Last weekend, I glanced at the fruit bowl on our kitchen table and noticed that there were too many pears (avocados) to eat. Never in my life did I believe this would be a possibility. But we had like eight overripe, giant ones (the size of like 3 haas ‘cados) that might tragically meet their demise should I not do anything. So I did something.
It was the weekend before the new school year, so I thought, “what the heck, time for a friggin spa day!” Mama didn’t raise no fool. Mama also insisted that I do facial masks and hair treatments with a freakish frequency when I was growing up, so I suppose I was overdue. Here are a few I whipped up with the ingredients I had on hand. Talk about life on a shoestring budget 😉
Pear (Avocado) Hair Mask:
Mix 1/2 of a small, very ripe avocado with 1 egg yolk until smooth. Massage into hair, starting at the ends and working toward the roots. Twist hair into a bun and cover with a shower cap or plastic bag for 15-20 minutes (or longer if you can stand the smell). Rinse, then shampoo and condition as you would normally. This worked so well and provided desperately needed moisture to my sun and sea damaged curls.
Honey Face Mask:
Obviously I didn’t want to throw away the egg white I had left from my hair mask, so I used it on my face! Mix the egg white of one egg with 1-2 tablespoons of honey in a small bowl. Smooth onto face with fingertips, avoiding your eyes and mouth. I mean it. You do not want egg white in your eyes or mouth. Let the mixture dry, and rinse once it begins to feel tight. Honey has antibacterial properties, and the egg white helps to tighten your pores. One can only do so much to defend one’s skin against the humid, hot and sticky Jamaican summer.
Caanmeal (Cornmeal) Body Scrub:
Aside from being a popular porridge ingredient, cornmeal is an abundant and cheap exfoliant! Mix cornmeal with coconut oil until you achieve desired consistency; your mixture should be thick enough to pick up in little clumps. Scrub skin with the cornmeal mixture, massaging in the coconut oil, and rinse. This is especially great for feet after wearing slippas around all summer. Coconut oil is a wonderful moisturizer for skin and hair! It’s a little more expensive than vegetable oil, but is more affordable in Jamaica than in the US so it fits in quite well with my Peace Corps budget. You can also use it as a leave-in conditioner or in place of regular lotion if your skin is particularly thirsty.