Story by Jennifer Ng

Illustration by James Harrison

A few weeks ago, Plaid had the pleasure of speaking with Gina Schonberger, esthetician at Dean Salon and Esthetics. With 25 years experience behind her, we couldn’t wait to pick her brain about beauty. What started as a breakfast meeting ended up being a hunt through her fridge for some beauty “products” that you can find in any produce aisle.

Milk: According to Schonberger, milk is one of the most natural, gentle cleansers available to us.  Makes sense, since all cleansers appear to be cleansing “milks” these days! The lactic acid helps buff away any dirt your skin has collected, while the fat content replenishes moisture and maintains your skin’s balance. Soak a cotton ball and swipe over your face in order to prep for any kind of exfoliation.

Lemon: This is Schonberger’s secret weapon.  She uses lemon in all her homemade face masks, but the simplest way is to cut a slice of lemon and rub it gently over any dull or rough spots.  The acid will help fade scars, and even out your complexion. Be careful not to over-exfoliate, and be sure to apply SPF afterwards, as lemon juice can make your skin extremely photo-sensitive.

Honey: There’s a reason honey never spoils – it’s antibacterial.  This means that anywhere your skin suffers from bacteria (i.e. breakouts), this antimicrobial humectant will help heal your spots without drying them out. It’s great as a spot treatment or in a mask, but we recommend against sitting outside while this particular treatment is on your skin.

Egg:  For those of you with dry skin, an egg’s yolk makes for an instantly hydrating mask. And anyone who suffers from blackheads or clogged pores of any sort should know that egg whites make for a natural alternative to those “dirt-removing” nose strips.  Remember those? They hurt twice as much as Schonberger’s egg remedy.

Cream cheese:  An old anti-aging secret. Since cream cheese is so thick, its consistency makes for a perfect mask. It’s easily spreadable and will reach into the contours of your face. The high fat content (no fat-free condiments here!) will smooth over any lines and give your skin an in-depth hydrating treatment. Try to use an organic version for a less sticky, oily mask.

To get more information from Aesthetica by Gina, or to try her services, make an appointment at 416 873 8177. Located at Dean Salon and Esthetics, 2033 Yonge Street, Toronto, M4S 2A2.

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