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Reviewed and recommended: Ildi's parsley face mask

March 17, 2009 Reviewed by Marta 4 Comments

This is not the moment to answer the door to the mail man (or anyone else). As I write this, my face is covered with something that resembles a pet rabbit's undigested meal. It's actually a knock-it-up-in-your-own kitchen face mask recipe that was mentioned by my esthetician Ildi Pekar when she was interviewed by Copley.

To make Ildi's parsley mask, here's what I did:

I took a handful of chopped parsley (chopped in a mini-processor), 2 spoonfuls of apple cider vinegar, and 3 spoonfuls of plain yogurt. After mixing it, I  spread it over my face (easier than I feared and it remains surprisingly in situ). I must leave it on for 20 minutes and then rinse off with lukewarm water.

So while I'm killing 20 minutes, I may as well research parsley (which, I now know, is a relative of celery). A sprig of parsley is much more than decorative garnish. It contains an impressive amount of vitamin K. And when I say impressive, clock this: two tablespoons of parsley contains 153% of the recommended daily amount of vitamin K. Perhaps because of its ability to regulate blood clotting, vitamin K is supposed to be great at diminishing dark under circles and evening out skin tone.

Parsley is also worth getting to know for its antioxidant properties due to myristicin, which has been shown to inhibit tumor formation in animal studies and it can activate an enzyme that prevents free radical damage. Useless aside: the hallucinogenic effects of an over-indulgence of nutmeg are due to myristicin.

The activity of parsley's volatile oils qualifies it as a "chemoprotective" food, and in particular, a food that can help neutralize particular types of carcinogens (like the benzopyrenes that are part of cigarette smoke and charcoal grill smoke). So if you are forced to passively smoke, nibble on a parsley sprig.

But that's not all. The flavonoids in parsley — especially luteolin - have been shown to function as antioxidants and extracts from parsley have been used in animal studies to help increase the antioxidant capacity of the blood. There is also beta-carotene, another antioxidant, works in the fat-soluble areas of the body. Last but not least, parsley is a good source of folic acid, one of the most important B vitamins.

Having now rinsed off, I am nothing short of amazed. Initially, my skin seemed a little dry but this lasted only a few minutes before becoming soft and glowing. However, most striking is the tightening effect of this mask. (And I am adding this four hours later: it still does). This puts Argireline (the ingredient that is often used in creams to restrict the movement of facial muscles) in the shade.

I put this down to the apple vinegar, which seems to have skin tightening function. I noticed that apple cider vinegar turns up as a cellulite cure, but this may have to do with the belief (some people take it as a supplement) that it aids weight loss. I would imagine that apple cider vinegar is also a natural exfoliant because it is high in AHAs (alpha hydroxy acids). It is also supposed to restore pH balance and be really helpful for acne. Yoghurt's enzymes and lactic acid will also gently exfoliate, as well as calm inflammation.

  • March 18, 2009

    by marta

    Dana you brave woman.

    I too think the yoghurt part requires experimentation - not just quantity, but also consistency. Maybe greek yoghurt next time?

    Anyway, we're going to demonstrate it in a photo-gallery - the shoot will be next week.

  • March 18, 2009

    by Dana Pond

    Okay, went to the store, got my ingredients and made my mask while my dinner was cooking. First, if I were to do this again, I would do 2 teaspoons of the cider vinegar and 3 Tablespoons of the yogurt. This would help make it thicker so the mask would want to stay on my face vs. drip down it.
    The smell leaves little to was like curdled milk. Even my daughter said, "phew momma, your face stinks". Well, at least she's an honest 5 year old.
    The creepy crawly feel on my face was difficult too but did get better after the first 10 minutes passed. But it really itched and I wanted to scratch it off my face.
    Once the 20 minutes was up I hurried to wash my face and noticed the same drying effect Marta did. But this morning my skin was taught and glowing.
    So, if you can get past the smell and sit on your hands for the 20 minutes it is a great mask to try!

  • March 17, 2009

    by Dana Pond

    Well, I just may have to try this! I could benefit from some tightening and acne help! Thanks for the reciepe.

  • March 17, 2009

    by Justine

    When I was traveling in Brazil years ago, I met a woman called Gilda who ran a hostel in Belem. She claimed to be something of a witch-doctor and gave me all kinds of weird recipes/spells for various things. Here is my diary entry for the recipe, "To get a man":

    1) Mince chero verde and vinager
    2) Rub on body
    3) shower normal
    4) mince more chero verde, rub on, leave.

    Never tried it, but you never know!!

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