Friday, June 7, 2013

Pamper Yourself to a Easy-to-Do, Natural Food Facial!

I love getting facials. Actually, I've only gotten one before; the rest I've done myself. The one I got at a boutique was expensive and did not include all the things they said they would include, so I decided to find out ways to do them myself. I had problem skin before, but ever since I started cleansing with oil (that's for another time), my face has become a lot more clear, and given that it's only been a month since I've started, it's been the most effective treatment I've ever done (that includes sleeping before 10pm everyday). Anyways, I had a problem with my ear recently while in Italy, and a medical practitioner told me to do breathe in a lot of steam everyday for 10 minutes. This reminded me of facial steams. So as I started doing it everyday, I also started giving myself a facial everyday (not the best idea, but I figure since I'm steaming everyday for now). Anyways I wanted to share how I do my facial everyday as it's great for my skin and easy to do! I got my inspirations from Crunchy Betty, and have used no commercial products in this facial.

First of all disclaimer if anything anyone tries from my advice screws up,'re allergic, you burnt yourself and everything..burn your table...I am not accountable, etc. Also, if you have severe acne or other problem skin this is probably not a good idea.

I'm just sharing what works for me and has been easy enough for me to do regularly! I love that this is all FOOD and it works better than a facial at a spa (okay, the ONE facial I got at a spa)! I've been doing this everyday and my skin is being pampered big time, but I think once or twice a week is more than enough. I call this one my Italian Foods Facial, because I'm here, and well, chocolate, red wine, and basil...pretty Italian! (Plus prepping this facial steam is like prepping a pasta).

Catt's Luxurious Italian Foods Facial Routine
Read everything thoroughly before you start.
The basis of this facial is cleanse, steam, feed, and moisturize. I get things going for other steps while I do one step, as you'll see below. You'll only really need things to mix ingredients in and a small pot for the steam and an even smaller pot if possible for heating wine. And a towel for the steaming! Remember to have your hair tied and pulled back!

Raw honey (~1 tsp)
Sea Salt (~3 tbsp)
Red Wine (you only use ~1 tbsp, but you might need more to heat it)
Basil (~2 tbsp)
Cacao powder (or cocoa powder...I think there's a difference but not much) (you only use ~1.5 tbsp)
Green tea (fresh and cooled)
Jojoba oil

1. Put the kettle on the fire with enough water to fill the small pot for the facial steam.

2. Rinse your face with warm water, and put ~1 teaspoon of honey in the palm of your hand. Wash your face with the honey like you would any cleanser, then rinse off the honey with warm water. Pat-dry your face. (Note: Honey best as raw honey! There are great raw honeys in the US. It's the solid looking honey).

3. Transfer the hot water to the small pot you will use for your facial steam, and put that on a medium fire.

4. Get your sea salt (different from table salt! I use this one - it's a large crystals sea salt) and dump it into the pot and stir until the salt is dissolved.

5. Either while the water is coming to a boil or when it's already boiling (put on low heat if so), make the liquid for your face mask. You have to make it now so that it has time to cool down for use later. I use a tiny tiny metal pot on a tiny tiny burner for the coffee makers (moka) in Italy. I don't think they're that common, so I'm thinking if that doesn't work, you can have another pot with boiling water and heat the wine in some small bowl in the boiling water or something like that. Actually I've never tried it, so don't take my word on it. Or you can heat more wine than needed and fridge it for later on. Anyways, this is my favourite wine, but I'm using it because it was opened two weeks ago and while we fridged it I don't think it's a good idea to drink it anymore. But it's still got the beneficial properties since it was fridged.

6. The way to make your facemask liquid is to heat the red wine (I use around 3 tbsp; probably 1/5 of a cup) on a very low fire, and add basil leaves to it once it starts getting warm. I use fresh basil leaves, as I have a nice little plant (I live in Italy right now). Let it boil a little, but not too much. If your skin is dry, boil it until there is no sharp smell (boil the alcohol away). If you have oily and problem skin, the alcohol will help so don't boil it too much!

7. Leave the basil-infused wine to one side. It is time for the facial steam!

8. Put your pot on a coaster/something-so-that-it-won't-burn-a-surface.

9. Drape the towel around your head and around the pot to form a little "tent," as seen in the photo.

10. Hold your face over the steam for 10 minutes, and breathe deeply. The steam opens your pores and the salt is good for detoxing. Now, don't be stupid and burn your nostrils or anything. Keep the appropriate distance, which will change as the temperature changes. Turn your head so that all parts of your face get the benefits of the steam. If it's too steamy for you to handle, you can take breathers.

11. After the steam, rinse your face a few times with warm water, then once with cold water. Pat dry.

12. Transfer the wine to a cup, leaving the basil leaves behind (or something you can mix it with).

13. Get the cacao powder. Mine is from Italy and it's "bio," meaning organic in Italian. It's a wonderful thing!!

14. Add enough cacao so it becomes a spreadable paste, a little thicker than nutella but not so that it's clumpy (it will work even if it is clumpy).

15. Spread this chocolate wine mask all over your face. Isn't it wonderful?

16. Let it sit for 15 minutes. Read, sing Italian songs, practice presence, etc. Don't eat the mask (though I'm sure it's safe to).

17. Wash off the mask with warm water.

18. Tone with green tea (that was made earlier). This is the green tea I use (it's not Italian; it's Taiwanese), and I put it in one of those spray bottles (I got this one at Target! Go to the travel section not the toiletries section) and keep it in the fridge so that it's cold. Green tea is high in antioxidants, which are very healing to the skin when applied topically. The coldness closes the pores.

19. Finally, moisturize a bit with jojoba oil. It's oil and it's especially important if you have oily/combination/problem skin. This is because if you do not moisturize (and this is a good moisturizer as it is natural and very similar to the skin's oils) your face will work hard to produce more oil. I know you've heard about this tons of times before, but until you actually try it it doesn't do you squat! I got mine for 8$ at Trader Joe's. I know, my ingredients come from three different continents, but I'm sure you could find something (and there's always amazon!). You can also use grapeseed oil to moisturize (I use it to wash my face!)

Ta-Da! A luxurious [mostly] Italian facial that is easy to do, enjoyable, and costs way less than a facial at a spa! It really leaves my skin so smooth and supple (the chocolate does that part!), and it really cleanses the areas that need to be cleaned.

Happy Pampering!

-Catt xxx