area as it aids in reducing inflammation, prevents infections, and soothes stress-induced fine lines. It also helps to prevent the appearance of blackheads, and improves skin’s appearance by evening out skin tone.
  • Lemon Juice — Filled with citric acid (an alpha-hydroxy acid), lemon juice serves to lighten skin while simultaneously exfoliating the top layer. Interestingly, lemon juice works in the same way a low-level chemical peel does. Plus, it has Vitamin C, which serves to aid in reversing damage from free radicals to improve tone and texture.
Tip: If you have super dry skin, add a tablespoon of honey to this recipe to combat any dryness the lemon juice may cause!

sensitive papaya

Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon Fresh squeezed pink grapefruit juice
  • 1/4 cup pureed papaya
  • 2 teaspoons honey

Directions

Cut papaya in cubes, and pulse in a blender or food processor for a few seconds until it’s almost the consistency of a puree. Combine papaya, honey, and grapefruit juice. Apply to skin for 15 minutes. Remove with warm water.

Benefits

  • Pink Grapefruit — Like lemon juice, pink grapefruit has loads of Vitamin C and citric acid, which are both great ingredients for skin brightening and helping with collagen production. (We need healthy collagen production to keep skin looking plump and youthful.) But grapefruit also contains lycopene which is an amazing antioxidant (also why the fruit generally has such bright color). Lycopene improves cellular functions in skin cells on a DNA level which means that the body doesn’t need to use its internal repair system! Lycopene helps protect from overexposure to UV light (naturally has an SPF of 3! How cool!) and aids in blocking the enzymes that break down your collagen supply.
  • Papaya — Also a great source of lycopene, papaya contains the enzyme called papain, which helps heal skin by removing dead skin cells without harming healthy skin cells/tissue, which gives skin a healthy glow while improving texture. It also contains Vitamin A (an alpha-hydroxyl acid for exfoliation) and has a “low sodium content” which means it helps skin retain moisture. If you are most concerned with brightening/whitening of skin or pigmentation spots, be sure to choose a green (unripe) papaya because it has more papain than ripe ones.
  • Honey — Honey naturally antibacterial, antimicrobial, and packed with antioxidants, so it is fabulous for moisturizing as it opens up pores to help unclog tired or angry pores. It’s also  a natural humectant, it helps the skin to attract and retain moisture. Honey is great for sensitive or oily skin, so for this recipe, it helps to balance out any potential dryness caused by the citric acid in grapefruit.

Substitutions — you can substitute papaya with cooked and cooled tomatoes, watermelon, cooked and cooled asparagus, mango, or carrots (but as you progress through this list of substitutions, the amount of lycopene drops).

Normal Kiwi

Ingredients

  •  2 slices kiwi, peeled & muddled/mashed
  • 1/4 avocado, mashed
  • 2 teaspoons fresh squeezed orange juice

Directions

Peel and slice kiwi, place in bowl. Peel and slice ripe avocado, place in bowl. Mash and/or muddle kiwi and avocado together. Add in fresh squeezed orange juice and mix thoroughly. Apply to skin for 10 minutes. Rinse with warm water.

Benefits

  • Kiwi — Kiwi is a lovely skincare ingredient because it does so many things. With the Vitamin C, it helps brighten skin and aid in collagen production to keep skin looking youthful. It also contains high concentrations of Vitamin E, which is great for hydration and helps natural regeneration of cells. Kiwi also has Omega-3 fatty acids that are wonderful in decreasing inflammation and reducing the risk of acne occurrences. Also, when kiwi is mixed with a citric acid (like orange, lemon, or grapefruit juice), it will control any excess sebum/oil production on the skin. It’s also high in amino acids, which help fight harmful sun exposure, thus preventing sun damage. Kiwi contains enzymes that help exfoliation of dead skin cells. Last, but certainly not least (I could go on and on about kiwi), its like a transporter of nutrients, so it basically functions as a conduit for nutrients to the dermal layers of your skin (and it’s generally pretty difficult for anything topical to reach those layers).
  • Avocado — loaded with monosaturated fatty acids for moisturizing, nourishing, softening, regenerating damaged skin cells, and reducing irritation
  • Fresh Orange Juice — oranges have massive amounts of Vitamin C, which helps to brighten your complexion, fade dark spots, and bring a general glow to the skin.

