Summer 2013 was the season of the Fig, and now the torch has been passed to the beautiful, nutrient rich Pomegranate as my "It" fruit of Autumn 2013. The internal health benefits are vast, the flavor is sweet-tart perfection, the jewel-toned hue is stunning, and for mature and dehydrated skin, pomegranate is pure skin-loving bliss.
Rich in antioxidants, pomegranate is a superfruit that when applied topically sloughs away dry skin, can reduce the appearance of pores, tones, and leaves skin with a smooth, vibrant glow. What most people don't know is that the peel of the pomegranate contains more antioxidants than the pulp and seeds. I like to dry the peel, grind it into a fine powder and add it to my mask preparations.
The ellagic acid in the peel promotes moisture retention in your skin's cells keeping them hydrated. It's also an effective sun block agent, and research indicates that when combined with seed oil, pomegranate peel extracts prevent enzymes that break down collagen and promote skin cell growth, delaying the aging effects on skin.
The Vitamin C packed juice and seeds also helps protect skin from damaging free radicals, which is why I love to make this simple peel off mask when I feel as though my skin needs a quick nutrient infusion.
Pom Peel Off Mask:
1/2 cup fresh pomegranate juice
1 cup gelatin (I use carrageenan from seaweed harvested from the ocean as a vegan alternative to gelatin)
Blend the seeds and juice from two pomegranates in a blender, strain the juice and discard the pulp. In a small pot over low heat or ideally in a double broiler, add the juice then slowly add the gelatin and stir until completely dissolved. Refrigerate for 15 minutes until cool, but not hardened. Apply a thin layer of the mask over your face and neck. Once it is completely dry, peel off. Pores will appear smaller, skin will feel silky and your complexion will appear dewy and glowing.
Quick fix: Sometimes I will just reserve the pomegranate juice and use it as a toner mixed with water and witch hazel.