Following on from the last page on using powdered amla scrubs for glowing skin, here are four face mask recipes for a deeper treatment to improve your skin tone and complexion.
First some quick precautions. Along with its strong antioxidant and antibacterial properties, amla fruit powder can have an astringent effect. This is generally a good thing for minimizing pores and firming up your skin tone, but it may not be suitable for very dry skin.
Two of the recipes below should still be good for moderately dry skin but if you do try them it may make sense to keep them on for less time. Perhaps just 5 to 10 minutes at first and see how your skin feels afterwards.
While I haven’t read of any allergic reactions to the powder applied topically, it would be advisable to do a patch test before using any of these face masks if you have sensitive skin.
To perform a patch test mix up a small amount of amla powder with warm water into a paste. Apply it to your inner arm where the skin is thinner and leave it on for 10 minutes before washing it off. Wait an hour to see if you have any reaction before making up and applying the facial masks ahead.
Now on to the recipes.
Avocado and Amla Nourishing Face Mask
This recipe should be beneficial for dry to normal skin. Avocado’s benefits for the skin are well known and it is one of the best things you can put on your face. Some of the antioxidants in amla are fat soluble and may be more effective in the presence of avocado’s monounsaturated fats.
To start, mix 2 teaspoons of amla fruit powder (this one is particularly good) with hot but not boiling water, into a similar consistency to yogurt. Wet and slightly flowing but not too runny.
Scoop out 2 teaspoons of fresh avocado (you might want to make this face treatment up when you’re having avocado for breakfast). Mash the avocado into the amla mixture with a fork and mix the two up well. You may find it easier to mix them in a separate bowl and combine them once the avocado is well mashed.
Take the mixture to the bathroom and follow the directions in how to apply a face mask ahead.
Amla, Yogurt and Honey Facial Treatment
Add hot water to 2 teaspoons of amla powder and stir it up into a smooth consistency. Add a teaspoon of raw honey (ideally manuka if you have it) and blend it while the mixture is still warm. Then add a teaspoon of real, unflavored yogurt and mix them all together.
This recipe is great for most skin types and should make your face feel really soft and clean.
Papaya and Amla Skin Brightening Face Mask
Mix 2 teaspoons of powdered amla with hot water into a flowing paste. In a separate bowl mash up around 2 teaspoons of fresh papaya.
Papaya is great for brightening the skin and if you use one that is just turning from green to orange it should contain extra papain enzymes and be even more effective.
I like to cut off the thinner stalk end of a small papaya that is just ripening and use it for facial treatments like this. Fully green papaya may be too strong though and those with sensitive skin should do a patch test before using this mask.
Add the mashed papaya to the warm amla paste and mix them together well ready to use.
Amla, Parsley and Manuka Honey Facial Mask for Acne
Parsley and manuka honey are both great for acne problems. Unlike the acne scrub on the previous page, this skin treatment could be applied during a pimple outbreak.
Remember though that every person’s skin is different. While these ingredients have helped to clear up and dry out blemishes for others, they may not work as well for everyone. Always stop applying the mask and wash off with warm water if there is excessive stinging or discomfort with any of these treatments.
To make this face mask start by chopping up finely a sprig of washed parsley. Crush it up well in a mortar and pestle until the juice is coming out (the bottom of the clean jar on a chopping board can suffice if you don’t have one).
Add 2 teaspoons of amla powder and hot water to make a wet paste with the crushed parsley. Add a teaspoon of manuka honey to the still warm mixture and blend them all together well.
How to Apply an Amla Face Mask
Ideally you want your face mask to be approximately the consistency of yogurt – easy to spread but not too watery and runny.
It can be good to apply these treatments while they still have a little warmth left in them from the hot water mixed with the powdered amla (though obviously not too hot).
To begin with take your treatment to the bathroom and wash your face with warm water and a facial cleanser. Unfortunately, many of these contain chemicals that can irritate your skin and block pores. After a lot of research and testing, I’ve settled on this chemical free cleanser and find it excellent for my skin.
With still damp skin, gently rub the face mask in with small circular motions. Not as heavily as you might with a scrub, but it can help to loosen a few dead skin cells and let the amla and other ingredients get to work.
Coat your face with the mixture, avoiding the eye area, but with a little extra for the nose and inner cheeks. Go to your bedroom and lie down with a towel on your pillow. Relax for 20 to 30 minutes before washing it off with warm water followed by a good moisturizer.
I hope these treatments work as well for you as they have for me and others I have given them to. I’d appreciate any feedback in the comments section below.
Next is a look at one of the most important Ayurvedic preparations for better health, with amla as a central ingredient.