Three Beauty Treatments You Can Make with Your Thanksgiving Dinner Ingredients

Who knew that you could whip up a face mask with pumpkin, a foot scrub with pecans and an eye treatment with cranberries?
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Ayana Isis V. Briones
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Who knew that you could whip up a face mask with pumpkin, a foot scrub with pecans and an eye treatment with cranberries?

With the extravagance of Thanksgiving dinners, my family always ends up having left-over servings and ingredients. Not that I'm complaining -- I can eat turkey and pecan pie for days. Sometimes my mom even continues to make more pies with the extra pecans and canned pumpkins lying around. But beauty treatments are another great way to repurpose these items.

Don’t worry -- I’m not about to put turkey and gravy on my face. I interviewed Mario Badescu’s head aesthetician, Elena Arbodela, and dermatologist Jeanine Downie, M.D., about the effects of several Thanksgiving ingredients on the skin. Based on their recommendations, I did some experimenting to create several of my own DIY beauty treatments.

The holidays and Black Friday can get really crazy, so here's a little help in recovering from all the madness. 

Pumpkin Chamomile Face Mask

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Ingredients: canned pumpkin, chamomile tea, honey

1. Add 1 cup of canned pumpkin. Nobody actually carves and cooks a pumpkin. Plus the consistency would be ugh. Canned, pureed pumpkins cut the work in half. Dr. Downie told me, “Pumpkin has some natural enzymes that help to very lightly exfoliate." The vitamin A and antioxidants assist in break down dead skin cells.

2. Add ½ cup of honey and two bags of chamomile tea. Elena Arbodela said “honey hydrates and is naturally antibacterial" and also that "chamomile tea is also wonderful to use in facial treatments." Chamomile has soothing and anti-inflammatory effects on the skin.

3. Mix all the ingredients together. Place on face for roughly 15-20 minutes.

This facial is perfect to treat dry skin in cold weather. Pumpkin’s enzymes have a natural warming effect helping to exfoliate and moisturize. If your skin is oily, substitute the pumpkin for sweet potatoes. The omega 3, fatty acids, and phosphorus in sweet potatoes naturally balance out oils.  

Pecan Foot Scrub

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Ingredients: pecans, coffee, brown sugar, olive oil 

1. Mix together one cup pecans, ¼ cup ground coffee, ¼ cup raw brown sugar and 1 cup olive oil.

2. Rub gently on feet.

The richness of nuts and olive oil will quickly soothe dry, cracking feet. Though ingesting caffeine has its own effects, directly applying it improves blood flow, resulting in a smoother appearance. 

Cranberry Tea Eye Treatment

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Ingredients: Cranberry tea and water

1. Boil cranberry tea mixture.

2. Freeze in ice cube trays.

3. Take ice cubes and wrap in paper towels to avoid an eye freeze!

4. Relax. Lie back and place wrapped ice cubes directly over the eyelid in 5-minute increments for 15 minutes. Take breaks in between if it gets too cold.

Arbodela told me, “Cranberries are a fantastic source of vitamin C, which will encourage rejuvenation because of its antioxidant properties." Aside from treating puffy eyes, cranberry tea ice cubes will revitalize eyes and help them look younger.

Personally, my favorite treatment was the pecan pie foot scrub. As a few of you may know from my previous post, heels are my life at 4’9". This leaves me with dry, aching feet. After a good scrub, the coffee did wonders for my circulation.

If I make it again, I’ll probably add yogurt to the pumpkin chamomile face mask to even out the texture and make application a little easier. Cranberries were the ideal revitalization ingredient in my cranberry tea eye treatment, but the ice cubes were a little too cold for me though so I may skip the freezing and just try warm tea bags next time.

Will you try any of these? More importantly, what's your favorite Thanksgiving food?