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DIY: Skin Clearing, Healing, and Exfoliating Mask (aloe, MSM, niacin) – Great for problem skin, uneven pigment, and aging…

by Lisa on February 28, 2012

niacin msm aloe facial

If you haven’t previously noticed, I have a penchant for trying new natural skin care ideas. Over time, I’ve uncovered some of the things that caused my skin to be less than stellar, and it’s a great feeling to have (mostly) figured things out for now. I previously posted about some of the things I do for my skin and an exfoliating facial that I use often (it involved bentonite clay and apple cider vinegar, and I still love it. But I love this new one even more!).

I’m always on a quest to do certain things for my skin:

1. Keep it clear

2. Keep the pigment even (I had melasma–the doctor told me it was “permanent” uneven pigment on my face, that was spontaneously caused by birth control pills and worsened by sun exposure. I spent two years “fixing” it without pharmaceuticals. But even pigment efforts also apply to age spots, normal discoloration or unevenness, and some sun-induced freckles too)

3. Brighten, repair and exfoliate


The facial I came up with is a great complement to what I’m already doing (chlorella supplements, clarisonic, aloe/witch hazel toner, cultured veggies, MSM in my water, apple cider vinegar, infrared sauna…and probably more…).

Take an aloe leaf (if you can get one, and filet it so you can remove a chunk of gel).


If you don’t have access to aloe leaves (if you’re in the Rochester area, sometimes they have them in Pittsford Wegmans, but not always), buy aloe gel (whole leaf). Check out the ingredients too, sometimes there are parabens or alcohol and you don’t want that! Lily of the desert is a good brand.

Here are the brands I have been using lately (I bought the MSM online, but the other two at Lori’s Natural Foods in Rochester):

MSM, Niacin (+flush), Aloe gel

Niacin is known for its skin clearing effects when taken internally and when used topically. (I use the contents of 3 capsules because I can’t find the powder locally, which adds up to 1500mg. This is a lot–you’ll want to start with less and work up to no more than 1 tsp, especially if you haven’t experienced the “flush” yet).

MSM powder is known for its skin building and repairing ability. It also is a detoxifier and improves elasticity of all connective tissue (it makes me more bendy in yoga–I swear!). It can be used for arthritis and other joint issues too. If you have MSM pills, you could probably chop them up in a coffee grinder!

Aloe is known for its healing properties, inside and outside of the body. It is a digestive system soother and toner (but don’t drink too much, or it will act like Draino!). It is also used (quite successfully by several of my clients) for acid reflux.



Do you ever do facials or skin treatments at home?

In the past, I had all kinds of skin treatments done at spas, but I’ve honestly found that the ones I do at home work just as well and they don’t have any strange chemicals! Plus, they’re much cheaper.

Please note, the niacin will make your skin red—start small with that ingredient! Make sure not to buy the no-flush niacin, as that kind won’t cause the capillary dilation!

Please let me know if you try it!

niacin msm aloe facial 1

And coming tomorrow….a recipe for the flourless cookies I made up today, plus, I want to add an accessory to them (I mean, besides coffee). But I ate quite a bit of dough and 3 cookies…so I need to wait till I’m hungry again.

Peanut butter cookies, flourless and low sugar option
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