(Note before you read: Below I've written my story in case it helps anyone. However, the mask I recommend can be used by anyone, it's harmless.)

Let’s be clear about one thing; You need to avoid dehydrated skin (and how I sadly dehydrated mine)

Now, I’ve been suffering from breakouts for years but only in the last five months I’ve developed acne. Ever since, I’ve been trying to purge everything and purify my skin thinking “my oily” skin was at fault and I had to make my skin as matte as it could get (lesson: kids, before you assume your skin is oily, please look it up first). You see, I thought I had oily skin when I didn't and used products to remove all oil from my skin and put harsh chemicals on it to purge breakouts-- you know I had it coming.

So I scrubbed it, put clay masks, washed it, bought oil-free products and I reached the point where my skin was clean—but also dehydrated, flaky and painful. And winter is still harsh up in the north so I decided to make a mask that pretty much does everything I need for my skin to recover. Trying this homemade mask really helped me more than any sheet mask I've tried.

And as you may know, it’s not only regular oily skin that causes acne, it’s dehydrated or dry skin too. So I had entered a cycle where I’d dry my skin to help my acne yet I’d get breakouts and I’d keep doing the process that only halted the breakouts and after some time caused more. I then had dry, flaky skin and I realized I need moisture and none of my “oil-free-blackhead-preventing” moisturizers and alcohol based toners would do.

Having dehydrated skin means there is an imbalance between water and oil in your body, aka you lack one of these (drink more water too fellas). Your body will generate more oil when there is not enough moisture and water. But, before you assume you're missing something, look up the signs of dehydrated skin. There is a difference between dry and dehydrated skin- but both are equally important to treat and can cause breakouts.

So clogged dry pores in combination to excessive amounts of oil and no oxygen = breakouts. On the other hand, if you have already dry skin and you're using the wrong products then you keep washing and exfoliating it too harshly. This way, you take out oils your skin needs to heal and moisture and the good bacteria-- leaving it exposed, unprotected and damaged. And while soaps and scrubs may temporarily work, they don’t fill in the problem of imbalance that has been created and they don’t leave room for your skin to heal. What you need before anything else: balance of water and oil.

My Advice if you're in a similar situation; Take a break & go natural if nothing else works.

An easy way to clear my skin of breakouts AND not turn my face to a desert was to find something that did both, something suitable for my skin to fix it before spending more money in new products. DIY masks are safe quick fixes, because when your skin is recovering it isn't safe to add chemicals to it. Of course a mask won’t cure your acne overnight (to cure acne you need to find the cause of it) but it certainly helps bring some balance to your sensitive skin. Because products are nice and all, but if you see they’re not working for you I think it’s time to seek alternatives.

However, you can try this mask whether you have a problem with your skincare routine or not- it's harmless, just make sure it's what you need. (Regarding all that jazz, please read my A/N at the end of the article)

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The Recipe

  • 1 medium sized (preferably) ripe banana
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 3 tsp Honey
  • 4-5 slices of cucumber
  • sprinkle some cinnamon powder (as best suited for you)

(this is for 3-4 masks, so its quite a lot)

You’ll mix all that in a blender. The texture is quite creamy and it doesn’t fall off your face easily or spill. So make sure not to mix it too much.

To apply it, I rinsed my face with water and to clean it gently I used the the inside of the banana peel against my skin as a “sponge” or a “scrub” to take some dirt off my skin without being too harsh. That’s just something extra you can do, totally optional. I just found it very beneficial for the skin. It's very very gentle and I fellt no irritations whatsoever and it was more prepared for the mask. (I also listed the benefits of using banana on your face below)

You can leave the mask on for 20-25 minutes on and then rinse with water gently. The water must not be TOO warm though. (After that you can apply your moisturizer- please make sure it fits your skin type)

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What each ingredient does for your skin

  • Bananas

Bananas easily moisturize your skin and makes it look and feel so much softer. It is known as Nature’s Botox. It tightens your pores and leaves a healthy glow. Banana/honey masks are a must for once a week. Bananas are rich in Potassium (hydration, moisture and softness), Lectins (guards against bacteria preventing acne), vitamins A,B,E (A= fading dark spots and heals scars, B= lightens skin tone and reduces wrinkles, E= bolsters the skin’s UV resistance and fights free radical damage).

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  • Honey

It is an ancient and miraculous superfood. It’s antibacterial, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory that soothes the skin and reduces the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines. It’s also the perfect ingredient to fight acne as it dries out pimples, reduces blemishes, fades acne scars and prevents dry skin. It is very effective when it comes to healing any sun damage and promote the generation of new skin cells.

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  • Avocados

Avocados are one of the most famous face and hair DIY remedies and for good reason. They are filled with healthy fat, natural oils, antioxidants, phytochemicals and moisture, avocados are perfect for healing dry peeling skin. In an avocado you can find:

-fatty acids (keep skin moisturized, hydrated, lubricated and smooth)

-Vitamin E (Fights off free radicals that cause oxidative stress in healthy skin cells. Slows down premature aging. Fades acne scars and dark spots.)

-Biotin (for healthy skin. Heals dry withered skin, revitalizes dry cracked skin)

-Vitamin A (treats dry flaky and peeling skin, essential for healthy new cell division)

- Vitamin C (builds up collagen which is essential in maintaining skin strength and elasticity), B- Vitamins (prevent damage to healthy skin cells and promote a youthful looking skin).

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  • Cucumbers

-The water in the cucumber hydrates the skin, making it soft smooth and supple. It protects the skin from dryness, itching, peeling and cracks.

-Vitamin A (Essential for normal cell growth and development. Has antioxidant and antiinflammatory activity that protects skin from infections and inflammatory conditions)

-Vitamin B1 (Enhances permeation of blood and other body fluids thereby promoting proper circulation of blood through skin cells. Guards skin from inflammation, eczema, scaliness and other skin conditions)

-Vitamin C (Essential for the production of collagen, which is protein structure that makes up our skin. Neutralizes free radical activity which can cause premature aging of skin and oxidative stress)

-Biotin (For maintaining healthy skin. Biotin deficiency can cause skin irritations, eczema, fungal infection and other inflammatory skin conditions)

-Potassium (For healthy well functioning skin. Low potassium can cause dry and withered skin. Potassium hydrates and waters skin, preventing peeling and dryness)

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  • Cinnamon

Another ancient superfood that is used in various ways to cure skin diseases and more. Cinnamon with honey is a great treatment for acne! Using cinnamon is also a very good scrub as it can declog your pores and bring blood and oxygen to the surface and as a powder it works as an exfoliant . It helps restore shine and suppleness of the skin Cinnamon is also very antiseptic (another great quality for a scrub). It is shown that it increases collagen levels for up to six hours after its applied.

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  • A/N

After I removed a mask I noticed an instant glow in great contrast to a hydration sheet mask i tried a while ago (that left my skin red and sticky). So I basically read all about these foods as face masks and combined whatever I had in my kitchen. The combination of course was made to help my dehydrated acne and blemish prone skin but it had such good results I had to share it. If you have any allergies please avoid it, or replace some foods with others or avoid the ingredient (cinnamon for example can be replaced with nutmeg, cocoa or sugar). However, I wanted to share my story in case anyone else related to it and wondered why their skin was so flaky and dry after all these 'miraculous' treatments. If your skin is perfectly fine with your current skincare routine I do not recommend you to stop it by any means- that's not my job, but I can simply recommend the mask and the rest is up to you.

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