Thanksgiving is all about strategy. From what size of bird to buy to how much (and which kinds of) food you put on your plate, there has to be a master plan for a successful holiday.
For example, you probably don’t sit next to your sibling if you know you’re going to squabble. You also probably don’t pick foods that don’t sit well with your stomach or choose to eat dessert first so you don’t overeat. See? Strategy.
To tackle the avalanche of leftover turkey, stuffing, and macaroni and cheese requires big effort too. Sandwiches for days … weeks! It never seems to end. And it’s really tempting to just keep overindulging on the leftovers long after the holiday is over.
But, there’s a better way: Use your Thanksgiving leftovers in homemade facial treatments!
You heard me: TLC for you and your face awaits… from ingredients you already have in your fridge after the feast! Turns out, Thanksgiving dishes aren’t all bad! In fact, many facets of our traditional Thanksgiving meal are loaded with all kinds of beneficial nutrients for the body and the skin.
This doesn’t mean you should immediately face plant into the mashed potatoes and gravy (although that might be a good way to make your family laugh if they start to stress out), but these DIY beauty treatments from Thanksgiving ingredients will give your skin a nice post-holiday glow you’ll be thankful for!
Cranberries: The Secret’s in the Juice!
Cranberries are the secret behind a few different skin care tricks. They carry an antioxidant known as resveratrol, which is suggested to help stop inflammation. 1 They’re also believed to contain Vitamin C that helps keep skin looking young and smooth.2
The juice from your leftover cranberries can help your skin in a number of ways:
Acne-Fighting Cranberry Mask
Crush or blend cranberries for the juice. Vary the amount of ingredients for the consistency of your liking. Mix the cranberry juice, honey, and orange peel to create a paste. Apply to the face for 20 minutes, then rinse. Moisturize after rinsing.
You can vary the ingredient amounts for desired roughness. Blend ingredients together and gently apply to the face in a circular motion. Don’t scrub too hard! Rinse with warm water and apply a moisturizer.
Anti-Aging Cranberry Mask
Handful of cranberries
1-2 tsp. yogurt
1-2 tsp. Honey
1-2 tsp. grapeseed oil
Combine cranberries and yogurt in a blender into a paste, then add honey and olive oil. Apply to the face for 20 minutes, and then rinse. Moisturize after rinsing.
Cranberry can also help your lips. And the best thing? It works as a lip balm on its own, with no other ingredients necessary.5
It’s as simple as rubbing cranberry juice across the lips to help fight against skin damage from the environment.
Pumpkin does much more than fill a pie crust. It is filled with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant powers to help protect and soothe the skin.2
Pumpkin Face Mask
4 tbs. pumpkin puree
4 tbs. honey
1/2 tbs. plain Greek yogurt
1 drop each of sandalwood and ginger extract oil
Dash of pumpkin pie spice (optional)
Blend all ingredients, then refrigerate for 30 minutes. Clean face, then apply mask for 5 to 15 minutes. Rinse with warm water and pat (don’t rub) skin dry.
Sweet Potato Pampering
Sweet potatoes make a yummy casserole, but they’re also great for soothing irritated skin that’s especially common in the winter. They’re rich in Vitamin A which helps to rejuvenate skin. 3,4
Soothing Sweet Potato Mask
1 sweet potato
1 tbs. Manuka honey
1 tbs. Whole milk
Boil the sweet potato until soft. (Bonus: For a great toner, save the water you boiled the sweet potato put it in your fridge. Use before layering all other skincare products.) Mix the sweet potato, honey, and milk together until a smooth paste is formed. Let the paste cool, then apply it to a clean face and let it sit for 20 to 25 minutes. Rinse with warm water and pat (don’t rub) skin dry.
This Thanksgiving, if your relatives are dieting and leave the table with more leftovers than ever, there’s no need to panic. Gather up everything, pop it in the fridge—after your post-Thanksgiving meal nap— and get ready to have a wonderful Black Friday beauty makeover with homemade facial treatments.
Your skin – and your waistline – will thank you for it!
Check out these other DIY beauty tips:
DIY: The Skin-Tightening “Cheat” Sheet Mask
Look younger in 15 minutes (DIY beauty trick inside!)
1 Korać RKhambholja K. Potential of herbs in skin protection from ultraviolet radiation. 2011. Accessed November 16, 2016.
2. Yadav M e. Medicinal and biological potential of pumpkin: an updated review. – PubMed – NCBI. Ncbinlmnihgov. 2010. Accessed November 16, 2016.
3 van Jaarsveld PJ e. Beta-carotene-rich orange-fleshed sweet potato improves the vitamin A status of primary school children assessed with the modified-relative-dose-re… – PubMed – NCBI. Ncbinlmnihgov. 2005. Accessed November 16, 2016.
4 Leicht Leicht L. 5 Fresh Ways to Use Thanksgiving Leftovers – Life by Daily Burn. Life by Daily Burn. 2014. Accessed November 16, 2016.
5 Valpone A. Use Your Thanksgiving Leftovers. Aboutcom Style. 2015. Accessed November 16, 2016.