Last night, I decided to kick it up a notch with the homemade skin care recipes, and combined equal parts natural unsweetened cocoa with french green clay powder, adding a little bit of warm water and stirring until the consistency was that of melted chocolate.
IMPORTANT: I used a special little wooden bowl and little wooden spoon for this and anything involving the french green clay powder, due to it’s intense absorption properties that draw in any and all impurities and toxins from anything it touches. DO NOT allow the product to touch plastic or unsanitary surfaces, only clean glass or wooden utensils. I bought my wooden utensils at Crate & Barrel and spent less than $10 on them.
I applied the masque while it was still warm, and it smelled absolutely delicious. It went on rather opaque, brown in color while still wet. As it dried, I felt the masque drawing from my pores and tightening my skin, very noticeably so (though not uncomfortable). The color lightened as it dried, eventually a sort of brownish-green.
You may be wondering why I chose to add the unsweetened cocoa to the virtually perfect masque of pure french green clay powder. While the clay powder alone works absolute wonders for our skin (and is widely used in high end spas around the world for facials and masques), the cocoa contains flavanols which have a wide variety of health benefits when applied topically. Here are just a few:
High antioxidant content
The level of antioxidant compounds in cocoa is higher than that of green tea, black tea or red wine, according to a study conducted by the Department of Food Science and Technology, Seoul National University.
High antioxidant chocolate facial benefits include cell repair and cell damage prevention. Antioxidants neutralize free radicals and prevent them from damaging cells.
Increased blood flow
Consumption of high-flavanol cocoa can help improve the appearance of skin by improving the function of blood vessels, increasing blood flow, increasing hydration, decreasing skin roughness, and helping to increase defense against UV damage.
Topically, this increased hydration calms and soothes skin, infusing it with:
Dark chocolate contains Vitamins A, B12, B-complex, D and E, great for absorption of calcium, tissue growth, and releasing energy.
Chocolate contains copper, iron, manganese, magnesium and zinc for the promotion of cell growth, the repair of tissue and the absorption of nutrients. Cocoa is also a rich source of sulfur, also known as the beauty mineral, necessary for healthy skin.
I always find it to be far more interesting and satisfying to know the exact reasons and science behind why something works as well as it does, don’t you?
I took a nice, long bath while I had my masque, adding a homemade blend of epsom salts and lavender essential oil to the hot water for added relaxation. I refilled the rub with fresh hot water when it had cooled, and rinsed the masque off (after maybe 30 minutes) since it had been completely dry for some time. Having the cocoa and clay in my bathwater would benefit the rest of my skin as well, I knew.
Immediately, I could feel how much softer my skin was to the touch than after any other masques I have ever used. That must be the hydration benefits from the cocoa – as the clay lifted the impurities from my skin and tightened my pores, the cocoa nourished and moisturized my skin while encouraging new cell growth and better blood circulation to the face.
When I looked in the mirror after my bath, I noticed my face was faintly pink in the forehead, nose, cheeks, and chin. Nothing worrisome, this is common with the french green clay as it is a very intensive resource and not recommended for use more than once per week.
I completed my usual ritual of balancing mist, eye creme, and nightly moisturizer, noting that my skin was not only completely clear, but already looked remarkably fresh and “glowing”. The effect was truly impressive, which is a rare treat after a single use of any beauty product.
I intend to package some dry mixes of this masque to send to my closest friends, to hear their feedback and criticism of the product, and to get a feel for which skin types and concerns it does and does not address. In the future, I hope to make this available for purchase, along with a number of other all-natural, handmade beauty, bath, skin, and hair care products!
Please feel free to leave any questions or comments below, as always.