27.5.14

Lemons, detox, and facemasks, oh my!

A couple of months ago I had the misfortune of going WAY off my "diet." That is to say, the whole-foods eating style my family adopted several years ago. Hey, don't judge. I was a sleep-deprived, costume-constructing mess (6 weeks of working on a highschool production of Beauty and the Beast. I'm a musical theater nerd, so as you can imagine, working backstage was the experience of a lifetime!) Trust me. Sugar works wonderfully as a moral boaster. ;) Long story short, once I got home, I began (kinda hard to miss,) noticing swollen patches of acne on my neck and lower cheeks. Not 100% blaming the sugar (though my body was screaming for a detox,) since I'm pretty sure it was also an allergic reaction to makeup. Literally a week after returning from B&B, I was an extra for pickups in an Independent Christian film. I have somewhat sensitive skin to being with, so the bronzer/lotion mix they used all over my face, neck, lips, and ears, left me itchy, blotchy, and yeah, miserable.

4 household ingredients no girl should live without: 

  • Lemons
  • Raw honey
  • Greek yogurt
  • Coconut oil


#yogurtfacemask #bathroomselfies #duckfacefail

I've never been acne-prone, so as you can imagine, I was frustrated and feeling ugly. Trying to cover up with foundation just helped the patches to spread. This, my friends, is when I began researching face-masks, and learning all about the benefits of a very common, bright yellow, sour, and oh-so-good-for-you fruit: the lemon.

Lemon's are not only delicious (at least in my humble opinion,) but excellent for many health-related/beauty-related problems. It's bleaching proprieties make them perfect for those nasty, swollen zits and acne spots, and also works great as a detox. Since putting lemon directly on the skin may cause burns or sensitivity to sunlight, I recommend mixing with some skin-friendly products, and voila! You have a safe, yummy facemask that will leave you with soft, succulent skin and zit-free. :) Oh yeah, and try drinking a cup or two of lemon tea every morning/evening. It will clean all the toxins from your body and work from the inside out for a beautiful complexion. I love my electric teapot. Though I'm a coffee girl, when I'm on a detoxing kick I have a pot of water boiling almost constantly. Puts my favorite-clunky mug to good use. 

"Ancient Egyptians believed that eating lemons and drinking lemon juice was an effective protection against a variety of poisons, and recent research has confirmed this belief.
There are many health benefits of lemons that have been known for centuries. The two biggest are lemons’ strong antibacterial, antiviral, and immune-boosting powers and their use as a weight loss aid because lemon juice is a digestive aid and liver cleanser. Lemons contain many substances--notably citric acid, calcium, magnesium, vitamin C, bioflavonoids, pectin, and limonene--that promote immunity and fight infection." (via)
Lemon tea

A large, earthen mug, preferably squat and perfect for warming ones hands (not optional ;) ) 
2 cups fresh, filtered water
1 whole lemon, seeds removed
Raw honey to taste

Bring water to a rolling boil. Meanwhile, pour lemon juice (with pulp,) and honey into mug. Add water. Enjoy. :) 

While sipping your lemony tea, let your skin soak up one of my favorite facemasks (recipes below.) Like I already mentioned, I'm still exploring the world of natural skin-care, but I'm really excited about my discoveries so far! I don't think most of us realize how makeup, sweat, dirt, etc, clogs our pores, and how dirty or skin actually is. Water, even warm water, isn't enough to get deep down under the grime, especially for people with oilier skin. For ie, going to bed with foundation or even mascara on is a guaranteed breeding ground for pimples. (I apologize for sounding gross, but admit it, we all struggle with skin deformities now and again.) Again, water doesn't cut it, soap is even worse, and  chemically-based makeup wipes/removers are harmful to skin and bodies. 

Quick cure: Coconut oil.

After spotting skin with a warm rag or cotton ball and patting dry, use a circular rubbing motion and as many cotton balls as needed to gently remove makeup/dirt from skin and eyes. Leftover mascara no more. :) 

I keep a jar of organic unrefined coconut oil handy at all times, and have found that my skin is softer and less prone to acne break-outs. Also great for capped lips and hands during those dry winter months.

*Please note that all skin-types are different, and none of these remedies are recommended for sever cases of acne. 

