DIY Skin-Brightening Mask

This brightening mask exfoliates and stimulates circulation in the face, resulting in a warm, rosy glow.

Here's why it works: Unripe papaya contains natural alpha-hydroxy acids and high levels of papain, an enzyme that helps dissolve dead skin cells. Yogurt adds lactic acid (another alpha-hydroxy) and gives the mask a creamy texture, and honey helps skin retain moisture. When left on, the mask should tingle slightly; if you have sensitive skin or prefer a gentler exfoliation, use ripe papaya, which has less papain.

Green-Papaya Brightening Mask
1/2 cup unripe papaya, diced
1 teaspoon plain yogurt
1 teaspoon honey

Blend ingredients in a food processor until smooth. Apply to clean skin using fingers; leave on for 8 to 10 minutes. Rinse off using cool water and pat dry. Finish by applying a gentle moisturizer.

If you're short on time, try a ready-made mask that uses the same active ingredient, papain. Options include: Zia Fresh Papaya Enzyme Mask; Alba Hawaiian Papaya Enzyme Facial Mask; Sensuous Beauty Green Papaya Masque.

Text by Donna Ress; photograph by David Meredith

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Comments (4)

  • PeakMom 22 Jun, 2011

    The fresh ingredients make this extremely perishable and subject to bacteria. It will not freeze well. Make a book of homemade beauty recipes (include pics) instead so the recipient can make their own fresh beauty treatments. Tuck the book into a basket with a few empty plastic jars (you can make your own labels too) covered with pretty lids and an exfoliating sponge or mitt.

  • mariekoran 8 Feb, 2010

    maybe to give away as a gift, you could freeze it ? Or make it the day it's to be given, refdidge it, and then let the receiver choose to freeze or not.

  • AnnaGer 5 Dec, 2009

    I want to ive it away as a christmas present so how long is it durable?

  • nanacakes 2 Feb, 2009

    I have used a plain yogurt or yogurt and honey mask for years. It really makes my skin soft and glowing. I'll try it with papaya the next time. This sounds interesting.

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