May 2, 2005
Jennifer Tanner, Esthetician
This is an easy to make hydrating masque for the face. Well, really you can use it anywhere you want to purify and hydrate: hands, feet, back, etc. This is a great masque because the shea butter and oil will be super hydrating to dry skin and oil-balancing for oily skin. The witch hazel and rosewater keeps it from being too greasy and helps the texture of the masque. The clay is purifying and detoxifying. The glycerin and vitamin E add an extra boost and can be omitted for super oily skin types. Moisture mud will leave your skin like butter!! Here we go:
- - 1 part shea butter (either scented or unscented)
- 1 part french clay (I like the look of white clay best in this recipe)
- 1 squirt glycerin (optional)
- 1 squirt Vitamin E (optional)
- Oil: jojoba, walnut ... any richer oil is great
- Witch hazel (either scented or unscented)
- 10-12 squirts of rosewater (optional)
- Essential oil
Take one part softened ( if using a microwave - no more than 20 seconds) shea butter and mix it with one squirt of oil. Stir until shea butter is beginning to look smooth (no big lumps) Add one part clay, mix until it's a smooth paste. Add one small squirt of glycerin. Stir until smooth. If the mixture is too thin wait a minute or two to see if it will firm up once the shea butter reaches room temperature. If it is still too thin add a little more clay (not too much)and stir. Should not be too thick or thin. Should look like buttercream frosting. Add 3 drops essential oil of your choice.
Add the rosewater for both fragrance and skin soothing. We could add a tiny bit of lavender to add antibacterial and soothing qualities to the masque. Chamomile is great too for soothing the skin. We could do peach witch hazel and make chamomile peach moisture mud. Other great combinations, chamomile lavender geranium, orange chamomile, lavender geranium, lavender bergamot, lavender peppermint, lavender peppermint. If you have oily skin peppermint is great (No more than 2-3 drops) so is tea tree , lavender and bergamot. Dry skin is best with lavender, chamomile and rose. Geranium and orange is fine for everyone. All skin types will do fine with any of the above oils but I do not recommend perppermint for very dry or mature skin. Also remember essential oils are therapeutic mentally, emotionally and topically meaning they work not only to heal skin conditions but your emotional state. If lavender and peppermint are great for your skin but you hate the way the combination smells, it won't do you much good. Find a combination that suits you all the way around or go fragrance free.
I should also take a second to clarify a common cosmetic misconception. Frangrance free does not mean the product will smell like nothing. It means that it does not have fragrance added to mask the smell of the ingredients or added for the sake of having a smell. This means that a fragrance free product will smell like the ingredients: in this case not much: witch hazel will be the ingredient that stands out the most. But be wary of any product that says fragrance free and smells like absolutely nothing but has a million ingredients listed. This usually means there is a chemical masking agent added to make the product smell like nothing and will probably irritate many skin types.
This masque recipe can be altered in many ways. You can add oatmeal for extra exfloiating and soothing, seaweed (bladderwrack, dulce) for added detoxification. Flowers (calendula, lavender, rose petals (not sprayed), if you are giving as a gift or just to make it look nice, (also adds the quality of that plant: soothing, humectant, anti-bacterial!). For fun: food coloring will turn it a nice pink, blue, green, orange or yellow shade. Play around with it and make the masque that bests suits any mood.