I love when the seasons change. The beautiful green of summer gives way to vibrant orange, deep red, and glittering gold leaves. Eventually that fades away and the world is covered with a crisp white blanket of snow, which melts into explosions of flowery color. Yes, the seasonal change has always been something filled with joy and magic. And dry skin.
It’s no secret that nourishment and moisturizer are the key to soft, supple, youthful skin. I follow a strict skin care regiment twice daily, and yet every time the seasons change my face does an excellent impression of the Sahara. For a solid week it feels like there is not enough moisturizer in the world to quench my skin’s thirst. Until the Great Beauty Product Purge, I had a lovely selection of low-to-moderately priced facial masks to help battle this desert-like dryness. Unfortunately the change to Fall caught me by surprise, and I haven’t had time to find an appropriate replacement. So when I woke up this morning with that tight dry feeling, only five days after turning 29, I panicked.
I was tearing through my bookshelves looking for my home remedy and holistic healing books when I saw it. My Grandmother’s recipe notebook. My Grandmother had beautiful skin. Even through fighting cancer, she always looked ten years younger than she was. I didn’t expect to find anything in it regarding skin care, but seeing it made me miss her so I started looking through it. I wasn’t really reading the recipes. I was noticing how similar our handwriting is, how the loops and slants in our letters are the same. Then, as I was pondering how we both use a mix of print and cursive, I saw her recipe for an oatmeal banana face mask. “For when I need extra moisture in my face and hair.”
I’ve never tried to make a mask out of basic kitchen ingredients before, but I was desperate. I gathered up the ingredients and started “cooking.” Honey, milk, half of a sliced banana (the other half was a nice compliment to my breakfast), and half a cup of oats. Slice the banana, crack the egg, blend it all together, and voila! Baby food. I wasn’t thrilled at the idea of putting this on my face, but I’d come this far. I might as well finish what I started. I covered my face and neck with a generous portion and still had plenty left over. I decided to apply it to my hair as well, (I have serious end damage, but I’m not ready to search for a salon just yet.) and left it on for the required 15 minutes. By the time it was dry I looked like something out of George Lucas’ imagination.
Admittedly, it was not easy to remove the mask from my hair, but the results were amazing. My skin was quenched and actually glowing! It felt like my face had drank ten gallons of water. And my hair? Soft, shiny, and healthy. Even my tragically dry ends look and feel totally nourished. It’s amazing what you can do with a few standard breakfast foods.
Oatmeal Banana Face Mask
1/c cup oatmeal
1/2 banana, sliced
1 medium/large egg
1 tsp honey
1 tsp milk
Mash banana, and place in a blender. Add all other ingredients and puree until creamy and smooth. Apply liberally to face and neck. (If using as a hair mask, apply to midshaft and ends, the pony tail section). Leave on for 15 minutes. Remove with soft cloth and lukewarm water.