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You can whip up your own products in under five minutes using foods you may already havein your kitchen. Purifying pineapple, balancing berries, cooling cucumber.

You can whip up your own products in under five minutes using foods you may already havein your kitchen. Purifying pineapple, balancing berries, cooling cucumber. There are many fresh foods that, when added to your beauty routine, can provide nutrients, cell renewal, moisture and other benefits to the skin. Each food contains a unique composition of vitamins and minerals and will benefit the skin in specific ways. If you're interested in dabbling in the art of "food for beauty," the key to maximizing results is selecting combinations of ingredients that will help rebalance your individual skin type.

No time? Not a problem. You can whip up your own fresh facial scrubs, masks and anti-aging products in under five minutes using foods you may already have in your kitchen. Here's what you'll need:

  • hand blender or regular blender
  • small- to medium-sized mixing bowl
  • storage containers with sealable lids.

Here are a few basic recipes to get you started. Once made, these products should be placed in a sealed plastic or glass container, labelled and kept in the fridge for up to five days.

Fresh Fruit Facial Scrub

1/2 cup (125 mg) dry rolled oats or oat flour
1/4 cup (60 ml) plain yogurt
1 Tbsp (15 ml) honey
2 Tbsp (30 g) crushed pineapple
2 Tbsp (30 g) chopped papaya

Optional ingredients:
For normal-dry skin, add one teaspoon (5 ml) of natural carrier oil (olive, jojoba, almond or apricot kernel) and three to four drops of rosewood or chamomile essential oil. For dry skin, substitute the pineapple for half a ripe banana. For sensitive skin, do not add pineapple, but do add two or three drops of lavender or chamomile essential oil. For combination-oily skin, add three to four drops of lavender essential oil.

Blend all ingredients with a hand blender. Then add drops of essential oils and mix well.

To use: combine a dime-sized amount with a bit of water and massage the face and neck with upward strokes. Leave on for a minute, then wash off.

Benefits:

  • Oats - a gentle skin cleaner. Removes dead
    skin cells.
  • Yogurt - has natural antibacterial properties. Helps to clean and soften the skin.
  • Pineapple and papaya - contain natural enzymes that gently remove dead skin cells.
  • Honey - provides skin with nutrients and is a natural skin smoother.
  • Essential oils - create a nice-smelling product but also help rebalance the skin.
  • Carrier oil - provides added moisture to drier skin when added to any scrub or mask.
  • Banana - contains beneficial nutrients and provides drier skin with additional moisture.

AvocadoHydrating Mask (for normal-dry and dehydrated skin)

1/2 soft, ripe avocado, peeled and cut
2 Tbsp (30 ml) plain yogurt
1 Tbsp (15 ml) pure aloe vera gel
2 Tbsp (30 g) soy powder
1-2 tsp (5-10 ml) sweet almond oil, jojoba oil or apricot kernel oil
3-4 drops pure essential oil of lavender, chamomile, rosewood, sandalwood, patchouli, carrot seed or rose.

Add the avocado and yogurt and all other ingredients into blender. Blend well until smooth. If mask is too runny, add more soy powder. If it's too thick, add a little more yogurt.

To use: apply a layer of mask all over face and neck. Avoid eye area. Leave on for 10 minutes or until dry. Wash off with warm water.

CucumberKelp Mask (for normal-dry and combination skin)

1 tsp (5 g) powdered kelp
1/4 cucumber
1 Tbsp (15 ml) plain milk
2 Tbsp (15 g) fine oat flour
1 tsp (5 mg) wheat germ
1 tsp (5 ml) aloe vera gel
2-3 drops of pure essential oil, either lavender, chamomile, rosewood, sandalwood, patchouli, carrot seed or rose

Wash, peel and cut cucumber. Blend cucumber with a small amount of water. Strain out cucumber juice and set aside for recipe below. Combine the cucumber pulp with oat flour, wheat germ, kelp, essential oil, milk and aloe gel. Blend. You can also add one teaspoon (5 ml) of olive oil or apricot kernel oil for more moisture.

To use: apply over the face and neck (avoid eye area). Leave on for 10 minutes, then wash off with warm water.

Benefits:

  • Kelp - contains a wide range of minerals to replenish lost nutrients in the skin.
  • Oats - gently exfoliate.
  • Cucumber - helps soothe, cool, refresh and hydrate the skin.
  • Milk - softly cleanses.
  • Wheat germ - nourishes the skin and is a source of vitamin E.

Cucumber Face Cleanser

To the leftover cucumber water from the above recipe, add one tablespoon (15 ml) of milk and some dried or fresh mint leaves. Place in bottle and store in fridge for up to three days only. Shake well before use.

Please note that when creating your own fresh products, you should conduct a patch test before full application. To do this, take a small amount of the product and apply on the underside of the upper arm and a small area of the face. Leave on until dry, then wash off. If burning, redness, itchiness or rash occurs, discontinue use or see your doctor. If you have very sensitive skin or skin concerns such as acne rosacea or psoriasis, conduct a small patch test. Remove product and wait 24 hours to see if any reaction occurs. For very sensitive skin, avoid the use of citrus fruits and essential oils other than chamomile, lavender and rose. Always select essential oils and other ingredients that are 100 per cent pure.

Creating your own fresh recipes can be a fun and effective way to feed the skin with a wide range of beneficial vitamins, enzymes and other nutrients to keep it youthful and glowing!

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