Yogurt and Honey Mask

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When I was little and watched my mom or my aunt cook in the kitchen, it was a pretty regular occurrence to see them use leftover produce as skin care. If mom peeled cucumbers, she would rub her face with the inside of the peeled skin. If there was a strawberry not quite pretty enough to eat, it would get smashed and… massaged onto the face, then washed off a while later. My mom and aunt both look a good 10-15 years younger than their age.

Nowadays when we think of skin care, we think of the drugstore or the make-up counter. All that stuff loaded with chemicals we can’t pronounce. But doesn’t it make sense that the same foods that help us to be healthier on the inside can make us look healthier and younger on the outside, as well? Strawberries are exfoliating, cucumbers are toning… the list goes on.

In an attempt to switch to a more natural form of skin care, I recently made myself the easiest awesome facial mask with endless benefits. And it contains only two ingredients – equal parts plain yogurt and honey, mixed well together to make a homogenous consistency that would make a great healthy breakfast, but is just as amazing used topically on the face.

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Why milk and honey? Together these ingredients offer the following benefits:

Honey offers antioxidants to protect from – and reverse – environmental damage (it’s derived from plants, after all), moisturization, and great anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties, especially useful if you suffer from breakouts or blemishes.

Yogurt (like most dairy products) contains lactic acid (a natural form of Alpha-Hydroxy Acid), which exfoliates and smooths out your skin by gently dissolving the dead cells on the surface and stimulating cell-turnover. It softens your skin and helps to prevent wrinkles, the natural way.

It’s no wonder the famous beauty and seductress Cleopatra was known for her nightly milk baths to keep her body soft, supple and young-looking!

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(Image courtesy of http://www.helladelicious.com)

Use a leftover plastic or glass (not metal, because it will react with the lactic acid) jar and keep your mask in the fridge for weeks. To use, just lightly spread a thin layer of the mask on your face (don’t be tempted to eat it), and wait for the yogurt to dry slightly (about 15 minutes), before rinsing it off.

For a natural toner after the mask, use 1 part apple cider vinegar to two parts water. Moisten a cotton ball in the mixture and wipe over your face. Let it dry without rinsing – the vinegar scent will dissipate quickly.

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