When Ben and I tried this mask I made on the weekend it tasted so good we found it almost impossible not to lick our lips and most of each other’s faces. That can’t be said of most face masks; and to even get one a man is a pretty rare occurrence. If mine was reluctant at first he didn’t show it, but now he is the first to try out my latest lotions and potions. I love it. And these last two have really fuelled my homemade skincare journey.
Although the glowiest people I know swear by them, until now face masks haven’t really featured in my beauty world because they usually eat into both my money and my time. But when I saw this vegan recipe in James Wong’s Grow Your Own Drugs, I found myself stupidly excited because it is literally good enough to eat and stars some of nature’s most simple yet powerful skin cleansing fruits.
Kiwi is packed with vitamins C and E alongside magnesium, potassium, lutein and copper. Used topically, vitamin C promotes healing and is involved in collagen production, which helps maintain the skin’s elasticity and is loaded in some artificial form or other into most anti-ageing creams. Vitamin E is also widely used in creams, known to help reduce inflammation, fine lines and promote smoother skin, and research shows it may also help reduce damage from environmental pollution UV-induced skin cancer; and lutein is a powerful phytochemical that attacks harmful free radicals and helps reverse the cell damage they cause.
The very process of making your own skincare is of an ever growing importance and satisfaction to me. Engaging on a fundamental level with what you put on your pores and into your bloodstream begets a growing sense of respect and love for the body and the self – so easy to fracture or lose altogether – and these rituals are vital if we are to remain connected to our health and our spirit in hectic modern day life. I find myself feeling so grateful and awestruck at these potent little mixtures I create for my skin, and so longing to share them with those around me, as a pure and simple gift as well as a daily tool. I had no idea the process of making your own skin food would go so deep but, as with so much of my natural living journey, I am hardly surprised. When you tune in to what nature has to offer and relearn the lost wisdom, something magical happens and you quite forget you’re standing in a little tiled bathroom in the middle of a concrete city surrounded by cars and sirens and manmade materials. And then you look good and save money to boot. And all you need is curiosity and a little knowledge, which I hope to continue providing you with. Let’s see where we can go.
1 kiwi fruit, peeled
1/2 papaya (eat the rest for breakfast!)
3 tbsp vegetable gelatine / agar jelly
Start by mashing your kiwi through a colander to make a smooth pulp. Add the juice of the lime and set aside.
Then peel and mash your papaya with a fork then push it through the colander in the same way, into a small mixing bowl. Mix in the gelatine and place the bowl above a pan of boiling water. Stir it all the time until it forms a thickish puree. Then remove it from the heat and stir in the kiwi and lime juice before leaving to cool. I put mine in the fridge to speed this up.
Use it as soon as possible – and if you have some left over it keeps in the fridge for up to 2 days.