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We’re drowning in pumpkin. From pie to hairspray (yes, seriously, it exists), we’re not even half way through October and I’m over the season’s squash of choice. So let’s talk about the other orange super food in your produce aisle: the sweet potato. Sure, it’s delicious as a side dish, but we’d like to suggest that you put it all over your face this season.
Indie Lee, a brain cancer survivor who started her own line of natural skin care products without using any controversial ingredients, also has a penchant for whipping up her own DIY face treatments. This seasonally appropriate facemask soothes your skin, saturating it with antioxidants that help repair damage and protect the skin. “This mask will leave your skin smooth and hydrated and will help prevent premature aging,” Lee says.
You only need three ingredients: sweet potato, manuka honey, and milk. Lee recommends buying everything organic (smearing pesticides on your face would definitely be counterproductive here). Sweet potatoes are high in vitamin A (beta-carotene), C, and E, and the lactic acid in the milk exfoliates dead skin cells.
And finally, the ingredient you may not know about: Manuka honey. Produced in New Zealand by bees that feed on the bush of the same name, manuka honey’s received a lot of attention lately for its skin-improving properties. “The vitamins, enzymes, and minerals found in the honey are known to improve skin’s texture and its vitality while also containing natural antibacterial properties,” Lee says. “Be sure to choose a premium manuka honey (100% raw) with a bio active 12+ or above, which relates to its antibacterial effects. This means that honey has been cold pressed rather than fine filtered, so it’s closer to its natural state and retains optimal health benefits.” (Manuka honey has also become so popular that people are apparently counterfeiting it. Try this brand, which is reputable.)
• Boil one sweet potato until it is soft enough for the skin to be pulled off easily. Pay attention during the boiling process, you don’t want to overcook the nutrients by boiling for too long.
• Remove the sweet potato from the water and set the water off to the side. (Bonus: You can strain the water and put it in your fridge to use as a facial toner. Just dip a pad in it and swipe your face before you apply other products.)
• In a mixing bowl, blend the sweet potato, 1 tbsp of manuka honey, and 1 tbsp of milk together until they form a smooth paste.
• Let mask cool slightly so you don’t burn yourself.
• Apply the mask to your cleansed face and décolletage. Sit back and relax for 20 to 25 minutes. Rinse off with warm water.
Easier—and less caloric—than making that Thanksgiving sweet potato casserole, right?