HOW TO: Seaweed Facial Mask

Seaweed facial mask enthusiasts report that using this common, nourishing supplement on the face will smooth, tone and moisturize your skin. It's a popular spa treatment, one that you can create for yourself at home with a minimum of investment and effort. Creating your own spa treatments at home is an exercise in adaptation; start with the basic seaweed facial mask recipe, then alter it, as needed, to suit your preferences. Any leftover seaweed face mask can be stored in the refrigerator for a couple of days but should always be discarded after a week of storage or if the look or smell of the product has substantially changed.

Things You'll Need

  • 1 tbsp. dried, ground seaweed 
  • Coffee grinder 
  • Small bowl 
  • 1 to 2 tbsp. lukewarm water 
  • Fork 
  • 1 tsp. aloe vera gel (optional) 
  • 1 tsp. honey (optional)

Step 1

Break sheets or pieces of dried seaweed with your hands until they're small enough to fit into a coffee grinder.

Step 2

Grind the seaweed into powder; you need about 1 tbsp. of seaweed powder in all.

Step 3

Dump the seaweed powder into a small bowl and add 1 tbsp. lukewarm water. Mix with a fork, adding up to another tbsp. of lukewarm water, as needed, to achieve a thick, paste-like consistency.

Step 4

Add 1 tsp. aloe vera gel, 1 tsp. honey, or both, to the paste. Stir until well mixed. Add more water, if needed, to achieve the desired texture. You can also skip these ingredients entirely if you so desire, although the aloe helps heal any skin irritation you may have and the honey adds to the moisturizing effect of the mask and acts as a preservative.

Step 5

Apply the seaweed mask to your face, leave in place for up to 20 minutes, then rinse off with lukewarm water and pat your skin dry. Use this mask up to twice a week as part of your regular beauty routine.

Tips and Warnings

  • You can substitute an oil of your choice--jojoba oil and sweet almond oil are two favorites--for the water in Steps 2 and 3 if you so desire. Both jojoba and sweet almond oil are non-greasy, absorb easily and help soften skin. Jojoba oil also has antimicrobial properties, while sweet almond oil's scent may somewhat mask the seaweed's strong odor. Seaweed will be available at any health food store and may also be found in some ethnic grocery stores; it also is readily available in many mainstream grocery stores.

Top 10 Face-Friendly Foods

It is true that if you eat the right foods, you could be on your way to a healthier skin- a brighter complexion, smoother texture and fewer wrinkles. Dr Nicholas Perricone, dermatologist at Yale University School of Medicine recommends a three-day programme full of fish, fruit, veggies and olive oil to quickly rejuvenate the complexion. Many a skin problems, like Acne can be corrected through diet modifications instead of prescribed drugs.

(Attack acne) Richly coloured leafy greens like methi, spinach, amaranth (chowli), drumstick leaves are full of antioxidants. Plus, they're a great source of iron when eaten with vitamin C rich foods. (Women who don't get enough iron are especially prone to dark circles under their eyes). Greens also contain zinc. In one Swedish study, acne-prone patients who added a zinc supplement to their diets saw 85 per cent of zits clear up after three months. Zinc also helps break down damaged collagen, allowing new collagen to form.

VEGETABLE OIL (Defeats dryness) Adequate fat intake is one key to smooth, supple skin. Dermatologists speculate that women with persistently dry, flaky skin may not be getting enough good fats found in poly and monounsaturated oils like sesame, mustard, peanut and olive in their diet. When they add them back, the condition usually clears up in a few weeks. Just a tablespoon daily may make a huge difference to dry skin. If clogged pores are a problem, dermatologists say experts, the essential fatty acids in these vegetable oils can help keep them clear by thinning the oils they secrete.

(Boosts moisture) Dehydrated skin looks ashen and gray and hangs off the face. Water is the best dull-skin reviver. Hydrated skin looks moist and plump, which makes existing wrinkles less obvious. To see results, though, you need H2O every day. Make sure to down about
nine 200 ml glasses daily - more if you work out.

RIPE TOMATO (Keeps skin elastic) This skin-sensational food, packs high levels of the antioxidant vitamins A and C as well as skin cancer-fighting chemicals. Vitamin C helps keep skin elastic and prevents bruising. Vitamin A aids in healing acne from the inside out by boosting resisting to infection. Find these antioxidants in other dark red, orange and yellow fruits and veggies, too.

BERRIES (Fight wrinkles) Berries are a great source of polyphenols, antioxidants that are currently being studied for their anti-agingcapabilities. (The yummy fruits have already been shown to protect short-term memory and balance). Recent studies revealed, blueberries are packed with three times the antioxidant compared to a bunch of an orange. A hefty handful of jamuns, strawberries or just 2 to 3 amlas has all the antioxidant vitamin C your body requires each day to reconstruct your collagen, the scaffolding that keeps skin from drooping.

(Calms inflammation) This fatty fish is teeming with face-friendly omega-3 fatty acids, which do everything from attack arid areas to help deflate inflamed zits. Also found in mackerel, shark, etc, essential fatty acids battle collagen-damaging free radicals and help smooth out fine lines. Dermatologists recommend eating fish three times a week. If you can't stand seafood, a fish-oil supplement may offer the same benefits. Or try adding flaxseed (alsi) oil and nuts to your diet. Fatty fish and nuts also contain zinc, which helps quell acne flare-ups and increase cell growth.

(Foils flakiness) This colurful fruit is full of carotene-like compounds such as lycopene, which reduce the deep down collagen damage that promotes wrinkles. Dermatologists often prescribe musk melon to drab-skinned patients (recommend a few slices a day to promote a healthy glow.) The orange orb is also a great source of beta-carotene, which is converted to vitamin A. This nutrient prevents keratonic plugs, the rough patches that are often found on the backs of the arms.

(Puts off pimples) Whether whole or in the form of tofu, this bean is a skin saver. It's full of chemicals that act like estrogen, and may help prevent acne, say dermatologists. Another soy bonus: It's loaded with vitamin E, which boosts new cell growth and keeps skin moist. Try eating atleast half a cup of soy (in the form of beans or tofu) 3 times a week.

CARROTS (Discourage wrinkling) Crunch all you want- carrots are bursting with the beta-carotene your body turns into vitamin A, a key to keeping dry, flaky skin at bay. You'll also find this nutrient in other orange fruits and vegetables, such as apricots, papaya, pumpkin, mango and sweet potatoes.

OATMEAL (Ousts toxins) You'll get a dose of fibre that, once converted, helps filter toxins (and raises your clear-skin potential). If oatmeal's too expensive, go for ragi or barley. These cereals are also rich in B vitamins, which aid new skin-cell growth.

Smart eating will help to ward off the skin problems like dryness, acne and have a bigger impact on keeping wrinkles at bay. Avoid over consumption of saturated fats and sugar for they may gum up the capillaries that whisk nutrients to the skin and make a mess with skin collagen, thereby contributing to saggy, inflexible skin and brown spots.

Healthy Aging with Curry-Rubbed Salmon with Napa Slaw

You are young and feel invincible, but starting a disease-fighting diet strategy now can pay off in the future. Prepare an anti-inflammatory, Mediterranean meal plan that includes fruits and vegetables, whole grains and legumes, and healthy omega-3 (wild salmon, walnuts, flax) and monounsaturated (olive oil) fats. We've got 20 healthy recipes to get you started.

Highly regarded for its delicious flavor, salmon has a stellar nutritional reputation. It's packed with healthy fats plus plenty of vitamins and minerals -- and yet it lacks the high mercury levels that taint some of its seafood kin.

Read more at Recipes & Menus