Egg-white facemask

1 egg white
t raw honey
t lemon juice
ground oats or flour (enough to make paste)

Mix all ingredients together. Oats can be ground in a food processor or blender until a fine, flour-like texture. Or, cook in boiling water until soft and let coal. Leave on for 20 minutes or until dry and remove with warm cloth. {Looking in the mirror guaranteed to scar for life or leave one helplessly rolling on the floor. :P } 

You know that nightmarish moment, right before a big event, when ohmygoodnessWHYNOW!? An offending, BRIGHT RED blemish takes residence on ones face? It's happened more than I'd like to remember. >mental groan< Well, for moments like those, we'll take the radical route. Not very natural, but good for quick termination: white toothpaste. I know, I know, sounds terrible, and please, use with caution. This is NOT the best-for-you remedy, but it works. It can also dry your skin too much if over-applied. But sometimes desperate times calls for desperate measures. If you have more than a few hours and want a safer route, baking soda mixed with a little water (to form a paste,) works just as well. Leave on for about 10 minutes or until dry.

Lastly but certainly not least, my very favorite, feels-oh-so-good facemask. Plain, Greek yogurt. Yep. One day while experimenting a sister accidentally burnt her face (with. . .apple cider vinegar. We won't even go there.) Try not to think on it too hard--huge, pink, unsightly splotches? Not pretty. In one of my brilliant moments (they don't happen often, so I take them seriously when they show up,)  I slathered yogurt all over the offending burns. . .let it dry for a few minutes. . .and low and behold. . .my sisters face was not only blotch-free, but her skin was beautifully soft and clear. Um, I'm a REALLY big fan of yogurt right about now. ;) Oh yeah, and Cleopatra supposedly used honey on her skin. Another indispensable ingredient (yes, still sugar, but better than the processed white stuff,) that I suggest you invest in. Raw, if possible.

Yogurt facemask

(about) half cup plain, Greek yogurt
t honey
t lemon (optional)

Mix together. Slather on. Leave for about 20 mins or until mostly dry. Feels very cooling and fresh!

I hope these little tips are helpful! If you liked this post, please leave a comment below, and I will include similar articles on the blog. I'd also be curious about YOUR experience with facemaks, detoxing, etc, and if you tried any of the recipes here. :)

Happy skin-care.

30 comments:

  1. Coconut oil I find is a must have for beauty and baking. I use it in my hair all the time. Great recipies I've tried various ones,Jessica loves using the egg white one and does help a lot with acne prone people.

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    1. Yeah, it's amazing for hair! I tried it a couple weeks ago and couldn't believe how smooth and silky my hair was--as if I'd used conditioner. Unfortunately, for me, since my hair is already very fine, conditioner (or coconut oil,) makes my hair really limp, so I don't really use it. :-/ But yeah, great tip for those who like/use conditioner!

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  2. Face masks have never really interested me, but your Greek yogurt recipe (would you call it a recipe?) makes me want to try it!

    (Oh, and hi, I'm Emily and I give warm hugs. I've never commented on your blog(s) before, but I've stalked--I mean, followed them for a long time. ;) )

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    1. Hi Emily-who-gives-warm-hugs! Guess what?? I give warm hugs too, and you look VERY familiar, so we've must have met before! ;) Blog stalking it totally legit. ;) Welcome aboard!

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  3. I've found the very best things for facial skin is cream, straight off the top of the gallon of goat milk in the fridge. If my face skin starts feeling "tight" and dehydrated, I simply slather on as much cream as my face will hold, then go about my business. After it has all dried, I wash the remaining flakes off with just hot tap water cupped in my hands. Then I lightly pat dry.
    The way the oils go straight into the skin is amazing!

    My face and cheeks look glowy and feel like I'm floating on a cloud of happiness.

    Depending n the consistency of what you use, it will dry in about 10-30 minutes, (and I wash whenever I get around to it.)
    If the cream hasn't risen yet on my jar of milk, I just pour a small amount in a cup and dab it on with my fingers. The straight goat's milk does pretty much the same job, but being thinner, I can't get as much to stay on. Still, I only do one application of either, because I have no patience for fussing like that! ;-)

    I use either straight from the fridge, and am always so happy with the results...

    After all, think about it: there's a reason all these commercial skin products are called "Creams".

