When I’m looking for an easy skin treatment with instant results, I turn to my Skin Brightening Coconut Oil Exfoliant. This all-natural DIY facial mask contains alpha-hydroxy acids that improve skin tone and texture. When applied topically, this mixture treats fine lines, wrinkles, discoloration, rosacea, and adult acne while improving skin hydration and elasticity.
1 tsp. unrefined coconut oil
1 tsp. fresh-squeezed lemon juice
1 tsp. granulated cane sugar
If coconut oil is solid, heat in microwave until just liquefied but not hot. Squeeze lemon into small bowl and mix juice with oil. Add sugar and stir.
Remove dirt and makeup from face. Coat hands, face and neck with mixture, rubbing lightly to exfoliate. Exfoliate for 2 to 3 minutes and then let mask rest for 7 to 10 minutes. Wash with regular face wash and warm water. Apply normal moisturizer and sunscreen.
Tip: Lemon may increase skin’s sensitivity to sun. For best results, apply mask before bedtime. Wear sunscreen and a hat during the day to prevent unnecessary sun exposure.
Coconut Oil: Topical application of coconut oil has been linked with increased hydration and elasticity of skin, with usage resulting in hydration and elasticity levels more than 140% those of untreated skin immediately following application. Hydration and elasticity improvement grows to 175% after 3 weeks of regular usage. Compared with lotions not including coconut oil’s fats and phytochemicals, coconut oil treatments result in more than 3 times the skin elasticity improvements. Unrefined virgin coconut oil also contains phenolic compounds that act as antioxidants.
- Kapoor, S. and S. Saraf. “Assessment of viscoelasticity and hydration effect of herbal moisturizers using bioengineering techniques,” Pharmacognosy Magazine. 2010 Oct.-Dec.; 6(24): 298-304.
- Noor, N.M, et al. “The effect of virgin coconut oil loaded solid lipid particles (VCO-SLPs) on skin hydration and skin elasticity,” Journal Teknologi. 2013 May; 62(1): 39-43.
- Marina, A.M., et al. “Antioxidant capacity and phenolic acids of virgin coconut oil,” International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition. 2009; 60(Supp. 2): 114-123.
Lemon Juice + Cane Sugar: Lemon contains citric acid and cane sugar contains glucolic acid. Both citric acid and glycol acid are alpha-hydroxy acid chemexfoliants that have been shown to reverse photo aging damage in human skin, including problems relating to pigmentation and collagen loss.
- Yamamoto, Y., et al. “Effects of alpha-hydroxy acids on the human skin of Japanese subjects: the rationale for chemical peeling,” Journal of Dermatology. 2006 Jan.; 33(1): 16-22.
- Ditre, C. “Glycolic acid peels,” Dermatologic Therapy. 2000 Apr.; 13(2): 165-172.
Michelle Lee is author of Living Luxe Gluten Free (nominated for James Beard Book Awards for “Focus on Health” and “Photography”), and she appears on KLRR’s morning show where she shares recipes and health tips on “Delicious Dishes with Michelle Lee.”
In addition to her culinary work, Ms. Lee is an award-winning economics and business consultant who has been featured in various publications, including Forbes, for her research. Ms. Lee holds a degree in economics and an MBA.
Ms. Lee’s new book, The Young Skin Diet, is based on her survey of hundreds of peer-reviewed scientific studies. The Young Skin Diet reveals the six principles of nutrition to rejuvenate skin, as well as over 75 recipes, skin treatments, meal plans and everyday habits to make skin young again. Available for purchase at Vroman’s, Amazon, Pages: A Bookstore, and Barnes & Noble.
More information may be found at TheYoungSkinDiet.com.
Praise for Michelle Lee’s works:
“…entertaining, informative…” – Kirkus Reviews
“insightful” – GFF Magazine
“highly recommended” – Midwest Book Review
More recipes by Michelle Lee:
Rejuvenating Mykonos Mediterranean Salad from The Young Skin Diet
Restorative Hot Honey Fruit from The Young Skin Diet
Buffalo Sprouts from Living Luxe Gluten Free
Pretty, Powerful Pasta from Living Luxe Gluten Free
Indian Jalfrezi Chicken from Living Luxe Gluten Free
Granola from Living Luxe Gluten Free
Crispy Steak Fries from Living Luxe Gluten Free
Spiced Salmon with Curry Dip from Living Luxe Gluten Free
Chocolate Mint Truffles from Living Luxe Gluten Free