What does a Garden Gnome do when she is not gardening, in the kitchen or doing genealogy? Well the answer might just surprise you so read the entries to find out more. This blog focuses on everything we do to make our house a home. There will be a strong emphasis on home energy efficiency and do-it-yourself (DIY) projects. At the same time there will also be crafts, knitting and crocheting projects along with any other little tips we do to create that down to earth, I want to be here home. Please enjoy your visit :)

Monday, December 17, 2012

Turmeric Facial Mask

turmeric facial mask

I have been battling melasma for a number of years so have done a fair amount of research as to how to deal with the condition.  Successfully treating this hyper-pigmentation skin disorder involves both internal (eg. dietary, dietary supplementation) and external (eg. chemical, skin bleach, chemical peels, natural ingredient masks, natural skin bleaches, sunblocks).  And, they must go hand in hand because while the problem is internal it manifests itself externally.  During my research, I came across using turmeric as a facial mask.  Ideally, turmeric should also be taken as a dietary supplement to help clear the skin, but use caution as turmeric can cause gastointestinal problems, and too much can activate the gene p53 that deactivates damaged cells in the heart.

Turmeric has long been used by Indians (Asia) as part of lightening the skin for wedding ceremonies.  It is combined with one or more ingredients and applied as a mask to even out skin tone while reducing skin blemishes as it brightens and whitens the skin.  Turmeric is one of the best things you can use on your skin!

Turmeric Facial Mask

turmeric powder
fresh lemon juice
plain yogurt
local, unpasteurized honey
graham flour (optional)
aloe vera (optional)
olive oil (optional)

There are no measurements for this facial mask.  What you want is a thick paste that will cling to the face.  I started with about a half tsp of turmeric powder (strong antioxidant, nourishes the skin, neutralizer) then added a little fresh lemon juice (natural skin lightener), about a quarter of tsp of plain yogurt (exfoliate, skin brightener) and about a quarter tsp of honey (humicant, moisturizer, antibacterial agent) .  I simply use the back of the spoon to smooth the paste over my face.  I have had good results both adding aloe vera (moisturizer, antioxidant) to the mixture and alone as a pre-treatment.  Graham flour helps to whiten and exfoliate but I usually don't use it.  Olive oil will slow the drying of the mask while providing Vitamin E that aids in lightening as it moisturizes.  I allow the paste to dry thoroughly on my face for 30 minutes.  Add it to the mask or use it as a post treatment following the mask.  I remove the mask with warm water and wash lightly with goat's milk soap.  It does make a huge difference in evening out skin tone.

Turmeric is very effective as part of your skin management system.  The simple thing is, turmeric works.  The problem with turmeric is, it stains everything a bright orangy yellow.  When you are using a turmeric facial mask, wear old clothes you don't mind getting stained.  Use old face cloths as well as they too will become stained.  Your skin will be stained as well.  You have two choices after removing the mask.  If you rinse with warm water only, the stain will fade in about 3 hours.  If you rinse then wash with goat's milk soap, the stain is removed quickly.

I find that using aloe vera as a pre-treatment to the turmeric facial mask increases the effectiveness.  I also use aloe vera as a post treatment after removing the mask.  I've had good results using an all natural goat's milk soap to remove any skin staining from the mask.  Goat's milk soap provides lactic acid which acts as an exfoliant.  As soon as my skin is dry from washing the mask, I apply aloe vera then sunblock.  The number one rule when doing any kind of skin lightening (eg. melasma patches) is SUNBLOCK.  The area being treated should only be without sunblock during treatment.  It should always be protected with a high SPF sunblock with the exception of the treatment period.