Photo: Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images
Chocoholics, rejoice! Chocolate isn't just a tasty treat for your palate. By combining cocoa powder with skin-nourishing ingredients like honey and oatmeal, you can mix up pore-tightening facial masks. Cocoa powder contains antioxidants and fatty acids that combat sun damage and speed cell turnover, giving you a youthful glow. Indulge yourself and whip up a chocolate dessert for your skin.
Cocoa and Yogurt Mask
If your skin's dry enough to rival the Sahara, you need a cocoa powder mask that moisturizes. In a bowl, combine three tbsp. cocoa powder, three tbsp. plain yogurt, and 1 1/2 tbsp. each oatmeal and raw honey. The calming properties of yogurt soften dry skin while oatmeal exfoliates grimy buildup. Honey helps out the cocoa with a moisturizing boost. Apply and leave the mask on for 20 minutes, then rinse with warm water. Your smooth, dewy complexion won't be a mirage.
Cheesy Creamy Cocoa Mask
Grooves in your face keeping you from feeling groovy? Use the smoothing power of lactic acid to diminish wrinkles and fine lines. Take 1/3 cup cocoa and blend it with three tbsp. heavy cream and two tbsp. cottage cheese, both dairy products fortified with vitamins A and D. For added moisture and sloughing power, add 1/4 cup honey and three tsp. oatmeal powder. Mix well and apply, letting the mask sit for 10 minutes before rinsing.
Coffee and chocolate are a delicious combination, but the two can also work in tandem to rejuvenate your skin. The caffeine in coffee and cocoa increases circulation, warding off puffiness. Add the sloughing power of milk, and you'll look as fresh as your brew. Combine 1/4 cup finely ground espresso roast coffee, 1/4 cup cocoa powder and 1/2 cup milk until it forms a paste. On a clean face, spread the paste along your face and neck. Relax for 15 minutes, then rinse with warm water.
Mix 1/3 cup cocoa with 1/4 cup organic honey and two tbsp. ripe mashed avocado. If your mouth is watering, you're in luck: This moisturizing mask doubles as a fudge recipe. You can also add three tsp. oatmeal powder to make an exfoliating scrub or add texture to your dessert. If you're using the mixture on your face, apply and gently massage. The oatmeal lifts dead skin cells and soaks up sebum. Then leave the mask on for 20 minutes before rinsing. If you'd rather chow down, spread the mixture in a small glass dish or individual ramekins. Refrigerate for two hours, and when the fudge is set, dig in!