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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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