The coronavirus (COVID-19) is forcing most of us to stay inside. While that happens, Mother Nature is taking a breath. Her revival as humanity takes a pause is a reminder of the benefits of rest to sustain your health and well-being. Now is the time to put self-care at the forefront.
There are many beauty practices from all over the world, and it is fascinating the ways different cultures use plants and foods to support hair, skin, and bodies. Most of the recipes for these practices are great in their simplicity, affordability, and effectiveness.
You can learn from other modalities of healing and health that, many times, it is the simplest practice that can unlock some of the most profound healing. I mostly work with busy and stressed-out clients trying to take better care of their skin and their health. Even before COVID-19, I found that many of my clients would look too fancy and expensive products for the “answer” to the issue that they were looking to solve. While it can be fun and healing to buy a new beauty product, nourish your skin with a 10-part skincare routine, or open and unravel a new product in an ornate box, there are other ways to find healing. During these times, and frankly, anytime, you can seek empowered, streamlined, and affordable ways to show up for yourself and embrace the essential pampering that you deserve.
All that to say my Ayurvedic Sunshine Mask is a great way for you to tap into the power that exists when you create products for your own self-care rituals.
The Healing Benefits of the Ayurvedic Sunshine Mask
The ingredients for this mask have been chosen because of their many benefits. Turmeric (Curcuma longa) helps reduce redness and inflammation of the skin. The enzymes from the honey help moisturiz
e and exfoliate the skin gently. Yogurt is extremely cooling and calming to the skin, as the lactic acid is another way to gently exfoliate. The multitude of benefits that these ingredients possess makes the mask an excellent all-around beauty multitasking potion.
As you think about sourcing your turmeric, know that the old jar that you have in the way back of your pantry will work fine. If you have access, sourcing fresher spices (harvested directly from the source) will result in a much more potent and active plant for your ingredient list. I have two favorite places that I use to source single-origin turmeric. Both are small businesses that maintain close and equitable relationships with farmers: Diaspora and Burlap and Barrel.
For this mask, ideally, you will be able to source organic turmeric, organic/local raw honey, and whole milk organic plain yogurt. This mask is not about striving for perfection. Part of the medicine of this mask is using what you have in your pantry/fridge for nourishment, and not worrying about making it perfect.
If you do not have organic ingredients, that is OK. If you do not have all of the ingredients, just use what you have. And if all you have is honey, that is fine. A honey mask applied to a clean face for 15-20 minutes and then washed off with warm water makes for an excellent moisturizing and gently exfoliating alternative.
Super Simple Sunshine Mask
My “sunshine mask,” is called such since your face will look like a vibrant sun after you apply it. The mask will brighten up the skin on your face and your mood—mostly from looking at how silly you look with a bright yellow face if you catch your reflection in the mirror.
Once you wash this mask off, your skin should feel refreshed and clean, with an unmistakable glow.
The measurements do not need to be exact, but just be sure to only use a little bit of turmeric. It is also easy to double or triple the amounts if you are doing the mask with a group of friends or family. You could also make a bit extra and keep it covered in the fridge for about a week and use it another day.
Note (turmeric staining tip): Depending on how long you keep the mask on or how much turmeric you use, the turmeric can stain the skin ever so slightly. If you keep to the amount of 1/4 teaspoon of turmeric and do not leave the mask on for more than 20 minutes, you should be ok. And be sure to be mindful of having a paper towel nearby when putting the mask together so that you do not get it on a precious towel if you drop a tiny bit.
1 teaspoon organic honey
1 teaspoon organic whole milk yogurt
1/4 teaspoon of organic turmeric
Paper towel (to clean fingers or wipe up turmeric)
A brush to apply the mask (a makeup brush or paintbrush will work fine, or you can also use your fingers)
To start, pull your hair back and out of your face. It is also best to wear a towel or a shirt you do not care about (if any of the mask falls onto your clothing). If you would like to deepen the healing around the mask-making and application ritual, start by lighting a candle and some incense and taking a moment to meditate. Take in all of the power of these natural ingredients and the Ayurvedic wisdom that has been keeping people healthy and nourished for thousands of years.
Combine all ingredients in a small, clean bowl and mix well. Using your brush or your fingers, apply the mask evenly to your face, avoiding getting too close to your eyes.
Leave on for 15-20 minutes, or until the mask grows tight. This is a great time to melt into the bathtub or close your eyes and do a meditation. Even just 15 minutes of closing your eyes can really feel like a reset.
When ready, wash off the mask by splashing warm water on your face until it is clean. If you notice a little yellow still on your skin, gently scrub your face with a washcloth and it will come off. You can apply the mask application when you need to take a shower, and then hop in and just wash it off in there.
Follow with your normal routine for moisturizing.
Let this mask recipe and ritual help you feel more grounded and supported at home. This ritual is a perfect way to give your skin a refresh, allow yourself a moment of peace, and let the plants and natural elements support you during this challenging time.
Interested in learning how to become healthier and stronger? Want to choose the best foods, exercises, and lifestyle practices to benefit your unique mind-body type? Sign up for our introductory online course with Deepak Chopra, Discovering Ayurveda, and you’ll discover how to incorporate ancient healing wisdom into your daily life. Learn More.