Let’s moosh it up all over!
If you’re too stuffed to eat your Thanksgiving leftovers this weekend, maybe you should try applying the extra ingredients to your face, body and hair instead…
According to skin and beauty expert Stacy Cox, who runs the Pampered People spa in Los Angeles, some Thanksgiving leftovers — namely pumpkin pie, mashed potatoes and cranberries — can be used as affordable moisturizing bases for at-home, do-it-yourself skin care treatments.
That’s right, that leftover pumpkin pie doesn’t have to go straight to your hips — it can go toward beautification instead of bloating.
For starters, Cox told AOL News that pumpkin, in its many forms, works wonders as a “natural exfoliant,” making it a useful ingredient in any facial.
“The enzymes and natural properties in pumpkin exfoliate the skin and eat away dead skin so you get this nice, fresh, instant glow. When making a facial mix at home, you can use leftover pumpkin filling or cooked and canned pumpkin,” Cox said.
To finish off the rejuvenating pumpkin facial mix, the beauty pro suggested adding half a teaspoon of honey and a quarter teaspoon of milk or soy milk to the batter.
“Both of those ingredients hydrate and support the pumpkin in the elimination of dead skin. The honey really binds the mask together, too,” she added.
With so many beauty benefits, Cox considers pumpkin the “hero ingredient” of Thanksgiving foods if you’re planning on repurposing leftovers for a unique skin care treatment.
“If you isolate one thing or save anything this year, save the pumpkin. It’s a key ingredient in facials 365 days a year. I offer a facial with pumpkin enzymes all year long at my spa,” said Cox.
Now, onto the next dish: cranberries.
Cox said the juice from canned cranberry sauce or pulp from whole cranberries makes for one invigorating hair mask that, in her words, will add “silkiness, softness and luster” to your locks.
Her tip: Mix a cup of cranberry juice or puree with one beaten egg yolk, two teaspoons of sour cream and one teaspoon of potato flour until it turns into a paste. Apply the paste on the hair, wait and rinse, and soon enough your shiny tresses will look good enough to eat.
If you find yourself with a fridge full of mashed potatoes, Cox suggested making a body scrub.
Apparently, sweet potatoes reduce inflammation and irritation on the skin, so, in theory, a mashed potato scrub may be able to help reduce that puffiness we all feel the day after Thanksgiving.
“Mix two cups of mashed potatoes with one cup of sea salt and one cup of aloe vera juice. The salt helps scrub everything away and, if you want, you can add scented oil for a little fragrance,” Cox explained. “I would stick to putting this mix on the body though, not so much the face.”
Additionally, she said pumpkin leftovers call also be used as a fine body scrub simply by adding a little abrasive brown sugar.
Cox said this particular scrub would be great on dry, cracked areas of the skin like the elbows, heels and knees — especially relaxing for those Thanksgiving hostesses who’ve been on their feet all day.
Another sweet bit of advice: Those fruity Jell-O moldsthat your aunt or grandma always bring over for Thanksgiving can actually come in handy the next day as a quick and easy eye mask.
According to Cox, if you cut a couple pieces of Jell-O out of the mold and freeze them for 30 to 60 minutes, they become a cool, soothing, homemade mask for tired, puffy eyes.
Simply place the chilled Jell-O over the eyes for a minutes and soon enough, Cox said, you’ll look fresh as a daisy. This may be good for those early risers on Black Friday, when dark eye circles are inevitable.
But what about turkey leftovers? Well, don’t put your white or dark meat on your face just yet.
Although Cox has wracked her brain for years trying to come up with a good skin care use for leftover turkey, she said turkey meat isn’t exactly a traditional spa ingredient.
Instead of putting turkey or your eyes or body, Cox suggested eating a few bites of turkey as you douse yourself in your other leftover treatments.
“This way, you can access the tryptophan inside the turkey and use it to relax. It’ll make you sleepy and act as an instant narcotic so you can wind down from Thanksgiving while wearing your pumpkin mask, cranberry conditioner and mashed potato body scrub.”
Although your stomach may start to grumble while using your repurposed leftovers as beauty supplies, Cox advised against actually eating your masks and body scrubs.
She said adding all of those extra ingredients to the Thanksgiving staples makes them a lot less appetizing, and she should know, since she’s tasted everything herself out of curiosity.
“The treatments don’t taste as good as you’d think. The ingredients aren’t blended together to taste good, though they’re mixed to compliment each other in terms of skin care use. Two different things,” Cox said.
Well, at least it’s a chance to give your waistline a break before Christmas and get an all-natural glow.
“There’s less guilt and a better complexion this way, so it’s a win-win,” Cox said with a laugh. “I’m going to have my own Thanksgiving leftovers this year, so if anyone wants a cranberry hair rinse,come see me.”