Creative, Natural and Inexpensive DIY Beauty Solutions
This is an especially amazing treat for sufferers of acne and skin blemishes, but can be used by everyone.
What You’ll Need To Do It Yourself:
Why you’ll love it: Extracts from the seeds and leaves of the neem tree are used in the preparation of cosmetics, toothpastes, soaps, moisturizers and are useful in skin care such, acne treatment and retaining skin elasticity. Pure neem oil is an effective mosquito repellent. Fallen leaves from the fast growing neem trees help to neutralize acidic soils. Although it may be considered a weed in many urban areas of the world, in East Africa the neem tree is known as Muarubaini, a Swahili word directly translated as “the tree of forty” or “the panacea” as it is said to treat 40 different diseases (by either ingestion or application). In a Cushitic dialect of the same region, neem is known as Geed Hindi, which means “the Indian tree” as it was introduced to the region by East Indian settlers in the early 1800’s. In India, neem has been used in ayurveda for over 4000 years.
Why use it in this recipe: For its awesome rejuvenating and healing qualities. In East Africa a paste from neem leaves is applied on the skin to treat acne, scars, pigmentation, blackheads and soothe the effects of eczema, chicken pox and measles. The results are amazing and that’s why I absolutely could not pass on this ingredient!
What’s the alternative: In this recipe I suggest using fresh muarubaini leaves, just like the traditional herbalists and medicine men of E.Africa. If this is not an option for you, you can substitute the fresh leaves for neem in dried or powdered form (like that inside a tea bag). You may also skip this step altogether and double up on the green tea instead. I would however suggest having neem as the key ingredient in a neem face mask.
(2) GREEN TEA
Why you’ll love it: Green tea extract has polyphenols that have anti-oxidation, anti-radiation, anti-inflammation and anti-carcinogenic properties. These extracts are in fact more effective than black tea extracts.
Why use it in this recipe: The topical application of green tea polyphenols is likely to slow down the development of wrinkles as well as relieve the skin of inflammation and redness. Topical application of this extract also reduces sun damage from UV rays.
What’s the alternative: Instead of green tea leaves, you may use a powdered form like I do in this recipe – which you will find on the inside of any store bought green tea bag. You may leave out the green tea and double up on the neem tea if you like.
Why you’ll love it: Aspirin contains small amounts of the very effective salicylic acid – this is the kind that gives the deep cleansing skin needs to get blemish free. In some cases, it helps to rid the skin of existing blemishes and prevent them from recurring. The aspirin is also a great exfoliator, scouring off dead skin cells. It also has anti-inflammatory properties.
Why use it in this recipe: The exfoliation quality prevents your pores from getting clogged and therefore leaves the skin feeling silky soft and smooth afterwards. The anti-inflammatory properties aid in reducing any redness or soreness on the skin. This and the other reasons above make aspirin a unique ingredient in acne and skin treatment regime.
What’s the alternative: Other tablets containing salicylic acid should work. Alternatively, aloe vera and various berries are a wonderful and natural sources of salicylic acid, even though they have much smaller quantities than aspirin.
* Important note: If you are allergic to aspirin in any way, please leave the aspirin out of the mask and use the neem tea and green tea only. If you wish, use about 1 teaspoon of 100% aloe vera gel. Click here if you require instructions on how to extract aloe vera gel from aloe leaves.
(4) WATER, and a few small CONTAINERS
How To Do It Yourself:
1. Four to five (4 – 5) tablets of uncoated aspirin ; use two or three (2 or 3) tablets if they are large
Crush the aspirin tablets into a powder (using uncoated tablets just makes it simpler to crush and use the aspirin)
2. One (1) and a half (1/2) teaspoons of Neem Tea paste
To make the paste, chop and crush neem leaves in and add a few drops of water – just enough to bind the leaves together. You may also substitute the crushed leaves for neem powder (contents of a neem tea bag) or use a combination of both.
3. One (1) teaspoon of Green Tea paste
I have used green tea powder (contents of a green tea bag) but you may crush leaves to make the paste in the same way as the neem tea paste.
Finally, combine and mix together all 3 ingredients in a small container. The consistency of the paste should not be too watery, and a thicker paste is more suitable. The reason that I do not make an aspirin tablet paste is to balance the consistency of the paste in case too much water was added to the green tea / neem. If the paste is too coarse / thick you may add a few more drops of water.
You may make enough to seal and store in the refrigerator for one more use but remember that just like most other anti-oxidants, tea polyphenols are oxidized and start to lose their activity slowly the longer they are exposed to air. This means that this fantastic Neem Tea Face Mask works best when freshly made and applied to the skin!
How To Use Your Fresh and Cool Neem Face Mask:
1. Wash and cleanse your face and neck thoroughly. Here is a link to a wonderful Refreshing Red Wine Facial Cleanser
2. Apply the paste to your face and neck avoiding contact with the eyes
I have observed that the face tends to feel fresh and cool then a little bit tingly as the mask dries (it’s a very slight sensation, so don’t worry)
3. Wait for the mask to completely dry / set
This usually takes about 10 to 15 minutes
4. After it is dry, leave the mask on for an additional 15 to 20 minutes
You may adjust this time to suit your schedule. When I am in a hurry, I take the mask off as soon as it is dry. However I prefer to relax with it on my face for a minimum of 15 minutes.
5. Use your fingers or a dry cloth to scrape / wipe off the mask. Then, rinse the remaining residue with warm water.
Although your skin should feel smooth and soft to the touch, it may appear pale and dry. Moisturize as required.
And, it’s as easy as that.
Hope you all love this recipe as much as I do!
Feel free to comment, ask questions or send me feedback. Tell me how your Fresh and Cool Neem Face Mask turns out.