Fight back against winter’s war on your skin with at-home remedies, masks

WASHINGTON — If winter weather is waging war on your skin, it’s time to fight back — and you don’t need to leave the house to do so.

Ludmila Milic, master aesthetician at Lorien Spa in Alexandria, Virginia, has some homemade remedies that replenish, protect and moisturize your skin from winter’s whipping winds and frigid temps. And best of all, they’re made from simple, everyday ingredients.

Milic has been making skin care products at home for as long as she can remember. She says her mother, who was raised in Russia’s countryside, rarely had access to pharmacies, skin care stores or spas.

“What they had was basically whatever was growing in the woods,” Milic says. “So for me, this is something that I continuously keep doing.”

In addition to convenience, Milic says making your own masks and moisturizers is fun and it’s much more cost-effective than getting frequent facials. (Although she does encourage you to come visit her at least once this season for some pampering.)

So roll up your sleeves and dig through your cabinets: Here are Milic’s favorite at-home facial mask recipes that will help keep your skin glowing all winter long.

The avocado mask

“When I was growing up, back in the Soviet Union, I never saw an avocado in my life. When I came here and I tasted it, I fell in love with avocado,” Milic says.

And when she learned that avocados are packed with vitamins, healthy fats and antioxidants, she decided to put the fruit on her skin, as well as her dinner plate.

“Avocado is fantastic for replenishing the vitamins that the skin needs in the winter.”

For her avocado mask, Milic mashes half of an avocado — “I would recommend eating the other half,” she says — and mixes it with about a teaspoon of lemon juice, which she says helps to brighten the skin.

She also adds a few drizzles of honey before applying the mixture directly to her face using her fingers or a makeup brush.

Milic says to leave the mask on for about 15 to 30 minutes (when you start to notice it drying up, it’s time to take it off), then rinse it off with warm water and enjoy the fresh glow.

“Avocado is suitable for all skin types, and especially for dry and dehydrated skin, which I see a lot of in winter months because of the wind and the improper heating systems that we have, which are very drying. So the avocado is like the lifesaver for winter,” she says.

The pumpkin mask

Making a pumpkin pie or pumpkin bread for the season? Set aside a few spoonfuls of freshly cooked or canned pumpkin to make your skin as irresistible as the smells escaping your oven.

Milic says pumpkin is full of vitamins A and C, as well as zinc and enzymes, which help to boost the skin’s healthy appearance. “These enzymes also neutralize free radicals and they prevent skin damage,” she says.

In a small bowl, mix the pumpkin with a little olive oil and an egg yolk, then apply the mixture to your skin and leave on for about 10 to 15 minutes.

“Basically I never do any special shopping for this mask because you can pretty much find the ingredients in your home, in any kitchen,” Milic says.

When it’s time to remove the mask, rinse the ingredients off with warm water.

“You will see that it’s just fantastic,” she says about the moisturizing mask.

The oatmeal honey mask

If you need to exfoliate,  Milic says you need oatmeal. This recipe is her go-to when her skin needs a little soothing and a little scrubbing.

First, cook up some oatmeal — but not for as long as you would if you were going to eat it. You don’t want the oatmeal to be mushy; you want its texture to contain a bit of roughness, she says.

If it’s instant oatmeal (make sure there are no added flavorings, sugars or artificial additives), Milic suggests cooking it for just a minute or so.

Then, add in a few drizzles of honey to help bind the oatmeal.

“Honey is actually antibacterial and hydrating,” Milic says.

For some extra moisture, add a spoonful or two of plain yogurt (again, make sure there are no flavorings, sugars or artificial additives).

Apply the mask to your skin, and after about 15 minutes (or when you feel it start to dry), rinse it off with warm water.

Federal News Network Logo
Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up