DIY Yogurt Face Mask

Gail Lewis
#DIY Yogurt Facial Masks #skincare Yogurt tends to be one of the most versatile foods that I consume on a daily basis.  I will have it with granola and fruits for breakfast, as a post workout snack with a few almonds, in a shake or on its own.  For me it's easy, fast, nutritious, healthy and filling. After all, it is considered a super food, especially if you consume plain unsweetened yogurt. Yogurt also has some amazing skin benefits when used topically. Yogurt contains nutrients such as Lactic Acid, Zinc B Vitamins and Calcium.  Lactic Acid smoothes and exfoliates skin, moisturizes dry skin and is beneficial in preventing wrinkles and reducing existing wrinkles.  Zinc contains anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce inflammation caused by acne. It also helps to tighten tissue and reduces the size of acne and pimples. Zinc also regulates oil production and prevents oily skin and breakouts.  B Vitamins are essential for cell growth and regeneration.  They also protect skin cells from free radical damage.  Calcium is an amazing anti-oxidant that helps to heal skin and also facilitates skin renewal. Plain yogurt can be used in DIY Facials in a variety of ways.  It can be applied on its own to your face to help even out skin tone, fade dark spots over time and tighten the skin around pores therefore minimizing their appearance (you can never truly shrink pores.)  Just apply plain yogurt to your face and décolleté, leave on for about 20 minutes then rinse with cool water. Yogurt can also be combined with honey and oatmeal for a soothing face mask.  The honey is rich in antioxidants which prevent free radical damage, reduces fine lines and wrinkles, while softening and moisturizing skin.  The oatmeal exfoliates skin and removes excess sebum and dirt from deep within skin pores.  Just combine equal parts plain yogurt, raw honey and oatmeal and mix to form a paste, then apply to skin and leave on for about 20-30 minutes then rinse with cool water. Another amazing DIY face mask can be created by combining yogurt with honey and lemons.  This mask is especially great for acne prone skin because of the antibacterial and antifungal properties found in yogurt.  Combined with the lemons, it also helps to fade dark spots and acne scars and the honey soothes your skin.  If your skin has been a bit dry and irritated due to the severe weather most of the nation has been experiencing, just combine plain yogurt with raw honey in equal parts and apply to your face.  Honey is a natural humectant that retains water to help keep skin soft and moisturized. It is also an antimicrobial agent and is gentle enough for use on sensitive skin. Plain yogurt can be combined with a ton of other ingredients to create different face masks customized for whatever skin conditions you may be experiencing.  It truly is an amazing and versatile skin and body super food! If you found these DIY beauty tips helpful, please be sure to Like, Share and Pin this post! Subscribe to A Girl’s Gotta Spa! Watch our reviews on YouTube, see our pins on Pinterest and check us out on Instagram and G+. Got a Kindle? We’re on Kindle too!

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Lemongrass Facial Steam

Gail Lewis

Benefits & How To: Lemongrass Facial Steam #skincare #DIYbeauty

Whenever I have any type of a skin concern I can always count on my friends for advice. Advice, that sometimes can be great, sometimes not so good and a lot of times just plain weird. The last bit of skin care advice I received from my best friend was actually one of the great ones and one that I have been practicing weekly. My best friend Sam mentioned that her mom uses lemongrass whenever she steams her face for skin that's clear, toned, glowing and looks almost poreless. Apparently her mom has been doing this for years and it is something that was passed down from the other women in her family in her native Cambodia. Lemongrass is an anti-microbial and anti-bacterial herb. This means it will help limit bacterial or microbial growth on the skin. It can help ward off skin infections as well as lessen skin issues caused by bacterial infections. Benefits of a lemongrass facial steam. #skincare Lemongrass is also fungicidal, which means it helps cure fungus infections on the skin. The herb acts as an astringent, which constricts the skin and helps to minimize the appearance of pores, limit the secretions of sebum and provides a temporary skin-firming treatment. Her mom has apparently been unto something for decades and I could not wait to hop on the lemongrass train. Just use a facial steamer, adding a few lemongrass leaves to the water, for approximately 30 minutes. If you don't have a facial steamer, simply boil a pot of water and add the leaves. Pour the water into a large bowl and use a towel to cover your head to trap in the steam. After trying this myself once a week, my face both looked and felt clean and clear, my pores definitely looked minimized and my skin was positively glowing and supple. Benefits of a lemongrass facial steam. #skincare This lemongrass steam is honestly one of the easiest and most inexpensive beauty treatments that I've ever performed on myself, not to mention one of the most effective. If you found this beauty tip helpful, please be sure to Like it, Pin it and Share with friends! Also check out our posts on 5 Ways to Minimize Pores and How to Remove Blackheads. Subscribe to A Girl’s Gotta Spa! Watch our reviews on YouTube, see our pins on Pinterest and check us out on Instagram. Got a Kindle? We’re on Kindle too!

