Locked down without your skincare essentials? Spending too long staring at your face on a screen? Don’t be basic and bake banana bread when instead you can make your own skincare - no cooking required!
We tapped three Kiwi world experts in wellbeing and beauty for their favourite skincare recipe using products found in their pantry - like a mystery box challenge for the face, utilising the best ‘chefs’ available.
Self-care is a bit of a marketing buzzword these days but it is important, especially during times where much is out of your control. Whether your self-care involves an hour long meditative breathing practice, five minutes of loud sobbing in the shower, or 10 minutes spent massaging a homemade scrub onto your face, it’s time where you’ve prioritised yourself. And that’s important.
If you’re finding it hard to set aside time for yourself this week, these recipes could also be seen as an important ‘science’ homeschooling lesson.
Tip: Face masks and scrubs are best applied while working your way through our list of most stylish TV shows.
Microbead-free face scrub
In recent years exfoliators have gotten a bad rap due to the use of plastic particles (microbeads), which are so small they are making their way into our waterways, oceans and turning up in the fish we eat. Natural skincare brands will be avoiding these in favour of particles made from wax, sugar, ground-up apricot kernels and other botanical sources. But you can mix up a very easy face mask at home too...
• 1 tablespoon oatmeal (use gluten-free oats if you are coeliac). If you are a fan of making nut milks at home, you can swap the oats for any remaining nut pulp.
• 1⁄2 tablespoon Mānuka honey (UMF15+ is ideal for topical application on skin)
• 1⁄2 tablespoon organic raw coconut oil / extra virgin olive oil / avocado oil
Use your blender or food processor to pulse the oatmeal to a semi-coarse grain (you might want to do this in a larger batch) – you don’t want it to be oat flour, but you do want it fine enough to move around the
skin easily. Mix all the ingredients together into a paste. Add a little more oil or a dash of water if it’s too sticky. Massage into the skin. Leave it to sit on the skin for 5 minutes and then massage with wet fingers before removing with a warm cloth. To tailor this for different skin types or seasons:
The honey element is already a natural humectant for dry skin and antibacterial for spot-prone skin. The oats have anti-redness and soothing properties for sensitive skin, but you can boost these qualities by adding a couple of drops of:
• tea tree oil, for spot-prone skin
• chamomile oil, for sensitive skin
• frankincense or rose oil, for mature skin
• mash in some avocado for dry skin
• Or add a teaspoon of live yoghurt. The lactic acid works as a gentle alpha hydroxy acid (AHA), boosting the exfoliating action.
Always patch test 'kitchen cosmetics' before applying to your face.
Tip: To turn it into a body scrub, switch the oats for granulated sugar or used coffee grounds, add the oil of choice (skip the honey) and add a little essential oil for an uplifting scent.
Nourishing and exfoliating mask
• 1 tablespoon of leftover coffee grinds - natural exfoliant to buff away dead skin cells, improving texture and congestion.
• 1 tablespoon of avocado - rich in essential fatty acids and vitamin e to hydrate and soften.
• 1 teaspoon of olive oil - intensely nourishing with powerful antioxidants to protect against free radical damage.
• 1 teaspoon of honey - antibacterial and anti-inflammatory to calm and ease redness
With a spoon (or your hands) mix all ingredients together in a cute bowl until a slushy goodness has formed. Using those same hands, apply generously to your face. I recommend standing over the sink for this part as it can get quite messy.
Leave on for 10 -15 minutes (I used this time to take a selfie with my favourite plant) and then return to sink for part two - the exfoliation!
Gently - and I mean gently (trust the coffee grinds to do the hard work for you) - massage in circular motions for a good 30 seconds.
Rinse with warm water and pour yourself a glass of red wine, because you deserve it.
NZ-born, LA-based founder of Bodha, a beautifully crafted range of smokeless incense, aromatherapy eye pillows and therapeutic perfumes that’s been featured in publications from Vanity Fair to Goop.
Super nourishing healing mask
• Coconut oil
• Mānuka honey (I use Activist Mānuka)
Simply mix and apply!