DIY Probiotic Face Masks for All Skin Types + Vegan Option

Fun fact for the kids: During World War I, British agents of the Secret Service Bureau (later known as MI6) used invisible ink to send top secret messages back and forth. This invisible ink was actually comprised of nothing more than semen. The pioneer of this mode of communication, you might ask? The man’s name was, in fact, Sir Cumming… True story. I don’t really know why I felt the need to preface these DIY beauty recipes with the story of Sir Cumming. There’s too much penis–I mean Freud in discussions of psychoanalysis anyway, so I won’t even bother trying to unpack that. Instead, I’ll just go ahead and share these recipes that use one of my all time favorite green beauty ingredients: kefir.

Kefir is an amazing source of lactic acid, a natural skin alpha hydroxy acid (AHA). Lactic acid gently buffs away dead skin cells and minimizes the appearance of age lines and wrinkles. Kefir also contains up to 35 different strains of live bacteria that help nourish, revitalize, and balance skin. Probiotics, yo! It’s also gentle enough for skin prone to eczema, psoriasi, and acne.

DIY Kefir Face Masks

Cucumber + Kefir

For Normal/ Combination Skin

Grate one small cucumber into a small strainer over a bowl. Gently press the grated cucumber into the strainer, collect the juice, and discard the pulp. Add about 2 tablespoons kefir to the cucumber juice and mix thoroughly. Apply to your face and let sit for about 20 minutes. Gently rinse off and enjoy softer skin.

Egg White + Honey + Kefir

For Oily Skin

In a small bowl, combine the 2 tablespoons kefir, 1 egg white, and 1 tablespoon raw honey. Mix together and apply to your face for 15-20 minutes. Gently rinse off with warm water. The egg white helps tighten pores, while the antibacterial qualities of the honey help heal skin.

Egg Yolk + Olive Oil + Kefir

For Dry Skin

Combine 2 tablespoons kefir, 1 egg yolk, and 1 teaspoon olive oil in a bowl and mix well. Apply to your face and let it sit for 15-20 minutes. Wash off and gently pat dry. The olive oil and egg yolk helps restore your skin’s natural moisture.

***PRO TIP: For those of you that are vegan, or for those of you that just don’t like yogurt (I’m pretty sure Joseph McCarthy has your name on a list somewhere), you can substitute the kefir in these recipes with oat milk. Oat milk is also amazing for sensitive skin and will leave your skin feeling hydrated and smooth.

Our Healthy Kitchen: The First Five Foods

Healthy Foods

I really like cake. Seriously. I can finish off an entire two-tiered, gooey, chocolate-y, decadent cake by myself in less than 48 hours. It’s bad, y’all. I feel like crap after it’s all gone and no matter how many cavities I get or how sick my stomach feels, I just can’t help myself. There’s good news though. I’ve discovered that if I don’t have cake in the house to “snack” on, I won’t eat it. Groundbreaking, I know.

Clean eating begins at the grocery store. The ingredients you pick up at the store are the blueprint of your diet at home. Unless you’re as determined as Harold and Kumar were to get to White Castle, whatever you have in the kitchen is what you’re going to eat. So in the spirit of new beginnings, and a healthier me, I’ve started compiling a list of some of the foods every healthy kitchen should have.

1 Yogurt

Yogurt

In a previous post, I sang the praises of yogurt. Packed with probiotics, calcium, and vitamin B-12, yogurt promotes a healthy digestive system, and in turn can improve the function of your immune system. Look for yogurts that contain live cultures. If yogurt isn’t your thing, try other fermented foods like kimchi or sauerkraut.

2 Honey

Honey

Refined sugar is a monster. It’s super high in calories and super low in nutritional value. Honey, on the other hand, is amazingly nutritious and extremely versatile. Not only can you sweeten up your morning tea or your afternoon salad dressing, you can also use honey as a face wash.

3 Whole Grains

Whole Grains

Protein, vitamins, minerals, and fiber are just a few of the benefits of whole grains (pasta, rice, oats, quinoa, tortillas, whole grain breads). They’re easy to prepare, definitely stick to your ribs, and they have a long shelf life for storage in your pantry. Oatmeal, brown rice, tortillas, and Quinoa are rapidly becoming my favorites (it took me a while to start liking quinoa, so don’t beat yourself up if you think it’s gross).

*try making a quick tortilla wrap for lunch or dinner

4 Vegetables

Seasonal Vegetables

I guess this one goes without saying. We all NEED veggies. I try to stick to vegetables that will keep fresh in the fridge, and that will freeze well. Carrots, broccoli, avocados, and bell peppers are all pretty long lasting. Some leafy greens like kale, collard greens, and spinach last a little longer in my fridge than other salad greens do. They also freeze really well without losing their texture so much in the thawing process.

5 Fruit

Fresh Fruit

You already know I have a giant, cavity riddled sweet tooth, so if I tell you that fruit can tame my cravings, you really have to believe me. Fruit is a sweet, and insanely nutritious, alternative to all the processed sugar that I have a tendency to binge on. I like to get fruit that’s in season as much as possible, but frozen fruit is a must have for the best smoothies of your life.

This list is in no way complete. It’s a work in progress, and I need your help to flesh it out.

What are some healthy foods that you have in your kitchen? I promise that as we check on each other throughout the year, this list will grow, as will the list of tips and tricks I learn from you along the way.

*******I purposefully didn’t provide a link to the movie trailer for “Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle.” I think it might be a little too raunchy for some readers, and I didn’t want to force my sophmoric taste in humor on an unsuspecting population 🙂