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DIY Exfoliating Face Mask

Gail Lewis
 

DIY Exfoliating Face Mask My favorite beauty treatments are those that I can create myself with ingredients from my own kitchen.  Creating my own beauty treatments makes me feel good about what I am putting on my skin because I know exactly where the ingredients came from and I know that they won't harm my skin.

This morning my sister greeted me at her door with bright, glowing, soft skin sans makeup.  And since my sister is a walking  beauty encyclopedia, I had to know what got her skin looking so amazing.  Turns out it was her own concoction of coffee grounds, honey and lemon. The coffee grounds exfoliates the skin, functions as an anti-inflammatory and contains antioxidants.  The honey is a really great  moisturizer and leaves skin feeling soft and supple.  The lemon brightens skin and minimizes the look of pores while getting rid of oil.  I applied the exfoliating mask to my skin and left it on for fifteen minutes.  When I was ready to remove the mask, I applied a bit of water to my face and gently massaged my skin in a circular motion to exfoliate with the coffee grounds, then rinsed my face.  The mask rinses away easily and cleanly.  My face immediately felt softer and smoother and it looked great.  It was clearer and brighter and best of all the mask took about two minutes to make and all of the ingredients can be found in the kitchen. Have you tried making a DIY mask at home? I'd love to hear your recipe! Subscribe to A Girl’s Gotta Spa! for more beauty reviews! Watch our reviews on YouTube. Got a Kindle? We’re on Kindle too!     *Disclosure

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DIY Avocado Hair and Face Mask

Gail Lewis

Magic Bullet Avocado Face Mask Recipe #DIY

So let me begin this post by letting you all know that this recipe was actually compliments of my quick thinking sister, as I had originally intended to ingest this and not use it topically.  You are all well aware (based on my earlier post on the DIY Pineapple Strawberry Enzyme Facial Mask) that I started out the year, like a lot of you, on a health kick.  I received a juicer for Christmas and have been really enjoying juicing and coming up with different fruit and vegetable juice recipes, which led to me discovering how amazing the pulp of some fruits work as a facial mask. Well the health kick continues and in addition to juicing I also wanted to whip up fruit and vegetable smoothies. So I went out and got a Magic Bullet. My first smoothie was going to contain avocados, pure coconut water, honey and coconut oil. I've been reading up on the health benefits of avocados and was really excited about incorporating it into my diet.  Well I did not have coconut oil handy first thing Monday morning so I substituted extra virgin olive oil instead.

#DIY Avocado Face Mask

Not measuring anything (because I was so anxious to get going), I put one half of a very large avocado, a bit too much olive oil and honey and not enough coconut water in the bullet and blended.  It tasted absolutely awful, one sip was enough, I could not finish the rest.  When my sister asked about my smoothie I told her how horrible it tasted and she then suggested that it would make a great face mask...something I had definitely not considered, but was glad she mentioned it because that meant I wouldn't have to toss an entire glass of bad tasting smoothie.

Avocado Face Mask #DIY #Skincare

Later that night I applied the mask to my face, including under my eyes, since that area is so delicate and often feels dry. I also applied it to the ends of my hair since that part tends to get really dry and brittle.  My skin definitely felt softer and more hydrated after I removed the mask. The skin under my eye felt as if I had applied a heavy eye cream.  My hair felt the same as if I had just conditioned it and rinsed so I did not notice a huge difference right away, but I will continue using the mask on my hair and leave it in for longer than ten minutes to see if I notice a change in the condition of my hair with continued usage.  I am definitely thinking that avocados are my new health and beauty superfood! Have you made face masks with avocados? Share your recipe! If you found this DIY skin care post helpful, please Like, Share and Pin it! Subscribe to A Girl’s Gotta Spa! Watch our reviews on YouTube, see our pins on Pinterest and check us out on Instagram and G+. Got a Kindle? We’re on Kindle too!

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DIY Spa Treatments for the Sauna

