In an interview on natural skincare recently I found myself drawing many parallels between the way we eat and the way we nourish our skin. Both present an opportunity to more consciously approach the way we feed our body, choose ingredients and approach daily routines; both require a healthy amount of curiosity, knowledge and wariness if we are to avoid processed additives, preservatives and fillers. With grey rainclouds overhead and winter fast approaching I thought it was time I harnessed the amazing nourishing skin benefits of the beloved avocado and dedicated it to my complexion instead of my stomach: usually I can't resist eating it and before I know it all natural beauty plans have gone out the window.
But a fundamental part of this holistic journey is reassessing the importance of my skincare rituals and trying to treat my body with the utmost respect both inside and out. Often we eat only organic and super clean, but we load our hair, nails and pores with endless unknown toxins as if they weren't part of the same living whole. Over the last few months, I have gotten to a point where I see that my skin is just as deserving of something so luxurious as a perfectly ripe avocado as my digestive system - in fact, perhaps more so given the endless environmental free radicals and general stresses that city living throws at it.
Avocados are an unusually oily fruit and a rich source of vitamins A (retinol) and E (alpha-tocopherol), particularly beneficial to skin due to their antioxidant and collagen-boosting properties. Natural antioxidants are particularly important when looking at holistic antiageing methods since they protect from the oxidative damage and dark spots caused by free radicals that occur from both the body's normal metabolic processes and also from environmental pollutant and stresses. Avocados have a high antioxidant content without any chemical manufacturing or potential side effects - what I often think of as payoffs - that often come with factory made skin creams.
The inclusion of matcha green tea powder here further enhances the antioxidant properties and I like to use it topically because, as with in tea, a little goes a long way. It is a good source of chlorophyll and compounds called catechins, both of which fight free radical damage and inflammation both inside and out. Along with soothing honey, it is also gently antimicrobial and very helpful where fighting acne, breakouts and blemishes is concerned. Finally, a touch of protein-rich egg white supports skin tone and elasticity and gives a gentle surface boost of natural collagen.
With a hot soft cloth to remove this at the end, you also get some gentle exfoliation and your skin feels perfectly fresh and primed for moisturisation. A little coconut, rosehip or other face oil finishes things off perfectly, providing plenty of natural nourishment and protection as cold winter weather looms ever closer.
This makes enough for two masks; you can halve the ingredients of you are on your own or keep the rest in a jar in the fridge for up to two days.
1/4 ripe avocado
1 tsp thick honey
1 tsp egg white
1/2 tsp matcha powder
Mix all the ingredients into a smooth paste with a pestle and mortar (or a fork), place in the fridge to cool for five minutes. Apply all over a clean face, avoiding the eye area, and leave on for ten to fifteen minutes before gently removing with a warm face cloth.