Your skin deserves some TLC after a summer of glorious (but damaging) Colorado sun. But getting facials at a spa is a luxury few can afford on a regular basis (and your pores need more than just one treatment to feel fully refreshed). Try these do-it-yourself remedies recommended by local stores for everything from blackheads to sunburn, and use your extra pennies for a treat you can’t give yourself—like a massage.
The Clay Mask
Use for: Wrinkles, large blackheads, or oily skin. (Warning: If you have naturally dry skin, this concoction could cause irritation, redness, or itchiness.)
The expert: Adam Harney, manager of the Vitamin Shoppe in Denver
Key ingredient: Indian healing clay, also known as Moroccan red clay powder or Bentonite clay
Directions: Take one tablespoon each of of apple cider vinegar and water and mix it into three tablespoons of the Indian healing clay. Then, pulverize a tablespoon to a tablespoon and a half of coffee in a coffee grinder until it becomes fine. Stir it into the clay until the mixture seems like you could easily spread it on your face (not too chunky nor too thin). Leave the mask on for five to 15 minutes, depending on how sensitive your skin is. Wash off. Tip: Apply the mask before you take a shower, as it can be difficult to rinse off.
Results: The caffeine helps pull your skin tighter; the clay and apple cider vinegar are both natural detoxifiers.
Indian healing clay: $7.79 per pound. The Vitamin Shoppe, 385 S. Colorado Blvd., 303-321-0379. vitaminshoppe.com.
The Honey Treatment
Use for: All skin types
The expert: Sarah Edward, vitamin manager at Natural Grocers at Colfax Avenue and Washington Street
Key ingredients: Honey, Tilvee, CellFood
Directions: Mix about one teaspoon of Madhava honey with a half a pump of tilvee, a firming oil that contains pomegranate. If your skin tends toward the dry side, mash a quarter of an avocado into the mixture. Leave the scrub on your face for about 20 minutes, and then pat it with the palm of your hand. Then, wipe off the mask with warm water. For an added boost, rub about a drop of CellFood (a gel that Edward says infuses oxygen into your skin) on after your initial treatment, and let your thirsty pores suck in some more moisture.
Results: Honey is a natural exfoliator; the tilvee adds more firmness while the CellFood hydrates.
Madhava honey, $4.69 for a 10.5-ounce bottle or $7.69 for a 22-ounce bottle. Tilvee, $27.40 for a one-ounce bottle. CellFood, $29.65 for a two-ounce bottle. Natural Grocers, 1433 Washington St., 303-832-3000. naturalgrocers.com.
The Fruit and Vegetable Scrub
Use for: Dry skin
The expert: Jonathon DeVisser, manager at A Natural Way
Key ingredients: Essential oils
Directions: Peel and de-stem a carrot. Steam or boil it until it becomes tender, then mash it up with a fork until it becomes creamy or at least smooth. Mix in half an avocado, then add a tablespoon of honey, a teaspoon of lemon juice, an egg yolk, and half a tablespoon of coconut, lavender, or extra-virgin olive oil. Apply mixture to face. Keep the mask on for 15 minutes; afterward, wash it off with a warm washcloth and pat your face dry with a towel.
Results: The essential oil will soothe your face while the natural ingredients moisturize.
Virgin coconut oil, $19.89 for 12 fluid ounces; lavender oil, $14.10 for 5 milliliters; extra-virgin olive oil, $7.20 for 16.9 fluid ounces. A Natural Way, 333 Denver Ave., Fort Lupton, 303-857-4481. natureopath.net.
The Floral Mixture
Use for: All skin types
The expert: Joaquina Wood, acupuncturist and herbalist at Chasing the Wind Acupuncture & Holistic Medicine
Key ingredients: Yogurt, calendula and yarrow flowers, blueberries, honey
Directions: Combine a 1/2 cup of organic plain yogurt, a 1/4 cup each of calendula and yarrow flowers, a 1/2 cup of blueberries, and 2 tablespoons of honey. Blend all ingredients, increasing the speed as the mixture becomes more uniform, until it’s smooth. Once the mixture is free of chunks, it’s ready for your skin. Leave it on for 20 minutes, then rinse and apply a high-quality moisturizer (Wood recommends Springtide Gold, $24.95 for two ounces at at Colorado Aromatics, 13651 N. 115th St., Longmont, 720-515-0772). Any leftovers can be stored in your refrigerator for up to five days.
Results: Yogurt hydrates, reduces wrinkles, tightens pores, and brightens your skin all at the same time, according to Wood. A natural moisturizer, calendula flowers can help heal scars and broken blood vessels while yarrow reduces swelling and itching and clears up acne. Wood also notes that blueberries have a strong antioxidant that, like yogurt, accomplishes multiple feats, including clearing acne and tightening the skin. Honey naturally absorbs impurities, reducing blemishes and slowing the aging process.
Calendula flowers, $3.40 per ounce, Yarrow flowers, $1.50 per ounce, Apothecary Tinctura, 2900 E. Sixth Ave., 303-399-1175. apothecarytinctura.com.
Follow editorial assistant Mary Clare Fischer on Twitter at @mc_fischer.