We all love the idea of having a facial, but for those of us with sensitive skin, salon facials can be a little abrasive and leave the skin feeling flushed and tender. Here in Bali it is easy enough to take advantage of the amazing tropical fruits available to make a simple ‘at home’ face mask. These are some of my favourites.
Before you start make sure you have cleaned your face, and to get the best results use an exfoliating scrub. I have to say I love the Pevonia scrubs, and I also find the Desa Seni bamboo honey face scrub is lovely and gentle. If you want to make your own scrub, mix one teaspoon of organic palm sugar with two tablespoons of warm water – this will help dissolve the granules, add one teaspoon of olive oil and mix into a paste, rub gently on the skin (make sure to be gentle when using any scrubs on your face as you dont want to tear the skin). Remove with a cloth soaked in warm water.
Using a tiny bit of olive oil to massage your face first will also enhance the effects of a facial. Start at the top of the forehead and move your fingers in small circular motions all the way down your face. Use a warm cloth placed over your face (no need to rub) to remove the oil before applying the face mask. And remember, Fresh is Best, so mix the ingredients right before you use them.
Few fruits evoke the tropics like the spiky hot pink dragon fruit, with its sweet luscious seed flecked flesh. Brimming with antioxidants, vitamin E which firms skin and reduces age spots, and collagen, which we all know is the mother of all skin care products , it also makes the perfect face mask. I suggest using half a dragon fruit – mashed with a few drops of vitamin E oil (or half a teaspoon of olive oil) and a teaspoon of honey. Apply to your face for at least 20 minutes, and enhance the pleasure of the experience by eating the rest of the dragon fruit while you wait.
Packed full of enzymes papaya works wonders on the digestive system, and is similarly therapeutic for the skin, helping to restore radiance and moisture. A homemade papaya mask is also wonderfully soothing on dry, tired skin.
Simply mash a slice of fresh papaya, add a teaspoon of honey and apply to your face (already cleansed of course) then lie back and relax for twenty minutes. Use a warm cloth to rinse away. If your skin is in need of exfoliation, add a teaspoon of oatmeal to the papaya, then gentle scrub your face before rinsing.
Rich in vitamins and unsaturated fats avocados make a creamy, highly nutritious face mask. You can use it alone, or add any number of ingredients to enhance the effect. Many recipes suggest you add lemon, but I find this a little astringent on my sensitive skin, I prefer to add something more calming, like yoghurt or honey – or as in this recipe – both! Just mash the avocado, add the yoghurt and honey and combine well, then smooth onto your skin for half an hour.
¼ Ripe avocado
1 teaspoon of plain yoghurt (organic if possible)
1 Teaspoon of honey
As well as being sweet and delicious, mangoes are full of vitamin A which is high in antioxidants so will help keep wrinkles at bay, and Vitamin C which is known to brighten the skin and boost radiance. Once again you can make a simple mask by mashing 1/4 of a mango with a teaspoon of honey. Alternatively try adding a cup of porridge oats which will turn it into a thicker paste. Apply to your face and neck – or your whole body and leave for half an hour, gently rub into the skin before rinsing with warm water.