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Skin Care From the Kitchen

Some of the most effective treats for your skin are also practical  -- you can find these right in your kitchen:

MASHED AVOCADO

works wonders as an eye moisturizer, says Paula Fierson, spa director at the Noelle Spa for Beauty & Wellness, in Stamford, CT. It's rich in fatty acids and vitamin A, which can help hydrate and tone the eye area. So go green: Mash avocado with a fork until smooth, apply around the eye area, leave on for 5 minutes, then rinse with cool water.

A PAPAYA MASK

makes skin look and feel fresher, says Marcia Kilgore, of Bliss Spa, in New York City. Papaya contains the natural enzyme papain, which helps slough off dead skin cells like an AHA does, yet doesn't sting (its pH is closer to that of your skin). Kilgore's recipe: Mash a papaya, pat on face (avoid the eye area), and leave on for 20 minutes; rinse with cool water.

CONDENSED MILK

works as a gentle body exfoliator and moisturizer. Carole Coombs, of the Green Valley Spa, in St. George, UT, steps into the tub, coats skin all over, lets the milk dry for 3 minutes, then rubs it off with a dry, rough washcloth, and rinses with warm water. The milk's lactic acid exfoliates, its natural oils moisturize, and simple sugars penetrate the skin's surface to temporarily tighten and tone.

NOTE: Before trying any treatment, test a bit on your inner arm the day before to check for an allergic reaction.

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