    Right? :-)

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    1. I am SO trying this, Elizabeth. I've already done some reading on the properties milk has for skin, so I'd imagine cream is even better. (cloud of happiness. I love it. ;) )

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  4. I need to get some coconut oil. I've heard of so many brilliant methods for using it! My skin is particularly oily and often prone to redness, so I would love to give greek yoghurt a try as well...
    Raw honey + lemon + eggwhite face masks are THE BEST. They've done so much good for my skin in the past. Yes. Just yeees. ^.^

    I would love more posts in this vein! Skincare is where I get nerdy. ;)

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    1. I've found yogurt EXCELLENT for redness. It worked better on Anna than it did on me, but then her skin in less oily, so maybe that was part of the reason. It was really neat, the way it took away the burn marks on her face.

      Anywho, glad you liked the post. :)

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  5. Love it, Michaela! Coconut oil is one of the best for beauty uses--I use it as a hair mask and as a double for skin scrub & face mask. And sometimes for makeup remover/skin healing if I need to :)

    charmant

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    1. Good! I'm really thrilled with the response I've gotten, and can't wait to share similar posts. :)

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  6. I have also heard that coconut oil is wonderful for skin but never heard about yogurt!
    I sometimes use essential oils, lavender is also very good for acne.

    I just might have to try this face mask! Tell you if I do!

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  7. I love putting food on my face! ♥ I've always liked trying different masks and such, but this year I got really serious about not putting bad stuff on my face (generic makeup and lotions). Now I only wash my face using either coconut oil and honey or the oil cleansing method (which as worked pretty well for me, I've actually noticed old scars fading!), moisturize with a little coconut oil, and use all natural mineral makeup. I'm actually starting to feel comfortable without makeup. =)
    I really want to try the egg white mask...grosses me out just a bit since egg whites are so slimy, but I think my desire to experience the benefits will outweigh the minimal discomfort. ;)

    I also love fresh lemon squeezed in a glass of water! I hardly drink "plain" water now because lemon water is so yummy!

    I also agree with Bree, I love posts like this, I'm totally into natural beauty and remedies.

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    1. I know, right? (you always brighten my day, Samantha. <3 ) I am guilty of using some generic makeup, but I'm looking into making my own or investing in natural products. There was this really cool store in Santa Monica that sold all organic, natural beauty products. I think they may have been hair products, but I've seen similar places for makeup, and of course I could always do a Google search. ;) The only problem is that they are usually SO expensive. Homemade is probably cheaper. . .I just wonder if it LOOKS any good. :-/ I'll have to try making some foundation and mascara and then posting on my discoveries. :P

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    2. Please post if you have success with making your own makeup! I tried organic mascara once and with one little rub to my eye it smeared. =(
      The makeup I bought was on Etsy, not terribly expensive, and it has been lasting quite well. I can send you the link if you like. I've read you can use cocoa with cornstarch ( I think?) for mineral makeup, but my skin is too fair for that.

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  8. Love this! I also use coconut and olive oil to remove my makeup, and am very fond of a plain yogurt and honey mask I make. I'd love to see more posts about this kind of thing!
    -Lauren

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  9. EEEeeps! So excited to find your new blog!! This all looks fabulous Michaela. I admit I completely love your about me section and wish like crazy I could write like you and Anna... you girls make me smile so much!!

    I love researching and trying natural skincare.... more out of necessity than pure enjoyment, but it's great to find new things that work! I need to try this yogurt and coconut oil thing... I have been using different oils for quite some time since my skin gets insanely dry (and will go through acne cycles to boot. sheesh.) but these sound great, and I'll have to see how they work out for me! One mask I have really liked is 1tsp honey with 1/2 tsp of cinnamon and nutmeg (and optional lemon). It helps with evening out skin tone, acne, tightening skin, etc. I've never been able to do lemon juice on my skin... but the rest of it works nicely! My sisters thought I had slathered chocolate on my face, but hey...

    I'd love to hear more about your detox routine too... do you generally just to lemon tea or do you have some other tips? It's something I've kinda wanted to do for a while (I've done what I'd call semi-detoxes), but I'd love to hear more about your experience.

    I really can't wait for more on this blog... I'm so, so glad to see you back around!!
    ~Hadley

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    1. Hadley!! *I'm* so excited you found my new blog! You know, I hear a lot about you from a certain sister of mine. ;) Thanks for popping in. <3

      OOooh, yeah, I totally forgot about the cinnamon facemask. I've actually done that one and really like it, though it burns like the dickens! (I guess that means it's working? :P ) All facemasks look so gross. . .but it's worth it once the skin impurities start disappearing. I think I want to try a strawberry and/or avocado mask. Have you have any experience with them?

