One of the best parts about running this site is that Jo and I get to collaborate with some seriously creative people. This past weekend we had Marissa, owner of Bowl Bar, over to make DIY face masks. Bowl Bar is a vegan catering company that values sustainability, health, and flavour. Marissa believes that food should be all of these things; fresh, healthy, delicious, and ethically sourced.
Living with food allergies necessitates that I'm always inquiring about what's in my food, my medication, and anything that's put into or on my body. Skincare should be no different. How many times have you picked up a face scrub to see that it contains walnut shell, a peel to see that it's egg white-based, or a comforting cream to see that it contains dairy? Skincare is often full of allergens and should be treated with the same scrutiny as your food. Bowl Bar provided the perfect solution: just make your own. Making your own skincare products means that you know exactly what goes into them, and that's the safest, healthiest way to be. With Bowl Bar flare they were also vegan and of course, cruelty-free (luckily Jo's a good sport).
Photos by Amanda Orlando, words by Marissa Bronfman
An exfoliating scrub with coffee grinds, cinnamon and extra-virgin olive oil
This super simple scrub is also incredibly sustainable, just use the coffee grinds from your morning cup of fuel! I add 1 heaping teaspoon of organic cinnamon to the coffee in my french press before I add the boiling water. Once all the coffee is out of the press, let cool and remove in a small bowl. Mix with 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil and scrub away, being careful of the sensitive eye area. Scrub lips and hands as well - you could even use this as a full-body scrub (depending on how much coffee you drink!)
The coffee grinds will remove dead skin cells and encourage healthy blood flow while the olive oil will deeply nourish your skin, locking in much-need moisture. Cinnamon is worshipped for its ability to eliminate toxins inside and out, plump fine lines and soothe dry skin - plus it smells divine. This scrub will definitely leave you glowing all day long.
Smash It Out
A soothing and moisturizing mask with oats, banana and vegan yoghurt
Banana, oats and vegan coconut yoghurt are just as good on your face as they are in your breakfast bowl! Take 1/2 a cup of instant oats (or boil steel-cut oats for 12 minutes) and add enough boiling water to make a thick paste, stirring in 2 tablespoons of vegan yoghurt. Smash 2-3 very ripe small bananas (or 1/2 a large banana) and stir into your bowl. For an even smoother consistency, grind the oats or use oatmeal powder. Use a brush or your fingers to apply the mask to your face and neck. You may want to lie down for this 10-15 minute mask so it stays on your face!
Oatmeal is a soothing ingredient that's amazing at calming inflammation, while the banana hydrates and moisturizes acne-prone and ageing skin. The vegan yoghurt is another calming element and helps bind the mask together. If you're vegan, this is especially helpful since honey can't be used.
Good Morning Sunshine
A detoxifying and brightening mask with turmeric, lemon, and vegan yoghurt
People in India have been using turmeric on their skin for thousands of years thanks to its incredible antibacterial power and ability to rejuvenate skin. Known as "haldi" in India, it's often used by brides who want to have fresh, glowing skin on their wedding day. Mix a teaspoon of organic, hand-pounded turmeric with a few tablespoons of vegan yoghurt (we used Yoso) and the juice from 1/3 of a ripe lemon.
The vitamin C and citric acid in the lemon will boost collagen production and lighten acne and age spots while the vegan yoghurt will bind the ingredients and offer a cooling and soothing element to the mask. Apply with a flat fan brush and leave until it dries, about 15 or 20 minutes. Cleanse well and avoid white!