Cultivated in tropical and Mediterranean climates throughout the world, avocado is one of the most nourishing fruits out there. It is packed with skin friendly minerals such as iron, calcium, potassium, copper, magnesium, etc., vitamins A, E, B and K and unsaturated fats. The fruit of horticultural cultivars has a markedly higher fat content than most other fruit, mostly monounsaturated fat, and as such serves as an important staple in the diet of consumers who have limited access to other fatty foods (high-fat meats and fish, dairy products). We all know avocado is a crucial ingredient in many meals, salads, dips and sauces, but what can it do for your skin?
Apparently, a lot. Being in healthy fatty acids, vitamins and antioxidants, avocados can improve your skin from the inside. They are a great source of antioxidant carotenoids like alpha-carotene, beta carotene, beta-cryptoxanthin, zeaxanthin and lutein. These free radical quenching compounds provide significant protection for your skin from the environmental damage that leads to fine lines, wrinkles and other visible signs of aging. High amounts of carotenoids have been shown by various scientific studies to improve your skin’s density, thickness, tone and general appearance. Although it may come as a surprise, avocado is rich in vitamin C, and we can’t stress the importance of vitamin C for your skin enough.
How can you use it on your skin? Although you can always eat avocado for healthier skin, we’ve prepared these 5 avocado-based DIY face masks for you to try out:
Thanks to moisturizing, nourishing and hydrating benefits of avocado, the fruit can be used in various homemade face masks. Mix avocado and cucumber in equal proportions in your blender and apply to your face and neck for a quick ‘pick me up’ facial treatment; after doing this mask just 2 or 3 times a week you will see a wonderful difference it will make to your skin – softer, fresher and more beautiful skin with very little effort.
This easy to make face mask uses only two natural ingredients, namely avocado and honey, both of which act as natural moisturizers (See our guest post on skin benefits of honey). This mask works wonders for mature, wrinkled and dry skin. Take 1 fully ripe and fresh avocado, remove the skin as well as the seed and mash it up into creamy pulp in a bowl. Add 1 tablesoon of honey and stir in honey until it turns into a uniform paste. Apply to your skin and leave it on for 10-15 minutes. Rinse off the mixture with lukewarm water and pat dry your face with a soft towel.
If you want to pump in moisture into your skin then this mask will do the trick. Yogurt also works well for acne prone skin because it has lactic acid which kills bacteria. As the plain yogurt is a little acidic, it works to restore your skin’s pH balance as well. This work great in winter months. Take 1/4 ripe avocado and mash it up in a bowl until it turns lump free. Mix into the pulp 1 teaspoon of plain organic yogurt and 1/2 teaspoon of honey. Stir them well until you get a paste of uniform consistency. Apply the mask onto your skin for 10-15 minutes or until it dries out. Rinse it off with lukewarm water and pat your skin dry with a soft towel. Tip: Go for lower fat yoghurt if you have oilier skin.
This mask is incredibly nourishing to dehydrated skin, and it’s very easy to make. You’ll need: ¼ very ripe avocado, 1 tablespoon buttermilk or heavy cream, and a sprinkle of cornstarch or flour. Scoop out and mash the avocado in just enough buttermilk or heavy cream to create a smooth paste. Sprinkle in flour or cornstarch to thicken, if needed. Apply on your face and leave it on for a few minutes, then rinse off with warm water and pat dry with a soft towel. You can use this mask on frizzy, dry hair as well.
As we mentioned earlier in the article, vitamin C is very benefitial for your skin and you can never get enough of it. So why not mix avocado with other fruits rich in vitamin C? You’ll need: 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 1 tablespoon honey, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 egg white and juice of ½ an orange. Mash the avocado into a bowl, add the other ingredients and mash them together into a smooth paste. Lemon juice should keep the avocado from oxidizing and turning brown. Apply to your face and keep it on for at least 15 minutes until the mixture fully dries. Remove the mask by rinsing your face with warm water and dab your face with a soft towel.
BONUS: Avocado and brown sugar exfoliator
We have been feeling extra festive this week, so we’ve added an extra recipe for you. While avocado is great to use in face masks, it can also be added into an exfoliator. Combined with brown sugar, it does wonders to scrub off those dead skin cells while moisturizing your skin at the same time. The brown sugar exfoliates while the avocado oil moisturizes. You can also double or triple the amount and use it on your body. You’ll need: 1 tablespoon of avocado oil, 1 tablespoon of brown sugar. Mix the avocado oil and the brown sugar and massage the scrub into your face in a circular motion. Rinse it with warm water, and pat dry with a soft towel.
Want more skintips? Check out OKU, your personal skin coach, for more personal lifestyle, diet and product recommendations.