      I'm not sure I'd call it a detox "routine" necessarily. :P During the day I forget to drink, :P so I usually end up with a lot of bloating that is less than attractive. This time I think all the sugar I ate contributed. >cough< Right now I'm just drinking a lot of tea, such as lemon water, raspberry tea (which is really good for women,) and a special detox tea that has all these spices in it and is flavorful enough to drink without honey. I generally drink about 8 cups of tea a day. Would you like me to post about it??

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    2. Hmmm... a strawberry mask sounds interesting... I've never even heard of that one! I've heard that avocado is great for your skin, and I've thought of trying it at some point. They're just so doggone yummy I'd have a hard time slathering one on my face!

      I totally get you on forgetting to drink water during the day. I'm terrible with that (and yes, I may have gone to the hospital at one point for dehydration because of it... that was an interesting day.) But I should try more lemon and raspberry tea as I really do love tea. I'd love to read more about different kinds of tea/detox stuff. I actually just started trying using raw apple cider vinegar for pH balance, evening skin tone, etc. It tastes a bit nasty, but it'll be interesting to see how that works! Always fun to try new stuff. :)

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  10. I use coconut oil to remove my eye makeup too!!! I really like how smooth it makes my skin.

    Thanks for the face mask recipes! I'll have to try one out soon.

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    1. I feel like I'm a latecomer. :P Everyone already uses coconut oil! lol Hope you enjoy the recipes!

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  11. I'm to the point where I don't think anything will help. I'm nearly 30 yr. old and I have acne and rosacea, but I take 3 medications that I can't go without which has probably don't something to my system. I have sensitive skin and I don't wear make-up. I really don't think there's much hope for me.

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    1. I'm sorry, Catherine. :-/ I really don't know what to recommend for more sever cases--these remedies are really for the occasional pimple. Have you tried looking into organic products?

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    2. Someone told me it was probably a hormone issue, but I can't do a cleanse because of my medication (and I can't take some herbs because they interfere with my medication). I might just have to come up with my own remedy and recipe and do some research. Future blog post? :-)

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  12. I did a mineral and clay mask, but I tend to want to expect instant results (which these kind can kind of promise) last night and then a gelatin mask (like homemade pore strips) . . . my face was rather red around the edges and I had to warm the gelatin to get it off. It reminded me of one of the Grandma's Attic stories. Next time I think I will just do my T-zone. I tried the cinnamon, nutmeg, honey mask before but didn't keep up with it. I think my problem is partially food and partially makeup and who knows what else. I am 24 so I don't know why I still have acne. Anyway. I found a blog called Humblebee and Mewith a lot of recipes for makeup (I was looking for a decent thick concealer . . . tried making one without a good recipe, i.e. with my own modifications, and those didn't work out so well so I found that blog). The clay mask was the only thing I tried yet, but the blog is more informed and scientific about the makeup and remedies than many DIY's and had more make up options also, but, disclaimer, I don't recommend everything on the site and will not use all ingredients (titanium dioxide for example), but I like a lot of what I say and that was explained. Sorry, I am rambling like Much from the BBC Robin Hood.

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  13. I LOVE lemon! It does wonders. I don't get bad acne but I have the worst blackheads in the history of blackheads which when inflamed gives me acne spots. One night, I slathered lemon all over my face - and you wouldn't believe the gunk that came out. Ew! Gross! But now I've been applying lemon ever since, and my face has been clearing up immensely. I should try the greek yogurt mask, since it's summertime and I forgot that plain old lemon probably does make your skin more sensitive to sunlight. I also do an oil cleansing treatment/steam every night with olive oil and lavender oil - since I have terribly dry skin but also oily acne spots. I may consider using coconut oil since everybody raves about it. :) So are you completely make up free? I'd love to try to clear up my skin really well this summer so I could go out completely natural. :)

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    1. Was there a specific recipe for your Lemon-Slathering, or was it simply a Let's Put This Lemon On My Face sort of ordeal? ;D I've got some blackheads that I would love to get rid of. :/

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  14. I did a couple of these leading up to my wedding. Though it didn't clear out everything (frankly because the stress levels were through the roof!), it did clear up enough to be satisfied. I'm also about to purchase coconut oil for several reasons. I have heard it's great. Thanks for posting these mask recipes! It's that time again to do another one. I have found the older you get, the more on top of this you have to be...

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