Ah, a relaxing and rejuvenating mask or scrub…the perfect end to a long day of holiday shopping and parties. Get the glow that says you’ve been spending hours stargazing in the crisp air or lounging by a fire with a hot chocolate and a book by revving up circulation, sloughing off the dead skin cells, and refreshing parched skin.
If you want to give your skin a makeover by exfoliating and using a mask, don’t do them on the same night. Instead, set aside two nights a few days apart. On the first night, do the exfoliation and use the mask later in the week. This is especially important if your skin is dry and sensitive in the winter. If you’re hesitant to splurge on new beauty products during the Christmas season, you can even make scrubs and masks from items you may already have in your own kitchen.
Here’s 4 products to rejuvenate your skin for the holidays:
When using an exfoliating scrub, remove your makeup with a gentle cleanser first, leaving skin damp. Then apply the scrub to the skin, rubbing gently in circular motions but avoiding the eye area. Rinse with warm water and apply your favorite moisturizer.
St. Ives Apricot Scrub is designed for all skin types, but if your skin is especially sensitive, do a test patch first. It uses all natural exfoliants to slough off the dead skin cells and make you look instantly refreshed.
Origins Modern Friction is “nature’s gentle dermabrasion,” and uses rice starch wrapped in a cream containing lemon oil and aloe to exfoliate, soothe, and polish the skin while alerting your senses with bergamot and peppermint.
Make your own by mixing _ cup of ground oatmeal, 3 tablespoons of powdered milk, and enough water to make it into a thick paste. Another option is to mix _ teaspoon of honey, a tablespoon of sugar, and one tablespoon of plain yogurt.
After cleansing the face, generously apply your mask to your skin, avoiding the eye area. Wait 10-20 minutes, usually until the mask hardens, and then rinse off with warm water. Apply your favorite moisturizer.
Queen Helene Mint Julep Masque has that stereotypical thick, green mask appearance. It smells like mint, which could perk you up after a long day. In addition to the aromatherapy benefits, the mask works to clean and shrink your pores, dry up pimples, and diminish blackheads.
LUSH Catastrophe Cosmetic will have to be kept in the refrigerator, which means you’ll have to purchase it from a LUSH store or counter rather than online. This mask works to soothe overworked skin that’s itchy, irritated and dry from winter weather and indoor heating. It combines calamine powder, talc, blueberries, glycerin, and essential oils. It smells like blueberry yogurt, sweet and relaxing.
Make your own by sprinkling five aspirin tablets with water and allowing them to dissolve. Mix with small amount of honey, apply to your face, and let it set for 10-20 minutes. You can also make a refreshing mask with equal parts plain yogurt, pureed cucumber, and pureed parsley. For especially dry skin, try _ overripe banana and _ overripe avocado, mashed, with one teaspoon of olive oil and two tablespoons of plain yogurt (not nonfat).
The holidays, though fun-filled, can take a lot out of your skin and leave you feeling lifeless. Using scrubs and masks works on multiple levels—perking you up with the scent, giving you the opportunity to relax (you’re not doing “just one more errand” with a green face!), and revitalizing your complexion all at once. Sometimes the best gift you can give yourself is twenty minutes at the end of the day.