Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Homemade Face Mask

 Homemade face masks?  Not an item typically seen on a food blog...

Last month I was contacted by a publisher and offered a free book to review: Peggy Kotsopoulos' Must Have Been Something I Ate.  

I was specifically asked to prepare this face mask and share it with you. 

Seeing as how my friends and I used to make our own perfume and beauty products back during our school years, I was ALL OVER THIS.  I love DIY cosmetics!

And Peggy, the book's author, is a holistic nutritionist.  Her book is jam-packed with astonishing and helpful information, designed to be a girlfriend's guide to helping our bodies overcome ailments (PMS, bloating, sleep issues, anxiety, etc.) using the power of food. 

Her recipe for the face mask is simple:  combine the ingredients (buttermilk, avocado, banana, and kiwi) in a blender, apply the mask to your face, and wash it off after 20 minutes.*  

Peggy writes that buttermilk has alpha-hydroxyacid (AHA) which rejuvenates the skin and is often used in professional peels.  The avocado's high fat content and antioxident vitamins A and E soften the skin.  The banana's potassium rejuvenates the skin, and the kiwi is also high in antioxidents and Vitamins C and E. 

Face Mask Ingredients:  Avocado, Kiwi, Banana, and Buttermilk

Peggy doesn't give an exact measurement for each ingredient, so I just winged it on the amounts.   

 This can definitely be made in the blender.  I used my food processor, pureeing the fruits first and then adding a tablespoon of buttermilk.

Then I applied it.  It felt a bit as though, in a moment of desperation to get my baby to eat, I smeared his food all over my face to distract him from the spoon heading toward his mouth.  The scent of bananas isn't my favorite, so I had to mentally get past the smell (which truly was not bad.  It's just me.).

So what were the results?

I'll first say this:  I'm very skeptical of cosmetics' claims.  I like to be smarter than the brand's marketing team, whom I envision encircling a conference room table drinking Starbucks and eating Ferrero Rochers, throwing out words like "youthful", "firmer", "tighter", and "glowing", trying to create a label that will appeal to the raging vanity of women.  And I very much appreciate that this mask was made by me from real ingredients in my real kitchen and therefore had no claims or labels.

So I'm telling you this with a straight face, restraining myself from using hyperboles and over-the-top adjectives.  This mask was...great.   About 10 minutes into the dry time, my skin began to tingle and burn a bit.  (In a good way.)  The AHA in the buttermilk was getting after my pores, gnoshing away at over-the-hill skin cells.  After rinsing the mask from my skin (I eventually went ahead and slathered it on my neck, too), I was rather shocked to discover that those pesky pores near the sides of my nose were noticeably smaller.  

I've used expensive products in the past that cannot hold a candle to the effectiveness of this mask.  My skin felt smooth and moisturized, and after I applied my regular daytime moisturizer, my face looked as good as it did after spending a week on the beach in Mexico (salt water and salt air are a magical skin combination). 

I placed the leftover mask in a jelly jar in the fridge and will be using again it very soon (not sure how long it will keep...).  And when I need to make more, it will be fun to fiddle with the ingredient amounts, adding more buttermilk when my skin needs a good AHA scrubbing, more avocado when my skin is on the dry side, etc. 

Here's the ratio of ingredients I used to make this particular mask:

Homemade Face Mask
1/3 small banana
1/2 kiwi
1/4 avocado
1 tablespoon buttermilk

Blend first three ingredients together in blender or food processor until smooth.  Then add the buttermilk and process for a few more seconds until incorporated.  

Peggy has many more DIY cosmetics in her book including lip gloss, a body moisturizer, and even a cellulite treatment.   She also has a tooth whitener, which I jumped to make like a kid on a trampoline.

Here's what I used.

I mixed together one small mashed strawberry with about 1/2 teaspoon of the baking powder.  Effervescent things start to happen.

Then I brushed my teeth with it!  It tastes kind of crazy, especially since I'm so used to my minty toothpaste.
I can't say that I noticed a difference in the color of my teeth right away, but I'm going to keep trying to get rid of these danged coffee stains.

The long and short of it is:  I highly recommend this book.  Peggy is very straightforward in her explanations of how we can use food to our healing benefit.   She writes in "girlfriend-ese", explaining otherwise complex things in simple, urban terms.  (She does throw in a few curse words now and then, so keep that in mind...especially if you have young readers in your house.)

The book is about $20 and can be purchased from

*Please use common-sense caution; if your skin is at all sensitive, please test the mask on a small area of inconspicuous skin first before using it on your face and neck.  The tingling/burning "peel" action of the mask is very noticeable and is definitely a sign that it is working.  My skin was a bit pinkish immediately after I rinsed the mask from my face/neck/decolletage area, but was back to normal within 15 minutes.  


Kathi said...

I am very intrigued by this! Out of buttermilk or I would have already tried it. Checking out the book...

Anjie Fitch said...

Cant wait to try these!!

Casey said...

I can remember the day you, me, & Melissa tried to make our own perfume in my bathtub! Oh the memories! Also, while I am sure this lady is very smart, she should have asked someone else to try her mask as your skin has always been perfect. (It's kind of like asking an already skinny girl to try your diet. LOL)

Ginny said...

Yup, Casey! That's exactly what I was talking about. Your poor mother. Bless her heart. She probably cringed everytime I came over with all my *great* ideas. :) Also, when my mom had her herb farm, Heather Spriggs and I would sneak in the back and combine all sorts of essential oils. We made some CRAZY scents, that's for sure.

Caneel said...

You. Are. Awesome! Love the photos - and I'm totally trying that toothpaste!

erie said...

Great post. I think I would like to try this even though I'm used to creating a honey mask. But since your words seem to be reliable, I might try this mask this week. And if I'm happy with the results, then I'll surely have it regularly. :)

Unknown said...

Great post. Love the diy beauty products!

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