Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Handmade Christmas: Facial Mush

Feeling pretty confident after my foray into Pinterest-inspired gift-making, after successfully making a lemon body scrub, I decided to keep steaming along and make the moisturizing oatmeal facial mask, which I am calling facial mush.

In our household, cooked oatmeal is always called "mush" because of the book, Goodnight Moon, which makes reference to "a comb and a brush and a bowlful of mush and a little old lady whispering 'hush.'" The revised name turned out to be quite appropriate as you will see.

As with the lemon scrub recipe, the list of ingredients was blessedly short (I've doubled the quantities here because I made a double batch for each bottle):
1 cup oatmeal
6 tablespoons Greek yogurt
juice from 2 orange
4 tablespoons dried orange peel
4 tablespoons honey
15 drops rose hip oil (optional)
Let me rephrase that: it was deceptively short.

First off, I hadn't paid much attention to the fact that it called for dried orange peel. I have no idea why it matters that it's dried, but I always respect the list of ingredients (except when I don't)! So after squeezing the orange, I rasped the skin and prepared to dry it in the oven.

While the rind was drying, I mixed the remaining ingredients. That's when things started to go sideways.

This is what it was supposed to look like, according to food + words blog:
Photo by Jaclyn at food + words
Milky and runny, suitable for painting on your face.

Here is what I had:

Cookie dough, suitable for baking. There is no way a paintbrush could handle this.

That paste was "thick as a MacGregor" as the oatmeal ad proclaims.

I added double the amount of yogurt. It was still thick, but not as bad. I think the sturdiness may have been caused by my using creamed honey, instead of liquid honey. Small detail.

While the orange peel continued to dry, I decided to add a couple of drops of the Apple Spice scented oil - my little inspiration. I added three or four drops and it smelled divine.

Then I looked at the back of the package.
Do not get in eyes, skin . . .
This was not the oil I was looking for. The fact that it was near the candles at Michael's, rather than near the cooking supplies, should have been a clue.

But I had already added it to the gloop. I had visions of my daughters' faces covered in boils or hives. It immediately was dumped into the compost.

Fortunately, I had managed to dry the orange peel, so I at least had this to show for my efforts.

Unfortunately, I was out of oatmeal and oranges. Feeling a little frustrated, that's where I left it on that afternoon.

On the retry, I adjusted the procedure. Instead of just mixing all the ingredients in a bowl, I mixed the wet ingredients first, then added the oatmeal slowly, so I could adjust. And I combined the ingredients by hand, rather than in the mixer, as I think that overworked the mix (even though I had my mixer on its lowest setting).

This mini spatula is one of my surprisingly favourite kitchen tools.
When it came as part of a set, I thought it would just collect dust in my drawer. I was wrong.
I also did a little more research into which oil to add. I went to a natural supplements store and told the store owner what I was going to use it for. She told me that rose hip oil is beneficial for skin.

The oil was not very fragrant, and it was about ten times the price of the scented oil, but it was actually a very appropriate addition to this mask. And the orange rind and juice gave it a really yummy smell.

When everything was combined, it looked like this.
Significantly moister than the previous attempt.
I think part of why it is a little thicker is that I used quick-cooking oatmeal, rather than steel-cut, which is slightly less absorbent.

Here, at last, is the final product.

Approximate cost was $12 for each jar. Time was under a half-hour, including 15 minutes to dry the orange rind in the convection oven. (I spent longer shopping for the ingredients. I also learned that Bulk Barn has a really nice variety of containers at very good prices.)

Conclusion: I would make this again, especially since I already have the rose hip oil, which was the most expensive part. I'm hoping one of the girls will let me try it out!

To read more in this series, visit my Handmade Christmas page

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