THE HOW-TO >
Matcha Tea Cleanser:
After seeing so many women from Japan, with gorgeous skin, extol the virtues of a certain matcha tea cleanser I looked up the ingredients and decided to make my own version. This has worked great for the double cleansing method—first I use the matcha cleanser and then fallow it up with another sudsier cleanser. Leaving this on creates a mask that can further benefit acneic skin.
- 2 Tablespoons Matcha green tea powder (here I'm using Matcha Organics' green tea which has a very finely milled, creamy powdery texture which gently exfoliates the skin)
- 1/4 cup aloe vera gel
- 1 teaspoon Argan oil (optional)
How to make it:
This is as simple as mixing your green tea powder and aloe vera gel together plus a few drops of oil if needed.
If you're using fresh aloe vera leaves, place the cut end of the left down into a glass to allow the bright green sap to drain off. About 20 minutes later remove the leaf from the glass and carefully cut down the middle of the length of the aloe vera. Then use a spoon in a downward motion to remove the gel from the inside of the leaf, collecting it in a bowl.
Keep your finished facial wash in a container with a tightly fitted lid in the refrigerator. It should last at least a week before a new batch is needed.
Out of all the recipes featured here this one is probably the most surprising in how much it has helped my skin. Something about the black sugar rich in molasses and the honey does wondrous, healing magic in a matter of 15 minutes when left on as a mask. This was inspired by a Skinfood scrub of the same name only their mask does not actually contain black sugar, what it does is caramel color and perfume which many like to avoid. No exotic black sugar in the house? That's OK, a great alternative in 1 Tablespoon of dark molasses mixed with dark brown sugar.
- 1/4 cup black sugar (or dark brown sugar mixed with 1 Tablespoon dark molasses)
- 2 Tablespoons Argan oil (here I'm using a really nice organic Argan by NorthCoast which can be found on Amazon)
- 1 Tablespoon pure shea butter melted
- 1 Tablespoon honey (Manuka honey is even better if available)
Combine everything in a bowl and mix well. Transfer to a jar with a tightly fitting lid. This scrub/mask likes to separate so a good mix might be needed prior to use. It lasts for ages when refrigerated thanks to the honey and sugar.
How I love a good, deep cleaning mud mask with a bit of a zing to it. Now there are two ways of making this mask. One is a bit of a cheat by purchasing a natural dead sea mud mask such as the one pictured above by Natural eScentials which I really like (another Amazon find) and adding peppermint essential oil or you can use dry Aztec Indian Secret clay powder and the rest of the ingredients below..
- 1/2 cup Aztec Indian Secret clay powder
- Enough apple cider vinegar to make a thick paste
- 3 drops of essential oil of peppermint (here I'm using a really strong pure peppermint oil by Lalune)
- 1 Tablespoon honey
- 1 teaspoon Arnica oil (Weleda is my favorite)
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla baking extract or 10 drops of pure essential oil of vanilla
Blend everything together into a thick mud and transfer to a container with a tightly fitting lid. This will last quite a long time if it is not allowed to dry out which often happens when not much is left in the container.
If you're forever waiting for Lush's cult classic Tea Tree Water to be restocked here's a way to create something very similar at home. The main ingredient might even be growing outside your door (Juniper!).
- 1 cup of witch hazel (or rose water if you prefer, see how to make your own here)
- 15 drops of essential oil of tea tree
- 1/4 cup of juniper berry tea (steep juniper berries in hot water for at least 30 minutes then strain reserving the liquid)
- A few drops of lemon essential oil, orange blossom water or pure lemon extract (optional)
Combine everything in a sterilized spray bottle and shake well before spraying on a cotton round or directly on your skin. Keep refrigerated for up to two weeks.
Essential oil c/o Lalune
Argan c/o NorthCoast Products
Match green tea c/o Matcha Organics
Image: mam for Gave That