Oily

Ingredients

  •  2 tablespoons fresh squeezed grapefruit juice
  • 1/2 banana, mashed or pureed
  • 1 tablespoon honey

Directions

Mash or puree banana. Mix pureed banana with honey and grapefruit juice. Apply to skin and leave on for 10-15 minutes

Benefits

  • Pink Grapefruit — Like lemon juice, pink grapefruit has loads of Vitamin C and citric acid, which are both great ingredients for skin brightening and helping with collagen production. (We need healthy collagen production to keep skin looking plump and youthful.) But grapefruit also contains lycopene which is an amazing antioxidant (also why the fruit generally has such bright color). Lycopene improves cellular functions in skin cells on a DNA level which means that the body doesn’t need to use its internal repair system! Lycopene helps protect from overexposure to UV light (naturally has an SPF of 3! How cool!) and aids in blocking the enzymes that break down your collagen supply.
  • Banana — Bananas are high in Vitamins A, B, C, and E, so they are great for hydrating, brightening, and exfoliating. They are also great at reducing inflammation and itching. High concentrations of manganese protect the skin from damage of free radicals, and the Vitamin B6 helps in keeping skin’s elasticity in check. Vitamin A keeps skin look bright as it helps combat dull sallow skin, and of course, the Vitamin C helps to brighten!
  • Honey — Honey naturally antibacterial, antimicrobial, and packed with antioxidants, so it is fabulous for moisturizing as it opens up pores to help unclog tired or angry pores. It’s also  a natural humectant, it helps the skin to attract and retain moisture. Honey is great for sensitive or oily skin, so for this recipe, it helps to balance out any potential dryness caused by the citric acid in grapefruit.

That concludes the brightening episode! Please let me know if you try any of these, and which ones you’ve liked best so far!

Stay Glittery, Beauties!

xoxo,

Candice

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Mardi Gras Skin Recovery (or Hangover Skin Recovery)

mardi gras skin recovery

Mardi Gras is officially over, and we’ve all partied our little hearts out, while also dehydrating our bodies and angering our skin. So, I’ve devised a little plan to help you rejuvenate tired hungover skin.

before and after

1. Hydrate

We all know the importance of hydration in general, but when it comes to hangovers or multiple days of partying, it’s critical. Not just for your internal organs, but also for your skin. While there is only one bottle of water pictured here, that was my third that morning. Keeping your body hydrated helps keep your skin plump and less dry which reduces the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and sallowness.

2. Cleanse

I can’t stress this one enough – cleanse and cleanse well, not harshly, but well. Removing all the dirt, sweat, and other environmental nastiness your skin absorbed is essential to giving it an opportunity to recover. I love the Emma Hardie Amazing Face Moringa Cleansing Balm. It’s a gentle, but insanely effective, cleanser that doesn’t foam. It can be used as a basic cleanser or even as an overnight mask. I’ve done a review here if you’re interested in reading more, but the basic point of Step 2 is to make sure you properly cleanse.

3. Calm

This is an essential step. Calming the angry skin is necessary. It needs soothing ingredients to reduce inflammation and absorb necessary nutrients. For this, I like the Ayesha Fresh Face Mask from Lush as its main purpose is to refresh tired dull skin. The Ayesha features a blend of kiwi (rich in Vitamin C for brightening), asparagus (to nourish and absorb excess oil), honey (for hydrating and reducing inflammation), and witch hazel (for tightening). Truth be told, this is one of my favorite masks of all time.

4. Nourish

As you might know by now, I am a huge fan of coconut oil for skincare. It’s cheap, easy to find, and provides a host of skin benefits. For this step, I do a coconut oil mask. All you need to do is liquefy about a tablespoon of coconut oil and massage it into your skin. Let that absorb into the skin for 30 minutes to an hour. Gently wipe your face clean with a warm washcloth. This helps nourish the skin due to the high concentrations of lauric acid. Basically, it’s food for the skin! (For other beauty uses of coconut oil, check out this post!) You’ll begin to notice your skin reviving around this step.

5. Repair

Now that you’ve revived your skin, it’s time to repair it using a good serum. Any current serum you are using will do the trick. I like serums because they are designed to enhance the absorption of products that come after them, and are concentrated to such a degree that you’re providing your skin with high levels of vitamins and nutrients. I used the Skin & Co Truffle Oil Serum, which I reviewed here. But I also love the Skin, Inc. serums (they will custom blend one suited to your skin’s needs and issues).

6. Strengthen

Its helpful to strengthen the eye area when giving your skin recovery time. The key is finding an eye cream that contains hyalauronic acid. Hyalauronic acid is a fabulous ingredient that not only helps skin retain moisture, but also helps exfoliate without rubbing or scrubbing. I love the BeautiControl Restructuring Eye Creme, which you can read more about here. I’ve been using it for years, and  I love it.

