Nothing is more uncomfortable or unsightly then irritated skin. Because the skin on our faces is constantly being exposed to too much sun, harsh elements, free radicals and more, irritated facial skin seems to be something that affects far too many of us. Oftentimes, using over the counter skin creams and preparations don’t seem to do much and can, in many cases, cause more irritation. It is a well known fact amongst naturopaths, make-up artists, and top estheticians that many of the so-called skin soothers on the market today are made with harsh petrochemicals or skin drying alcohol which defeats the purpose of trying to truly soothe your skin.
This is why turning to Mother Nature can be one of the best bets. Rather then use a chemical based cream or lotion for irritated skin, why not try a cool, refreshing face mask you can make at home? One of the best and most effective skin soothing masks is made out of cucumbers. This is a favorite of my grandmother’s who has passed the recipe on to my mother and now down to me.
As many other wise women have known for generations, cucumbers have been touted for as long as anyone can remember for being a cooling and soothing natural astringent. When you add green tea, aloe vera and chamomile to the mix, the mask then becomes a veritable feast for skin that is irritated and hurting.
While the cucumber cools the irritation, chamomile and green tea reduce puffiness and redness in the skin and the aloe vera acts as a healing and moisture balancing aid. In order to make the mask you will want to have one mid sized cucumber on hand, as well as two ounces of green tea, two ounces of chamomile tea, a packet of unflavored gelatin and one ounce of pure aloe vera gel.
Once you have all of the ingredients in front of you, you will want to peel the cucumber and remove its seeds. After this is done, place the cucumber in a blender or food processor and puree it until it is smooth. Strain the cucumber puree through a small wired sieve and save the juice in a small bowl.
During this time you will also want to steep the green tea and chamomile in hot water for approximately 5-6 minutes after which time you will strain the tea leaves.
After these steps have been taken, pour the green tea, chamomile and the packet of gelatin in a small saucepan and stir over a low heat until the gelatin is completely dissolved, then pour the mixture into a bowl. Add the cucumber juice and aloe vera gel to the mix and stir once again. When the mixture is complete, place the bowl in the refrigerator and let it cool for about 30 minutes. At this time, the mixture will begin to thicken and your face mask is ready for use.
Apply the mask generously over your face or whichever affected areas you may have and leave it on for 15-20 minutes. The mask will go to work instantly cooling off irritated, prickly feeling skin. It is perfect for sunburned or windburned skin, as well as skin that is suffering from heatrash, eczema and even hives. After the 20 minutes are over, you may gently peel off the mask and rinse your face with cool water and pat try with a clean towel. Your skin should look and feel refreshed and soothed.
While too many products available to us in stores promise to soothe skin that is irritate, sunburned, chapped or rashy, they can often worsen the condition because of their chemical ingredients leaving our skin even more red and painful. In other cases, these skin preparations do nothing at all but take up space in the medicine cabinet. With a few simple, completely natural ingredients, anyone can make a truly soothing and healing mask that can be used for practically any type of irritation of the skin. Mother Nature always knows best!