We’re loving this recipe created by Kate Dalliessi, one of the qualified naturopaths at our New Lynn store.
This Easter holiday is the perfect opportunity to think outside the chocolate Easter bunny box for an alternative gift. A decadent chocolate masque is a delightfully smelling dessert for the face designed to be a gift to another or enjoyed yourself. The hero ingredient of this DIY chocolate face masque is raw cacao powder, offering sweet suggestions of a bright and vibrant complexion.
The use of Theobroma cacao, cacao tree, has a rich history dating back to ancient Aztec and Mayan civilization's where it was consumed for nutritional and medicinal purposes. Today, cacao bioactive ingredients are being shown to have benefits not only for the internal body but also our skin when applied topically. The powder of raw cacao is choc-a-block full of antioxidant compounds known as flavonoids, almost six times greater antioxidant capacity than raw blueberries! These antioxidants possess the ability to protect our skin against the free radical damage we are faced in the environment such as sun, wind and pollutants. Studies have shown the application of cacao to prevent wrinkle formation following UV exposure as well as improvements to elasticity and tone of the skin. Flavonoids are also anti-inflammatory which help to reduce redness and support the healing process of the skin.
The next key component of this face masque is Montmorillonite clay, commonly known as bentonite clay. This volcanic clay is a potent neutralizer and detoxifier of toxins and other pathogenic material. When applied topically, bentonite clay is able to soak up residues of pollutants and chemicals sitting on the surface of the skin. A drawing out action helps to clear pores, reduce redness and combat breakouts as a result of skin congestion. Bentonite clay has also been shown to help speed the recovery of skin irritations such as dermatitis.
Green tea is the final key ingredient and while not commonly considered as a great chocolate flavour, this time-honored powerhouse brings antioxidant protection as well as anti-inflammatory and antibacterial actions to the mix.
Optional add ins could also include:
- Aloe vera powder – a soothing and healing plant which does wonders for calming irritations, inflammation and minor burns to the skin. A great option if the skin has had too much sun exposure. Mix in the contents of 1-2 capsules.
- Ground oats – finely ground oats or oat meal can be added to help soothe dry, red, irritated skin. Gentle enough for those with sensitive skin or facial dermatitis. Mix in 1 TBSP.
- Ground coffee beans – for an invigorating mocha twist. The coffee beans will stimulate circulation and blood flow to the skin as well as providing gentle exfoliation. Mix in ½ TBSP.
Ingredients (available at your local Huckleberry)
3 tablespoons raw cacao powder
3 tablespoons bentonite clay
2 teaspoon green tea powder or contents of 2 green tea bags
Mix all dry ingredients together in a clean bowl.
Store in an airtight jar or container.
Directions for use
Take 1 heaped tsp of dry mix and add to separate bowl.
Add a little water or almond oil and combine to form a paste.
Using a face brush apply to face and neck, avoiding eye area.
Relax and enjoy for 15mins while the masque dries.
Finally, rinse off with warm water.
- Scapagnini, G., Davinelli, S., Di Renzo, L., De Lorenzo, A., Olarte, H. H., Micali, G., Cicero, A. F., … Gonzalez, S. (2014). Cocoa bioactive compounds: significance and potential for the maintenance of skin health. Nutrients, 6(8), 3202-13. doi:10.3390/nu6083202
- Mahmoudi, M., Adib-Hajbaghery, M., & Mashaiekhi, M. (2015). Comparing the effects of Bentonite & Calendula on the improvement of infantile diaper dermatitis: A randomized controlled trial. The Indian journal of medical research, 142(6), 742-6.
- Reynertson K.A., Garay M., Nebus J., Chon S., Kaur S., Mahmood K., Kizoulis M., Southall M.D. Anti-inflammatory activities of colloidal oatmeal (Avena sativa) contribute to the effectiveness of oats in treatment of itch associated with dry, irritated skin. J. Drugs Dermatol. 2015;14:43–48