DIY Chia Seed Skincare

As you probably know, chia seeds are considered a superfood. Packed with omega fatty acids, protein and fibre, they're a great addition to any diet. But did you know they also make a great beauty product?

Those same properties that make them good for your insides also make them good for your outsides. Chia oil is a super moisturizer—the seeds themselves can hold at least 10 times their weight in water—the omega acids are skin nourishing and the seeds' natural anti-oxidant power make it a great anti-aging, protective ingredient. And major skincare companies are taking note—chia has been showing up in professional beauty products from oils to serums and lotions. 

Natural line One Love Organics offers a calming chia oil called Oh Mega, while Korean beauty brand THEFACESHOP has a whole chia-infused collection, including a sheet mask, toner, moisturizer and eye cream. 

So how can you take advantage of the hydrating and anti-aging benefits of chia at home? Here are a few recipe ideas to try—and one to skip.

The Fail
I love the idea that chia seeds can hold so much moisture and really wanted to take advantage of the super hydrating jelly they create when mixed with liquid so I tried mixing chia seeds with water in a one to 10 ratio to see just how much water those little guys will hold. They didn't disappoint. The problem? How to separate the gel from the seeds because slathering gooey chia seeds on your face and then rinsing with water will not help your skin stay moisturized. Water evaporates from skin leaving it dry. 

Some people swear by putting the gel into a pot and simmering before straining, but I tried using the finest strainer I own and really only succeeded in making a mess and getting no gel out of it.

So while the idea of hydrating my skin with chia gel then sealing in the moisture with my favourite serum sounded great, it did not work. I didn't even get to test it! The plus side? You can use chia gel (with seeds) as an egg replacement, an addition to cereal, smoothies and yogurt.  

The Successful Recipes

Chia Seed Moisturizing Mask
Mix one part chia seeds (one teaspoon) with two to three parts of your favourite natural moisturizer. That could be melted coconut oil, almond oil, coconut milk or a mixture. Let sit for at least 20 minutes so the seeds create a gel. Apply to face and leave for 10 minutes then, using a soft wash cloth, wipe the seeds away.

Chia Facial Scrub
You can either grind chia seeds and mix with water and honey to create a good exfoliant or just use the whole seeds for a slightly gentler scrub—since the mixture will be a soft gel. Use about a teaspoon of seeds to about half a cup of water and a teaspoon or two of raw honey. Honey is a natural humectant, meaning that it helps your skin retain moisture. It also has anti-bacterial properties and helps to cleanse the skin. For an extra skincare boost, steep about half a cup of green tea before adding the chia and honey for the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits of the tea