A quick mask recipe for the Winter

As the weather gets colder, it is important to make sure the skin is kept moisturized and protected from the wind to avoid getting cracks and redness, in particular for those who have sensitive skin like I do. Here is a recipe for a facial mask using dried apricots, which are full of much needed vitamins, iron and calcium: Pour hot water over a handful of dried apricots and leave them to soak for a few minutes, until the fruits have absorbed the water. Then, mix in a blender until you get a spreadable paste. You can add a few drops of olive oil to get the right consistency. Apply on the skin and rinse after 15 to 20 mins.

I love this recipe because it is so simple and it only takes a few minutes to prepare. It leaves the skin soft and hydrated and it feels so relaxing after a day in the cold! Dried fruits are great to stock during the winter: they are easy to conserve, they are packed with nutritients and do not have any added sugar. They also count towards your five-a-day, and make a perfect snack. Dried apricots are also commonly used throughout the Muslim world for cooking: try the delicious sweet tajine with apricots and prunes, or the Persian “jeweled” rice using a variety of dried fruits and nuts.

A market stall selling dates, dried figs and apricots (Al barqooq or mishmish in Arabic)

A word of caution though: there is nothing I like more than a long hot bath when it’s cold outside, but it actually makes the skin dry. It is much kinder for the body to keep the water at a reasonable temperature and to not subject it to drastic temperature changes! A cup of tea or hot chocolate and thick woolen socks will go a long way to give you this snuggly feeling.

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