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Tuesday, May 27, 2014

chocolate face masque

I have a new facial masque for you to try. Chocolate!
Totally edible, as tends to be the best for our bodies outside as well as inside, this recipe may have you licking your fingers. This masque firms, moisturizes, and fights the appearance of aging. Pretty much everything older skin wants.

Cacao is an antioxidant. With our bodies as with everything else, exposure to oxygen, despite being needed for respiration, is eroding, degrading. Antioxidants are substances which help slow down the decay caused by oxygen. On the face, especially, this seems to be what everyone wants, but while you're at it, masque the backs of your hands, too. Ever notice a woman with a surprisingly well made-up face and yet with hands of a woman 10 years older? Hands are a dead give-away. I'm typically awful at properly caring for mine, but there you go. Give them some chocolate love this time, for a change.

This chocolate face masque also contains ingredients which plump up cells, making the skin over the top appear less wrinkled, and also less prone to wrinkling as quickly. Think baby skin versus leather. The more moisture, the younger skin tends to appear on the whole. Cream or coconut oil can be used, either one, for bringing a deep moisturizing treatment.

Honey is a humectant, which means it draws in moisture to itself from the air around it. You can use honey all by itself as an antioxidant face masque, because yes, it also contains some antioxidant as well as antibacterial properties, but the moisturizing effect of just plain old raw honey is amazing. You must try it sometime. So this masque isn't sweetened just for your licking pleasure. The combination of oil and water is often the most deeply nourishing and long lasting moisturizing to skin, so while the honey draws extra moisture to the skin, the oils added to the masque help to lock it in place.

I also like to add some essential oils to this treatment. Vitamin C is needed for the production of collagen, and so helps keep skin appearing younger. This can be added with 2 drops per Tb of masque of orange or lemon essential oils. Please be sure to complete a C treatment in the evening, however, as exposure to sunlight after using these oils can result in photo-sensitivity, at the very least meaning sun spots, potentially nasty sunburn. Rose hip seed essential oil is also somewhat high in C without the same photo-sensitivity drawbacks, and is rich in fatty acids that help build collagen.

Yields about 1 1/2 Tb:
1 1/2 tsp raw cocoa/cacao powder
1 tsp coconut oil or full fat cream
1 tsp honey

Mix up ingredients to a smooth paste, doubling the recipe if needed. Apply all over face, throat, decolletage, and backs of hands, as thickly as you dare, and leave for 10 to 30 minutes while it works the magic for you. Use a little plain raw honey over the lips at the same time, as a moisturizing, gentle scrub for super smooth kisses. Mix up the batch in cup measurements instead of teaspoonfuls, and plaster it all over your body for a full on messy and gloriously indulgent skin treatment.

There are a few alternate ways you can mix up this recipe. A few ideas to try include:
  • Replace cream/oil with natural live yogurt, for the anti-acne goodness of the cultures.
  • Add a small amount of bentonite clay powder, with a little extra fat, for deeper detox properties. Bentonite clay is fabulous for skin prone to blackheads.
  • Mash 2 Tbs banana or avocado, or 2 ripe strawberries into the masque, reducing the cream/oil as needed. Strawberries contain salicylic acid, which fights acne. Banana and avocado are fatty and antioxidant rich. 
  • Replace 1/2 tsp cocoa powder with finely ground oatmeal flour, for reducing red tones in the skin surface. 
  • Replace cream/oil with 1 tsp espresso or strong green tea, as a remedy for puffiness. Don't get too close to the delicate eye area, though. It's best not to resort to this one as a puffy eye cure after a rough night of sleep as the fragile eye skin needs all the moisture it can get. 
  • Add buttermilk powder to the cream for extra thickness and skin nourishing fats. 

How else do you use chocolate or cacao on your body? What other variations can you think of for creating a nourishing facial masque with chocolate? 

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