It's no secret that avocados are one of the most useful ingredients out there. Whether they're being used in your morning smoothie, applied as a hair mask, or added to your diet as one of the healthiest ingredients available, there seems to be no end to the many benefits of this miracle food—and its perks apply to skincare too. We went to Karen Hammerman, MD, of Schweiger Dermatology Group in New York to get her take on the topical benefits of avocado, and it turns out they're numerous.
Hammerman starts with avocado's ability to slow the aging process, saying, "Avocado oil has high anti-aging properties that are capable of providing protection against free radicals. Studies have also shown that avocado oil reverses degenerative skin changes seen with aging by stimulating the production of elastin fibers and collagen, thus restoring normal regenerative and degenerative balance." Hammerman explains, "The oil will trigger the skin to produce collagen and protect from wrinkles." She also notes the ingredient's ability to guard against UV rays, stating, "Exceedingly bioavailable lutein and zeaxanthin might help to protect the skin from UV and visible radiation damage."
With that in mind, we decided to round up the very best DIY face masks that make use of this versatile ingredient.
Hemp Oil + Lemon + Avocado
If fighting dry skin is a concern, Karissa's Vegan Kitchen's avocado hemp oil face mask will be your new go-to. Karissa mixes avocado with hemp oil to maximize this mask's moisturizing benefits. With only three ingredients, this simple recipe is a cost-effective way to battle dry-skin woes. Hammerman supports using avocado to moisturize, saying, "Avocado oil is capable of penetrating deep into the skin, making skin soft and hydrated. One of the extraordinary properties of avocado oil is it acts as a powerful humectant, which is a substance that absorbs or helps retain moisture, like glycerin."
Oats + Avocado + Honey
For a natural way to exfoliate, try adding oats to your avocado mask, like this recipe from The Healthy Maven. A hydrating mask that's sure to become a staple during dry winter months, this simple recipe combines avocado, honey, and rolled oats. The anti-bacterial properties of honey blend with moisturizing avocado while soothing oats reduce redness. After letting the mask sit, remove by rubbing in small circles on the face to allow the oats to gently remove dry skin.
Buttermilk + Avocado
Dehydrated skin? You probably need some nourishment, and this mask provides. All you need is a quarter of a very ripe avocado, one tablespoon of buttermilk or heavy cream, and just a sprinkle of cornstarch or flour. Scoop out and mash the avocado in with just enough buttermilk or heavy cream to create a paste. Sprinkle in the flour or cornstarch as necessary, just to thicken the mask. A bonus? You can also use this on frizzy, dry hair—so it's great for those who want to kill two birds with one stone.
Lemon + Avocado + Turmeric + Yogurt
This avocado face mask by Naive Cook Cooks looks good enough to eat, but it's the benefits of its four simple ingredients that really have our attention. Blogger Amishi adds yogurt and lemon juice to diminish dark spots, and turmeric lends the mask antiseptic qualities. Amishi keeps hers refrigerated in a tightly sealed jar that lasts a full week, or about five to six treatments.
Up next, read on for eight face masks for dry skin that keep skin quenched.