Coffee and Chocolate on My Face

When it comes to cleansing or rejuvenating or scrubbing or conditioning or what have you, I don’t like products that I can’t make in my own kitchen. I want to know exactly what’s going in my hair or on my skin.

Admittedly, I’ve been pretty terrible about skin care for… well, I’ve never been good about it. I have been really lucky with my skin. A “bad breakout” for me is three zits at once on any given part of my body. I never did the acne thing and I don’t ever really wear a TON of makeup. My face gets flaky and dry in the winter but I dare you to live on Lake Michigan and not go dry when the temp drops below freezing. My skin, on its own without much help, is just soft and breakout free.

All the same, skincare is important. I may not take care of it as often as most and it doesn’t require much when I do but it’s still important. I’ve recently discovered how wonderful a face mask can feel. This one is one of my absolute favorites.

My issue, keeping a vegan kitchen, is that most of the homemade recipes call for animal products. This isn’t the same thing with cooking where you can swap out and get similar flavors. This is about what’s in each ingredient and what it does to your skin. I found this recipe, however ( and figured if I got enough of the ingredients, it would work well enough. I only made half as I don’t do masks often enough to warrant having leftovers.

My favorite tip for after a mask: use a really really hot washcloth for getting the mask off. Get your sink as hot as it will go, soak your cloth, wring out the excess, and press that to your face for a solid minute. The steam feels so nice and then everything’s nice and loosened and ready to go.

2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tbsp fine coffee grounds (make sure they’re really fine. Coarse grounds can scratch your skin)
4 tbsp non-dairy milk (I used almond. rice, soy, or coconut would work well here, too!)
1 tbsp agave (for dry skin) or lemon juice (for oily skin) (I did agave because temperatures are dropping in the Chi and I want to be prepared for the impending chill)

1) mix cocoa, coffee, and milk in a microwave safe bowl. Use less milk for a thicker paste.
OPTIONAL 2) I recommend warming up the agave before putting it into the mask so that it will mix in better.
2) mix in agave or lemon juice
3) warm up your mask! Pop it into the microwave for 30 seconds. Your face will appreciate the warmth as opposed to some chilly coffeemilk suddenly on your face.
4) apply to your face. Be gentle with the coffee if you have sensitive skin. don’t scrub too much. You’ll be able to feel what you can do. Just go gently.
5) let the mask dry. Should be 12-15 minutes, could be longer.
6) Heat and wet your washcloth, hold it to your face for 1 minute, and then gently remove the mask. Again, be careful with the coffee.

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