Written April 2016

I'm not really sure how I came about wanting to try using garlic in a mask. When you grow 20 varieties of garlic you start looking for different ways to utilize more of it. In my quest to find out more about garlic for topical uses I stumbled across Cosmetic Warrior Mask by Lush and thought to myself it wouldn’t be that hard to make this yourself. I read the reviews on Lush’s site and not so flattering. That didn't deter me. I have to tell you if you learn what each ingredient does you might be more inclined to suffer through the garlic smell. My recipe is similar, but not at all like Lush’s. Inspired by the use of garlic I have concocted a recipe that I think in my opinion is absolutely awesome stuff. First, I will get into what each ingredient does in hopes you won’t be so put off by the garlic smell. As a whole, the ingredients work synergistically. If you absolutely cannot stand the smell of garlic, then yes, by all means just omit it. Really you’re in control of what goes on your face.

Kaolin Clay
Draws out impurities, draws blood to the surface of skin for increased circulation, cleansing and anti-inflammatory. Helps to minimize large pores, firms sagging skin, and works to promote a clear and blemish-free complexion. Kaolin clay is the mildest of all cosmetic clays. It balances sebaceous secretions and is recommended for all skin types, including dry and sensitive.

Eggs brighten skin, tightens pores, nourishes and moisturizes skin. Eggs are high in collagen and vitamin A, which keep skin supple. The yolk promotes better blood circulation. Egg whites treat acne due to its antibacterial enzymes. Zinc does wonders in healing acne and wounds. Using free range farm eggs have the highest nutrient content. If you cannot source free range then organic will suffice.

Raw Honey
It is nutritive, softening, and lifting. Honey moisturizes, tightens, and is an antibacterial agent. It is good for lackluster skin, enlarged pores, dry and sensitive skin, and blackheads. Honey is naturally acid balanced. Mildly antiseptic and emollient. It helps draw impurities out of the skin and is favored by both dry and oily skin. It helps soothe, promote healing, and nourish the skin.

Oat Powder/Flour
Old-fashioned oatmeal, ground into a fine, flourlike powder. Soothing to all types of skin irritations and sensitivities, oatmeal makes a gentle abrasive base for face. Oats soothe, absorb oil, cleanse, and soften the skin. It is ideal for acne and dry, mature, or sensitive skin.

Rich in antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral properties makes it a natural healing agent. Garlic is choke-full of essential nutrients and antioxidants known for their acne-combating benefits. Zinc has sebum controlling properties. Allicin offers antibacterial benefits that fight bacteria on the surface of your skin. Sulphur present in garlic prevents infections and helps in reducing inflammation. It also enhances blood flow thus giving your skin a natural glow. Avoid garlic at the store and look for locally grown garlic if possible.

Neem Oil
A rich, thick, golden-brown oil with a strong nutty aroma. Derived from pressed neem tree nuts, it is antiseptic, antiviral, antifungal, and antibacterial. Ideal for acne-prone skin, soothes irritation and inflammation, targets pimples and removes acne causing bacteria from the surface of the skin. Neem oil contains an aspirin-like compound that helps with acne conditions by ridding the skin of acne-causing bacteria. Reduces redness and inflammation. The high fatty-acid content in neem oil helps prevent and treat scars from acne. When used in a facial mask it works to pull out impurities and tightens pores.

Juniper Essential Oil
It is antibacterial, antiseptic, astringent and detoxifying. It is helpful in the treatment of acne and balances oily skin and unclogs pores. It can reduce puffiness and firm the appearance of skin. Supports beautiful skin by helping to heal conditions caused by hormone imbalances (especially during the teen years).

½ Cup Kaolin Clay
1 Egg
1 Tbsp Raw Honey
1 Tbsp Oat Powder/Flour
1-2 *Garlic Cloves
2 tsp Neem Oil
6-10 drops Juniper Essential Oil

In a food processer add all the ingredients except the clay (clay and metal don’t mix). Blend until everything is well combined. Scrape into a bowl and with a silicon spatula or plastic spoon mix the clay into the pureed mixture. Store excess in a container with a tight fitting lid and refrigerate.

How to use:
Cleanse face and pat dry. Scoop out about 1 to 1-1/2 Tbsp of garlic mask and spread onto face and partially down the neck. Let it remain on the face for 10 minutes. To remove you can use a wet wash cloth or splash your face with water, with circular motions exfoliate gently and then rinse off completely. Follow up with toner and moisturizer.

You can use this mask daily if desired to reap the maximum benefits of fresh ingredients. Honey acts as a preservative to some extent and will help keep your garlic mask up to two weeks in the fridge. It does have to be refrigerated due to the egg. I kept this in the fridge for three weeks exactly and felt safe using it. However from the freshness aspect I would use up within one week or better yet invite some friends over and have a mask party.

*The garlic might sting. A little bit of stinging isn’t going to hurt you but if it unbearable then do not leave on the full 10 minutes. Use good judgment and always do your own research when it comes to your health.

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