I have just one rule, and I refuse to break it. I NEVER go into the Body Shop at the mall when I’m hungry. All those fruity body butters and delicious fragrances tickle my nose with happiness and make my tummy rumble: Give. Me. Food. The problem with this hunger is that you can’t actually eat the products, well, you could, but you’d get very sick.
I was about 13 when I started playing around with natural DIY beauty products and I found that it was incredibly easy to make all natural, chemical-free products at home that I could eat too! As an adult, I’ve started making products that I could serve while entertaining that I’d be able to alter very slightly (if at all) to use as a beauty product on my hands, feet, face, or body to restore my skin to a radiant glow.
One of my favorites is a recipe that can be made into a face mask and mini chocolate bars — great for both your skin and palate! Packed with antioxidant-rich ingredients like coconut oil, cocoa powder, maple syrup, and rose water, this mask comes complete with toning, repairing, and anti-aging skin benefits. It will leave your face feeling refreshed and clean! Read on to learn why each of these natural ingredients is so great for you, and how to cook up your own homemade face mask and chocolate bars.
Everyone is raving about coconut oil these days, and for good reason. It’s a versatile substance that can be used in so many ways and is available at most grocery stores, or even at your corner market. As a beauty product, coconut oil is a great hydrating moisturizer for the skin (and hair). In your food, it can help in the anti-aging process for our skin, helping the body reduce the need for antioxidant intake.
Women have been bragging about how chocolate, particularly dark chocolate, is good for you ever since the first study came out years ago. (There may even be a chocolate shortage by 2020, partly due to the rise in dark chocolate popularity.) Not only is chocolate, or more specifically cocoa, good for a myriad of health benefits, but your skin can also get in on the action! While eating cocoa can protect the skin against UV damage, the antioxidant agents help repair skin cells and rejuvenate skin when applied topically.
If you’ve read my bio already, you know that I’m Canadian. If you haven’t, then: I’m Canadian, eh! We love maple syrup so much, we put the maple leaf on our national flag! I use syrup in a lot of recipes, and the smell is enough to get my mouth watering. As a beauty product, its antioxidant benefits include anti-agers, helping reduce environmental damage. Just be sure to use 100% pure maple syrup, and not the imitation kind. It’s easily available at any grocery store, and for a great price at Costco!
If you’ve never heard of rose water, allow me to introduce you to my secret weapon. I keep a bottle in my kitchen, one in the bathroom, and a small spray bottle in my purse. The mild scent is slightly sweet and doesn’t irritate the nose. It can be used for much more than a fragrance. It is an amazing toner for skin that isn’t drying, removes excess oil and dirt, and reduces skin redness and the appearance of dark circles under the eyes … need I say more? It also adds a unique but tasty flavor to sweet and savory dishes. If you don’t live near a Middle Eastern market or Whole Foods, Amazon has rose water available on Prime (hooray for two-day delivery!).
Chocolate Mini Bars & Face Mask
Makes: 48 mini bars and 16 ounces face mask (1 ounce per mask)
1.5 cups of coconut oil
1.5 cups of cocoa powder
1.5 cups of maple syrup
1.5 teaspoons rose water
0.5 teaspoon sea salt
2 teaspoons of vanilla extract*
1. Melt the coconut oil over low heat until completely liquefied. This step will take around 5 minutes.
2. Let cool for about 5 minutes.
3. While the oil is cooling, mix the remaining ingredients in a medium sized bowl. *If you have dry skin, hold off on the vanilla for this step, only adding it to the chocolate bar mixture.
4. Add the cooled oil into the bowl with the ingredients, and whisk completely.
5. To make the chocolate bars, put half of the batch into mini muffin tins, and freeze for about 20 minutes. Once set, remove from the tin and store in the fridge or freezer in a zip-top bag until ready to serve. Eat within 6 months.
6. To make the face mask, apply the remaining half of the cooled chocolate mixture over your entire face and neck, avoiding your eyes. Leave on for 10 minutes, and as tempting as it is to lick it off, wash with a facecloth (you have the bars for that). Don’t worry, the mask won’t solidify until several hours, or overnight. Store the mask at room temperature in an airtight container, or in the freezer for later use (it will last for 3 months in room temp or up to 6 months in the freezer). When ready to use, melt down as much of the mask as you need (I use about 1 ounce per mask) on the stovetop. Just don’t forget to let it cool before you apply it to your face!