7. Moisturize

The last step is to moisturize to restore hydration from the outside in. Any quality moisturizer will do the job, but today I used Vichy Lift Activ Nuit. I have just started using this one, so I’ll have to get back to you with a full review. Quality moisturizers are key because they help infuse moisture into the outer layers of the skin, which also helps to plump skin, reduce the appearance of lines and wrinkles, and nourish newly forming skin cells.

As you can tell from the before and after photo, there is a very noticeable difference. Skincare isn’t difficult, but with the right steps it can make a drastic change in the appearance of your skin, despite the craziness you put yourself through the night before.

I hope you enjoyed this post! Let me know if you try this! I want to see your before and after pictures!

Stay Glittery, Beauties!

xoxo,

Candice

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Queen Helene “The Original Mint Julep Mask” Review: An Old Favorite!

 

 

I’ve been using this mask since early college, I think. It’s super cheap at $4.00 for 8 oz, and it’s a great deep cleansing clay mask, so I keep buying it!

Queen Helene Mint Julep Mask Available at your local drugstore. $1.99 (2oz) - $4.00 (8 oz).
Queen Helene Mint Julep Mask
Available at your local drugstore. $1.99 (2oz) – $4.00 (8 oz).

What it claims to do:  Helps to dry up acne pimples, rinse away blackheads, and shrink enlarged pores…drawing out impurities…Even for individuals who are fortunately free of skin problems, Mint Julep Mask is a refreshing facial treatment that helps relax tired muscles and ease tension lines on the face and neck.

Directions: Cleanse face and neck thoroughly. Apply Mint Julep Mask generously and allow to dry for about 15 minutes. Remove with warm water and a washcloth.

This mask is so easy to use, but can get a little messy. It’s formula is pretty thick, so it’s easy to get it everywhere. It doesn’t stain, which I appreciate. I put on a thick layer, and let it dry completely. As soon as you put it on you feel the cooling effect of the mask, and it smells of mint and a bit of honey. As it dries, it does harden and make your face feel a little restricted. No worries, most clay masks do that. I use a washcloth soaked in warm water to remove it, since water alone seems to take forever! But, once removed, my face feels soft and my skin feels a little tighter.

Using this mask once or twice a week will definitely help to rid your pores of nastiness, so you may experience a few spots as the pores purge the bad stuff. I think one of the reasons I love this mask so much is that it definitely works on blackheads when used over time. (Twice a week). However, this mask is gentle enough for daily use, in my opinion, and I have used it daily before. (if my sensitive skin can handle it, then that is saying a lot)

Ingredient Breakdown: 

Kaolin — basically just the main ingredient for clay; used in many cosmetics; dries up acne; increases localized circulation which helps to fight inflammation. Since it dries up acne, it will also remove moisture from the skin (which is why you feel tightness), so if your skin is super dry, save this mask for summertime! (I don’t use this one in winter!)

Bentonite — great natural substance found in volcanic ash; cleans out impurities from pores serving as an antibacterial agent; also, when hydrated, it absorbs toxins from the skin while simultaneously releasing good minerals into the skin due to some fancy chemical reaction (with which I am not well versed).

Glycerin — attracts moisture to the skin, thus helping your face feel smooth by filling in microscopic cracks in dry skin, and therefore protects the outer layer of skin; some studies show it has been great in comforting skin conditions such as eczema; natural barrier to pollutants.

Zinc Oxide — great for healing acne and calming rosacea; protects skin from UV rays because it reflects light therefore not allowing it into the skin, and that prevents aging!

Propylene Glycol — aids in allowing multiple ingredients to bond together; there have been some studies that show that this ingredient will prolong dry skin over time

Sulfur — great natural ingredient for treating acne; works like a sponge to draw out impurities; keeps oil production in check to prevent future breakouts

Chromium Oxide Greens — mineral pigment for coloring the product

Fragrance — I’m gonna go out on a limb here and go with minty fragrance?

Phenoxyethanol — preservative with some controversy; some say it’s a toxic substance, but overall, I can’t find anything conclusive.

Methylparaben — preservative; fine in low quantities; lots of controversy over parabens which I won’t get into here. If you’re interested in that, let me know, and I can do a full scale post on it.

Overall, I absolutely love this mask for what it delivers. It works well and it’s very affordable. The only real downside here, which isn’t much, is that it doesn’t actually contain mint. Mint oil has been used for a very long time as a skincare astringent and acne fighter, so I would love Queen Helene to replace their fragrance with actual mint oil. Then, we’d have this mask at 5 stars, instead of 4.

Stay Glittery,

xoxo,

Candice

 

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