Gail Lewis
DIY Sauna #Beauty Products By now you all know how much those of us here at A Girl's Gotta Spa! adore spa treatments, we practically live for them.  But we can all agree that spa treatments are not always budget friendly, so I am always looking for ways to get the results of spa treatments without shelling out a fortune. Lately I've been experimenting with a few DIY at home (or in the sauna at the gym) spa treatments and I thought I would share two of my favorites with you.  I do have to warn you that you may get strange looks from a few people...just be prepared. I love getting weekly deep conditioning treatments for my hair, but at about $50 per treatment and add in the cost of haircuts and coloring--and I would be devoting a good portion of my monthly income to my hair. So instead of going to the salon for deep conditioning treatments, I cart my deep conditioning treatments with me to the gym on the days I plan on using the sauna. While in the sauna I just apply whatever deep conditioning treatment I feel like my hair needs that week (a restructuring mask, hydrating treatment or nourishing oil) to my hair, wrap it in a towel and just sit there for 10-15 minutes and let the heat do its work.
DIY Sauna Spa Treatments #diy #sauna #spa Another treatment I do while in the sauna is a face mask (again either hydrating, deep cleansing or exfoliating.)  I wait until about 5-10 minutes before I plan on getting out of the sauna then apply the mask.  My favorite to apply while in the sauna is the Kate Somerville Exfolikate Intensive Exfoliating Treatment because I have noticed a big difference between using this in the sauna and just using it at home.  Yes, it tingles more because the heat loosens the debris in my pores a lot more than just using it at home. My skin also looks and feels cleaner and brighter after I use this treatment in the sauna. Whenever I use the sauna at the gym I always leave feeling a lot more relaxed and cleansed...very similar to the feeling I get when I leave the spa. So combine that feeling of relaxation with a few mini sauna beauty treatments and you've almost got yourself a bonafide spa experience...minus the plush robes, soothing music and so on, but you'll have better looking hair and skin without the spa price tag.  Just don't say I didn't warn you about the perplexed looks might receive from a few people.

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DIY Pineapple Strawberry Enzyme Facial Mask

Gail Lewis
DIY Pineapple and Strawberry Enzyme Pulp Mask #beauty I've been longing for a juicer for a really long time and finally got one.  Now I know a ton of people who have visions of daily juice-fests, they envision the vast varieties of fruits and veggie juice they'll produce on a daily basis...then a month goes by and the juicer ends up in the back of some kitchen cabinet only to see the light of day the next time its owners are struck by another health kick.  I knew I would not be one of those people and so far I have not been.  I juice just about everyday and store jugs of juice for the days when I get too busy to whip out my new best friend, Jack Lalanne.  The only issue I've encountered so far with juicing has been what to do with the pulp of the fruits and veggies I am juicing.  I always feel like I am wasting good stuff that I should be finding some use for. My very helpful boyfriend tried to use the pulp of a few juiced veggies to make a veggie patty, but I could barely look at his attempt at a veggie patty without gagging-- eating it was not an option. His attempts at veggie patty making did, however, give me a great idea.  Fruit enzyme facial masks and peels are EVERYWHERE these days, I've used a few and loved the results so why not make my very own facial mask with the leftover fruit pulp from juicing? My first DIY fruit enzyme facial mask was a combination of pineapple and strawberry pulp from my juice of the same combination.  I have to admit when I first laid eyes on the pulp I was a bit grossed out...it did not look very appealing, it did smell great though.  Just 30 seconds after applying the mask I felt a bit of a tingling sensation, this lasted only for about a minute.  I left the mask on for ten minutes then rinsed and was I in for a pleasant surprise.  My skin actually looked brighter and felt smoother. The mask can get a bit messy so it's best to not walk around too much after applying it unless you want pieces of pineapple and strawberry pulp all over your floor.  I definitely plan on trying a few more DIY facial masks in the near future.  I noticed that Sephora is carrying a Black/Blueberry Enzyme Mask and both fruits just happen to be residing in my refrigerator at this very minute... Have you created DIY facial masks from your juicer? Share your recipes with me so that I can give them a try!
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Winter Weather Skin Care Tips from The Spa at Ravella

Shannon Smyth

Guest post from The Spa at Ravella located at Ravella at Lake Las Vegas:

Cooler weather can lead to dry, flaky skin. Here are two tips from The Spa at Ravella, one for a spa visit and one for at home, to help keep skin soft and supple until warmer weather returns!

Next time you splurge on a spa treatment, The Spa at Ravella recommends choosing a facial treatment that uses serums or enzymes. You can talk to a spa professional when booking a treatment and discuss further with your skin therapist once you arrive.

Serums provide a powerful dose of nutrients and bioactive ingredients that penetrate deep into the layers of your skin much farther than moisturizers can, and work intensely to bring oil and hydration into balance, strengthen your skin, increase visible firmness and give a youthful glow.

Enzymes help slough away dead skin cells and encourage cellular growth, leaving the skin feeling great and looking dewy and bright. For similar results at home, The Spa at Ravella suggests creating a pumpkin enzyme mask; just mix left over pumpkin pulp with an egg, apply to face and let sit for 6 - 8 minutes. Tingling is normal, but if feels strong less time may be needed.

Pumpkin is a strong exfoliant that brings the blood to the surface of the skin creating a detoxifying effect. The lecithin from the egg yolk will tighten the skin while the enzymes in the blend will stimulate cellular growth, allowing skin to look its best.

We'd love to hear if you try it!

For dry skin body care, don't forget A Girl's Gotta Spa! natural bath and body products.

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