A few days ago I wrote a post about a couple of the great chocolate products out there – http://naturalbeautycabinet.com/2011/06/12/beauty-products-for-the-chocoholics-jason%e2%80%99s-cocoa-butter-moisturiser-and-raw-gaia%e2%80%99s-raw-chocolate-face-pack/. But when it comes to foodie beauty, you can also try your store cupboard for a quick beauty fix. So for all you beauty DIYers, here’s my take on the homemade chocolate face mask.
1 tbsp cocoa powder (not hot chocolate mix – this must be the best pure cocoa or you won’t get the same antioxidant effects); 1 tsp honey (runny honey – you’ll never get anywhere trying to mix the hard stuff); 1-2 tsp oats (I just used rolled porridge oats); 2 tbsp creme fraiche.
The cocoa powder contains the antioxidants that I raved about in the last post. The honey has natural antiseptic properties and also has the ability to hang onto moisture making it an effective humectant. The oats have excellent anti-inflammatory properties and, in this mask, act as a gentle and effective exfoliant. The creme fraiche contains lactic acid, which is an alpha hydroxy acid. These are commonly used in anti-ageing products for their rejuvenating effects on the skin.
DIRECTIONS: Blend all four ingredients gently together until they form a paste. If it needs to be runnier, add a little more cream. If it’s too liquid, add a bit more cocoa powder. Apply to freshly cleaned skin. Leave to dry for 10-15 minutes then remove with lukewarm water, gently massaging off for an extra bit of exfoliation.
[Warning: don’t think you can skip the mixing bit by using Nutella. It doesn’t have quite the same antioxidant benefits and, quite frankly, it’s a waste of good Nutella.]
It may look lumpy and sticky but the warmth from your fingers as you apply it will melt the mask and make it easier to spread. Make sure you STAY IN THE BATHROOM! At least until you’ve applied the mask and it’s slightly set. I am not going to pretend this isn’t messy. It’s seriously messy and it’s a lot easier to clean chocolately oats off tiles than carpet…
The mask will dry slightly but it won’t set, so it shouldn’t feel uncomfortable or tight. As with any beauty product, if you experience any more than slight tingling, or you experience prolonged tingling that gradually worsens, then remove it straight away with cool, clear water. As expected, it smells amazing and ‘yes’ I did lick some off and ‘yes’ it did taste really nice!
Be careful when removing it. I’d actually recommend wiping off the oats first using damp kitchen roll, so that you don’t clog off your sink. Then you should find that the residue washes off easily with lukewarm water. Afterwards I noticed my skin was a little red in the ‘hot’ zone (either side of my nose and between my eyebrows) but that settled down and may have been due to the mild exfoliating effect of the oats. Otherwise my skin felt pretty soft and refreshed.
This is messy. I’ve said it before, but there’s really no getting away from it. And if you’re uncomfortable with the idea of washing oats out of your eyebrows, then it might not be for you. But it’s strangely satisfying to create a beauty product from four such simple, common ingredients. The odd gooey drip aside, the mask is pretty easy to apply and, as you can see from the picture, once dry it stayed put and didn’t migrate down my neck or into my eyes. There was a bit of mild tingling on application but that disappeared after a minute or two and was never uncomfortable.
Generally speaking, I’d give this a thumbs up. It’s definitely one for lazy, rainy Sundays when you’re not in a rush to go out. But for people who want a more natural approach, it’s a great option. Is it better than the Raw Gaia Raw Chocolate Face Pack I reviewed previously? I think it performed nearly as well. But it tasted better….!